Government lawyers asked a judge Friday to deny CNN's request to force the FBI to publicly disclose former FBI Director James Comey's memos documenting his interactions with President Trump about the Russia investigation.
The news network made the case in a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in June that there was high public interest in Comey's memos and that the notes were not classified, as insisted by Comey himself in testimony. CNN, along with other outlets and watchdog groups, had requested the memos under the Freedom of Information Act.
However, a report from CNN on Saturday explained that parts of Comey's memos were determined to be classified and the government argued that to make them public would "reveal the scope and focus of the investigation and thereby harm the investigation" and possible prosecutions.
The government is also requesting that an unnamed "FBI employee" make the government's case in secret.
Comey, fired by Trump in May, had given the memos to a friend, Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, who then at the request of Comey revealed the details of the notes to the New York Times. Richman also said he believed there was no classified information in those memos.
The memos contained notes on Comey's discussions with Trump while serving as FBI director, including one about a meeting between the two in which Trump allegedly asked Comey to let the investigation into former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn go.
Flynn was fired in February after it was revealed he misled the Trump administration about his communications with Russian officials.
Comey said Richman's copy of the memos were returned to the FBI and that special prosecutor Robert Mueller has possession his copies of the memos as part of his investigation of Russia and the 2016 election, possible ties between the Trump campaign, and reportedly potential obstruction of justice by the president.