A federal judge on Monday ruled in favor of deposing an FBI agent accused of “colluding” with social media companies to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana ruled that FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Elvis Chan must be deposed under oath for his alleged involvement in coordinating with Meta to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story prior to the 2020 election.
“Chan had authority over cybersecurity issues for the FBI in the San Francisco, California region which includes the headquarters of major social-media platforms and played a critical role for the FBI in coordinating with social-media platforms related to censorship,” Doughty wrote in his Monday court order. “Even if Chan played no role in the Hunter Biden laptop communication issue, he may have knowledge of who did, and his deposition is nonetheless warranted.”
The decision relates to a lawsuit filed in May against the Biden administration. In that suit, Republican Attorneys General Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana accused top-ranking government officials of working with the giant social media companies Meta, Twitter and YouTube “under the guise of combating misinformation” in order to achieve greater censorship.
On Oct. 10, the AGs identified Chan and 46 defendants in the suit. Chan was cited for his alleged “critical role” in “coordinating with social-media platforms relating to censorship and suppression of speech on their platforms.”
The court on Oct. 21 authorized Chan’s deposition, but Chan’s attorneys filed a motion to reconsider that ruling, which was denied on Monday.
Chan argued in court that a letter from Meta stated that he was not the person from the FBI who conveyed communications to the company about the Hunter Biden laptop. But that claim was disputed by the AGs who maintain that a counsel for Meta in a September 2022 phone call verbally identified Chan as the FBI official directly involved in the communications between the Big Tech platform and the law enforcement agency on President Joe Biden’s son’s laptop.
“The issue of Chan’s involvement in the Hunter Biden laptop communication is an additional reason to allow Plaintiffs to take his deposition,” Doughty wrote.
“If Chan played no role in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, then such information will be made clear in his deposition,” Doughty stated.
Fox News’s Kelly Laco and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.