CNN today filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington as the cable network seeks to force the FBI to turn over memos from former FBI Director James Comey documenting his conversations with Donald Trump.
“CNN claims that despite the filing of a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has yet to make them available or give reason for not doing so,” Variety reports.
CNN President Jeff Zucker told Variety: “We think the public has the right to see them. It’s in the pursuit of what we do every day. We think it’s in every journalist’s interest and we are happy to take the lead on this.”
Comey discussed writing the memos when he testified last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He noted that he purposely excluded classified information from the memos, Variety reports.
“Comey gave the memos to a friend with the purpose of providing details to the media,” Variety adds. “The New York Times published a story on May 16 in which the friend described some of the contents of the memos. Included was Comey’s account of a Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which he claims that Trump said of the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, ‘I hope you can let this go.’”
In its own story on the suit, CNN reports: “Despite high public interest in the content of the memos, Comey’s testimony that the records are not classified and a ruling from the Justice Department that the FBI should expedite CNN’s FOIA request for the memos, the FBI has not provided either the documents or a reason to withhold them, according to the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.”
CNN adds: “That constitutes a violation of the federal Freedom of Information Act, the lawsuit alleges. CNN asked the court to require the agency release the documents ‘unredacted, and without further delay.'”