Biden faces October deadline to decide whether to help Trump avoid questions in Strzok lawsuit

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set the October 14 deadline at hearing Wednesday in the lawsuit brought by former top FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who was terminated by the FBI in 2018 after the revelation of anti-Trump texts which Strzok exchanged with a top FBI lawyer that he was having an extramarital affair with at the time.

Jackson’s request that the Biden White House make clear its intentions for asserting privilege in depositions Strzok is seeking in the case is the latest decision confronting the President and his administration about what lengths it should go to protect Trump in court.
Biden has declined to assert privilege in some of the testimony and documents that the House January 6 Committee has obtained, but he has asserted privilege for other information sought by the committee. The Biden-era Justice Department has also sought to shield Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who accused Trump of sexual assault.

Previously in the Strzok case, the Justice Department had sought to quash Strzok’s subpoena of Trump under a legal principle that sets the bar high for when current or former high-ranking government officials can be compelled to testify in a case. Jackson has not resolved the merits of those arguments, but she said Wednesday that she wanted to begin the process of litigating the privilege issues.

The Justice Department has also asked the court to block a deposition Strzok is seeking of FBI Director Chris Wray.


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