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Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA

Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA
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The Center for Public Integrity on Friday filed a motion in federal court to try to force the Trump administration to hand over documents regarding its decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine.

The motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges redactions on more than 100 pages of documents released by the Pentagon in response to the center's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

“This is not a case of federal agencies asserting an aggressive, good-faith interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act,” the center said.

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An attorney for the Pentagon explained the redactions, citing three exemptions in the law that protect privacy, “sensitive information of foreign governments” and “privileged” records generated during the “deliberative process.” 

Some Democratic members of Congress also objected to the redactions, suggesting that the White House was hiding something. 

“The Center for Public Integrity sued in federal court for documents related to the Ukraine scandal, and this is what they got,” said Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarEl Paso shooting survivor deported to Mexico after traffic stop House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics MORE (D-Texas), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which on Friday passed two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE. “They won in court, but what they got were heavily redacted documents. Why? Because the president doesn’t want these documents to see the light of day.” 

“The courts continue to rule in favor of transparency, and I hope the judge will do so again,” added House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package Key Democrat unveils plan to restore limited earmarks Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission MORE (D-Md.). “No one is above the law, not even this president, and Congress will continue to uphold the rule of law and its duty to conduct oversight.” 

The holdup of the nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine is at the heart of the House’s current impeachment investigation into Trump, with Democrats and a handful of witnesses alleging that it was leveraged to pressure Ukraine to open investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE, one of Trump’s chief political rivals, and 2016 election meddling.