A federal judge in Louisiana has ordered Biden administration officials to hand over all relevant emails sent by either Dr. Anthony Fauci or White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to social media platforms regarding misinformation claims and social media content censorship.
Judge Terry A. Doughty of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has given 21 days for all the emails to be turned over, Fox News reported.
Doughty’s ruling comes in connection with a lawsuit that was filed in May by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Listing several agencies and officials, including President Joe Biden, as defendants, the lawsuit accuses the Biden administration of suppressing the right to free speech on elections, the COVID lab leak theory, pandemic lockdowns and more.
The lawsuit claims that government officials have “threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left.”
This eventually led current senior executive officials to move “into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation’ and ‘malinformation,” the lawsuit outlined.
Now, Judge Doughty has rejected the Biden administration’s claim of executive privilege in order to shield officials from questions and record requests in connection with this lawsuit, the Washington Times reported.
“This court believes plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms,” Judge Doughty wrote in his decision on Tuesday.
In response to this ruling, one administration official told Fox News in an email that “as we have said over and over again since the beginning of the administration in our battle against COVID-19, it has been critical for the American people to have access to factual, accurate, science-based information.”
“For example, we worked hard to debunk inaccurate or misleading information about the COVID vaccines that have saved millions of lives and encourage Americans to get vaccinated and boosted to stay safe. Democrats and Republicans came together to urge the public to get vaccinated, stressing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines,” the official wrote.
“We believe in and we support freedom of speech, and we also believe it is important for all media platforms, including social media, to represent factual scientific information and combat misinformation and disinformation that can cost lives,” the email concluded, Fox News reported.
Meanwhile, Schmitt, who also is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, announced the new development in the lawsuit on Twitter.
“BREAKING: In our lawsuit against the Biden Admin for colluding with social media companies to censor speech, the Court just ordered DOJ to produce records from key WH & HHS officials like Dr. Fauci, the WH Press Secretary, and others,” Schmitt tweeted.
🚨BREAKING: In our lawsuit against the Biden Admin for colluding with social media companies to censor speech, the Court just ordered DOJ to produce records from key WH & HHS officials like Dr. Fauci, the WH Press Secretary, and others.
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) September 6, 2022
Schmitt also tweeted the original information regarding the lawsuit as a “refresher on how we got here and documents that already show a vast censorship enterprise between the Biden Administration and Big tech.”
In a press release, Schmitt also celebrated Judge Doughty’s ruling.
“The American people deserve answers on how the federal government has colluded with social media companies to censor free speech on these major platforms,” Schmitt said. “We will continue to fight to uncover more of this vast censorship enterprise.”
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