Special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account in January, newly released court documents reveal.
A federal judge held Twitter, now known as X, in contempt for delays in compliance with the warrant and fined the company $350,000. The judge’s decision was upheld by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. last month in a sealed opinion. A redacted version of that opinion was released by the court Wednesday, bringing the previously unreported legal battle into the light.
According to court documents, Smith’s warrant was served with a nondisclosure order that prohibited Twitter from notifying anyone about the existence of the warrant. Twitter initially did not hand over the requested materials while it challenged the nondisclosure order, but the company was unsuccessful.
Though Twitter eventually complied with the warrant, Trump’s account, @realdonaldtrump, was not turned over to Smith’s investigation until three days after a court-ordered deadline, the documents state.
HOSUE DEMS UNVEIL RESOLUTION URGING TRUMP TRIAL TO BE ‘BROADCAST TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC’
Special counsel Jack Smith (left) brought charges against former President Donald Trump stemming from his investigation into 2020 election meddling and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. (Getty Images)
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In a 34-page opinion, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Twitter’s contention that the nondisclosure order violated the First Amendment and that the federal judge who issued the warrant — U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell — should have stopped it from being served until the dispute was resolved.
This is a developing story and will be updated.