USA imposed gag orders on Times executives in the battle over email protocols

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""US politics"" – Google News

The US government learned of the memo, which is intended to express confidence that then-attorney general Loretta Lynch would not allow an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server to go too far. Mr Comey is said to be concerned that if Ms. Lynch made the decision not to indict Ms. Clinton, Russia would release the memo to make it appear illegitimate, which led to its unorthodox decision to announce that the FBI had been released from recommended an indictment in the case.

The Justice Department under then-President Donald Trump, who dismissed Comey and viewed him as an enemy, spent years looking for sufficient evidence to accuse him of the crime of unauthorized disclosure of classified information – a push that eventually came to the fore if he had anything to do with it had to do with the Times finding out about the existence of the document stolen by Russian hackers.

The longstanding leak investigation into Mr. Comey was seen as one of the most politicized and controversial within the Justice Department, even by the standards of a department that had been enforced on several cases to apply leak investigations and other guidelines on books Release to attack former officials criticizing Mr Trump.

Over the past year, prosecutors have discussed whether or not the investigation of Mr Comey should be closed, according to two people familiar with the case, in part because there appeared to be little evidence that the former FBI director was disclosing classified information had the press.

Last fall, ministry officials discussed whether the investigation was over and prosecutors should write a rejection memo that would explain why Mr. Comey would not be prosecuted, one of the people said. But the FBI and prosecutors working on the case wanted to keep the investigation open, people said, and in January prosecutors obtained a special court order asking Google to release data in reporters’ emails.

With Mr. Trump out of office soon, the order was controversial among some within the department, according to two people with knowledge of the case. It was viewed as unusually aggressive for a case that was likely to end without charge. During the transition from the Trump to the Biden administration, at least one official wrote in a memo that according to someone familiar with the transition, the case should be closed.

In the court files attempting to force Google to release logs of who communicated with the four reporters who wrote the story, the Justice Department convinced the judge that the secrecy was warranted because, as the judge said on Jan. January wrote that “there is” reason to believe that notification of the existence of this order will seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation, including by allowing victims to destroy or tamper with evidence. “

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