On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. State Department to release Ukraine-related documents.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper gave the department 30 days to hand the documents over to a federal watchdog. The mandate includes communications between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani. 

After watchdog group American Oversight made an emergency motion, Cooper ordered the State Department and its lawyers to compile and produce relevant documents by the deadline. 

Judge Cooper ruled the documents are vital in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, which is attempting to discover whether Trump withheld military funding from Ukraine to persuade Kiev to investigate Former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

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Judge Cooper said he could not consider a third-party exemption that would prohibit the disclosure of communications between Giuliani and State Department officials. He also noted that communications with Giuliani are not privileged because he is not a government employee.

“The judge zeroed in on communications with Rudy Giuliani to be most subject to public disclosure. Why? Because he doesn’t work for the government,” American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers said after the hearing. 

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