Court Battles

Judge blocks Trump deposition in Strzok, Page lawsuit

A federal judge has blocked former President Trump from being questioned under oath as scheduled later this month in lawsuits brought by two former FBI staffers. 

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page filed lawsuits after Strzok was fired and Page resigned from their positions in 2018 following the revelation of text messages they sent that were critical of Trump. Strzok sued for wrongful termination while Page sued for violation of privacy, with both alleging they were targeted because they were working on the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia following the 2016 presidential election. 

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson initially ruled in February that Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray could sit for depositions in the case, with strict restrictions on their length and subject matter.

But the Justice Department (DOJ) said on Thursday in a filing that it planned to ask a federal appeals court to block Trump’s deposition unless Jackson reconsidered its request that Wray be deposed first. The department argued the FBI director must sit for his deposition first as the lower-ranking official, saying his testimony could make the need for Trump’s moot.

Jackson said in her ruling that the Court was “somewhat surprised” to learn that since her February order, “the parties have done nothing more than wrangle over the order of the two depositions.”

The judge sided with the DOJ in ordering that Wray be deposed first, while also defending her initial ruling.

“The Court’s ruling was appropriate in light of all of the facts, including the former President’s own public statements concerning his role in the firing of the plaintiff. However, in order to get the parties — who apparently still cannot agree on anything — over this impasse, it is hereby ORDERED that the deposition of Christopher Wray proceed first, rendering the instant motion moot,” Jackson said. 

Trump repeatedly criticized Strzok and Page publicly over their comments about him. 

He had been scheduled to testify in the lawsuits on May 24.

Tags Amy Berman Jackson Christopher Wray Christopher Wray Donald Trump FBI Justice Department Lisa Page Peter Strzok violation of privacy wrongful termination

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