Trump and FBI director can be deposed in lawsuit from ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok, judge rules | CNN Politics

Spread the love



Former President Donald Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray can be deposed as part of a lawsuit from an ex-FBI agent who sued over his 2018 termination, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling ends a yearlong dispute over whether the former agent, Peter Strzok, could question them under oath. Strzok’s lawsuit alleges that Trump’s political vendetta prompted his firing and the public release of his texts, in violation of his constitutional rights and the Privacy Act.

DC District Judge Amy Berman Jackson held a sealed hearing Thursday morning, after which she issued a brief ruling.

As part of her ruling, Jackson said that the Biden White House must decide by late March whether the current president will assert executive privilege over conversations that Trump had directly related to Strzok’s firing.

The depositions also must be limited to less than two hours, Jackson ruled, and to a narrow set of topics, including the government’s decision to fire Strzok.

The Justice Department tried to block the subpoenas, arguing that Strzok hadn’t proven Trump played a role in his dismissal. Despite Trump’s repeated and public calls for Strzok’s dismissal, it was FBI’s then-deputy Director David Bowdich who made the decision to fire him, DOJ argued.

Strzok’s firing came after an internal investigation into texts he’d exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page over concerns they had with a potential Trump presidency, as the texts could be interpreted to show political bias. The messages also revealed that Strzok and Page had had an extramarital relationship.

The Justice Department’s inspector general issued reports on both high-profile investigations that Strzok and Page participated in – the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email and the investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign – and cleared both probes of political bias.

Page has brought her own lawsuit alleging that the Justice Department violated the Privacy Act by releasing their texts, but Jackson’s order allowing Trump and Wray to be deposed only applies in Strzok’s case.


Source link

Leave a Comment