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Pompeo hints State Dept. will comply with order to release Giuliani communications

Pompeo hints State Dept. will comply with order to release Giuliani communications

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans US Olympic Committee urges Congress not to boycott Games in China Pompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' MORE hinted Thursday that the State Department will comply with a court order to release documents related to the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine, including those surrounding conversations between the agency and the president's personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiJournalism dies in newsroom cultures where 'fairness is overrated' Giuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein The FBI should turn off the FARA faucet MORE

“I haven’t seen the ruling,” Pompeo said in an interview with the McClatchy newspaper group. “But I can assure the American people that their State Department always complies with everything we’re required to do under the law. There’s no reason to think we would do any different there.” 

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The comments come a day after Justice Department lawyers did not offer an argument in a U.S. District Court hearing in Washington, D.C., that discussions between State Department officials and Giuliani regarding Ukraine should be kept from the public or redacted, McClatchy noted.

The case was sparked when American Oversight, an ethics watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the documents. 

“The court made it very clear that the documents we asked for are of very high public value and could be released very quickly,” Austin Evers, the group’s executive director, told McClatchy. 

The State Department has found itself at the heart of the House’s impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE’s dealings with Ukraine. House Democrats on Wednesday demanded documents in the possession or control of the State Department regarding Trump and Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE that are “directly and highly relevant to the [impeachment] inquiry.” 

The House Foreign Affairs Committee also subpoenaed Pompeo last month for documents relating to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine, though the Cabinet official has declined to comply with the demand.  

“This inquiry will proceed,” Pompeo said Thursday. “Congress will perform its oversight function. The State Department will continue to do all the things that we're required to do under the law and the Constitution.”

“I was a member of Congress. I think it’s absolutely important that they perform their function in a way that is professional. I wish that they were doing that. Unfortunately, today, they are not,” he added.

The House launched its impeachment probe last month to investigate Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, a top 2020 candidate, and his son Hunter Biden. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling his conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “perfect” and denying claims that he tied hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to his request. 

However, William Taylor, who serves as the chargé d’affaires for Ukraine, testified Tuesday that he believed Trump withheld roughly $400 million in financial aid until he secured commitment from Ukraine that they would launch probes into the Bidens and 2016 election meddling.