Secret Search Warrant for Trump’s Twitter Data Revealed in Unsealed Records

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Unsealed court records have disclosed that the special counsel investigating former US President Donald Trump secured a secret search warrant for his Twitter data in January. The warrant, obtained by Jack Smith, requested “data and records” related to Trump’s Twitter account, potentially including unpublished posts. Twitter initially resisted the warrant but eventually complied, albeit missing a court-ordered deadline by three days. Consequently, the company was fined $350,000 for contempt of court.

The revelation of the search warrant and the subsequent legal dispute over it were unveiled in court documents on Wednesday. Twitter did not oppose the warrant itself, but contested the nondisclosure order that maintained its secrecy. The company, now known as X under the ownership of Elon Musk, argued for the right to inform customers whose accounts were targeted by search warrants.

Twitter, then under the ownership of Elon Musk, handed over the data in February but challenged the fine. The company’s appeal was dismissed by a US appeals court in the previous month. The unsealed records provide limited insight into the specifics of what Jack Smith was seeking, apart from the fact that the warrant directed Twitter to provide “data and records” connected to Trump’s account.

The US congressional panel investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot revealed that Trump had drafted a tweet urging his supporters to come to Washington, which was never posted. The account @realdonaldtrump, with 86.5 million followers, was suspended after the riot and reinstated in November 2022 following a poll by Musk about Trump’s return to the platform.

However, Trump has refrained from posting on X since his reinstatement, opting to use his own Truth Social network. Observers have highlighted that his Truth Social business contracts could potentially result in significant financial losses if he resumes posting on X. Trump responded to news of the search warrant on Truth Social, expressing concern about his civil rights and deeming the situation as “DARK DAYS IN AMERICA!” He faces charges in two investigations led by Jack Smith, one related to post-2020 election events and the other concerning classified document handling.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Market Watch

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