President Joe Biden's Department of Justice (DOJ) has, once again, failed in its attempt to prevent former President Donald Trump from being deposed, The Hill reports.
The deposition would be for lawsuits that have been brought by the infamous former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The reader will likely remember Strzok and Page for two things: their affair and their anti-Trump text messages - messages that were exchanged when they were major participants in the FBI's investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. We now know, of course, that Trump-Russia collusion was a hoax.
Both Strzok and Page have separately brought lawsuits against the DOJ.
The lawsuits were brought in 2019. Strzok alleges that he was wrongfully terminated, while Page alleges invasion of privacy. Page claims that her text messages with Strzok were illegally released and that her reputation was harmed as a result.
As part of these lawsuits, the pair have been trying to get Trump to sit for a deposition. Strzok, for example, is looking to ask Trump whether he was pressured into firing him.
The DOJ, however, has been fighting this every step of the way, trying to prevent Strzok and Page from deposing Trump. This has led to a prolonged battle in the courts with decisions going both ways.
In July, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson finally rejected the DOJ's arguments and ruled that Trump could be deposed. Jackson, at the time, wrote:
Given the limited nature of the deposition that has been ordered, and the fact that the former President’s schedule appears to be able to accommodate other civil litigation that he has initiated, the outcome of the balancing required by the apex doctrine remains the same for all of the reasons previously stated.
The DOJ responded by appealing Jackson's ruling to the D.C. Court of Appeals.
The appellate court has now also ruled against the DOJ, rejecting its appeal.
The appellate court has essentially ruled that Jackson's analysis of the situation was sound.
The appellate court wrote:
Having employed particular ‘deference and restraint’ considering the separation-of-powers concerns at issue, the district court ultimately concluded that ‘extraordinary circumstances’ warranted the deposition of the former President. Under these circumstances, petitioners have not shown that the district court’s conclusion was a clear abuse of discretion warranting mandamus relief.
Now, the case will return to Judge Jackson, and, presumably, Trump will finally be deposed.
The question, of course, is why the DOJ has been fighting so hard to prevent Trump's deposition. We don't know for sure. But, the only logical answer would seem to be that Biden's DOJ is scared of what Trump might say.