Judicial Watch Lawsuit: FBI Likely Deleted Comey’s and McCabe’s Text Messages in Massive Cover-Up
A new lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch exposes a massive FBI cover-up of its text messages, “which are government records and are, by the thousands, likely to have been deleted and lost by FBI employees,” says Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch announced Thursday
it filed lawsuits regarding the maintenance of text messages as federal records and for records of the audit of communications of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Via Judicial Watch:
After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Judicial Watch filed suit to ensure that text messages are being preserved. The new Administrative Procedure Act lawsuit against the FBI challenges the FBI failure to preserve FBI text messages as required by the Federal Records Act. (Judicial Watch v. FBI
In its lawsuit Judicial Watch points to a related case
in which Michael G. Seidel, the assistant section chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section in the FBI’s Information Management Division, stated: “text messages on [FBI]-issued devices are not automatically integrated into an FBI records system.” (Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice
, (No. 1:17-cv-01792)).
Judicial Watch argued that the FBI “does not have a recordkeeping program in place that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages, including text messages.” Moreover, “The FBI relies upon its personnel to incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system. If FBI personnel do not actively incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system, the text messages are not preserved.”
Judicial Watch asked the court to declare the FBI’s failure to have a recordkeeping program for electronic messages to be “not in accordance with law” and that the court order the FBI “to establish and maintain a recordkeeping program that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages.”
If text messages are not preserved, then they may be deleted and never produced to Congress, criminal investigators, and to the American people under FOIA.
Judicial Watch also filed suit against the Justice Department after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 27, 2018, FOIA request seeking the FBI’s audit records of McCabe’s communications (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice
Following an Inspector General Report,
a grand jury reportedly
was impaneled recently to investigate McCabe’s possible role in leaks to the media “to advance his personal interests.”
The FBI has told Judicial Watch that it is under no legal obligation to produce any of Andrew McCabe’s text messages under FOIA, which has attracted criticism
from President Trump.
President Trump previously asked why the FBI wasn’t giving Judicial Watch McCabe’s text messages. “DO NOT DESTROY” Trump said in the tweet, then asked, “What are they hiding?”
TRUMP: Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities. FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people…..After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Judicial Watch filed suit to ensure that text messages are being preserved. The new Administrative Procedure Act lawsuit against the FBI challenges the FBI failure to preserve FBI text messages as required by the Federal Records Act. (Judicial Watch v. FBI (No.1:18-cv-02316)).
Andrew McCabe was fired as Deputy Director of the FBI in March following the Inspector General’s report
stating he ‘lacked candor’ several times, including under oath.