The U.S. Department of Justice has blocked former President Donald Trump’s deposition in the lawsuits filed by former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The move comes after the former officials filed separate lawsuits against the government over their removal from the Russia investigation team and the alleged violation of their privacy rights.
The Justice Department informed the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. that Trump’s deposition was not necessary for the cases, which are already in the discovery phase. The department added that the former president’s testimony would be “cumulative and unnecessary.”
In response, Strzok and Page’s legal team argued that Trump’s deposition would be critical in determining the extent of his involvement in their dismissal from the Russia investigation. They also claimed that the former president has already made public statements about their removal, which could have a bearing on the lawsuits.
The lawsuits filed by Strzok and Page have been ongoing since 2019, and they accuse the government of violating their rights by leaking their personal text messages to the media. The officials claim that the leaks were a part of a politically motivated attack on them by the Trump administration.
Strzok and Page were removed from the Russia investigation team in 2017 after their personal texts criticizing Trump were made public. Both officials have denied any bias against the former president and have claimed that their removal was unlawful.
The Justice Department’s decision to block Trump’s deposition has been criticized by some legal experts, who argue that the former president’s testimony would be crucial in determining the facts of the case. However, others believe that the move is in line with the department’s policy of protecting sitting and former presidents from testifying in court cases.
The lawsuits filed by Strzok and Page are set to proceed, with a trial date yet to be announced. The cases are expected to shed light on the extent of the Trump administration’s involvement in the FBI’s Russia investigation and the handling of the officials’ personal text messages.