The Justice Department is seeking to stop a plea with Donald Trump this month in lawsuits brought by two former FBI officials who have been frequent targets of criticism from the former president.

In a court filing redacted Thursday, Justice Department lawyers said Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar authorized an appeal to the D.C. Circuit unless a lower court judge reconsiders an earlier ruling allowing Trump’s statement to be taken out ahead of a statement with FBI Director Christopher Wray.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in February that Trump and Wray could be deposed in the 2019 lawsuits brought by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page against the Justice Department and the FBI.

Lawyers for the Justice Department said in Thursday’s filing that they recently learned that Trump’s statement was scheduled for May 24, before any statement from Wray.

«Contrary to the United States’ request, Mr. Strzok seeks to remove former President Trump to Director Wray, making it impossible to determine whether the director’s statement would obviate the need to remove the former President,» the Department of Defense attorneys wrote. Justice in a 10 Page Motion to Block Trump’s Statement.

They asked the appeals court to resolve the matter before May 16.

Strzok’s lawyers declined to comment. Page’s lawyers and Trump’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a March court filing, the Justice Department said Trump «has not requested an assertion of privilege on any information within the scope of authorized statements.»

Jackson’s February ruling said that statements by Trump and Wray should be limited to two hours and on a «limited set of issues» that were discussed in a sealed hearing.

Both Strzok and Page were frequent targets of Trump during his presidency. They made headlines in December 2017 when it was announced that they had been dropped from then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into text messages disparaging Trump.

Page’s lawsuit alleges privacy violations and Strzok’s alleges wrongful termination, both citing text message posting.

Page, who resigned as FBI legal counsel in May 2018, argued in her lawsuit that the text messages she exchanged with Strzok were published illegally and that attacks by Trump and his allies damaged her reputation.

Strzok’s lawyers are seeking Trump’s statement to determine whether he met with and directly lobbied FBI and Justice Department officials to fire Strzok, or directed any White House staff to do so. .

If the deposition goes ahead as planned, it would come on the heels of a federal jury in New York finding Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in a lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump has indicated that he will appeal the verdict.

He also faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to 2016 hush money payments. Trump pleaded not guilty last month to all charges.

Por admin