OTG calls on IG to ensure preservation and access to records on Comey firing

Washington, May 15, 2017 – Today, OpenTheGovernment called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General to take immediate action to ensure the preservation of and public access to records relating to the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey. The factors surrounding the firing have called into question the integrity of the Justice Department’s investigation into matters relating to the 2016 election, and the Inspector General must take prompt measures to restore public confidence.

“Ongoing inquiries into whether there has been improper interference in Justice Department investigations demand the Inspector General investigate the handling of information relating to the firing of Director Comey,” said Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment “Public trust can be restored only if the IG is able to provide assurance that the records are preserved and made accessible in accordance with the law.”

The letter requests the IG to ensure that all government records related to the Justice Department’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election are being properly preserved and transferred to the appropriate officials. It also calls on the IG to recommend that the Justice Department identify categories of records that merit review and immediate disclosure to the public, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Correspondence relating to Mr. Comey’s removal as well as communications between the House Intelligence Committee Chairman David Nunes, the DOJ, or other agency officials and the White House regarding the Russia investigation are among records likely to be the subject of multiple FOIA requests and therefore subject for review and immediate disclosure.

Such information should be made publicly available as soon as possible; any related records that cannot be immediately disclosed should, at minimum, be included in any final report produced as a result of any investigations by the Inspector General into this case.

Read the full letter here.