Score another win for the forces of transparency — though it came despite the opposition of a government entity that’s supposed to be on our side now.
CNS News reports that a the DC Federal Court has sided with watchdog group Judicial Watch and ordered the US Department of Justice to turn over an infamous memo written by disgraced former FBI Director James Comey about a key exchange he had with President Donald Trump.
The February 17, 2017 memo allegedly details a request from the president to Comey that the FBI consider “letting go” an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired early in Trump’s presidency for lying to the FBI about communications with Russia’s ambassador to the US (despite the fact that the communications themselves were neither illegal nor illicit). Comey later leaked the contents of that memo to the New York Times, expressly hoping that it would “prompt the appointment of a special counsel” — which it did.
The court ruled on Jan. 11, 2018 that the FBI must release the memo to the court for in-camera, non-public review of the memo(s) “allegedly detailing conversations” Comey “had with President Trump,” reported Judicial Watch, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain the memo.
“The court, in seeking to review the documents, shows it doesn’t trust the FBI or Justice Department’s representations about the infamous Comey memos,” said Judicial Watch in a statement.
“We hope now that Americans are one step closer to knowing the facts about these memos, which were written and leaked for pernicious purposes to target a sitting president with a criminal investigation,” said the government watchdog group. “It’s high time they begin to see the light of day. We’re glad the court followed up on our specific suggestion that it review the documents directly.”
Comey, as TFPP and others have previously reported, infamously refused to prosecute Hillary Clinton for clearly breaking federal law yet willfully allowed the public to believe Trump was under investigation when he wasn’t. His leaking of material to the left-wing media further confirmed that he put partisan outcomes ahead of his duties as one of America’s top lawmen, meaning that his firing was richly deserved.
The bigger area of concern here is that the Justice Department — which is currently under the direction of Republican Attorney General and Trump appointee Jeff Sessions — fought the release of the memo, thereby actively resisting efforts to get a clear and complete picture of what happened and how to prevent similar wrongdoing in the future.
There are two factors at work here: first, for all the exceptional progress the Trump Administration has made on other issues, it has still done far too little to clear out holdover staffers from the Barack Obama (and Bill Clinton!) years, people with no qualms about undermining Trump’s presidency at any opportunity. Second, Sessions has been strong on immigration, but largely inept on other aspects of the job, most dangerously his habit of bending over backwards to avoid the slightest conflict-of-interest accusations rather than acting against the misconduct he’s there to root out.
This disclosure is welcome, but we’ve still got a long way to go before we can really say the rule of law has been restored.