Jack Smith Got Access to Trump’s Direct Messages, Location Data Despite Twitter’s Roadblocks

 Jack Smith Got Access to Trump’s Direct Messages, Location Data Despite Twitter’s Roadblocks

Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images and Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

Unsealed court records reveal that Special Counsel Jack Smith has obtained a significant volume of data from Twitter about ex-President Donald Trump’s Twitter activities. This data collection is part of Smith’s investigation into Trump’s supposed attempts to dispute the 2020 election outcomes, the events leading up to the Capitol intrusion on January 6, 2021, and allegations of illicitly retaining classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

The social media platform, previously known as Twitter, strongly resisted the search warrant. This opposition was so staunch that U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell inquired if the platform’s new leadership was seeking to align more closely with Trump.

Defending Twitter, George Varghese, an attorney from WilmerHale, stated the company was merely defending its constitutional rights. However, Politico highlighted that Twitter was penalized $350,000 for not adhering to the court’s deadline regarding Smith’s search warrant. Although the company eventually met the warrant’s requirements, it was three days past the stipulated deadline, as reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The warrant’s terms included acquiring Trump’s private messages, a record of devices accessing the account, and location data related to the account’s user, among other details. Twitter’s legal team countered, suggesting some details might be protected by executive privilege. Judge Howell dismissed this, noting the absurdity of considering major governmental affairs being conducted through social media.

Prosecutors also emphasized the importance of Twitter not alerting Trump about the warrant to maintain the investigation’s integrity. Gregory Bernstein, from Smith’s team, expressed concerns that the former president, if made aware of these secret investigatory measures, might jeopardize the probe or the witnesses involved.

Although Twitter challenged a nondisclosure order regarding the warrant as an infringement of the First Amendment and the Stored Communications Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the lower court’s judgment.

Judge Howell pointed out that Twitter was unaware of the evidence that the special counsel’s office had presented, which rationalized why alerting Trump about the warrant might pose risks to the inquiry.

Reacting to the news, Trump criticized Smith on TruthSocial, labeling him as a “lowlife” and the search warrant endeavor as an “atrocity”. He questioned the motivations behind the probe and compared it to a prior incident at Mar-a-Lago, further critiquing the Department of Justice for not investigating President Joe Biden, whom he labeled as “corrupt” and “incompetent”.

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