A court document unsealed on Wednesday revealed that prosecutors executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Twitter account as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The documents revealed that Twitter did not fully produce the documents requested, and took the Department of Justice to court. Twitter argued that the nondisclosure order violated the First Amendment and the Stored Communications Act.
After a district court ruled Twitter must hand over the documents, it appealed the ruling, while the district court held the social media outlet in contempt for not disclosing the information.
A federal appeals court ruled against Twitter and allowed the district court to impose a $350,000 sanction against the company for not producing the documents. Court documents revealed that Twitter paid the $350,000 sanction in an escrow account.
The court order does not provide details on what exactly the special counsel's office was looking for.
The search warrant was successfully obtained by prosecutors on Jan. 17, 2023. The government also obtained a nondisclosure order, prohibiting Twitter from disclosing the existence or contents of the search warrant. The district court claimed that disclosing the search warrant to Trump "would seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation by giving him an opportunity to destroy evidence, change patterns of behavior, or notify confederates."
The federal prosecutors requested the documents by Jan. 27, 2023.
On Feb. 1, "Twitter informed the government that it would not comply with the warrant until the district court assessed the legality of the nondisclosure order," the court records said.
Trump was indicted last week in relation to Smith's investigation. It was the second time he has been indicted by Smith.
Trump faces the following four counts:
Count 1: A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud and deceit to obstruct the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election.
Count 2: A conspiracy to impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified.
Count 3: The indictment also alleges that Trump attempted to, and did, corruptly obstruct and impede the certification of the electoral vote.
Count 4: A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have that vote counted.
In response to news about the search warrant, Trump lashed out at President Joe Biden.
"My political opponent is going CRAZY trying to infringe on my Campaign for President," Trump said on Truth Social.
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