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Court: Fauci Must Testify Under Oath About Involvement in Social Media COVID Censorship

Court: Fauci Must Testify Under Oath About Involvement in Social Media COVID Censorship

“the Court finds that Plaintiffs have proven that Dr. Fauci has personal knowledge about the issue concerning censorship across social media as it related to COVID-19 and ancillary issues of COVID-19.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA1VW3lsyns

You may recall that we have had multiple posts covering a lawsuit brought by Missouri and Louisiana, later joined by others, against the Biden administration and its top officials allegedly involved in colluding with Big Tech and social media giants to censor alleged Covid misinformation (much of which we now know was not misinformation at all, just inconvenient facts).

Our first post noted that the court fast-tracked discovery (e.g. document production and witness depositions),  Judge: States Will Get ‘Expedited Discovery’ On Biden Admin Collusion With Big Tech To Censor Conservatives:

There has been much public evidence that the Biden administration has pressured large social media and tech companies to censor political opponents under the guise of designating such speech “disinformation” or “misinformation.”

On May 5, 2022, the states of Missouri and Louisiana filed a Complaint alleging that such collusion violated, among other things, its citizens first amendment rights. The defendants included not only senior administration officials, but also the head of the administrations planned and then disbanded ministry of information, Nina Jankowicz ….

An Amended Complaint (including a tranche of CDC emails as an Exhibit) subsequently was filed, and Great Barrington Declaration Scientists Join Missouri, Louisiana in Lawsuit Against Biden Administration For Censoring Covid Facts.

The emails discovered showed the Biden Admin Colluded With Social Media Platforms to Censor and Suppress Content.

After Fauci and Jean-Pierre and others objected to being subject to expedited discovery, the Court ruled that the states could force written answers under oath to interrogatories, Court Forces Fauci And Jean-Pierre To Answer Questions Under Oath And Produce Documents In Biden-Big Tech Collusion Case.

The Court today went one step further and entered an Order requiring Fauci and others to testify under oath at depositions. Jenin Younes of New Civil Liberties Alliance, which represents various individual plaintiffs who joined the case (including Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit), tweeted the news:

The Order listed the government or former government officials whose deposition testimony was sought (emphasis added):

(1) NIAID Director and White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, (2) Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of White House Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, (3) former White House Senior COVID-19 Advisory Andrew Slavitt, (4) former White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki, (5) FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan, (6) CISA Director Jen Easterly, (7) CISA official Lauren Protentis, (8) Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, (9) CDC Chief of the Digital Media Branch Carol Crawford, and (10) Acting Coordinator of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center Daniel Kimmage.

The Court then went witness-by-witness to determine whether the plaintiff’s met the high burden of taking depositions of senior government officials. Since Fauci is the one everyone cares about, I’ll focus on him.

Fauci denied in his interrogatory answers that he had any communications with social media platforms. But the court refused to take his written word for it as sufficient (emphasis added):

Government Defendants have submitted to Plaintiffs interrogatory responses on behalf of Dr. Fauci, asserting that he has had no direct communications with any social-media platforms regarding censorship.20 Plaintiffs argue in turn that they should not be required to simply accept those blanket statements as they were submitted, and they argue three reasons why Dr. Fauci should be questioned under oath.

First, Plaintiffs assert that Dr. Fauci has refused to verify under oath his own interrogatory responses in violation of this Court’s Order. The NIAID’s responses were instead verified by Dr. Jill Harper, who was not named in the Complaint. Accordingly, Dr. Fauci has made no statements under oath regarding his communications with social-media platforms, which violates this Court’s Order regarding the discovery that instructed Dr. Fauci to provide interrogatory responses.21 The Court sees the importance of having Dr. Fauci make statements under oath as it relates to the issues of this matter.

Next, Plaintiffs argue that even if Dr. Fauci can prove he never communicated with socialmedia platforms about censorship, there are compelling reasons that suggest Dr. Fauci has acted through intermediaries, and acted on behalf of others, in procuring the social-media censorship of credible scientific opinions. Plaintiffs argue that even if Dr. Fauci acted indirectly or as an intermediary on behalf of others, it is still relevant to Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion. The Court agrees.

Lastly, Plaintiffs argue that Dr. Fauci’s credibility has been in question on matters related to supposed COVID-19 “misinformation” since 2020. Specifically, Plaintiffs state that Dr. Fauci has made public statements on the efficacy of masks, the percentage of the population needed for herd immunity, NIAID’s funding of “gain-of-function” virus research in Wuhan, the lab-leak theory, and more. Plaintiffs urge that his comments on these important issues are relevant to the matter at hand and are further reasons why Dr. Fauci should be deposed. Plaintiffs assert that they should not be required to simply accept Dr. Fauci’s “self-serving blanket denials” that were issued from someone other than himself at face value. The Court agrees. 

The Court concluded as to Fauci that his word was not good enough given other evidence in the record (emphasis added):

After reviewing the Plaintiffs and the Defendants’ arguments, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have proven that Dr. Fauci has personal knowledge about the issue concerning censorship across social media as it related to COVID-19 and ancillary issues of COVID-19. The Court has considered that Dr. Fauci is a high-ranking official, especially as he is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President. The Court sees the only potential burden imposed on Dr. Fauci as a result of him being deposed is that of his time. However, the Court acknowledges that any person who is being deposed must sacrifice their time, and it does not see any burden imposed on Dr. Fauci that outweighs the Court’s need for the information in order to make the most informative decision on the pending Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by Plaintiffs. Finally, the Court is aware of a number of substantive reasons why Dr. Fauci’s deposition should be taken. The first is the publicly available emails that prove that Dr. Fauci was communicating and acting as an intermediary for others in order to censor information from being shared across multiple social-media outlets. The second is that Dr. Fauci has yet to give any statements under oath in this matter. The third is that the Court has no doubt that Dr. Fauci was engaging in communications with high-ranking social-media officials, which is extremely relevant in the matter at hand. Additionally, the crux of this case is the fundamental right of free speech. Any burden that may be imposed on Dr. Fauci is wholly outweighed by the importance of Plaintiffs’ allegations of suppression of free speech. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have satisfied their burden of proving why a deposition of Dr. Anthony Fauci is necessary in this case, and exceptional circumstance are present. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Dr. Anthony Fauci cooperate in the Plaintiffs’ request to depose him for purposes of their preliminary injunction discovery.

Similar findings of personal knowledge were made by the court as to Flaherty, Slavitt, Psaki, Chan, Easterly, Protentis, Murthy, Crawford, and Kimmage:

IT IS ORDERED that to the extent that Plaintiffs move to depose the following parties, the request is GRANTED: NIAID Director and White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci; Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of White House Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty OR former White House Senior COVID-19 Advisory Andrew Slavitt; former White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki; FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan; CISA Director Jen Easterly OR CISA official Lauren Protentis; Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; CDC Chief of the Digital Media Branch Carol Crawford; and Acting Coordinator of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center Daniel Kimmage.

The government pressure on social media to censor political and scientific opponents is a Biden scandal, but it’s more, it calls into question whether big tech can run and hide behind its claim to be private entities acting privately.

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Comments

He’ll just lie. The slimy little weasel knows that he won’t face any consequences for doing so.

    CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | October 21, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Not a good idea. Particularly when those asking the questions may have evidence to demonstrate falsehoods he may offer. Not to mention that’s a lot of people to have to keep their story straight and also facing the possibility that some of their communications are in the hands of those across the table.

    Does that mean he will be drawn and quartered if he decides to lie? No. I doubt he wants to risk spending time in any sort of custody at his age. Why lie and take the risk? Just say you did it and offer the same lame excuses about the ‘greater good’ re why and ride off into retirement.

      Ironclaw in reply to CommoChief. | October 21, 2022 at 7:23 pm

      It doesn’t matter what they have. Himmler over at DOJ will never prosecute, no matter what.

      He’ll get the Hillary Clinton punishment: none.

      Our federal government is a gangster organization, not an American government.

        It he no shit commits perjury by making statements in a deposition that are directly provable falsehoods he will be punished.

        Y’all don’t think the establishment would offer up a sacrifice in an attempt to avoid their own reckoning?

          Ironclaw in reply to CommoChief. | October 21, 2022 at 11:31 pm

          You have much more faith than I do in the scum that runs the government.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 9:59 am

          Every person in govt service isn’t scum. To claim otherwise is to grossly overstate the matter.

          As to faith ..well I have faith in human nature. None of these folks involved want to risk the possibility of being found guilty of perjury. Someone or several someones are going to be the fall guy(s).

          If those involved are stupid enough to brazenly commit very clear and irrefutable perjury then the establishment/ permanent DC will be happy to let them swing in order to help insulate themselves and in hope of appeasing the public.

          Again If it were me I wouldn’t lie. I would simply offer up the same tired ‘greater good’ justifications they have already used. IOW, ‘sure we did all this coordination, we did it in an attempt to combat the pandemic and save lives’.

          It’s BS and reflects their hubris but frankly perjury is likely the biggest threat they face so why take that risk. After all, they got by with all the lies and changing storylines as we went and nothing happened. No way they get protected for their actual crimes, that would expose too may powerful people.

          “Every person in govt service isn’t scum.”

          True. But all the ones at or near the top are worse than scum.

      diver64 in reply to CommoChief. | October 22, 2022 at 4:26 am

      and???? I have seen far too many Democrats and members of The Cathedral lie to Congress, The Courts and America with no repercussions to have much faith left in the court system beyond the local level.

    It’s one thing to lie. It’s another to lie under oath when his lies have already been proven. This could be the first step in having a series of trials for top NIAID, CDC and administration officials. This was a conspiracy to impose a hoax on the world that shut down most of the global economy for two years. Academics and billionaires may have the money to put up a fight but they have hurt billions of people and many of them united have the means to win that fight. Public opinion is overwhelmingly against sweeping this under the rug.

      Any chance we could throw a little RICO in here. IMO suppression of the truth got a whole lot of people a whole lot of money. Imagine the financial difference if early treatment by Ivermectin or HCQ with zinc (10 cent pills) gave just as good outcomes as the so-called vaccine (which does not protect you from catching or communicating Covid) and expensive hospital treatments.

      I’d rather see some Nuremberg style trials where at the end the guilty take a long drop on a short rope.

        A lot of these conspiracies sure look like parts of a bigger WEF and UN conspiracy. The WuFlu conspiracy to address the “overpopulation problem” is the one that ties all of them together. Fauci might be the key that unlocks it all by making all of the right connections. Millions around the world have died unnecessarily due to Fauci and his poison pokes.

    Paddy M in reply to Olinser. | October 22, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Correct.

    Barry in reply to Olinser. | October 23, 2022 at 11:19 am

    “He’ll just lie.”
    Yep, that is precisely what I was going to say. He will and he will never suffer the consequence. The courts play games to fool people into thinking that they matter.

Well, that’s going to be inconvenient for those involved. A deposition of all these holier than thou folks will be extremely entertaining. I can’t wait to see the bad faith arguments and false assumptions they offer to try and justify their actions.

    CountMontyC in reply to CommoChief. | October 21, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    The same people that declare that Donald Trump has no privileges or immunities from being compelled to testify will try and claim that Fauci is 100% immune from any compulsion to testify because of privileges.

The Constitution says “Congress shall make no law”. It doesn’t say anything about free-speech interference from the executive branch!

Methinks Big Suits are frantically huddling with their lawyers trying to come up with a satisfactory explanation as to why they’re still private entities and not now simply arms of the government.

Social media? I’m more interested in what he did to strong-arm that group of scientists that early on published a paper opposing his policies, then he invited them all to a come-to-jesus meeting in Washington, then they all reversed their opinions, then they all got fat grants.

The Malignant Gnome and Ginger Goebbels under oath. Wonder how they can spin that?

Fauci has already lied under oath and nothing happened. Here’s what will occur. Evidence will be presented that Fauci and company worked with Big Tech to censor. Fauci will basically say “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” and that will be the end of it.

There will be no justice served to these people.