FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Judicial Watch gets preservation order in DOJ FOIA lawsuit

FOIA News (2018)Ryan MulveyComment

Judge orders DOJ to preserve emails from Comey's personal account

John Bowden, The Hill, Aug. 7, 2018

A judge has ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to preserve any emails located on former FBI Director James Comey's personal email account after a government watchdog revealed he used the account to conduct government business.

The order issued Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., comes in response to a request from the right-leaning group Judicial Watch asking for the records to be preserved for use in possible Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

"In order to avoid any possible issues later in this litigation, the Court will grant Plaintiffs’ Motion. Defendant is ordered to take all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that any records that are potentially responsive to either of the Plaintiffs’ FOIA requests located on former Director Comey’s personal e-mail account are preserved," U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

The judge said the DOJ had failed to explain why it was an "undue burden" to preserve records from Comey's personal account. Judicial Watch has requested that records of meetings between Comey and top Democrats, including former President Obama, be preserved.

Read more here.