Energy Department agrees to begin releasing Ukraine-related records

Energy Department agrees to begin releasing Ukraine-related records

The Energy Department on Monday agreed to begin releasing a cache of Ukraine-related records, including former Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryTop National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Overnight Energy: Green groups to sue over Trump rollback of Obama water rules | GOP climate plan faces pushback from right | Bezos launches B climate initiative Rick Perry to rejoin dental insurance company as chief strategy officer MORE’s communications with high-level Ukrainian officials, according to a joint status report filed in a Washington, D.C., court.

The agreement came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by American Oversight, an ethics watchdog group. The group in October sued the department in an attempt to gain access to documents relating to Perry’s communications with key Trump administration and Ukrainian officials. It also sought records relating to the department’s contacts with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE’s attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiHouse panel says key witness isn't cooperating in probe into Yovanovitch surveillance Pennsylvania Democrat says US Attorney's Office should prioritize opioids rather than 'Russian propaganda' from Giuliani Bill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn MORE.

The DOE agreed to start releasing documents relating to Perry’s communications with his former chief of staff Brian McCormack by Jan. 28. The first set of documents will also include records relating to the presidential delegation Perry led to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration last May. 

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Another package of documents, focused in part on Perry's and McCormack's communications with Giuliani, are scheduled to be released on Feb. 4. A third cache of Ukraine-related documents will be released by March 16. 

“American Oversight followed proper legal procedures that the Department will honor," DOE press secretary Shaylyn Hynes said in statement to The Hill.

Perry and Giuliani have become key figures in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine. The inquiry primarily focused on allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to announce politically advantageous investigations and that he used military aid as a source of leverage.

The House in December voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Perry, who stepped down as Energy secretary late last year, faced a House subpoena in October after media reports raised questions about his involvement in Trump's dealings with Ukraine. 

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CNN reported in October that Trump directed Perry and multiple State Department officials to talk with Giuliani about matters pertaining to Ukraine. Trump also told House Republicans during a conference call that he made the infamous July 25 phone call with Zelensky after a request from Perry, according to Axios

Perry refused to comply with a House subpoena before departing the administration. Department of Energy press secretary Shaylyn Hynes wrote in a statement to The Hill in November that Perry would "not partake in a secret star chamber inquisition."

She argued on Monday that the department did not respond to a House subpoena because lawmakers "subpoenaed the Department for documents without proper authorization, ignoring its own rules."

UPDATED 10:51 p.m.