By Steve Neavling
Donald Trump is set to be questioned Tuesday under oath in a lawsuit brought by two former FBI officials who allege they were unfairly targeted because they investigated the former president’s ties to Russia.
The Justice Department had tried to prevent Trump from being deposed, but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson and a federal appeals court denied the DOJ’s request.
The deposition is allowed to take up to two hours.
Among those who have given depositions already are FBI Director Christopher Wray and other top federal officials.
The cases involve senior FBI Agent Peter Strzok and former bureau lawyer Lisa Page, who filed separate lawsuits against the FBI and Justice Department after the public release of their text messages, which showed they were having an affair and disliked Trump.
In a 43-page filing, DOJ attorneys argued that Trump was protected from depositions by the “apex doctrine,” which says officials can avoid depositions unless they have some personal knowledge of the matter and the information can’t be obtained elsewhere. The lawsuit in this case “falls short of that standard,” government attorneys argued.
There are concerns that Trump’s deposition will be delayed by a government shutdown.
Lawyers for Strzok and Page have pledged to fight any attempt to delay the deposition.
“Plaintiffs will oppose any stay and expect to promptly request relief from any default stay that is imposed,” they wrote.
According to the court filing, the Justice Department “could not discuss whether they would be seeking a stay in this action in the event of a shutdown until Monday.”