A federal court ordered on Oct. 21 that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top-ranking officials testify under oath at depositions in a case after evidence showed Fauci worked directly with Big Tech companies and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to shut down discussions on the origin of COVID-19.
The attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri and other plaintiffs allege that Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, along with other defendants colluded and pressured social media companies to “suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content” related to COVID-19.
The list of granted depositions includes Fauci, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, director of White House digital strategy Rob Flaherty, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Jen Easterly, and FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan.
“After finding documentation of a collusive relationship between the Biden Administration and social media companies to censor free speech, we immediately filed a motion to get these officials under oath,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.
“It is high time we shine a light on this censorship enterprise and force these officials to come clean to the American people, and this ruling will allow us to do just that. We’ll keep pressing for the truth.”
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty said he agreed with plaintiffs that Fauci’s previous “self-serving blanket denials” about his part in censoring views on social media couldn’t be taken at face value.
Doughty in his ruling states:
“Plaintiffs argue that even if Dr. Fauci can prove he never communicated with social media 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.”
If the lab leak theory is true, Fauci may be implicated in funding “gain-of-function” research on viruses like SARS-CoV-2 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology through intermediaries such as EcoHealth Alliance causing a COVID-19 pandemic killing millions of people worldwide, plaintiffs argued.
In late January 2020 and early February 2020, Fauci contacted Zuckerberg about the government’s COVID-19 response. Facebook then allegedly censored the lab leak theory, according to plaintiffs.
The original lawsuit was filed by Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on May 5, 2022. A motion for Expedited Preliminary Injunction-Related Discovery was granted on July 12, paving the way for Missouri and Louisiana to proceed with discovery and obtain documents from top Biden administration officials and Big Tech companies.
The request for depositions was granted on October 21, allowing Missouri and Louisiana to depose top-ranking officials in the federal government under oath.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) joined the lawsuit in August, representing epidemiologists Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Jill Hines.
“For the first time, Dr. Fauci and seven other federal officials responsible for running an unlawful censorship enterprise will have to answer questions under oath about the nature and extent of their communications with tech companies,” NCLA attorney Jenin Younes said in a statement to The Epoch Times.