Judicial Watch announced Friday it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department for information related to memos former FBI Director James Comey testified that he had written about his private meetings with President Trump.
The conservative watchdog group said its latest suit is in response to not hearing back about a FOIA request it sent the Justice Department on May 16 when one of the leaked memos was cited in a New York Times story.
"That we have to sue in federal court to get a document that was read to a reporter at The New York Times is a scandal," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. "This Comey memo should be released forthwith and, frankly, the president can and should order its immediate release."
The announcement comes just as Buzzfeed simultaneously reported the FBI had refused to release to the media the memos Comey penned about his meetings with Trump.
At least one of the memos Comey mentioned during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 is unclassified, the report said. However, the news outlet was informed the memos are part of a "pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding" and therefore could not be shared.
Releasing all of the documents could "reasonably interfere with enforcement proceedings," the agency added.
Comey testified earlier this month that he leaked one of the memos to his longtime friend, Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School. Comey told the intelligence panel that he wrote down details about his conversations with Trump in order to have a reference point if the administration were ever to disagree about a conversation the two had in the past.
The New York Times and CNN have both filed lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act for the memos.
Judicial Watch has issued six FOIA requests regarding the "surveillance, unmasking and illegal leaking targeting President Trump and his associates during the FBI's investigation of potential Russian involvement."