Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
James Comey’s memos have always lived in a weird place in the Trump-Russia invesgitative saga. They are essentially the chief cause of Robert Mueller’s appointment, as the leaking of them is cited by Comey himself as a push for a special counsel. An innocuous comment about Michael Flynn in one of hte memos, which ended up going absolutely nowhere, was the primary evidence of “obstruction” early on and served as the buttress for Mueller’s appointment.
Never mind that the numbers work out in such a way that at least one of the released memos was done so illegally. Being held accountable when it comes to classified material is for suckers and military members, not virtuous defenders of freedom like James Comey.
Late yesterday, a judge ordered the memos to be further unredacted in response to a FOIA request.
Just in: A federal judge in DC ruled that the FBI must release some of the redacted sections of the memos former FBI director James Comey wrote about his conversations with Trump https://t.co/CBPKouXy0C #FOIA pic.twitter.com/KSmtRP9e3F
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 7, 2019
What will we find? Probably not much as they were essentially irrelevant from the very beginning. Extemporaneous memos written by a noted liar and partisan like James Comey hold no more value than if Donald Trump wrote some memos about interactions with John Brennan. The media will try to spin it otherwise, but that should surprise no one as anything that targets Trump is fit to print in their eyes.
There is one section that will remain redacted.
Boasberg said the FBI’s argument that unredacting those portions would harm national security was inadequate. However, he agreed to keep one redaction in which the president speaks critically of a country.
“Given the statement and context, the Court has no trouble following the link offered by the FBI between disclosure and harm to national security,” Boasberg wrote.
That seems like a reasonable decision. There’s no public value in exposing the President remarking about another country in what was supposed to be a private conversation.
It should also be said that this is yet another case of the FBI over-classifying materials. In reality, it appears these new unredacted pieces have no bearing on national security, which was the exemption originally claimed by the bureau. Over and over, these bureaucratic outfits abuse the rules of classification, hiding things from the public that they actually have no right to hide. Something needs to be done about that but Congress can’t agree on what temperature to set the thermostat to, much less changing classification statutes.
Regardless, get ready for a few days of “bombshell” coverage because it’s revealed Trump said something mildly embarrassing. That’s likely all the media will get out of these. Comey is not going to implicate himself in a memo he wrote and we already know there’s nothing legally important in them. The real fun for James Comey comes a little further down the road.
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