“A federal judge has agreed to permit former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to take sworn testimony from former President Donald Trump for two hours as part of their long-running lawsuits related to Strzok’s firing in 2018 after Trump repeatedly and publicly pilloried the pair.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled on Thursday that Strzok and Page — whose text messages disparaging then-candidate Trump cast a pall over the FBI’s investigation of links between the Trump campaign and Russia — would also be allowed to depose FBI Director Christopher Wray for a similar two-hour period on a limited set of topics.
But there’s a twist: Their ability to ask Trump and Wray about these circumstances might come down to a decision from President Joe Biden. Jackson’s order gave the Justice Department a month to “inform the Court whether the current President will invoke … executive privilege” over any aspects of Trump’s testimony.
Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, also stressed that she had not yet considered all potential objections to the demands for testimony from Trump and Wray. That could include arguments by Trump that he has the unilateral right as a former president to assert executive privilege.
Trump has spent years publicly assailing Strzok and Page for their disparaging private messages about him, claiming they proved that FBI bias fueled the Russia probe, despite independent reviews that failed to substantiate those claims. Strzok was fired amid the controversy, and Page resigned. Strzok is contesting his dismissal, and both are claiming invasion of their privacy over the manner in which the Justice Department released hundreds of their text messages.
In the suits, Strzok and Page contend that Trump and his Justice Department appointees were carrying out a political vendetta.” (Read more: Politico, 2/23/2023) (Archive)