Oct. 24 (UPI) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. State Department to release documents related to President Donald Trump’s communications with Ukraine to a federal watchdog.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper directed the State Department to begin delivering records related to allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, to the watchdog group American Oversight within 30 days.
“The documents and records are of critical importance,” Cooper said.
American Oversight, founded by former Obama administration officials, filed a Freedom of Information Act request in May seeking the release of the documents related to the Trump administration’s interactions with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, about Ukraine and communications since March 2018 related to the recall of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Earlier this month the watchdog filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the State Department to begin processing and releasing the records.
“Despite the ongoing obstruction of Congress, the Trump administration will now have to start releasing records concerning its dealings with Ukraine,” Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said.
The order for the State Department to release the documents comes amid an impeachment inquiry into Trump, with a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center.