The FBI states it will not expedite the release of documents about secret meetings between FBI Director James Comey and former President Barack Obama, according to a letter the bureau sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Such information is not “a matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exists possible questions about the government’s integrity which affects public confidence,” David Hardy, the section chief for the bureau’s Record/Information Dissemination Section, told TheDCNF in a Feb. 26 letter.
TheDCNF, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requested records of all meetings between Comey and Obama and sought an “expedited process” as provided under the act when issues are of great interest to the media and the records address issues pertaining to government integrity. TheDCNF FOIA request was filed Feb. 16, 2018.
The issue prompting the FOIA request was the disclosure Comey held a secret Oval Office meeting with Obama on Jan. 5, 2017. Comey never divulged the meeting to Congress. (RELATED: Comey Held Secret Obama White House Meeting Before Inauguration)
Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and former Vice President Joe Biden also attended the meeting.
The National Archives revealed the existence of the meeting and released a declassified version of an email Rice sent to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Rice wrote an email to herself about the secret Jan. 5 meeting with Comey on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, 2017, as President Donald Trump was being sworn into office. The email suggested Comey may have misled Congress and was attempting to cover up the extent of his relationship with Obama.
Christopher Bedford, TheDCNF’s editor-in-chief, called the FBI denial “shameful.”
“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,” Bedford said. “They said this with a straight face. We disagree, we think the American people disagree, and we think it’s absolutely shameful.”