The list of the things the Federal Bureau of Investigation thinks the American people don’t need to know is alarming. Even more so when the list includes a secret meeting between James Comey and Barack Obama. Surprisingly, the meeting came just two weeks before Donald Trump took office.
According to reports, then-FBI Director James Comey met with outgoing President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on January 5. Conveniently, Comey failed to disclose the clandestine meeting to Congress that also included Susan Rice, Sally Yates, and Vice President Joe Biden.
Late last year, news of the gathering came out via the National Archives. Later, they released a declassified version of an email from Rice to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, originally sent the email to herself on the day of Trump’s inauguration as a reminder.
After learning about the meeting, the Daily Caller News Foundation sought more information from the FBI. Then, DCNF submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 16 of this year. On February 26, the agency’s Record/Information Dissemination Section Chief David Hardy responded.
In his opinion, the information isn’t “a matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exists possible questions about the government’s integrity which affects public confidence.” In our opinion, refusing to keep the public informed is what erodes confidence in the Bureau.
Interestingly, this denial marks the second time the FBI has refused to release information involving the Obama administration. Before, Hardy denied a FOIA request for documents related to the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
Hardy’s reason for the denying that request, which took 18 months to arrive, was strikingly similar. “You must show that the public interest sought is a significant one,” Hardy told New York City Attorney Ty Clevenger. “Therefore, records regarding your subject are withheld pursuant to FOIA exemptions.”
Unsurprisingly, DCNF Editor-in-Chief Christopher Bedford issued a blistering response to Hardy’s denial. “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,” said Bedford.
“They said this with a straight face. We disagree, we think the American people disagree, and we think it’s absolutely shameful.”