A federal judge on Monday rejected former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s attempt to quash a subpoena and avoid being deposed in a lawsuit alleging the Biden administration conspired with social media companies to censor and suppress speech.
Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana dismissed Psaki’s defense that she had no relevant information to provide and that a deposition would place an undue burden on her.
The Justice Department supported her motion.
Doughty, appointed by then-President Donald Trump, said there is public interest in “determining whether First Amendment free speech rights have been suppressed.”
“As discussed, Psaki’s reasons for having to prepare for and give the deposition are not undue burdens. Second, because there is no undue burden, there is no irreparable harm to Psaki,” Doughty wrote, according to The Washington Examiner.
The lawsuit was filed in May by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, alleging the Biden administration colluded with Meta, Twitter, and YouTube “to censor and suppress free speech — including truthful information — related to COVID-19, election integrity, and other topics, under the guise of combating misinformation.”
Several Biden administration officials have been subpoenaed, including Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of White House Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan.
On Friday, Psaki tried to fight the subpoena in a Virginia court, but Judge Ivan Davis kicked the case back to Louisiana and Doughty, who last month approved the subpoena requests by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
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