Missouri State Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced earlier on Tuesday that in a state attorneys general lawsuit against the Biden administration for colluding with Big Tech to censor Americans’ speech, the Court has ordered the Department of Justice to produce records from key White House and Health & Human Services officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House Press Secretary, and others.
The U.S. district court judge Terry A. Doughty ruled on Tuesday: “Whether the White House Defendants, White House Press Secretary Karine JeanPierre (“Jean-Pierre”), and Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci (“Dr. Fauci”) should be compelled to respond to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories and document requests” and “[w]hether Dr. Fauci, in his capacity as National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”) Director, should be required to provide additional responses to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories and document requests.”
The lawsuit states that the defendants have no legal right to refuse to comply with the order.
“In accordance with the previous expedited discovery order, Plaintiffs served interrogatories and document requests upon White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and upon Dr. Anthony Fauci in his capacity as Chief Medical Advisor to the President,” the ruling states. “Government Defendants have refused to provide any interrogatory responses or responsive documents, maintaining that these would be internal communications that would implicate serious separation of powers concerns, that Plaintiffs are required to exhaust other avenues for the discovery first, and that it would be unduly burdensome and disproportional to the needs of the case.”
“First, the requested information is obviously very relevant to Plaintiffs’ claims. Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns,” the ruling continues. “Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples.”
“Government Defendants are making a blanket assertion of all communications to social media platforms by Dr. Fauci, and Jean-Pierre based upon executive privilege and presidential communications privilege,” the order adds. “Plaintiffs concede they are not asking for any internal White House communications, but only external communications between Dr. Fauci and/or Jean-Pierre and third-party social media platforms.”
“This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms. The White House has waived its claim of privilege in relation to specific documents that it voluntarily revealed to third parties outside the White House,” the order went on. “Government Defendants’ argument that Plaintiffs must seek discovery from other sources also fails. This is expedited preliminary-injunction related discovery. This discovery was opposed by Government Defendants. This is the only chance Plaintiffs will have to get this information prior to addressing the preliminary injunction. This discovery was tailored to the facts alleged in this case. There was no requirement in this Court’s order for the Plaintiffs to get this information from other sources first.”
“Additionally, Plaintiffs have also submitted interrogatories and production requests to the third party social medical platforms. As far as the burden to the White House, it is no more a burden than the other discovery requests Government Defendants have already answered,” the ruling continues. “Therefore, Government Defendants Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci shall provide answers to the Plaintiff’s interrogatories and document requests within twenty-one (21) days from the date of this order.”
“The Plaintiffs also served interrogatories and document requests on HHS,” the court order states. “Plaintiffs allege that HHS effectively exempted itself from discovery responses by only providing information from its agencies, the Surgeon General’s office, NIAID and the CDC. Plaintiffs further alleged that Meta (one of the third-party social media platforms) disclosed several senior officials, outside of the CDC, the Office of Surgeon General, and NIAID, that likely engaged in responsive communications with Meta, including HHS’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement, the head of HHS’s Digital Engagement Team, the Deputy Director of the Office of Communications in HRSA, and HHS’s Deputy Digital Director. Plaintiffs allege none of these officials, or communications, were disclosed to Plaintiffs by HHS in answering the discovery requests.”
“As to the HHS discovery, Government Defendants assert they identified custodians likely to have relevant information, and that they are not required to conduct a search of all 80,000 HHS employees, which would be overly burdensome,” the court ruling adds.
Civil liberties attorney and writer Jenin Younes, who is representing clients who are now party to the case, named those whom she is seeking pertinent communications on from Dr. Anthony Fauci and relevant Big Tech platforms.
“The judge in Missouri v. Biden, in which @NCLAlegal has joined with AGs in MO and LA to represent @DrJBhattacharya @MartinKulldorff @akheriaty and @HealthFreedomLA has ruled in our favor. We get discovery from Fauci and Jean Pierre,” Younes wrote on Twitter.
“Among the queries the judge has ordered Fauci to answer within 21 days: ‘Identify all Communications with any Social-Media Platform that relate to the Great Barrington Declaration, the authors of the [GBD], the original signers of the [GBD], @DrJBhattacharya , @MartinKulldorff.. , @MartinKulldorff, @SunetraGupta, Scott Atlas, @AlexBerenson, @PeterDaszak, Dr. Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, EcoHealth Alliance, and/or any member of the so-called ‘Disinformation Dozen.’” this is obviously not entirely a direct quote as the Twitter handles were not what was used in the court documents.”