The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked the deposition of former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty in the ongoing lawsuit filed by Louisiana and Missouri’s Attorneys General, alleging that the Biden administration colluded with social media platforms to censor content.
While courts have said that there is little evidence that White House staffers directly pressured social media platforms to censor, newly revealed documents suggest otherwise.
The three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit overturned the deposition order arguing that Psaki’s deposition did not meet the “extraordinary circumstances” requirement needed to depose former and current top government officials.
“We have no problem with the court’s request. We look forward to obtaining more discovery,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) said after the ruling.
And he may have actually how obtained even more evidence to argue the case.
In an email to an undisclosed Facebook employee, Flaherty openly berated Facebook for what he saw as a lack of attention to censorship, according to the documents released as part of discovery in the lawsuit.
“Really couldn’t care less about products unless they’ve having measurable impact,” Flaherty wrote.
“I still don’t have a good, empirical answer on how effective you’ve been at reducing the spread of vaccine-skeptical content and misinformation to vaccine fence sitters in the now-folded ‘lockdown,’” Flaherty scolded.
The White House staffer asked Facebook for “assurances,” that they’re not going to roll back censorship measures.
To Google, Flaherty said that the White House wants to be sure that the company has a “handle on vaccine hesitancy generally and are working toward making the problem better.” Flaherty increased the pressure by saying that such concerns were shared at “the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the WH [White House].”