U.S. court orders White House to release emails on decision to withhold aid from Ukraine
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered the White House to turn over 20 emails directly relating to President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold congressionally appropriated military aid from Ukraine, U.S. legal news website Law & Crime has reported.
“The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, stems from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the New York Times which sought communications between Michael Duffey, Principal Associate Director for National Security Programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Robert Blair, a senior advisor to then-Acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney,” the report reads.
In response to a court order to produce the requested records, the administration withheld 20 documents contending that they were covered by the Presidential Communications Privilege and were therefore exempted from public disclosure laws.
“Specifically, the documents in this category are emails that reflect communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine,” OMB Deputy General Counsel Heather Walsh, the official in charge of overseeing the department’s FOIA request responses, previously stated of the decision.