A federal judge ruled late Thursday evening that 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump must face deposition in a lawsuit brought forth by former FBI agent Peter Strzok. Strzok was one of the Russiagate investigators.
According to ABC News, the Department of Justice had asked US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to block Trump from being deposed in the suit, arguing that deposing Trump "is not appropriate," since there is no evidence in the case showing that the FBI fired Strzok at Trump’s request.
"After review of the sealed materials submitted in connection with the 116 Motion for Reconsideration, the motion is denied," the motion states. "While to the extent the individuals deposed to date recalled the events in question, their testimony did not advance plaintiffs' theory that the former President was involved in the decision making at issue in this case, the fact remains that the former President himself has publicly boasted of his involvement."
"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 motion added.
Berman Jackson had previously ruled that Strzok couldn’t depose Trump without deposing FBI Director Christopher Wray first, stating that the former president’s deposition could be made moot by what Wray reveals.
In a motion filed Wednesday, DOJ attorneys argued that Wray’s deposition had done just that.
"Whatever wiggle room there might have been is now gone," Justice Department lawyers told the judge.
Strzok filed the lawsuit against the Department of Justice in 2019, claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was allegedly wrongfully terminated in 2018 over private text messages with former FBI attorney Lisa Page that contained anti-Trump sentiments.
Page resigned from the FBI three months prior to Strzok’s firing, claiming that the FBI and Department of Justice violated the Privacy Act by publicly releasing her private text messages.
Strzok helped launch the FBI’s investigation into Russiagate, and initially served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team but was later reassigned after the text messages came to light.
The lawsuit alleges that his firing "was the result of a long and public campaign by President Trump and his allies to vilify Strzok and pressure the agency to terminate him."
In June, Special Counsel John Durham told the House Judiciary Committee that "The FBI was too willing to accept and use politically funded and uncorroborated opposition research, such as the Steele dossier," which was the basis of Russiagate allegations claiming Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
"The FBI relied on the dossier and FISA applications, knowing there was likely material originating from a political campaign or political opponent."
Durham claimed the FBI neglected to "sufficiently scrutinize information it received" and did not hold "the same standards to allegations it received about the Clinton and Trump campaigns."
Durham, who released his final report in May, said that when he showed the "referral memo" to a special agent, Durham said "he indicated he had never seen it before."
Durham said agent Joe Pientka "immediately became emotional, got up and left the room with his lawyer, spent some time in the hallway, and came back."
"He was ticked off, wasn’t he? He was ticked off because this is something he should have had as an agent on the case – important information that the director of the FBI kept from the people doing the investigation," Rep. Jim Jordan said.
"The information was kept from him," Durham replied.
The final report revealed that in July of 2016, US intelligence agencies "obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against US Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee."
Join and support independent free thinkers!
We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
Remind me next month