Judge orders State Dept. to search for and provide more Ukraine docs

A federal judge has ordered the State Department to look for and release more documents relating to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that the department must search for more Ukraine-related documents and give them to American Oversight in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the watchdog group.

The State Department had previously given the group documents from Aug. 2 or earlier but will now be required to provide additional documents dated through Oct. 18.

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Cooper, an appointee of former President Obama, wrote in his order that the department did not adequately justify the August cutoff date.

American Oversight said in a tweet that the new records "would include any communications of senior officials, like Sec. Pompeo, with Giuliani or with anyone outside the government about the Ukraine pressure campaign."

The State Department did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

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The move comes after the State Department late last month released a tranche of documents in response to the request from American Oversight.

Those documents showed repeated contacts between Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCountries reach agreement in Berlin on Libya cease-fire push, arms embargo Trump Jr.: If 'weaker' Republicans only call for certain witnesses, 'they don't deserve to be in office' House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiParnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation Poll: 51 percent of Americans say Senate should convict and remove Trump Hypocrisy is the currency of the realm for GOP in the age of Trump MORE.

The judge's decision Friday came the same day that the House Judiciary Committee advanced two articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine as well as obstruction of Congress, setting the stage for a full chamber vote.

House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry in September following revelations that Trump had asked Ukraine to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE and the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has defended his interactions with Ukraine while blasting the impeachment inquiry, calling it a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." 

On Friday, the president accused Democrats of "trivializing impeachment."

"I tell you what, someday there will be a Democrat president and there will be a Republican House, and I suspect they're going to remember it," he said.