Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the department decided to provide lawmakers with the memos Thursday due to “unusual events occurring since the previous limited disclosure,” CNN reported.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy demanded access to the memos last week as part of their investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry in 2016
“The Department has consulted the relevant parties and concluded that the release of the memoranda to Congress at this time would not adversely impact any ongoing investigation or other confidentiality interests of the Executive Branch,” Boyd wrote in a letter to three committee heads.
Boyd added the Justice Department will provide Congress with two versions of the documents, an unclassified version with sensitive information redacted and a classified unredacted version which will be transmitted to available members of each committee via a secure channel Friday.
The memos are believed to be critical to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into whether Trump or his allies attempted to obstruct the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign contacts with Russia.
Comey has said he drafted seven memos detailing his encounters with the president in person and on the phone and has no problem with members of Congress reading their contents.