The release of all documents pertaining to secret meetings between former President Barack Obama and foremr FBI Director James Comey have been requested in an “expedited process”, according to The Daily Caller, and they may point to Comey lying to the Intelligence Committee.
The requested records of meetings between the two were requested by The Daily Caller News Foundation on February 16, 2018, under the Freedom of Information Act, “as provided under the act when issues are of great interest to the media and the records address issues pertaining to government integrity.”
The discovery that Comey held a secret meeting on January 5, 2017 with Obama in the Oval Office, and failing to disclose it to Congress, prompted the FOIA request.
The FBI has subsequently denied the expedited release of such documents. In a February 26th letter to TheDCNF, David Hardy, the section chief for the bureau’s Record/Information Dissemination Section, says the information requested is not “a matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity which affects public confidence.”
Others that attended this secret meeting include former Vice President Joe Biden, former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice.
The existence of the meeting was revealed in the National Archives and a declassified version of an email Rice sent to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary was released. On January 20, 2017, President Trump’s Inauguration Day, Rice wrote an email to herself about the secret meeting with Comey that took place on January 5th. It was suggested in the email that Comey was attempting to conceal the extent of his relationship with Obama and that he may have misled Congress.
After receiving it from the National Archives, Lindsey Graham and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and subcommittee chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, released the email from Rice.
Rice stated in the email on January 5th, “President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office.”
She also says that President Obama urged Comey to proceed “by the book” on the Russian investigation.
Graham and Grassley wrote to Rice on February 8th, saying the following:
“It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama. Despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed ‘by the book,’ substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed ‘by the book.’”
While giving a testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017, Comey stated in his opening statement, “I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) – once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016.”
According to TheDCNF, the FOIA request filed before the bureau was “seeking records that identify and describe all meetings between former FBI Director James Comey and President Barack Obama. This records request is for all meetings with President Obama alone or with meetings with the President in the company of other administration officials.”
TheDCNF also requested that the records include all Comey “logs, director appointment schedules, emails and memos outlining the meetings with the former President along with administration officials,” adding, the records “should list the date of the meeting, location, topic and meeting participants.”
Hardy told TheDCNF that under 28 CFR 16.5 (e)(1)(iv), they failed to meet standards for expedited processing. He goes on to say that TheDCNF has “not provided enough information concerning the statutory requirements permitting expedition: therefore, your request is denied.”
Christopher Bedford, TheDCNF’s editor-in-chief, said this in response to the denial:
“The FBI just told us that Director James Comey potentially lying to Congress should not be of interest to us, that it doesn’t speak to their ‘integrity,’ and that it shouldn’t impact America’s ‘confidence’ in them. They said this with a straight face. We disagree, we think the American people disagree, and we think it’s absolutely shameful.”