The Department of Justice (DOJ) last week secured a court order to block former President Donald Trump from a deposition appearance in connection with lawsuits filed by former FBI officials Peter Strzok an
d Lisa Page.
“The deposition of former President Donald Trump is hereby stayed until the deposition of [F.B.I. Director] Christopher Wray and any ensuing motion practice as to the remaining necessity of the former president’s deposition have been completed,” the order reads in part. It was issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday, May 11.
(…) Previously, Jackson had ruled that Wray and Trump could be deposed in connection to the lawsuits, according to court documents. U.S. DOJ lawyers had argued that Wray should be deposed first because he was ranked lower than Trump and that any information that he provided in the suit could mean that Trump would not have to testify.
“The Court is somewhat surprised to learn that since then, the parties have done nothing more than wrangle over the order of the two depositions,” Berman Jackson wrote. “The government seems chagrined that the Court did not order that the deposition of the FBI Director be completed first, but it may recall that it was the Court’s view that it was Director Wray, the only current high-ranking public official in the group of proposed deponents, whose ongoing essential duties fell most squarely under the protection of the doctrine in question.”
(…) Strzok has alleged that the FBI had caved to “unrelenting pressure” from Trump when it fired him and that he was unfairly terminated for expressing his political opinions. As part of the lawsuit, Strzok’s lawyers have said they want to question Trump about whether he met with and pressured FBI and DOJ officials to fire him.
But the DOJ says that the former FBI deputy director, David Bowdich, has already said that he made the decision to fire Strzok on his own, and that he did not recall Wray ever telling him about any meeting in which the president pressured him about Strzok.
“These circumstances do not rise to the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ necessary to authorize the deposition of a current or former high-ranking government official, much less a former President,” the DOJ also wrote. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 5/14/2023) (Archive)