Judge orders Fauci, Biden officials to be deposed in social media collusion case
"Plaintiffs assert that they should not be required to simply accept Dr. Fauci’s 'self-serving blanket denials' that were issued from someone other than himself at face value. The Court agrees," he continued.
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A federal judge on Friday ordered Dr. Anthony Fauci and a host of other Biden administration figures to sit for depositions in a lawsuit over the government's alleged collusion with media to suppress viewpoints opposed to the government's narrative.
Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the suit alleges the Biden administration actively worked with social media companies and encouraged them to censor "disfavored" viewpoints and speakers and consequently violated the First Amendment rights of those individuals.
In his decision, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty asserted that Fauci's prior public comments in relation to national pandemic policy made him a relevant figure in the case and ordered his deposition.
"Lastly, Plaintiffs argue that Dr. Fauci’s credibility has been in question on matters related to supposed COVID-19 'misinformation' since 2020. Specifically, Plaintiffs state that Dr. Fauci has made public statements on the efficacy of masks, the percentage of the population needed for herd immunity, NIAID’s funding of 'gain-of-function' virus research in Wuhan, the lab-leak theory, and more," he wrote.
"Plaintiffs urge that his comments on these important issues are relevant to the matter at hand and are further reasons why Dr. Fauci should be deposed. Plaintiffs assert that they should not be required to simply accept Dr. Fauci’s 'self-serving blanket denials' that were issued from someone other than himself at face value. The Court agrees," he continued.
Among the other figures who must sit for depositions in the case are former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Director of White House Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty or former White House Senior COVID-19 Advisory Andrew Slavitt; FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan, CISA Director Jen Easterly or CISA official Lauren Protentis, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, CDC Chief of the Digital Media Branch Carol Crawford, and acting Coordinator of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center Daniel Kimmage.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance, which represents several of the plaintiffs in the case, celebrated the ruling.
"For the first time, Dr. Fauci and seven other federal officials responsible for running an unlawful censorship enterprise will have to answer questions under oath about the nature and extent of their communications with tech companies," NCLA Litigation Counsel Jenin Younes said. "We look forward to learning more about just how far these government actors went in ensuring that Americans heard only one perspective about Covid-19: the government's."