Court Directs State Dept. to Begin Releasing Ukraine Records to American Oversight

Washington, DC, Oct. 23, 2019 — Today a federal judge said that he will order the State Department to produce Urkaine-related documents requested by American Oversight within 30 days. American Oversight sued the State Department to release records including senior officials’ communications with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani or discussing efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of the president’s political opponents.

“Despite the ongoing obstruction of Congress, the Trump administration will now have to start releasing records concerning its dealings with Ukraine,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “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.”

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This afternoon, 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 from the State Department – including any communications between Secretary Mike Pompeo and Giuliani.

Earlier this month, American Oversight filed a lawsuit and asked for a preliminary injunction to compel the State Department to begin rapidly processing and releasing senior officials’ correspondence with Giuliani and other communications about efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to open a political investigation into the president’s political opponents. The lawsuit also sought the release of records related to the recall of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Today’s hearing marks the first time since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry that the executive branch has been ordered by a court to turn over documents related to the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden.

More background on American Oversight’s lawsuit and investigation of the Trump administration’s contacts with Ukraine can be found here.

American Oversight is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit ethics watchdog and is the top Freedom of Information Act litigator investigating the Trump administration. American Oversight has filed more than 100 public records lawsuits since March 2017, uncovering and publishing tens of thousands of documents exposing conflicts of interest, abuse of power, and misuse of taxpayer resources at the highest levels of the government. In 2019, American Oversight launched its State Accountability Project to investigate voter suppression and has filed dozens of records requests in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Follow us at @weareoversight and learn more at http://www.americanoversight.org.