Federal judge rejects Jen Psaki’s bid to duck testifying in censorship lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO—A federal judge Wednesday rejected Jen Psaki’s attempt to dodge testifying in the federal trial of Internet companies fighting her role in what they call a campaign to censor content on their sites.
Psaki, a former Homeland Security adviser and the first official to speak out against China’s censorship efforts, testified at the federal trial of 13 Web sites, mostly in New York, accusing the companies of running “a massive, coordinated campaign to control online speech.”
She also testified about how her new job at eBay might have affected her views on online speech and whether she is a registered lobbyist.
Judge Ed Kinkeade said he agreed with the government that Psaki could “reasonably be found to be a ‘person aggrieved’”—one of the first legal terms in the case—and that her appearance in the courtroom is “a significant event.”
Psaki testified that the companies used their sites to help China achieve its goals of “preserving stability,” “securing the nation’s borders,” and “creating favorable economic conditions.”
In a statement, the Justice Department said the order “does not prevent Ms. Psaki from disclosing publicly information she chose to withhold.”
“Ms. Psaki did not withhold any privileged information, as her statements, in both the criminal and civil cases, were entirely truthful,” the statement said. “Rather, Ms. Psaki’s disclosures were consistent with her sworn testimony in the criminal trial.
“When she decided to provide information under oath, Ms. Psaki disclosed information about the content of certain documents that was not otherwise privileged,” the statement said.
This isn’t the first time that Psaki has invoked her Fifth Amendment rights