Federal Judge Says He Will Order State Department to Begin Turning Over Requested Ukraine Documents

Update - October 25, 2019: Court Issues Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

On Friday afternoon, the court released an opinion and order granting American Oversight’s request for a preliminary injunction — and ordering State to work with us to narrow the FOIA requests included in the litigation and to release all non-exempt records by November 22, 2019.

En Español

On Wednesday, a federal judge said he will order the State Department to within 30 days begin producing Ukraine-related documents requested by American Oversight.

In its ongoing investigation of the Trump administration’s contacts with Ukraine and attempts to push a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election, American Oversight asked the State Department for records related to efforts by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, to pressure the Ukrainian government to open a politically motivated investigation, as well as for records related to the recall of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Earlier this month, given the urgency of the public’s need for information as the House’s impeachment inquiry moves forward, we filed a lawsuit and asked for a preliminary injunction to compel the government to immediately begin processing and releasing documents. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held a hearing on American Oversight’s emergency motion seeking the release of Ukraine records — including any communications between Secretary Mike Pompeo and Giuliani.

The Trump administration’s constant obstruction of congressional oversight requests has continued throughout the House’s ongoing impeachment investigation, with the White House having ordered administration officials not to comply with subpoena requests from the relevant House committees. But even if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to continue this obstruction, the public will begin to see the paper trail of the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.

American Oversight’s requested records include senior officials’ communications with Giuliani and other associates, or about Giuliani’s efforts with regard to Ukraine, as well as records related to the recall of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch, who was fired in May 2019, a move she testified was pushed by both Giuliani and the president. American Oversight has another lawsuit against the State Department for records from former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, and this week we sued the Department of Energy for records related to outgoing Secretary Rick Perry’s contacts with Ukrainian officials, as well as those of his successor, Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

“Despite the ongoing obstruction of Congress, the Trump administration will now have to start releasing records concerning its dealings with Ukraine,” said Austin Evers, American Oversight’s executive director. “This is an important victory for the American people’s right to know the facts about Ukraine, and it is a major setback for the White House’s stonewalling. The court recognized the importance of these documents and the need for the State Department to rapidly release them, and American Oversight will continue fighting to make sure the truth comes out.”

American Oversight has submitted more than 50 Freedom of Information Act requests to multiple federal agencies seeking documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch a political investigation. More details on American Oversight’s investigation and lawsuits can be found here.

 

Juez Federal Ordenará al Departamento de Estado Comenzar a Producir Documentos Sobre Ucrania

Ayer un juez federal dijo que ordenará al Departamento de Estado comenzar a producir documentos que American Oversight ha pedido sobre Ucrania dentro de 30 días. American Oversight demandó al Departamento de Estado para publicar los registros relacionados con Ucrania, incluyendo las comunicaciones con el abogado personal de presidente Trump, Rudy Giuliani y discusiones relacionados con los esfuerzos para presionar a Ucrania a investigar a uno de los oponentes políticos del presidente. 

“A pesar de la obstrucción regularmente del Congreso, la administración de Trump ahora tendrá que comenzar a publicar archivos sobre sus relaciones con Ucrania,” dijo Austin Evers, director ejecutivo de American Oversight. “Esta es una victoria importante para el público Estadounidense quien tiene el derecho de saber la verdad y los hechos sobre Ucrania, y es un fuerte golpe al obstruccionismo de la Casa Blanca. El tribunal reconoció la importancia de estos documentos y la necesidad de que el Departamento de Estado los empiece a procesar y hacer públicos rápidamente. American Oversight continuará luchando para asegurar que la verdad salga a la luz.” 

La audiencia de ayer marca la primera vez desde el comienzo de la investigación de destitución en que un tribunal le ordena a la rama ejecutiva  entregar documentos relacionados con los esfuerzos del presidente de presionar a Ucrania a investigar a el hijo del candidato presidencial Joe Biden. 

Puede encontrar más información sobre la demanda de American Oversight y nuestra investigación de la correspondencia y los contactos de la administración de Trump con Ucrania aquí.

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