WASHINGTON — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will depose Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, on Wednesday, as part of an ongoing lawsuit that accuses the Biden administration of coordinating with social media companies to stifle free speech.

The deposition is part of a May lawsuit filed by Schmitt, who was elected to the U.S. Senate earlier this month, and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry that attempts to show the Biden administration violated the First Amendment by working with social media companies to limit speech, particularly around COVID-19 and elections.

“Since we filed our landmark lawsuit, we have uncovered documents and discovery that show clear coordination between the Biden Administration and social media companies on censoring speech, but we’re not done yet. We plan to get answers on behalf of the American people. Stay tuned.”

The Department of Justice and the Republican attorneys general have gone back and forth for months over what records needed to be released and whether certain figures — like Fauci and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki — should have to produce emails or be deposed, though both requests were granted by a district court judge in Louisiana.

Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, became a frequent target for conservatives, like Schmitt, who associated him with restrictions intended to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Schmitt spent much of 2022 suing school districts in Missouri over their plans to limit the spread of COVID-19 in public schools.

While campaigning, Schmitt often said the goal of his job as attorney general was to wake up, go to the office and sue Biden. He has joined other lawsuits against the administration, including a suit currently in circuit court that would prevent the Biden administration from implementing its student debt forgiveness plan.

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Republicans like Schmitt have been critical of efforts by the Biden administration and social media companies to prevent disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Both Schmitt and Landry joined a Texas-led lawsuit that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the results in four swing states that helped Biden win the election. The court rejected the lawsuit.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said it does not comment on litigation or pending litigation.

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