A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Dr. Anthony Fauci and the White House Press Secretary to hand over their communications with five social media giants. The ruling stems from a lawsuit alleging the Biden administration colluded with the companies to censor COVID-19 viewpoints that weren’t aligned with the administration’s official narrative.
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered top-ranking Biden administration officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre — to hand over their communications with five social media giants within 21 days.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeffrey Landry alleging the Biden administration colluded with Big Tech firms Twitter, Meta (Facebook’s parent company), Youtube, Instagram and LinkedIn to censor certain viewpoints under the guise of preventing the circulation of “misinformation” or “disinformation.”
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in July ordered the Biden administration to swiftly produce records requested by the plaintiffs as part of the discovery process.
On Aug. 2, Schmitt and Landry filed discovery requests seeking documents and information from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its director, Fauci; White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre; Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy; and former Disinformation Governance Board executive director Nina Jankowicz.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs also sent discovery requests to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and its director, Jen Easterly; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The requests resulted in a cache of documents revealing more than 50 Biden administration workers and 12 U.S. agencies had been involved in a censorship push over social media.
However, some government officials — including Fauci — refused to provide records or answer any questions posed by the plaintiffs, claiming the communications were protected under executive privilege.