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Journalist Jamal Khashoggi at an event in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018. Photo: Omar Shagaleh/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A judge in New York ordered federal agencies Tuesday to urgently release thousands of pages of documents related to the 2018 killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, AP reports.

Why it matters: President Trump and members of his administration including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have publicly stood by the Saudis after Khashoggi's death last year, despite the CIA's assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder.

Details: U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer instructed State and Defense Department representatives to produce some 5,000 pages monthly related to the killing of the Saudi journalist because he said the information about disappearance and death of the United States resident was of "considerable public importance," per NPR.

  • The departments had argued that complying with the order for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act would make it impossible to respond in a timely fashion to other FOIA requests, AP notes.

What they're saying: Amrit Singh, an attorney with the Open Society Justice Initiative, which the filed suit in January seeking the immediate release of all government records related to Khashoggi's murder issued a statement welcoming the judge's order.

"This ruling is a clarion call for accountability at a time when the Trump administration is doing everything possible to hide the truth on who is responsible for Khashoggi['s] murder."

The big picture: The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on 17 people from Saudi Arabia and banned 16 Saudi nationals from entering the U.S. over their roles in the Khashoggi's murder.

Go deeper: Senators convinced Saudi crown prince behind Khashoggi murder

Go deeper

44 mins ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Collective.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"