A new court ruling requires senior Biden administration officials to comply with an investigation seeking to get to the bottom of the government’s ‘collusion’ with Big Tech to censor posts that ‘went against’ the official COVID narrative.
Judge Terry A. Doughty ordered senior officials like former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Anthony Fauci to cooperate with the plaintiffs’ deposition requests “for purposes of their preliminary injunction discovery.”
A deposition is typically used in the discovery process where witnesses give out-of-court testimony under oath.
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry contend that the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden is “directly involved with multiple social media censorship campaigns against COVID-19 misinformation,” with plaintiffs highlighting Fauci’s efforts to “discredit any theory” that the virus came from a “lab leak.”
“Plaintiffs further this argument by pointing out the publicly available emails between Drs. Fauci and [former National Institutes of Health Director Francis] Collins regarding their efforts to discredit the lab-leak theory, which Plaintiffs assert led to the censorship of the theory online,” the court order reads.
“These emails indicate that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins were both aware of certain scientists’ concerns that SARS-CoV-2 looked bioengineered,” it adds.
“However, those same scientists authored a paper for Nature Medicine that discredited the lab-leak theory despite that three days earlier, on February 1, they had advocated the theory to Dr. Fauci,” it continued.
Schmitt and Landry further allege that Fauci was also involved in journalist Alex Berenson’s suspension from Twitter.
Doughty found the plaintiffs had “proven” Fauci has “personal knowledge” about big tech censorship efforts, ordering Fauci to engage with Schmitt and Landry’s investigation.
Big Tech collusion
Last month, Doughty ruled Fauci and other members of the Biden administration to forfeit their communications with Big Tech companies.
On Friday, Doughty granted the plaintiffs’ request to depose Psaki, who Schmitt and Landry claim “reinforced the public threats of adverse legal consequences to social-media platforms if they do not increase censorship of views disfavored by federal officials” and “reinforced the public threats of adverse legal consequences” to said companies if they chose not to ramp up censorship of “views disfavored by federal officials.”
Other Biden administration officials ordered to testify include:
- Director of White House Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty
- Former White House Senior Covid-19 Adviser Andrew Slavitt
- Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, among others.
Schmitt celebrated the court’s decision to move forward on uncovering the big tech collusion, declaring it was “high time we shine a light on this censorship enterprise and force these officials to come clean to the American people.”
As The New York Post reported in September, at least 45 people within HHS and the Department of Homeland Security alone communicated with social media companies about “misinformation.” The AGs also claims that officials at other agencies, including the Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, the FBI, the State Department, and the Treasury Department were at least aware of the “Censorship Enterprise.”
Meta also disclosed that at least 32 officials, including workers at the FDA, US Election Assistance Commission, and the White House, have communicated with the company about content moderation — but those contacts weren’t disclosed in the government’s disclosures, Landry and Schmitt said.
YouTube disclosed contacts with 11 officials, some of which weren’t shared by the government in response to the lawsuit, the AGs alleged.