NYT Plans To Challenge WH For Withholding 20 Emails On Ukraine Aid Freeze

NEW YORK, USA - October 14: People walk along 8av as the New York Times building is seen at the background on October 14, 2019 in New York, USA. NY Times on Sunday evening, published a story titled, "Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort." The video showed the president as a mass shooter where he is executing media and his political opponents inside church. It was dysplayed at a pro Trump conference in Miami. NY Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence,  the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes,  being ranked 18th in the world by circulation.(Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: People walk past the New York Times building on October 14, 2019 in New York City. On Sunday evening, the New York Times published a story titled, "Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Medi... NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: People walk past the New York Times building on October 14, 2019 in New York City. On Sunday evening, the New York Times published a story titled, "Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort." The video, which was shown during a private event at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami, Florida, showed the president as a mass shooter executing media and his political opponents inside church. (Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 4, 2020 3:50 p.m.
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The fraught relationship between the Trump administration and the New York Times has reached another level.

On Friday night, the Times reported that the Trump administration is withholding 20 emails discussing the congressional freeze on Ukraine military aid between a top aide to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and an official at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The Trump administration’s decision to withhold the emails comes after the Times filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in late November for emails exchanged between Robert Blair, a senior adviser to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Mike Duffey, the OMB official in charge of overseeing national security money.

“All 20 documents are being withheld in full,” Dionne Hardy, the office’s Freedom of Information Act officer, wrote to the Times on Friday.

Citing exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act, which “protects both deliberative and presidential communications,” Hardy wrote to the Times that the disclosure of this material would “inhibit the frank and candid exchange of views that is necessary for effective government decision-making.”

In response to Hardy’s letter, David McCraw, a lawyer for The Times, said that the publication plans to challenge the White House’s withholding of the documents and will request that the judge overseeing the lawsuit, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, approve an expedited schedule for briefs and arguments.

On Monday, the Times separately reported that Blair warned Mulvaney to “expect Congress to become unhinged” if the White House proceeded to withhold military aid from Ukraine.

The administration’s decision to withhold the emails from the Times also comes just a day after leaked emails from the Pentagon that were obtained by Just Security added to the pile of evidence showing that President Trump himself ordered a freeze on U.S. money destined to Ukraine.

Read the White House’s Office of Management and Budget letter to the New York Times below:


Read The New York Times’ report here.

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