CNN, USA Today, the Daily Caller, Judicial Watch and different shops introduced a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in opposition to the FBI to acquire copies of the memos former FBI Director James Comey wrote to doc his conversations with President Trump. Comey, it’s possible you’ll recall, strategically leaked a memo or two to his buddy Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School, below orders to leak the contents to the New York Times. When President Trump fired Comey, Comey sought the appointment of Special Counsel to take away Trump from workplace. And not simply any Special Counsel — Comey desired the appointment of his buddy Robert Mueller.
Richman adopted orders. He referred to as the Times. He learn elements of a number of of the memos to the Times. The Times revealed a web page-one story by Michael Schmidt with Comey’s account. The appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel ensued. Comey is, let it’s famous, one subtle operator.
The FBI has refused to provide the requested memos. It asserts that the discharge of the memos would intrude with the Mueller’s ongoing investigation into hyperlinks between Russia and Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign crew.
Both sides put the problem to Judge James Boasberg of the DC Federal District Court. Judge Boasberg himself reviewed the memos. He took proof within the type of two affidavits from David W. Archey, a Deputy Assistant Director with the Counterintelligence Division, who at present supervises all FBI personnel assigned to the investigation into Russia’s interference with the election. He additionally heard from Mueller legal professional Michael R. Dreeben. The affidavits and testimony have been submitted to the choose exterior the presence plaintiffs’ counsel (ex parte) and have been sealed.
The Freedom of Information Act contains 9 numbered exemptions. Judge Boasberg’s opinion recounts the factual and procedural background of the case and units forth the authorized evaluation relevant to FOIA exemption 7(A), the exemption that protects from disclosure “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings…” Judge Boasberg holds that the Comey memos, “at least for now, will remain in the hands of the Special Counsel and not the public.” Judge Boasberg notes: “Although the Government has been tight-lipped in its briefing about exactly why the Special Counsel compiled these Memos, the First Archey Declaration confirms that the Office did so for law-enforcement purposes — i.e., in service of that investigation.”
If I didn’t say so, somebody would emphasize that Judge Boasberg is an Obama appointee and counsel that there’s something nefarious about his ruling. I believe his opinion is effectively written and effectively reasoned. Perhaps essentially the most debatable portion of his ruling pertains to his withholding of the memo(s) leaked to Richman, mentioned at pages 17-21, however even right here the opinion is powerful.
Richman, by the way, says he has returned the memos to the FBI. Having been inserted into the center of this affair by his good buddy Comey, Richman served his goal. Now he has extricated himself. He too is aware of what he’s doing.
In any occasion — and that is my level — Judge Boasberg’s opinion offers a preview of coming repulsions. The rationale of the Mueller investigation is the removing of Trump from workplace. Whatever collusion there was with the buddies of Vladimir Putin among the many presidential campaigns, Democrats have been doing the colluding. Mueller has moved his chips to obstruction of justice and now guards the proof from Trump. If one reads between the strains right here, one can see fairly clearly the prepare that’s hurtling down the tracks towards the president.
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