CNN filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday seeking the FBI to turn over James Comey’s memos documenting his conversations with President Donald Trump.
The move comes a week after the former FBI Director testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and described writing the memos as well as their contents, which date back to his first meeting with Trump in early January.
The lawsuit claims the FBI has yet to make the memos available or give reason for not doing so, despite the company filing of a Freedom of Information Act request.
“The public has a right to see them,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said during a press event on Thursday.
“It’s in everybody’s interest and we are happy to take the lead on that, and we think that it’s in pursuit of the journalism that we do everyday. We think those should be part of the public record so we filed a suit this morning.”
The filing, released by CNN on its website, reads: “This is an action brought pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act for declaratory, injunctive, and other appropriate relief, seeking the immediate processing of CNN’s request to the FBI for records prepared by former FBI Director James B. Comey, Jr., that document his interactions with President Donald J. Trump, and the immediate release of those records.”
It goes on: “Despite the great urgency in informing the public about these records, and in absolute disregard for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information Policy’s decision directing the expedited processing of CNN’s request, the FBI has failed to respond to the request within the time required by the FOIA.”
In his testimony last week, Comey said he documented a series of private meetings with Trump that resulted in a series of nine memos initially only distributed to a small number of FBI colleagues. During the hearing, Comey revealed that he also gave the memos to a friend with the purpose of providing details to the media.
The leak resulted in The New York Times publishing a story on May 16 which included Comey’s account of a Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office. In it, he claims Trump urged him to shut down the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn.
Comey said his copies of the memos are now in the possession of the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who is now investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice, according to a report published by The Washington Post Wednesday.