Washington – According to a court document sealed on Wednesday, special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant in January for the long-dormant Twitter account of former President Donald Trump, as part of Smith’s case against Trump for orchestrating a scheme to overturn the 2020 election.
A federal judge fined Twitter $350,000 for missing the deadline when it returned Trump’s Twitter information in February, three days late.
The revised sealed judgement, which makes certain changes, is more pertinent to Twitter’s response to the search request than it is to Smith’s contention that Trump colluded with Russia to The search warrant was obtained by the Justice Department on January 17, 2023 as part of their investigation into Trump.A district court concluded “probable cause to believe that searching the Twitter account for evidence of criminal offences” constituted a cause, according to a court of appeals judgement.
Trump’s search warrant revelation, which also included an order that Twitter not disclose the warrant, is mentioned in a recent federal appeals court decision that upheld a judge’s ruling against Twitter for keeping the judge’s decision on humiliation.
“Furthermore, the district court found that there were ‘reasonable grounds for belief’ that disclosing the warrant to former President Trump would ‘endanger the ongoing investigation seriously,’ thus affording him an opportunity to ‘destroy evidence, change behavior, (or)'” inform confederates. “
The document claims that the warrant ordered Twitter to turn over information and documents pertaining to the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.
A non-disclosure order was also given to the government, banning Twitter from telling anyone about the presence or content of any search warrant.On his Truth Social account, Trump protested that the Justice Department had “surreptitiously attacked my Twitter account, ensuring I remain blissfully unaware of this big ‘hit’ on my civil rights.” Grand jury investigations are secret under law so that suspects do not know what prosecutors are looking at.
Smith sought information about Trump’s Twitter activity before and during the January 6, 2021, insurrection. Twitter, led by CEO Jack Dorsey, suspended Trump’s account immediately after the attack. After being bought by business mogul Elon Musk, the account was later reinstated.
The appeals court decision in the X case also provided some background on Trump’s investigation: “Since November 18, 2022, Special Counsel Jack Smith has been supervising an ongoing criminal investigation into potential tampering with peaceful transfers of power following the 2020 Presidential Election.”
During his months-long effort to lessen his losses across various states, Trump also used his Twitter during the period under investigation by Smith.
Last week, a federal grand jury found Trump guilty in four thuggery cases related to his efforts to steal the 2020 election from President Biden, including actions that led to the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. He was charged by a federal grand jury in June. His Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, was implicated in the jury’s allegations from hundreds of classified documents seized from the property.