Judge rejects Psaki’s efforts to quash subpoena

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge on Friday quashed a subpoena issued to former White House press secretary Jen Saki seeking her deposition in a lawsuit filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana. , claiming the Biden administration conspired to silence conservative voices on social issues. media.

Psaki filed a petition in federal court in Alexandria to vacate the subpoena, saying she had no relevant information to provide and that a deposition would place an undue burden on her. The Justice Department supported her suppression efforts.

U.S. Magistrate Ivan Davis said at a hearing Friday that he was unimpressed with Psaki’s claims. Instead, he took the case back to Louisiana where the lawsuit was filed.

A Louisiana judge ordered the removal of Psaki and other senior government officials. That order is being appealed.

Since Saki lives in Virginia and is exiled in Virginia, he was allowed to file another appeal in Virginia.

But Davis said it didn’t make sense to step into the question of whether Saki’s testimony was relevant when the Louisiana judge was familiar with the case.

He also said Psaki failed to demonstrate how sitting for depositions in her hometown would be an undue burden. With little information, it shouldn’t be a big burden at all, he said.

“How long does it take to prepare a deposition when the witness has nothing to say?” Davis asked.

Indraneel Sur, a Justice Department attorney, indicated his intention to appeal Davis’ judgment to a district judge in Alexandria, asking that the judge stay the verdict and give him time to do so, but Davis declined.

The lawsuit, filed by Attorneys General of Missouri and Alexandria, alleges that President Joe Biden, former federal health official Anthony Fauci, and others conspired with social media companies to defend themselves against COVID-19 and other issues. accusing it of restricting freedom of speech by censoring unpopular opinions.

The states of Missouri and Louisiana have said they are seeking more information about statements made by Psaki at the press conference. She has urged her social media platforms to do a better job of blocking disinformation on their sites. In one briefing, for example, she said the administration was warning social media companies of questionable posts.

“We interact[with social media companies]on a regular basis and they definitely understand what our requirements are,” she said.

Missouri and Louisiana say they want to know from Psaki about who in the administration was involved with social media companies and what they wanted.

Saki’s attorneys say the state has already obtained most of what it needs from emails and other materials that have already been provided.

Eleven lawyers attended Friday’s hearing. Psaki did not.