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White House budget office releases heavily redacted Ukraine emails as Senate rejects OMB subpoenas

Two minutes before midnight Tuesday night, as the Senate was considering whether to subpoena documents and witnesses in President Trump's impeachment trial, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released 192 pages of documents related to the withholding of military aid to Ukraine, complying with a Freedom of Information Act request from American Oversight.

"President Trump's lawyers stood in the Senate on Tuesday arguing that documents are totally unnecessary for the impeachment trial, but these documents give lie to that entire position," said American Oversight executive director Austin Evers. "Despite the Trump administration's obstruction and the rhetoric at the trial, the public can now see even more evidence of the president's corrupt scheme as it unfolded in real time," and just "how much the administration has withheld from the House, the Senate, and the American public."

The documents include emails between OMB associate director Michael Duffey, career OMB official Mark Sandy, and Pentagon officials Katie Wheelbarger and Elaine McCusker, who wrote Duffey he "can't be serious. I'm speechless," after he tried to blame the Pentagon for Trump's Ukraine aid freeze, according to unredacted emails won by another group, Just Security. Senate Republicans rejected motions to subpoena Duffey and OMB documents in the impeachment trial on Tuesday, and the emails released Tuesday night are heavily redacted.

The documents still tell a story, though.

American Oversight lists more FOIA deadlines for Ukraine-related Trump documents coming up, the next batch due from the Energy Department on Jan. 28. You can read this batch of documents at American Oversight.