James Comey never mentioned this meeting while testifying under oath to Congress. He never mentioned it in interviews to media, or in his book. In fact, the meeting that took place between himself and Barack Obama was so secret there was no official record of it having taken place at all.
The Daily Caller News Foundation and the watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday seeking records to determine the actual number of times and reasons former FBI Director James Comey met with then-President Barack Obama.
The request by the two organizations was filed because the former FBI director claimed he rarely met with Obama, and he was an independent and nonpartisan leader of the nation’s top law enforcement agency. The parties filed the lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Comey’s impartiality about his relationship with Obama was sharply called into question by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary when its chairman, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, uncovered a private, undisclosed meeting Comey held with Obama on Jan. 5, 2017, two weeks before Trump’s inauguration.
…Comey has carefully parsed his words about his interactions with Obama. In his June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence he suggested his firsthand meetings with the Democratic president were rare. He claimed he only spoke with Obama twice, once in 2015 and another “to say goodbye in late 2016,” according to the former FBI director’s testimony.
“As FBI director, I interacted with President Obama. I spoke only twice in three years,” he said. “I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) – once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016,” Comey’s opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee read.
Grassley along with South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is a Judiciary subcommittee chairman, discovered through the National Archives that Obama met with Comey on Jan. 5, 2017, two weeks before Trump’s inauguration.
Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, recorded the meeting in an email around 12 p.m on Inauguration Day. She addressed the email to herself.
…In a Feb. 8, 2017, letter to Rice, Grassley and Graham wrote, “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”
Biden and Yates joined Rice and Obama in the meeting.
By failing to inform the Congress about the Jan. 5 meeting, Comey may have deliberately misled Congress about his interactions with the former president.
…The FBI has not produced any records of Comey’s meetings, well beyond the 20-day deadline for FOIA responses. Both groups are asking the court to produce the records by a certain date and enjoin the FBI from “continuing to withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive to Plaintiffs’ FOIA requests.”
A longtime former D.C. staffer said this about the new information on the secret Comey-Obama meetings:
“The continued stalling within the FBI and DOJ to turn over Comey-Obama related docs has nothing to do with protecting James Comey. If need be he’s expendable. It’s all about protecting Barack Obama and his inner circle who are the ones pulling the strings on all of this. The plan is to delay-delay-delay until Trump is gone and the old order resumes. I recently had a media friend tell me something very interesting related to all of this. He said if they actually told the truth about what is really going on, how things really work in this country, there would be rioting in the streets. By lying to us 24/7 he thinks the media are performing a public service. How’s that line go? ‘You can’t handle the truth.’ He seems to think that’s pretty much true. We really don’t want the truth because we couldn’t handle it.”