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Free Speech

Magistrate Judge "Openly Scoffed" at Former Press Secretary Jen Psaki's "Efforts to Escape a Deposition"

"in a suit over alleged pressure on social media firms to censor posts on topics like Covid-19 vaccines and election fraud."


Josh Gerstein (Politico) reports:

Psaki's lawyers argued that the deposition would be an "undue burden" on her, in part because it would take her away from her family for several days and interfere with her new job at MSNBC. But during a series of prickly exchanges with Psaki's lead attorney, Jeannie Rhee, [U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan] Davis said the filings in the case didn't demonstrate any unusual impact she was likely to suffer.

"I don't see any," Davis said. "I'm finding it difficult to see how that's different than any other deponent." …

Davis acknowledged that courts have applied a so-called apex doctrine to make it difficult to depose current and former senior government officials, lest they be routinely dragged into all sorts of time-consuming litigation. But the judge said those concerns are most acute for current officials, not former ones like Psaki, who left the White House in May. "It takes them away from their current obligations they have to the American people based on that job," Davis said.

The judge "ruled that the issue of Psaki's testimony be sent to Louisiana to be resolved by the federal judge overseeing the case filed in May by the states of Louisiana and Missouri."