Judge Blocks Trump Deposition In Peter Strzok And Lisa Page Lawsuits

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week secured a court order to block former President Donald Trump from a deposition appearance in connection with lawsuits filed by former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

“The deposition of former President Donald Trump is hereby stayed until the deposition of [F.B.I. Director] Christopher Wray and any ensuing motion practice as to the remaining necessity of the former president’s deposition have been completed,” the order reads in part. It was issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday, May 11.

Strzok and Page were central figures in the controversy around the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation that had probed whether Trump had ties with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign. Text messages between the two agents showed the two making highly critical comments about Trump and his supporters as the two were working on that investigation.

Previously, Jackson had ruled that Wray and Trump could be deposed in connection to the lawsuits, according to court documents. U.S. DOJ lawyers had argued that Wray should be deposed first because he was ranked lower than Trump and that any information that he provided in the suit could mean that Trump would not have to testify.

The Court is somewhat surprised to learn that since then, the parties have done nothing more than wrangle over the order of the two depositions,” Berman Jackson wrote. “The government seems chagrined that the Court did not order that the deposition of the FBI Director be completed first, but it may recall that it was the Court’s view that it was Director Wray, the only current high-ranking public official in the group of proposed deponents, whose ongoing essential duties fell most squarely under the protection of the doctrine in question.”

Berman Jackson, a senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a CNN Town Hall at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on May 10, 2023, in a still from video. (CNN/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

And in her order, Berman Jackson made reference to her February ruling that Trump and Wray could be deposed for two hours and limited questions to a “narrow set of topics” in connection to the lawsuits. Page and Strzok filed their complaints against the FBI and DOJ in 2019; Page’s lawsuit alleges her privacy was violated, while Strzok had contended that he was wrongfully terminated by the FBI.

In defending her earlier ruling, the judge wrote that it “was appropriate in light of all of the facts, including the former President’s own public statements concerning his role in the firing of the plaintiff,” according to court documents.

Trump repeatedly said that Strzok and Page were treating him unfairly during the FBI probe and often pointed to negative comments they said about him. After announcing his campaign for president last year, Trump made a 2024 campaign promise to clean out the “deep state,” a term used to describe entrenched federal bureaucrats who he said tried to block him while he was in office.

Ultimately, special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe essentially concluded that Trump did not collude with the Russian government to get elected. However, there were numerous unfounded claims about Trump that were aired on corporate media outlets that came from what appeared to be anonymous sources within the FBI and DOJ.

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