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.


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.


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 PompeoUS to temporarily withdraw some embassy personnel in Baghdad: report Pompeo to host indoor holiday parties at State Department despite warning to employees to hold some missions virtually The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiChoking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing List of Republicans breaking with Trump grows longer Trump rants against election results for 46 minutes in new video post 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 BidenLawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list GOP lawmaker blasts incoming freshman over allegations of presidential voter fraud Haaland has competition to be first Native American to lead Interior  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.