A federal judge in Louisiana ruled Tuesday that the Biden administration has to turn over any emails sent by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Dr. Anthony Fauci to social media platforms about misinformation or the censorship of social media content.
The ruling from Judge Terry Doughty is part of a lawsuit filed in May by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The attorneys general accused the Biden administration of working with social media companies to suppress free speech, particularly surrounding elections and COVID-19.
White House officials and the attorneys general have been arguing for months over which documents need to be produced in the lawsuit.
The Justice Department had refused to hand over the email correspondence under executive privilege and presidential communications privilege.
Doughty, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled that the Biden administration will have to turn over Jean-Pierre and Fauci’s relevant emails in 21 days.
“This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms,” he decided.
Initially, they argued “having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation’.”
“As a result of these actions, there has been an unprecedented rise of censorship and suppression of free speech – including core political speech – on social media platforms,” the lawsuit said.
“Not just fringe views, but perfectly legitimate, responsible viewpoints and speakers have been unlawfully and unconstitutionally threatened in the modern public square,” it continued.
The White House had launched a campaign last year encouraging Facebook and other social media giants to combat misinformation about COVID.
Many social media users saw their accounts suspended or deleted after violating the companies policies regarding misinformation.
In a press release Tuesday, Schmitt’s office celebrated the ruling.
“The American people deserve answers on how the federal government has colluded with social media companies to censor free speech on these major platforms,” it said. “We will continue to fight to uncover more of this vast censorship enterprise.”
An administration official told Fox News that “as we have said over and over again since the beginning of the administration in our battle against COVID-19, it has been critical for the American people to have access to factual, accurate, science-based information.”
The official added “we worked hard to debunk inaccurate or misleading information about the COVID vaccines that have saved millions of lives and encourage Americans to get vaccinated and boosted to stay safe.”
Another topic of interest was Hunter Biden’s laptop, which was and still is considered misinformation.
Mark Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan that the FBI warned Facebook of “Russian propaganda” just before the laptop story was revealed.
He explained that when something is marked as potential misinformation, it’s still allowed to be shared but Facebook will decrease the post’s distribution.