USA: Judge orders Trump administration to turn over some Ukraine emails

Gordon D. Sondland, the former ambassador to the European Union and Donald Trump
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A federal judge overseeing the trial of President Trump’s former confidante, Roger Stone, has ordered that the federal government turn over at least 20 emails related to the White House’s order to halt military aid to Ukraine, which sparked impeachment proceedings against the president on Capitol Hill.

Law and Crime reported that Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in favor of a motion for summary judgement filed by The New York Times and ordered the White House to provide her with emails that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) previously refused to turn over, citing executive privilege.

“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 said of the emails in court filings.

Berman Jackson reportedly said in her ruling that she would personally determine if the emails are protected by executive privilege, directing the Justice Department’s attorneys to provide the documents before May 20.

“[I]n order to assist the Court in making responsible de novo determinations in this case, including any determination for purposes of the presidential communications privilege, concerning the nature and extent of the relationship between any particular communication and presidential decision-making, and, for purposes of the deliberative process privilege, whether a particular communication is both predecisional and deliberative, defendant [OMB] is directed to deliver copies of the documents that have been withheld pursuant to Exemption 5 to chambers for in camera inspection on or before May 20, 2020,” she ruled, according to Law and Crime.

Stone was sentenced in February to more than three years in prison for witness tampering and lying to Congress. A motion filed in April by his attorneys for a new trial was denied.

The Senate in February voted to acquit Trump on impeachment charges approved by the House over his dealings with Ukraine.

John Bowden I MSN

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