Is there something about being a Democratic White House press secretary that just makes you a weasel?
Apologies if that seems strong, but it was just a few scant weeks ago that current White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre essentially told Americans that whatever nonsense they hear President Joe Biden say, their own ears are lying to them. It’s understandable that the press secretary needs to provide cover fire for an administration, but there’s a way to do that without insulting an American’s intelligence (see: Kayleigh McEnany.)
For all of Jean-Pierre’s numerous gaffes and faults, it’s former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki who might actually be the worst of Biden’s two most prominent press secretaries. Jean-Pierre may not be very good at her job, but Psaki is currently being deposed in a lawsuit alleging that the Biden administration violated First Amendment rights by colluding with big tech to suppress certain speech.
The lawsuit, which was filed in May by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, alleges that Biden, as well as other agencies and officials who are also all defendants in the lawsuit, suppressed the right to free speech on a variety of subjects, such as election integrity, COVID leak theories, pandemic lockdowns and more.
Psaki is one of those other defendants on the list, and, as weasels tend to do, tried to weasel out of her subpoena.
The only problem — a federal judge magistrate in Virginia is apparently not a fan of weasels.
As Politico reported, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis gave Psaki some brutal news when he informed her legal team that he would not be granting her team’s request to dismiss her deposition. He would instead be kicking the request back to Louisiana, since the suit was originally filed there and in Missouri.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty will now oversee the request.
Now, if that had been the only thing to happen to Psaki and her team, perhaps you take the loss and trudge forward.
Unfortunately for Psaki and her team, they will have to trudge toward a burn clinic, because Davis did not mince words when ripping into her and her legal team.
First, Politico noted that Davis called the entire request an “end-run” in an attempt to get around Doughty. Ouch.
Then, when Psaki’s legal team argued that deposition would be an “undue burden,” partially because it would take her away from her family for several days and interfere with her new MSNBC gig, Davis wasn’t buying it.
“I don’t see any [unusual impact on Psaki’s life],” Davis said. “I’m finding it difficult to see how that’s different than any other deponent.”
Perhaps the most biting remarks from Davis came when he caught Psaki’s legal team in a bit of a loophole. One argument Psaki’s legal team made was that, as part of that “undue burden,” Psaki would have to spend time with not one, but two different legal teams to prepare for the deposition.
Davis, sharply remembering that Psaki’s team has said that she doesn’t have any relevant information for the case, rebuked that claim in savage fashion.
“How much does it take to prepare a witness for a deposition where she doesn’t have anything to say? That’s confusing,” Davis said.
As for Judge Doughty? He made it clear that Psaki’s request to be recused has been “DENIED.”
“For the reasons further set forth herein, the Motion to Quash is DENIED, and the alternative request to stay the deposition of Jennifer R. Psaki is DENIED,” Doughty said in his ruling.
As to the question of “undue burden?”
“Were the Court to find Psaki has an undue burden here, every person subject to a deposition subpoena would have grounds to quash. Preparing for and giving a deposition is part of the normal process for every person subpoenaed for a deposition. It is not an undue burden. Accordingly, Psaki and Federal Defendants’ Motion to Quash Subpoena is DENIED,” Doughty wrote.
Psaki’s request to stay the deposition?
“First, the Court does not find that Psaki or Federal Defendants have made a strong showing that they will likely succeed on the merits. As discussed, Psaki’s reasons for having to prepare for and to give the deposition are not undue burdens. Second, because there is no undue burden, there is no irreparable harm to Psaki. Third, no other parties will be injured. Fourth, the public interest lies in determining whether First Amendment free speech rights have been suppressed. Therefore, Psaki and Federal Defendants’ Motion to Stay Deposition is DENIED,” Doughty wrote.
This lawsuit and these depositions are still pending.
Rest assured, based on the asinine arguments presented by Psaki’s legal team, this entire process will likely drag out in the most litigious of manners.
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