Comey Memo Update: DOJ Requests More Time to Respond – More Effort to Block Release…

In our opinion the content of the diary by former FBI Director James Comey, as outlined in what has formally been called “The Comey Memos”, is devastating to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI.   How do we know? Because the FBI is fighting like hell to keep even descriptions of the memo(s) content from becoming public.

Here’s something you don’t see CTH say every day…. We’re on the side of CNN !

Rather complex backstory with citations HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

In the background of what was The Mueller Investigation, there was a FOIA case where the FBI was fighting to stop the release of the Comey memos.

Within that courtroom fight Mueller’s lead FBI agent David Archey wrote a series of declarations to the court describing the content of the memos and arguing why they should be kept classified.

The FOIA fight shifted.

The plaintiff, CNN, argued for public release of the content of the FBI agent’s descriptions, now known as the “Archey Declarations”.

Hat Tip Techno Fog for the latest court filing update.  As you can see from the filing graphic, the DOJ is requesting more time to file a response to a motion that would force them to release the “Archey Declarations” [detailed explanations of what’s inside the Comey Memos].

After a lengthy back-and-forth legal contest, on June 7th Judge James E Boasberg agreed to allow the FBI to keep the Comey memo content hidden, but instructed the DOJ/FBI to release the content of the Archey Declarations.

On July 5th, the U.S. Department of Justice -under Attorney General Bill Barr- while waiting until the last minute (28 days since prior ruling), filed a motion [full pdf below] to block the release of the Archey Declarations, despite the June 7th court order.

On July 19th, CNN filed a motion against the FBI and DOJ to force the release of the Archey Declarations (full pdf below).

On July 25th, today, the DOJ filed a response requesting more time to reply.

The FBI wants these declarations hidden.

Here’s the righteous filing from CNN which demands the DOJ and FBI to comply with the prior ruling of June 7th, (embed pdf belowcloud pdf link here):

.

The DOJ is requested more time, August 2nd, 2019, to respond to the CNN motion.

CNN wants the June 7th ruling enforced and the Archey Declarations, which describe the content of the Comey memos, released.  So do we.

David Archey was the FBI lead agent on Robert Mueller’s team.  Archey replaced Peter Strzok when Strzok was removed.  Yes, Archey’s declarations might possibly describe material evidence the DOJ (either Durham or Howowitz) are using in ongoing matters. However, THIS IS IMPORTANT – the DOJ and FBI have never made that assertion.

Therefore the argument that the DOJ and FBI are holding some current investigative interest in keeping the Comey memos hidden is null on face value.

That’s why we support CNN’s position.

BACKGROUND – Again, if transparency in conduct of the DOJ and FBI during 2016 is the expressed goal of Attorney General Bill Barr, then his current department fighting to keep descriptions of FBI memorandum hidden from public review runs exactly counter to that intent.

This DOJ activity does not bode well for a narrative of Bill Barr is an honest broker. This is an example of how to cover-up material that is damaging to the institution.

To be fair, Attorney General Bill Barr may not be aware the United States Department of Justice Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, is fighting this court ordered release.

However, the DOJ Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division is Jody Hunt. That name might be familiar to you because Jody Hunt was Jeff Sessions former chief-of-staff.

Asst. AG Jody Hunt most certainly knows his office is fighting to keep the FBI descriptions of the Comey memos hidden from the public.

Despite the original media FOIA lawsuit coming from CNN -vs- DOJ, there is no-one in the MSM covering this story. Here is the July 5th DOJ filing:

.

Here’s the background on the June 7th, 2019, ruling as we shared at the time:

Judge Boasberg was deciding what could be publicly released, meaning current redactions removed, based on two connected events: (#1) The content of the Comey Memos; and (#2) the declarations of lead FBI agent for Robert Mueller’s special counsel, David Archey, in describing those memos. CNN had filed a lawsuit to gain full access.

[Note: the descriptions of the Comey memos by FBI agent David Archey are known as the “Archey Declarations” – Read Here.]

For those who may not be aware, there are so many memos (dozens) when assembled they seem to make up an actual diary of moment-by-moment events, during the FBI investigation of Donald Trump, as documented by FBI Director James Comey.

♦ In the issue of the redactions within the Comey Memos, the judge doesn’t remove them. Some are ordered to be removed, some are approved to stay in place. The Comey memo aspect, and the redaction decision, is basically a splitting of the baby 50/50. It will be interesting, but meh, maybe not too much detail. – CNN ARTICLE

(Pdf Link)

The issues argued by the FBI lawyers to keep the Comey memos hidden surround sources and methods. The judge generally agreed to the potential for compromise, but also outlined several sections of redactions within the Comey memos where that argument doesn’t hold up. [The judge has read the fully unredacted memo content.]

♦ However, on the issue of the Archey Declarations there’s an opportunity for some very interesting information to surface. Here’s an example of currently existing redactions within the Archey Declarations:

And stunningly, yes, STUNNINGLY, Judge Boasberg has ordered the Archey declarations to be fully released to the public WITHOUT REDACTIONS. See pages 34 and 35 of the ruling.

That means all those black boxes in the example above will be removed and CNN will be allowed the fully unredacted content of the declarations by FBI Agent David Archey.

CTH remains very interested.

The Comey Memos cut to the heart of the issues Special Counsel Robert Mueller said were outside his purview.  The Comey Memos describe the FBI operation and intent during the 2016 election.  The Archey Declarations describe the Comey Memos.

The content could be very revealing.

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242 Responses to Comey Memo Update: DOJ Requests More Time to Respond – More Effort to Block Release…

  1. Zorro says:

    Was the main purpose for CNN to find more material in the Comey memos to use against POTUS while ignoring material damaging to Comey?

    I find it fascinating to wonder who are the players in the media in cahoots with the coupsters and which ones are just deluded leftists and useful tools.

    Liked by 2 people

    • chipin8511 says:

      Perfect time for Trump to start dropping MOABs on the Democrats enough to disrupt their vacations..Declassify.I am now convinced that Mueller is part of the coup

      Liked by 1 person

      • mc says:

        Maybe, since Comey was a CYA swamp creature, the names and dates are so explosive they are being held back to prevent a major upheaval in the government.

        Like

  2. All Too Much says:

    CNN’s argument is pretty simple, and almost always applied by court’s
    in dealing with motions to amend, motions to reconsider, etc. All courts require law or facts to be presented which are either now (law) or not available on the first go-around. There are several reasons for the rule. CNN should prevail. DOJ had its opportunity and blew it.

    Like

  3. OmegaManBlue says:

    Delay, delay, delay till after 2020 elections…

    Like

  4. dallasdan says:

    SD:
    “In our opinion the content of the diary by former FBI Director James Comey, as outlined in what has formally been called “The Comey Memos”, is devastating to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI. How do we know? Because the FBI is fighting like hell to keep even descriptions of the memo(s) content from becoming public.”

    SD keeps peeling the onion, and with greater frequency and stronger words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thinker says:

      Is there a chance that Barr is blocking because the memos might be harmful to Trump? Let’s face it, Comey would be making memos to make himself look good and Trump look bad. And they would be totally one-sided–Trump could not defend himself. I worry when CNN wants it so bad. I suspect Comey pushed this onto Brennan who works for CNN. Another way to try to embarrass Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dallasdan says:

        The theory you suggest is as good as any other offered here. Accepting my Given my own lack of comprehensive knowledge on what is happening “behind the curtain,” I have come to respect SD’s opinion above all others because I believe he know the situation with greater breadth and depth than any of us.

        Moreover, SD is very deliberative and analytical and not prone to make unfounded, negative insinuations or accusations. SD’s commentaries about Barr have been increasingly negative, even accusatory. I trust SD to be a highly informed, completely objective, and staunchly patriotic observer.

        I think it is significant that SD referred to “our opinion” in his opening sentence. Clearly, SD’s research and analysis colleagues are in agreement that hard questions should be asked of Barr and he should not be permitted to discard the judicial process to “protect” the FBI or DOJ.

        Since Barr’s confirmation, SD has been suspicious of him, and documenting his reluctance to pursue very obvious paths to justice.

        One of the biggest “tells” for me is Barr’s continuing the tenure of Wray at the FBI, the man who the President openly accused via twitter of criminal conspiracy in covering-up evidence on the coup plotters.

        Barr cannot hide his intentions, good or bad, for much longer. We’ll see what happens. My intuition tells me SD is correct.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lurker2 says:

        Is there a chance that Barr is blocking because the memos might be harmful to Trump?

        I think there’s a chance.

        Here’s an excerpt from a CNN article from June 7:

        A federal judge has ruled that the FBI must un-redact more portions of former Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with President Donald Trump, in response to a lawsuit from CNN.

        Much from the memos has been released publicly, but some parts remain redacted. The Justice Department previously confirmed that all of Comey’s memos about conversations with Trump were part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

        Friday’s ruling allows for the release of the names of countries and world leaders referenced in conversation between the President and Comey, as described in Comey’s memo. In the conversation, the President is explaining to Comey why he has concerns about his national security adviser Michael Flynn and describing his dismay about how Flynn had handled scheduling of calls from world leaders.

        I’m guessing Trump thought his conversation with Comey was private, and he didn’t know that he was being “recorded”.

        Like

  5. Kris says:

    My take on this.
    This “fight” to get these documents is to create a “Streisand effect”.Media attention will generate public interest to get them out there.Otherwise,nobody would know or care that they exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RL says:

    Plain and simple…. Durham or Howowitz need this information kept secret until after they are finished with their investigations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greg says:

      If that were true the Gov would have argued that the Archie Declarations and Comey memos were part of an ongoing investigation and the Court would have ruled against CNN. They Gov did not make that argument and now it’s too late to make it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rob says:

      If that were true, why wouldn’t they tell the court this, as a reason not to release?

      Like

      • covfefe999 says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we know exactly what the FBI submitted on July 25 (i.e., what reasons), we only know they submitted something to request a delay.

        Like

    • My question is: why does CNN want them and how much money did they put towards this effort? My guess is that they know what is in them…….enough to spend $$$ on to get ratings up. That means they think they have MOABs….and that would be about President Trump.

      Comey wrote these memos as CYA…..probably scathing and full of innuendo about President Trump whilst portraying himself as the knight in shining white armor. He wrote them including classified material for a reason…..so the FBI/DOJ would protect the memos.

      If this stuff is biased (which it no doubt is) it will need to be verified. Especially if it can be used in a court of law against Comey.

      You also don’t want to be giving salacious ammo to CNN that would just flare this whole thing up just in time for the election cycle.

      Just a few thoughts that have been nagging me.

      Like

  7. Gary Lacey says:

    Comey may very well be the focus of the investigation, hench keeping the memos out of the public domain.
    Lest we forget, Comey leaked to the press via his buddy. its possible some of that may be highly sensitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mathew listerud says:

    We know some of the FBI procedural violations which facilitated this fiasco:

    1) Woods procedure violation: FISA submissions must be vetted for accuracy. The FBI tried and failed to vet the Steele dossier but used it anyway in order to initiate surveillance of Carter Page and the Trump campaign. The FBI extended the warrant 3 times total 360 days.

    2) Surveillance (without?) initiation of formal investigation (?) & Conflict of Interest: Comey reportedly met with a ‘sensitive matter team’ Jan 5, 2017, the day of the ‘by the book’ meeting at the WH, and 1 day before briefing Trump on the dossier. Then, assigning cyber security expert Anthony Ferrante to WH, yet with access to FBI headquarters (?). 2nd attempt Strzok tweets about contact with “Katie’s husband = Joshua Pitcock = VP Pence’s chief of staff.

    3) Violation of Executive Privilege: After being dismissed Comey leaks memos of meetings with Trump to Columbia Prof. Dan Richman, with the expressed hope of initiating a special counsel…. a special counsel which went down in flames before the House subcommittees yesterday….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lydia00 says:

    Comey would never write anything detrimental to himself. The memos might be compared to facts we now know to show his deception.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am openly suspicious of those “memos.” Why would he write them? Why would they then be summarized by someone else, and both be so damaging that they must be classified? I detect … bait.

    Comey has written his own story, as yet another line of defense. Now, through his accomplices at CNN, he wants them to be published and thus to become the easily-digestible official version of what happened. But he will have placed false things into it as well as true ones. Now, in advance of any criminal trial, his version of the story is suddenly “all over the papers.” Now it isn’t possible to bring him to trial because any jury would be biased against him. Exactly what they used to do in Chicago by putting stories in the Tribune.

    “The version of events that gets published” should be that which is concluded by a criminal prosecutor who has just unsealed an indictment – not a version written by the perpetrator himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • covfefe999 says:

      Why would they then be summarized by someone else

      It wasn’t so much that the memos were summarized, Archey was making a case, on behalf of the FBI, that the Comey memos shouldn’t be released to the public because they contain material that should be protected. In order to make his case he had to explain in some detail why the material was sensitive, why it would be damaging if released.

      Because the Archey declarations potentially contain useful info, we’re interested in seeing them.

      Like

    • Rick says:

      Several good points have been made but I agree with Mike. If there is any hope at all for justice, I think this material should remain sealed until a grand jury is seated.

      Like

  11. Will Hunt says:

    If any of the news reports are to be believed many, many people (judges, senators, bureaucrats, etc.) have seen the yet to be declassified purported “evidence” of widespread, institutional illegality and blatant corruption in FISC, DOJ, FBI, NSA, etc. But not one shred of definitive, incontrovertible documentary evidence has EVER been released. Uh huh….These loose lipped leakers sure can keep a tight lid on things when they want to..

    Like

    • Chris says:

      I often wondered why NO ONE leaked about the last President. Someone always talks. It made me wonder; what the he!! kinda of dirt did they have on people?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Caius Lowell says:

        That’s a great question, and and answer is probably not one that Americans want to hear. I remember a documentary on that Patriot Act whistleblower from Ft. Meade, and who do you go to if you have a damaging “leak”? The media? As the last few years have made abundantly clear, the media is 110% for 0bama, so they’re obviously not going to support an honest American trying to do the right thing!

        Like

  12. JustaVerb says:

    >As you can see from the filing graphic, the DOJ is requesting more time to file a response to a motion that would force them to release the “Archey Declarations

    Technically should read

    As you can see from the filing graphic, the DOJ is requesting more time to file a reply to CNN’s response on Goverment’s rule 58(e) motion to amend court’s opinion and order.

    (follows docket chronology better)

    Liked by 1 person

    • covfee999 says:

      Obviously Sundance was trying to explain the situation to everyone. It regards the Archey declarations, something that isn’t at all apparent from the graphic or your suggested verbage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JustaVerb says:

        This would probably confuse even more
        1 – original motion
        2 – response to 1
        3 – reply to 2
        4 – court opinion and ruling on 1
        5 – motion to change/amend 4 (only granted in exceptional circumstances)
        6 – response to 5
        Pre 7 – guv asks for and gets extra time to file 7
        (WE ARE HERE)
        7 – reply to 6
        8 – court opinion and ruling on 5

        Like

        • lurker2 says:

          Maybe that helps you sort out your thoughts, but I doubt that would help any other person visiting this site. The article above is quite clear with the chronology. This is a somewhat complex case that’s been dragging on for a few years and shifted in scope.

          Like

          • JustaVerb says:

            Those 8 steps are the straightline steps involved in adjudicating motion #1. 5-8 are rarely undertaken underscoring the gubmint’s desperation to stall this thing out. Merely trying to illustrate the procedural process for court to decide a single argument involving certain redactions. Not that complicated if one were to spend a couple of hours perusing how a 1st year law school FRCP book that you can get on ebay for $4 is organized. Attempting to familiarize folks w justice system because most procedures are misreported in the news and one of the major problems we have in this country is access to justice which includes access to understanding how justice proceeds. Yer welcome.

            Like

            • lurker2 says:

              Comment deleted by Admin…

              Like

            • lurker2 says:

              I didn’t thank you.

              I learned a tremendous amount about the case by reading Sundance’s articles and the documents he linked to. I feel I understand the case now.

              What would I have learned about the case from your comments and a generic law textbook? Pretty much nothing useful. I wouldm’t know that the plaintiff is CNN, that they originally sued to have access to the Comey memos, and that now they are suing to have access to the Archey declarations. I wouldn’t know what the declarations are. All important facts that are necessary to know to comprehend the case.

              If you’re in some kind of competition with Sundance, if you think you can do a better job than he does, then maintain your own blog. Good luck with that, btw, it takes a great deal of time and hard work to produce something like CTH. If you’re just trying to impress people, well, that’s your problem. lol

              Just want to let you know I won’t be returning to this comments section.

              Like

  13. Rob says:

    I suppose nobody is going to ask AG Barr, directly, why the DOJ is blocking release? Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lurker2 says:

      This case has been going on since 2017, I think. Archey submitted his first declaration back in October 2017. Barr became the Attorney General in February of this year. I honestly don’t think he has the time, nor should be he required, to get involved with every single case that existed prior to his arrival. And in the case of this particular case, much of the requested info (memos and declarations) HAS been released, there’s just some redacted material, very little now, that CNN is demanding to see. Because Comey was the FBI Director when he wrote the memos, it no doubt contains some sensitive information, some of which might actually be harmful to Trump if released. Some of the memos document Comey’s private conversations with Trump. I don’t think I want those to be completely unredacted. As for the Archey declarations, they are almost completely unredacted already, and the judge has read them and thinks they can be fully unredacted. This shouldn’t be turned into some kind of conspiracy theory.

      Like

  14. Caius Lowell says:

    0bama’s weaponized and corrupted DoJ covering its azz — as usual…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ezduzit63 says:

    Along with all the CIA attempts to block all their records..its a race..

    Like

  16. Pat Childs says:

    Barr was instructed to declassify these. He has not.

    Like

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