In a court filing on Monday, the Department of Energy agreed to search for and release multiple categories of Ukraine-related records to American Oversight, prioritizing any records of former Secretary Rick Perry’s communications with high-level Ukrainian officials, associates of Rudy Giuliani, and outside groups associated with U.S. energy interests in Ukraine.
In October, American Oversight sued the department for records of the May 2019 delegation to Ukraine led by then–Secretary Perry as well as for documents related to the effort to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Monday’s joint status report agrees to prioritize delegation records as well as any records of Perry’s and former Chief of Staff Brian McCormack’s communications in its first production, scheduled for Jan. 28. Subsequent productions are scheduled for Feb. 4 and March 16.
American Oversight has five other lawsuits for Ukraine records, and last week obtained more than 70 pages calendars and text messages of Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine who had assisted Giuliani in arranging a meeting with a top Ukrainian official. Volker’s calendars showed minimal entries, raising further questions, and the texts appear duplicative of those he provided to House investigators in the impeachment inquiry.
Prior document releases to American Oversight include the November release of State Department documents showing March 2019 phone calls between Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (with the aid of the Oval Office) and the December release of Defense Department documents showing senior Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget officials engaged in the issue of aid to Ukraine. These, as well as the release of (highly redacted) records to the Center for Public Integrity are further evidence of the Trump administration’s obstruction and the importance of the Freedom of Information Act in forcing the release of documents.
American Oversight’s lawsuit against the Department of Energy seeks the following records:
Part of Investigation: