Judge rules FBI must release some redacted sections of Comey memos

A federal judge ruled Friday that the FBI must release some of the redacted sections of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWant the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler Want the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler Trump: Reported security incidents related to Clinton emails 'really big' MORE’s memos of his conversations with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE.

James E. Boasberg of the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled the redactions must be released in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought against the FBI by CNN, saying that the agency’s publication of redacted memos on its website and the conclusion of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s report led him to his decision.

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Boasberg ruled in 2018 that the memos would remain redacted amid Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

CNN’s request surrounds memos Comey wrote following several conversations with the president.

The former FBI director said he wrote the notes down out of fear that the president would try to mischaracterize their meetings. 

Friday’s ruling deals with a batch of several redactions from the memos, choosing to order the release of some and allowing the government to keep secret some others.

One batch, which Boasberg ruled would be partially unredacted, concerns a conversation Trump had with former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. The discussion appears to regard which world leader called Trump first to congratulate him after his inauguration.

The FBI had argued that relationships with different countries could be damaged if the exchange was unredacted.

Comey’s memos regarding Flynn have been significant in the past, as they revealed that Trump asked Comey to halt the FBI’s investigation into the then-national security adviser, a move several observers have said could have obstructed justice.

Boasberg also ordered that an exchange between Comey and Trump regarding Egypt’s president be partially redacted. He allowed a redaction containing “a reference about the President’s observation about responding to a question he was asked about Russian President Putin” would be allowed to remain secret.