Plaintiffs are attempting to depose ten top authorities, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the high-profile case. It has revealed evidence of collusion between big tech and government leaders to censor users.
In a subsequent motion, the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri requested a federal court to grant them the right to cross-examine Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, along with other officials.
Five additional officials, including Carol Crawford, the head of the Digital Media Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also wanted for questioning.
For example, Fauci spoke with a few scientists during a long-distance phone call who later published a paper criticizing those who accepted the idea that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, where the first cases of COVID-19 were discovered.
In this country, we are not built for monarchies, not even in the public health establishment, writes Peter Tonguette.
Dr. Fauci long ago became the King of COVID — now, happily, deposed.https://t.co/3ZIORnYXL5
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 14, 2022
The latest filing, dated October 14, notes Fauci spoke verbally with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, but the details of those conversations “have not yet been made public.”
Despite the judge supervising the case requesting the government continue providing answers from Fauci to questions, plaintiffs claimed Fauci has not made any declarations under oath about his correspondence with major tech companies like Facebook.
Republicans Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana, the lead plaintiffs, recently declared their intention to seek sworn testimony, but did not specify which officials they would seek to question.
Plaintiffs are asking U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee who is presiding over the case, to approve the ten depositions they are requesting. The depositions would happen within a 30-day period if Doughty consents.
Doughty previously granted the plaintiff’s request to quicken the discovery process. The plaintiff’s claims of cahoots between Big Tech and the government were supported by the production of hundreds of pages of paperwork as a result.
In that order, Doughty stated the parties would confer to discuss any requests for depositions and the plaintiffs could notify defendants of any depositions they wished to take.
The parties were required to file a joint declaration summarizing their differences if they could not come to an agreement on the depositions.
Doughty has seven days to make a decision regarding the latest filing, which included contained government objections.
A federal judge in Louisiana ruled yesterday that the Biden admin. has 21 days to turn over all relevant emails sent by WH press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci to social media platforms regarding alleged misinformation and the censorship of social media content.
— TickedOffOfLibs (@TickedOffOfLibs) September 7, 2022
Plaintiffs typically take no more than ten depositions during regular discovery, according to Department of Justice lawyers; taking that many under accelerated discovery would be too time-consuming.
The government lawyers said if any depositions are permitted, Doughty should bar officials who weren’t initially served with discovery demands, high-ranking officials, and specific additional officials.
White House Officials to be Deposed
The plaintiffs claimed the counterarguments lacked substance and should be disregarded.
The simple truth that all of the officials have actual first-hand experience with the subject and the data they possess cannot be found elsewhere outweighs the descriptions of some officials as being too “high-level” to be deposed, the plaintiff alleged.
Former White House press secretary Psaki is the only individual who would satisfy the “high-level” description even if the plaintiffs’ claims were valid; she no longer occupies an administration role, the plaintiffs claimed.
Plaintiffs initially sought to cross-examine 20 present and former officials, but following consultation, they reduced their demand to 10.