Federal Judge James Boasberg ruled Monday that redacted parts of memos turned over to the Department of Justice by former FBI Director James Comey could not be kept private as the FBI requested, the Washington Examiner reported.
The FBI argued that it had “effectively asserted” a Freedom of Information Act exemption when the case was heard in district court, but the judge ruled that the agency had never made these arguments. Apparently lawyers had mistakenly invoked the National Security Act instead of the Freedom of Information Act.
Media and government watchdog groups have been trying to get the unredacted memos since finding out about their existence in 2017. That’s because the memos detail conversations between Comey and President Donald Trump that could shed light on the origins of the Mueller investigation.
Comey leaked parts of the memos to the press in 2017 to encourage the appointment of a special counsel, and Robert Mueller was appointed the next day.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred Comey to the Justice Department earlier this year for revealing classified information when he leaked the memos to the press, but the department declined to prosecute Comey on those grounds. The former FBI head is still under investigation for possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, however.
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