New documents released by the State Department following a lawsuit from American Oversight "further implicate" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, reports The New York Times.
The documents suggest Pompeo collaborated with Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to seek dirt on the president's political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
Pompeo worked with Giuliani as Trump was withholding military aid from Ukraine, according to the documents, and the investigations were meant to damage Biden and other Democrats, helping the president's re-election campaign.
The two men also collaborated to oust former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Only one month after speaking with Giuliani, the documents indicate, Pompeo ordered Yovanovitch's removal.
In an apparent effort to paint Yovanovitch as hostile to Trump, the State Department reportedly sent the United States Congress a "deliberately misleading reply" about her departure.
Giuliani collaborated with Trump's media allies to manufacture a narrative about the ambassador being opposed to the president, the documents suggest.
According to the NYT, the secretary of state contacted Fox News host Sean Hannity, inquiring about Yovanovitch, and the president's lawyer encouraged conservative media outlets to publish unsubstantiated claims about the ambassador's disloyalty to the commander-in-chief.
According to Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, the documents reveal "a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani's smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador."