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Former President Donald Trump is being dragged to court again, and this time it is because of a lawsuit from the former FBI lovers at the center of the Russian collusion investigation.
On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an emergency petition that sought to stop the former president from having to give a deposition
The case was brought by former FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are suing the Department of Justice, Mediaite reported.
“Page is suing the DOJ for violation of privacy, while Strzok is alleging wrongful termination,” the report said.
The two were assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, as well as Russian interference on behalf of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
Text messages between Page and Strzok, who were in a romantic relationship at the time, reveal they disparaged Trump to one another and wanted Clinton to defeat him in the upcoming election.
Strzok was fired during the Trump administration while Page resigned. The former alleges he was retaliated against by the DOJ for protected speech.
“Attorneys for the Justice Department argued that other officials have already testified that their decisions to release the texts and fire Strzok were made independently of Trump. But the plaintiffs say some of those officials did not recall relevant details, and note that Trump personally took credit for driving them both out of the FBI,” The Washington Post reported.
In May, the U.S. Department of Justice secured a court order to block Trump from a deposition appearance in connection with lawsuits filed by Strzok and Page.
“The deposition of former President Donald Trump is hereby stayed until the deposition of [F.B.I. Director] Christopher Wray and any ensuing motion practice as to the remaining necessity of the former president’s deposition have been completed,” reads the order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
Previously, Jackson ruled that FBI Director Chris Wray and Trump could be deposed in connection to the lawsuits.
Lawyers for the DOJ argued that Wray should be deposed first because he was ranked lower than Trump and that any information he may provide could result in Trump not having to testify.
In other words, Biden’s DOJ wants Trump to be forced to testify as part of the lawsuits.
“The Court is somewhat surprised to learn that since then, the parties have done nothing more than wrangle over the order of the two depositions,” Berman Jackson wrote. “The government seems chagrined that the Court did not order that the deposition of the FBI Director be completed first, but it may recall that it was the Court’s view that it was Director Wray, the only current high-ranking public official in the group of proposed deponents, whose ongoing essential duties fell most squarely under the protection of the doctrine in question.”
In her ruling this week, Judge Berman Jackson referred to her prior decision that Trump and Wray could be deposed for two hours and limited questions pertaining to the lawsuits.
Page and Strzok filed their complaints against the FBI and DOJ in 2019. Page’s lawsuit alleges her privacy was violated, and Strzok’s suit contends he was wrongfully terminated by the FBI.
In July, the Department of Justice was attempting to prevent Trump from providing depositions in the lawsuits “to determine whether he met with and directly pressured FBI and Justice Department officials to fire Strzok or urged any White House aides to do so,” NBC News reported Thursday.
The report continued: “The judge’s order was in response to the Justice Department asking her to reconsider an earlier ruling that said Strzok’s attorneys could move forward with a deposition of Trump in lawsuits against the Justice Department and FBI filed by Strzok and Page in 2019.
“The Justice Department had argued Wednesday that ‘newly available evidence’ stemming from FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony last week, as well as sworn testimony from other high-level government officials with ‘direct knowledge’ of Trump’s communications regarding Strzok and Page, was grounds for reconsidering a deposition involving the former president,” the outlet added.