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States Seek to Depose Fauci in Big Tech–Government Censorship Case

Plaintiffs in a high-profile case that’s uncovered evidence of collusion between Big Tech and government officials to censor users are seeking to depose 10 top officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri and other plaintiffs asked a U.S. court in a recent motion to allow them to depose Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser; FBI special agent Elvis Chan; former White House press secretary and current MSNBC pundit Jen Psaki; Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a Biden appointee; and Rob Flaherty, deputy assistant to the president.

They also want to question five other officials, including Carol Crawford, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Digital Media Branch.

While emails and other documents uncovered in discovery have revealed an “enormous and far-reaching” censorship enterprise, the discovery “makes very clear that federal officials have frequently engaged in their most telling and probative communications with social media companies orally, not in writing,” plaintiffs said in a joint statement with defendants.

“Perhaps not surprisingly, the more senior the federal official involved, the more likely they appear to have been to rely on oral, rather than written, communications to pressure social-media platforms to censor,” the statement also said.

Fauci, for instance, communicated in a long-shielded phone call with some scientists who went on to write a paper castigating others who were open to the theory that the COVID-19 virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the first COVID-19 cases were detected.

Fauci was also in touch with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, although the content of oral communications between the two “is yet to be revealed,” the new filing, dated Oct. 14, says.

Fauci hasn’t made any statements under oath about his communications with big tech firms such as Facebook, despite that the judge overseeing the case ordered the government to provide answers from Fauci to questions, plaintiffs said.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the lead plaintiffs and both Republicans, announced recently they planned to seek depositions but hadn’t identified any officials who they would seek to depose.

Plaintiffs want U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee overseeing the case, to greenlight the 10 requested depositions. If Doughty agrees, the depositions would take place during a 30-day window.

Doughty already agreed to the plaintiff’s request to expedite discovery. That led to the production of hundreds of pages of documents, which bolstered plaintiff claims of Big Tech–government collusion.

In that order, Doughty said plaintiffs could alert defendants to any depositions plaintiffs wished to take, and that the parties would then meet to confer on any deposition requests.

If the parties didn’t agree on the depositions, a joint statement would be submitted to outline their differences.

Doughty has seven days to rule on the new filing, which included objections from the government.

Department of Justice lawyers said that plaintiffs usually take no more than 10 depositions during normal discovery, and taking that many during expedited discovery would be too burdensome.

“Although a plaintiff is rarely entitled to expedited discovery, Plaintiffs here have received a substantial amount. Defendants produced more than 15,000 pages of non-privileged responsive e-mails, and they answered numerous interrogatories. Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate that still more discovery—particularly burdensome depositions—is warranted at this stage of the case,” they said.

If any depositions are authorized, Doughty should exclude officials who weren’t originally served with discovery requests, high-ranking officials, and certain other officials, the government lawyers said.

Plaintiffs said the arguments in opposition are meritless and should be rejected.

The descriptions of some officials as too “high-level” to be deposed is outweighed by the officials all having firsthand knowledge of the matter and the information they hold can’t be obtained elsewhere, plaintiffs said, referring to a ruling in a separate case, United States v. Newman.

Even if the arguments had merit, Psaki is the only person who would fit the “high-level” designation, and she no longer holds an administration position, the plaintiffs said.

42 Comments
  • John Grychak says:

    WHY ARE WE NOT CLOSING DOWN ALL THE “FRANENSTEIN” EXPERIMENTAL LABS, THAT ARE MAKING VIRUSES THAT KILL HUMANS? WTF IS WRONG WITH THE USA, AND THE REST OF THE BLANKETY BLANK WORLD. AND…WHY IS NOBODY STOPPING A MADMAN PUTIN, FROM KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE. WHAT KIND OF AN UNCARING WORLD DO WE HAVE???

  • John Grychak says:

    DOES ANHBODYCARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA? THIS PARKAND SHOOTER WHO SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE DEATH PENALTY, INSTEAD GOT LIFE, SO NOW WE HAVE TO PAY FOR KEEPING IS ASS ALIVE. HERE’S THE WAY ALL MURDER CASES SHOULD GO. 1ST OF ALL THE KILLER, IF BEYOND ANY DOUBT IS GUILTY, THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PLEAD, “NOT GUILTY”, WTF? IF THEY ARE GUILTY THEY SHOULD PLEAD “GUILTY”, AND CASE OVER, “FIRE UP THE FIRING SQUAD”. WITHIN 30 DAYS, {BOOM} IT’S OVER. CASE CLOSED. AND…ALL STATES SHOULD HAVE THE DEATH PENALTY, AND USE IT.

  • John Grychak says:

    OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEMS SUCK! WETHER STATE OR FEDERAL, BOTH SUCK. AND…THEY NEED A DRASTIC OVERHAULING, JUST LIKE OUR ENTIRE GOVERNMENT, CONGRESS. DO WE NEED 2 PARTIES? ALL THEY DO IS FIGHT EACH TO SEE WHO CAN GAIN THE POST POWER. NO ONE PARTY BUY ANY MEANS, SHOULD EVER AGAIN HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF OUR GOVERNMENT, THIS NEEDS TO BE CHANGED ASAP. AND….I ALSO BELEIVE THAT OUR PRESIDENT HAS WAY TOO MANY POWERS, ESPECIALLY THE OVER-USE OF “EXECUTIVE ORDERS”, THAT BIDEN HAS SHOWN US, ARE DANGEROUS IN THE HANDS OF A SENILE OLD COOT LIKE HIM.

  • SLC says:

    Josef Mengele Jr.

  • A lot of talk, let’s see some action. Talk is cheap, especially these run arounds in the courts! DO SOMETHING AND QUIT WASTING THE TAXPAYERS TIME AND MONEY(as worthless as it is!)

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