10.16.22 – Epoch Times 

“States Seek To Depose Fauci, Other Top Officials in Big Tech – Government Censorship Case”

By Zachary Stieber

A person wearing a face mask with the words covid-1 9 misinformation written on it.

Excerpts from this article: 


Excerpts from this article:

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… 

Proposed Schedule 

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 plaintiffs’ 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. 

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…

10 Others

Plaintiffs originally wanted to depose 20 current and former officials, but after discussions, pared their request to 10.

Plaintiffs still want to depose four others in addition to Fauci, Chan, Psaki, Murthy, Flaherty, and Crawford.

They are CISA Director Jen Easterly; Lauren Protentis, an official at the security agency; Andrew Slavitt, a former White House COVID-19 adviser; and Daniel Kimmage, acting coordinator for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center.