Federal Judge OKs Depositions of Trump and FBI Director
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the depositions of former president Donald Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray for two hours as part of two ongoing lawsuits focused on whether Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent, and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney, were fired without cause.
Texts critical of Trump were revealed in an exchange between the two FBI staffers, who were in the midst of an affair. Strzok and Page, who were involved in the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties with Russia, were eventually dismissed from the agency. They are suing the FBI over their firings.
Washington, D.C., district judge Amy Berman Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, stressed that the order is contingent upon President Joe Biden’s consent. Judge Jackson deferred the ruling to President Biden, citing the president’s discretion invoking executive privilege to block any testimony that may arise from the deposition.
Following a sealed hearing, Judge Jackson noted that the ruling did not “resolve any questions related to either the presidential communications prong or the deliberative-process prong of the executive privilege.”
However, the Department of Justice has opposed the move, arguing that Strzok’s case lacks merit and should not involve the testimonies of such high-ranking government officials.
Throughout their text conversations, Strzok and Page referred to candidate Trump as an “idiot,” a “menace,” and “loathsome.”
Just days before the election, Page messaged Strzok noting that the “American presidential election, and thus, the state of the world, actually hangs in the balance.” On another occasion, Strzok insisted that if Trump were to become president, “We’ll stop it.”
Strzok alleges that he was fired as a “result of unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media.” Similarly, Page is asking for financial compensation to cover a host of fees including money to cover child care and the “cost of therapy to cope with unwanted national media exposure and harassment.”
Strzok and Page filed their lawsuits in 2019 after being terminated the year before.