November 22, 2019 – On Friday evening, the State Department released nearly 100 pages of records in response to American Oversight’s lawsuit seeking a range of documents related to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine.
Among other records, the production includes emails that confirm multiple contacts in March of 2019 between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, at least one of which was facilitated by President Trump’s assistant Madeleine Westerhout.
American Oversight is reviewing the production to assess whether the State Department has fully complied with the court’s order. Notes on what we’ve found are below.
You can download the documents here. They are also available below.
Statement from American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers
“We can see why Mike Pompeo has refused to release this information to Congress. It reveals a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.
“This is just the first round of disclosures. The evidence is only going to get worse for the administration as its stonewall strategy collapses in the face of court orders.
“That American Oversight could obtain these documents establishes that there is no legal basis for the administration to withhold them from Congress. That conclusively shows that the administration is engaged in obstruction of justice. The president and his allies should ask themselves if impeachment for obstruction is worth it if the strategy isn’t even going to be effective.
“This lawsuit is just one of several American Oversight is pursuing to bring transparency to the Ukraine investigation. The public should expect more disclosures, over the administration’s strong objection, for the foreseeable future.”
In the Documents
New: The documents show a March 26, 2019, call between Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo. (Page 39 of document)
On March 27, 2019, Rudy Giuliani’s assistant contacted Madeleine Westerhout, who was serving as the president’s Oval Office gatekeeper at the time. She asked Westerhout for a “good number” for Pompeo, adding that she had “been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels.” Westerhout contacted someone at the State Department to ask for a number she could provide. (Page 55)
During his closed-door testimony, career diplomat David Hale mentioned two calls between Pompeo and Giuliani, one on March 28, 2019, and one on March 29. The documents include a March 28 email to Hale indicating that Pompeo had been the one to request a call with Giuliani. (Page 45)
The March 29 call appears on page 46, and the confirmation of its scheduling is on page 44.
Also in the documents: An April 5 letter to the State Department from six former U.S. ambassadors to Ukraine (including Bill Taylor), expressing their concern about the attacks on U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. (Page 13)
On April 12, 2019, Reps. Steny Hoyer and Eliot Engel wrote to Pompeo, also expressing their concern (page 28). The State Department responded on June 11, saying “Yovanovitch was due to complete her three-year diplomatic assignment in Kyiv this summer.” (Page 34)
Note: The State Department did not produce a formal directive recalling Yovanovitch or a formal readout of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky. Both of these were covered by the court’s production order.
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