The Appeals Court in D.C. declared on Friday that a deposition can be taken from former President Trump in the ongoing lawsuits by ex-FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In July, a lower court had arrived at a similar decision which was challenged by the Department of Justice.
Strzok alleges he was unjustly dismissed from the FBI, while Page contends her privacy was infringed upon, stemming from their involvement in a controversy surrounding the investigation into Trump’s potential connections with Russia in 2018.
Publicly released text messages showed that both Strzok and Page held personal aversions towards Trump. This revelation led to speculations of a prejudiced investigation, culminating in Page’s resignation and Strzok’s termination.
DOJ representatives argued, “Deposing a past high-ranking official concerning his official actions would only be justified under very exceptional circumstances. This case doesn’t meet such criteria.”
Both FBI Director Christopher Wray and former Trump aide, John Kelly, have given their testimonies, leading the DOJ to assert that Trump’s deposition is superfluous.
However, the appeals court determined that District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s decision, which allows Trump’s deposition, was made judiciously after weighing the implications of deposing a past president.
The ruling stated, “The district court, while being particularly cautious due to the separation-of-powers concerns, determined that there were ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that made it necessary for the former President to be deposed.”
The court added, “Given the context, it can’t be said that the district court’s judgment was an unmistakable overreach that demands mandamus relief.”
In his testimony, Kelly revealed that Trump had expressed a desire to have Strzok dismissed and pondered potential retaliatory measures. “While President Trump contemplated whether agencies like the IRS should probe into Strzok and Page, I’m unaware of any direct order from him for such an inquiry. Nonetheless, his inclination to have the two investigated was apparent,” stated Kelly.
Trump has been vocal about his views on Strzok and Page on various online platforms.
The proceedings are set to continue under Judge Jackson, who has already indicated her inclination to permit a limited deposition of Trump that’s pertinent to the case.