Judicial Watch Demands FBI Recover Records Allegedly Unlawfully Removed by Comey

By Annabel Scott | June 16, 2017 | 3:54pm EDT

Former FBI Director James Comey.


(CNSNews.com) -- In a warning letter sent to Acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe on Thursday, June 15, Judicial Watch demanded that the FBI recover memos that former FBI Director James Comey leaked to the media and allegedly unlawfully removed from the Bureau.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton cited the FBI’s legal responsibility under the Federal Records Act to recover the records.

“As you are well aware, former FBI Director James Comey gave sworn testimony last week before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,” wrote Fitton in a June 14 letter. “Among other things, Mr. Comey confirmed that, while in office, he created various memoranda regarding his meetings with President Trump.”

“Mr. Comey also confirmed that, after his departure from the FBI, he provided at least some of these memoranda to a third party, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman, for the purpose of leaking them to the press,” said Fitton.  “Various media outlets now have reported that Professor Richman has provided these memoranda to the FBI. It is unclear whether he still retains copies of the memoranda.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  (Judicial Watch.org) 

Fitton continued, “These memoranda were created by Mr. Comey while serving as FBI director, were written on his FBI laptop, and concerned official government business.”

“The fact that Mr. Comey removed these memoranda from the FBI upon his departure, apparently for the purpose of subsequently leaking them to the press,” he said,  “confirms the FBI's failure to retain and properly manage its records in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

Fitton then went on to claim that even if Comey is no longer in possession of these memos, the FBI is still responsible for their recovery.

“Even if Mr. Comey no longer has possession of these particular memoranda, as he now claims, some or all of these memoranda may still be in possession of a third party, such as Professor Richman, and must be recovered,” reads the letter.

“Mr. Comey’s removal of these memoranda also suggests that other records may have been removed by Mr. Comey and may remain in his possession or in the possession of others,” continued Fitton. “If so, these records must be recovered by the FBI as well.”

Fitton explained that if the FBI fails to take the appropriate steps to recover these documents, Judicial Watch will take legal action and file a lawsuit against the FBI.

“Mr. Comey took government records and the FBI and Justice Department are obligated to get them back,” concluded Fitton. “The former FBI director isn’t above the law and current leadership of the FBI should stop protecting him and take action.”

As this story was posted, Judicial Watch announced that it had filed a lawsuit in federal court. http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/jw-v-doj-comey-trump-memo-complaint-01189/ 

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