A federal judge has ordered Dr. Anthony Fauci and other Biden officials be deposed as part of a lawsuit against the Biden administration, alleging that the government colluded with social media companies to censor free speech related to the coronavirus and other controversial topics.
According to a court order from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty concluded that Fauci’s high-profile public comments have made him a key figure in the lawsuit from the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri who allege that “collusion” between the Biden administration and social media companies to censor coronavirus-related speech that could be damaging to the White House.
“Plaintiffs argue that even if Dr. Fauci can prove he never communicated with social-media platforms about censorship, there are compelling reasons that suggest Dr. Fauci has acted through intermediaries, and acted on behalf of others, in procuring the social-media censorship of credible scientific opinions,” Doughty, appointed by former President Trump, wrote. “Plaintiffs argue that even if Dr. Fauci acted indirectly or as an intermediary on behalf of others, it is still relevant to Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion. The Court agrees.”
In addition to Fauci, several other current or former White House officials will be required to testify, including former White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The original lawsuit was filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in May and alleged that the Biden administration “pressured and colluded” with Big Tech social media companies to censor and suppress information on the Hunter Biden laptop story, COVID-19 origins and security of voting by mail during the pandemic.
“After finding documentation of a collusive relationship between the Biden Administration and social media companies to censor free speech, we immediately filed a motion to get these officials under oath,” Schmitt said in a press release after Friday’s ruling. “It is high time we shine a light on this censorship enterprise and force these officials to come clean to the American people, and this ruling will allow us to do just that. We’ll keep pressing for the truth.”
In September, Schmitt told “Varney & Co.” that the lawsuit has uncovered a “vast censorship enterprise.”
“What we’ve uncovered so far is at least 45 folks from the Biden administration were in constant communication with these social media platforms to censor and suppress speech, had weekly calls, censorship calls, and these social media platforms were changing terms of service to deplatform folks,” Schmitt said. “In addition to that, you literally had a high-ranking Facebook official texting the surgeon general of the United States saying, ‘Hey, we did what you ask, what more can we do?’”