DOJ Ordered To Preserve Comey Email Records

The Department of Justice has been ordered by a federal court to preserve federal records from the personal email accounts of former FBI Director James Comey, following a joint motion by the Daily Caller and Judicial Watch to compel the preservation. 

Via Judicial Watch

In the motion, Judicial Watch argued that “there is reason to be concerned that the responsive records could be lost or destroyed.” Judicial Watch pointed out that in June 2018, the DOJ’s Inspector General stated,We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business.” The Justice Department, in response to Judicial Watch’s concerns, sent Mr. Comey a letter asking him to preserve records but refused to make the letter available and opposed a preservation order.

In granting the motion for a preservation order, the court ruled:

[T]he Court will allow [the DOJ] until September 28, 2018 to complete its review and release of any responsive, non-exempt records to Plaintiffs. That being said, [the DOJ] is also ORDERED to make rolling productions between today and September 28, 2018, at reasonable intervals, of any records that are reviewed and found to be responsive and non-exempt.

***

In order to avoid any possible issues later in this litigation, the Court will GRANT [Judicial Watch’s] Motion. [The DOJ] is ORDERED to take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that any records that are potentially responsive to either of the Plaintiffs’ FOIA requests located on former Director Comey’s personal e-mail account are preserved. Although it contends that such an order is unnecessary, [the DOJ] has not explained why this preservation order would prejudice Defendant or cause any undue burden.

In her ruling, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly made clear: “This Order should not be interpreted in any way as indicating that the Court has taken any position as to whether the former Director’s e-mail account will contain any responsive records. It also should not be interpreted in any way as expressing any concern on the Court’s behalf that Defendant or Director Comey would lose or purposefully destroy responsive records.”

The Court is issuing this preservation order simply because it does not appear to burden Defendant, and it will limit the possibility that the retention of these records, should they exist, might create a dispute at a later stage of this case -Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly

On Monday, the Daily Caller  reported:

“The Daily Caller News Foundation is suing the Department of Justice for failing to produce records regarding the Columbia University professor who received four memos from former FBI Director James Comey, one of which was leaked to The New York Times.

Cause of Action Institute, a conservative nonprofit watchdog, filed the lawsuit on behalf of TheDCNF Monday after the Justice Department and the FBI failed to produce any records related to Daniel Richman in response to the news organization’s April 25 Freedom of Information Act request.”

TheDCNF seeks all of Mr. Richman’s work product developed on behalf of the former FBI director. It also seeks “all communications between the bureau and Mr. Richman concerning his SGE work assignments, all intra-bureau communications about Mr. Richman and his assignments and activities, as well as all work product delivered to Director Comey or to others within the bureau.” –Daily Caller  

Perhaps we will finally get some answers on the full extent of Richman’s activities?

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Author: Tyler Durden

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