A judge has just rejected the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) attempt to prevent former President Donald Trump from sitting for a deposition for lawsuits brought by the infamous former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The ruling, according to NBC News, was issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
The basic situation here is that the legal team of Strzok is attempting to depose Trump, while the DOJ is attempting to prevent Trump from being deposed. So, this is a win for Strzok and Page, and it is a loss for the Biden administration.
But, more background information is needed to better understand what is going on.
Strzok and Page are well known for two things: for their affair and for their leaked text messages - the messages that revealed their anti-Trump bias at a time when they were major participants in the FBI's investigation of non-existent Trump-Russia collusion.
In 2019, Strzok and Page separately brought lawsuits against the DOJ. Page is claiming that her text messages with Strzok were released illegally and that the ensuing attacks that she faced from Trump and others harmed her reputation. Strzok, meanwhile, is arguing that he was wrongfully terminated.
As part of his lawsuit, Strzok is looking to depose Trump. Strzok specifically wants to do so in order to ask Trump questions about whether he may have pressured the FBI into firing him.
There has been much argument about whether Trump can be deposed. At one point, Berman ruled that Trump can be deposed. Then, the deposition was called off.
Now, though, it appears that the deposition is back on - despite the DOJ's objections.
According to NBC, the DOJ attempted to use the recent congressional testimony of FBI Director Christopher Wray in order to prevent Strzok from deposing Trump.
The Justice Department had argued Wednesday that "newly available evidence" stemming from FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony last week, as well as sworn testimony from other high-level government officials with "direct knowledge" of Trump's communications regarding Strzok and Page, was grounds for reconsidering a deposition involving the former president.
Berman, however, rejected this argument.
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.
So, the bottom line is that it is now looking as though Trump will be deposed by Strzok. When this will happen, though, is currently unclear.