“Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker appeared on Fox News to discuss the replacement of Dan Coats with John Ratcliffe as head of the ODNI, and the current status of AG Bill Barr’s ongoing reviews into prior DOJ and FBI (mis)conduct.
(…) Then comes the BOMBSHELL…. (@01:26 below) while seemingly not realizing what he just said, Whitaker outlines U.S. Attorney John Huber as reviewing “anything related to Comey’s memos and the like.” Boom… There it is.
THAT finally explains why the DOJ is fighting the release of the David Archey declarations in the FOIA lawsuit by CNN. [Listen carefully at 01:26 of the interview]
Until that obscure comment, likely a slip that not many would catch, there has been no valid explanation by the DOJ about any investigation of the Comey memos, which would also encompass the “Archey Declarations”.
If U.S. Attorney John Huber is indeed looking at those Comey memos, that would explain why the DOJ is fighting the release of the Archey Declarations in the DC Circuit Court with Judge James E Boasberg. Now it makes sense. That little obscure comment by Whitaker is a big effen’ deal.
(…) BACKSTORY – In the background of what was The Mueller Investigation, there was a FOIA case where the FBI was fighting to stop the release of the Comey memos.
Within that courtroom fight Mueller’s lead FBI agent David Archey wrote a series of declarations to the court describing the content of the memos and arguing why they should be kept classified.
The FOIA fight shifted.
The plaintiff, CNN, argued for public release of the content of the FBI agent’s descriptions, now known as the “Archey Declarations”.
After a lengthy back-and-forth legal contest, on June 7th Judge James E Boasberg agreed to allow the FBI to keep the Comey memo content hidden, but instructed the DOJ/FBI to release the content of the Archey Declarations.
On July 5th, the U.S. Department of Justice -under Attorney General Bill Barr- while waiting until the last minute (28 days since court order), filed a motion [full pdf below] to block the release of the Archey Declarations, despite the June 7th judicial order.
On July 19th, CNN filed a motion against the FBI and DOJ to force the release of the Archey Declarations (full pdf below), and enforce the order.
On July 25th, the DOJ filed a response requesting more time to reply. The DOJ is currently asking for more time, a delay until August 2nd, to file a response to a supportive motion from CNN that would force the DOJ to release the “Archey Declarations” (detailed explanations of what’s inside the Comey Memos).
The DOJ wants these declarations hidden. Now we know why.
Here’s the last motion from CNN which demands the DOJ and FBI to comply with the prior ruling of June 7th, (embed pdf – cloud pdf link here):
The DOJ is requesting more time, August 2nd, 2019, to respond to the CNN motion.
CNN wants the June 7th ruling enforced and the Archey Declarations, which describe the content of the Comey memos, released.
David Archey was the FBI lead agent on Robert Mueller’s team. Archey replaced Peter Strzok when Strzok was removed. Yes, Archey’s declarations might possibly describe material evidence the DOJ are using in ongoing matters. However, THIS IS IMPORTANT– the DOJ and FBI have never made that assertion in their court arguments.
Despite the original media FOIA lawsuit coming from CNN -vs- DOJ, there is no-one in the MSM covering this story. Here is the July 5th DOJ filing:
Here’s the background on the June 7th, 2019, ruling as we shared at the time:
Judge Boasberg was deciding what could be publicly released, meaning current redactions removed, based on two connected events: (#1) The content of the Comey Memos; and (#2) the declarations of lead FBI agent for Robert Mueller’s special counsel, David Archey, in describing those memos. CNN had filed a lawsuit to gain full access.
(Note: the descriptions of the Comey memos by FBI agent David Archey are known as the “Archey Declarations” – Read Here.)
For those who may not be aware, there are so many memos (dozens) when assembled they seem to make up an actual diary of moment-by-moment events, during the FBI investigation of Donald Trump, as documented by FBI Director James Comey.
♦ In the issue of the redactions within the Comey Memos, the judge doesn’t remove them. Some are ordered to be removed, some are approved to stay in place. The Comey memo aspect, and the redaction decision, is basically a splitting of the baby 50/50. It will be interesting, but meh, maybe not too much detail. – CNN ARTICLE
The issues argued by the FBI lawyers to keep the Comey memos hidden surround sources and methods. The judge generally agreed to the potential for compromise, but also outlined several sections of redactions within the Comey memos where that argument doesn’t hold up. (The judge has read the fully unredacted memo content.)
♦ However, on the issue of the Archey Declarations there’s an opportunity for some very interesting information to surface. Here’s an example of currently existing redactions within the Archey Declarations: