Published — January 31, 2020

#UkraineDocs update: Government files response to Public Integrity lawsuit


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The Department of Justice on Friday filed a motion for summary judgment in the Center for Public Integrity’s lawsuit seeking government records on the Trump administration’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine last year. The full document is below.

The lawsuit grew out of two Freedom of Information Act requests Public Integrity filed last fall, asking for communications between the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget. When the agencies failed to respond within the time limits set by law, Public Integrity sought relief from a federal judge, who ordered the Justice Department to produce relevant documents in two batches, on Dec. 12 and 20.

Much of the substance in the documents Public Integrity received on those dates was blacked out, though some newsworthy details came through. In Friday’s filing, the government argues that the redacted information is privileged because it reflects internal deliberations.

Public Integrity maintains that most of the redacted material is not privileged because its release is necessary to inform the public about the actions of Donald Trump and his administration, which were found by the Government Accountability Office to have violated the law. On Friday, the Senate voted not to call witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, clearing the way for his acquittal.

Our response to the Justice Department’s motion is due Feb. 14. It will be posted on our website.

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