News, Culture & Society

Judge orders Fauci, Biden officials to be deposed in social media collusion case

A federal judge has ordered Dr. Anthony Fauci and a slew of other high-ranking Biden officials to be deposed over the government’s alleged collusion with social media companies to ‘censor free speech.’

On Friday, the court granted the request brought by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, both republicans. 

Both accused the Biden administration of having ‘worked hand-in-hand’ with social media giants to ‘censor’ news stories that reflect negatively on the White House and called it an ‘egregious attack on our First Amendment,’ a report said.

The suit alleges that the Biden administration actively worked with social media companies and encouraged them to censor ‘disfavored’ viewpoints and speakers in violation of 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.

 ‘The American people deserve answers on how the federal government has colluded with social media companies to censor free speech,’ Schmitt said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen walking in midtown on October 5, 2022 in New York City

Other high-ranking officials who must sit for deposition include: Jen Psaki, the former White House Press Secretary, 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 are also deposed. 

 ‘Throughout this case, we have uncovered a disturbing amount of collusion between Big Tech and Big Government,’ Landry said in a statement on Monday.    

The 164-page lawsuit was filed late last week, but an updated Monday filing indicates that the Republican officials are widening their legal efforts to target 47 more government departments, agencies and officials in addition to the 20 defendants originally listed.

President Joe Biden, current Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Nina Jankowicz, who was meant to head Biden’s now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, are among the dozens of defendants listed in the suit.

Maggie Haberman, of The New York Times, (pictured left) and Jen Psaki (right), the former White House Press Secretary, appear on Meet the Press in Washington, D.C. Sunday, Oct. 9

Maggie Haberman, of The New York Times, (pictured left) and Jen Psaki (right), the former White House Press Secretary, appear on Meet the Press in Washington, D.C. Sunday, Oct. 9

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (right) speaks to the media during a rally outside the offices of Mark Alford, Republican Candidate for Missouri's 4th Congressional District on October 14, in Raymore, Missouri. He is pictured with Ted Cruz (left)

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (right) speaks to the media during a rally outside the offices of Mark Alford, Republican Candidate for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District on October 14, in Raymore, Missouri. He is pictured with Ted Cruz (left)

‘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.

Doughty – who was appointed by Donald Trump – cast aside the Justice Department’s attempt to use executive privilege, claiming that it would only apply to internal administration emails. Emails with outside executives were fair game, he ruled.

Their correspondences are also ‘obviously very relevant’ to the case, the judge wrote in his 10-page opinion.

‘Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns,’ the court filing states.

‘Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples.’

Examples of social media ‘censorship’ in Louisiana and Missouri’s lawsuit 

  • ‘On April 8, 2021, YouTube “deleted a video in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a handful of medical experts,” including Plaintiffs Bhattacharya and Kulldorff, “questioned the effectiveness of having children wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.”‘
  • ‘On August 10, 2021, “YouTube barred Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) from uploading new videos to the site for seven days, after the ophthalmologist posted a video last week arguing that most masks ‘don’t work’ against the coronavirus.”’
  • ‘Twitter permanently suspended the account of prominent lockdown critic Alex Berenson, despite repeated reassurances from high-level Twitter executives that his account was safe, just days after Dr. Fauci singled him out as a danger for suggesting young people might reasonably decline the vaccine.’
  • ‘Perhaps most notoriously, social-media platforms aggressively censored an October 14, 2020 New York Post exposé about the contents of the laptop of (then-Candidate Biden’s son) Hunter Biden, which had been abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and contained compromising photos and email communications about corrupt foreign business deals. 

    ‘As the New York Post reported at the time, “[b]oth Twitter and Facebook            took extraordinary censorship measures against The Post on Wednesday            over its exposés about Hunter Biden’s emails.’

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk