Federal judge rejects Jen Psaki’s bid to duck testifying in censorship lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday denied a motion to quash a subpoena from former White House press secretary Jen Psaki who is trying to avoid giving a deposition in a lawsuit alleging the Biden administration conspired with big tech to silence conservative criticism on social media.

Ms. Psaki had filed a motion in an Alexandria, Virginia federal court to quash the subpoena, arguing the deposition would place an undue burden on her and that she had no information to share.

The judge disagreed.

“As discussed, Psaki’s reasons for having to prepare for and give the deposition are not undue burdens. Second, because there is no undue burden, there is no irreparable harm to Psaki,” wrote U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana.

Mr. Biden’s Justice Department had backed Ms. Psaki’s bid to dodge the subpoena.

On Friday. an Alexandria magistrate judge said he was skeptical of Ms. Psaki’s arguments and transferred her case back to Louisiana, where the lawsuit was initiated.

Judge Doughty said in his seven-page ruling that Ms. Psaki did not prove she had an “undue burden” by giving a deposition.

“Were the court to find Psaki has an undue burden here, every person subjected to a deposition subpoena would have grounds to quash,” he wrote. “Preparing for and giving a deposition is part of the normal process for every person subpoenaed in a deposition. It is not an undue burden.”

The lawsuit, filed by the attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana, alleges the Biden administration “threatened, cajoled and colluded” with social media companies to silence online speech about topics they didn’t like. Off-limits subjects included election integrity, the origins of the novel coronavirus, and COVID-19 restrictions, according to a lawsuit filed by state attorneys general.

In a 164-page legal filing earlier this year, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, both Republicans, detailed a massive, sprawling “censorship enterprise” within the Biden White House to pressure Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech companies to “suppress private speech that federal officials disfavor.”

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