Court stops Jen Psaki from testifying in Big Tech censorship case

The Washington Examiner reports that a federal court has just blocked attempts to obtain testimony from former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki regarding Big Tech censorship. 

This particular lawsuit comes from former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R).

The lawsuit was filed in May 2022, when Schmitt was still the state’s attorney general. Now, he is a U.S. Senator.

Background

Schmitt and Landry, in the lawsuit, accused the Biden administration of “colluding” with – and even coercing – Big Tech companies – such as Twitter, Facebook, and the like – to “suppress freedom of speech.”

Schmitt and Landry, in particular, claimed that the Biden administration worked with Big Tech to censor opposing viewpoints on the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election, and more.

Since Schmitt and Landry filed the lawsuit, there has been a lot of evidence to back these claims up, particularly with new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s release of the “Twitter Files,” internal communications that have shown former Twitter management working with government agencies, among others, to censor users.

Psaki called to testify

Schmitt and Landry, as part of the lawsuit, have argued that Psaki and other administration officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, ought to be called to testify.

Schmitt and Landry, in particular, argued that Psaki ought to be forced to testify given remarks that she made in which she revealed that the Biden administration was working with social media to remove so-called misinformation about COVID-19.

Initially, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana approved Schmitt and Landry’s request to depose Psaki and others.

But, Psaki has been fighting this. And, now, a court has given her a win.

The latest

A three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just blocked the deposition of Psaki.

In its decision, the court wrote:

As Press Secretary, Psaki’s role was to inform the media of the administration’s priorities, not to develop or execute policy. Unsurprisingly, then, the record does not demonstrate that Psaki has unique first-hand knowledge that would justify the extraordinary measure of deposing a high-ranking executive official.

The ruling was made by Judges Edith Clement, Leslie Southwick, and Stephen Higginson. Clement and Southwick are appointees of former President George W. Bush, while Higginson was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

The judges did overturn the lower court’s ruling. But, it is still possible that Psaki will be deposed if Schmitt and Landry can prove that her testimony is needed, which is what they are now looking to do.

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