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DOJ seeks to block subpoena for Trump deposition

By Evan Perez, CNN Justice Correspondent

The Justice Department is seeking to block, for now, a subpoena to depose former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit brought by former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

The department argues in a court filling Friday that Strzok has not shown that Trump “possesses directly relevant information that cannot be obtained from other sources.”

In summer 2017, former special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from his team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election after an internal investigation first revealed texts with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok had an extramarital relationship, that could be read as exhibiting political bias. The FBI fired Strzok in 2018.

Trump had publicly called for Strzok’s firing, and the Justice Department said in its court filing that its stance could change if Strzok can prove that the former President’s communications had an effect on the decision to fire him.

The department said in the filing that it wasn’t endorsing Trump’s conduct.

“Neither the disposition of this motion nor the disposition of this case requires the Court to opine on the appropriateness of the former President’s conduct,” the department said.

“In similar fashion, this memorandum should not be construed as a defense of that conduct.”

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