The court filing says the first set of documents will focus on communications of then-Secretary Rick Perry as well as chief of staff Brian McCormack among other items. The next set will include communications with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Democrats say Trump abused his office by directing a pressure campaign for Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for $400 million in US security aid and a White House meeting. Trump, Democrats say, then stonewalled congressional investigators to coverup the misconduct.
Multiple US officials testified before Congress that Giuliani was a conduit for messages between the President and officials in Kiev, and that he was at the helm of a problematic circumvention of typical national security processes.
In October, Assistant Secretary of Energy Melissa Burnison told the three committees involved in the inquiry that the Energy Department is “unable to comply with your request for documents and communications at this time.”
In a letter, Burnison argues about the validity of the inquiry and contends the request is for confidential communications “that are potentially protected by executive privilege and would require careful review.”
Burnison concluded by saying the department “remains committed to working with Congress.”