The search warrant Special Counsel Jack Smith obtained for former president Donald Trump’s Twitter account gave him access to direct messages, draft tweets and search history, according to a newly unsealed court document.
Over Twitter’s objections, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell granted a warrant to Smith that provided access to a wide range of account data, including location data and tweet drafts, according to a document unsealed Tuesday. Twitter initially sought to delay compliance and produced the information three days after the court’s deadline, leading Howell to hold the company in contempt and levy a $350,000 sanction in February, documents earlier revealed.
The warrant called for Twitter to release search history, location data, IP addresses used to log into the account, all tweets “created, drafted, favorited/liked, or retweeted” by the account, all direct messages, all information “relating to all other interactions” between Trump’s account and other users from October 2020 to January 2021, accounts Trump “followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked” and all users who took the same actions against account between the dates of October 2020 and January 2021.
It also called for Twitter to disclose include devices and networks used to access the account, communications with the company and privacy and account settings.
The district court issued a non-disclosure order preventing Twitter from notifying anyone about the search warrant. Twitter fought the order as a violation of the First Amendment.
On appeal, Judge Florence Pan, a Biden appointee, said that the district court was right not to hold the enforcement of the warrant until Twitter’s First Amendment claim was litigated.
“Importantly, Twitter remained free to raise general concerns about warrants or nondisclosure orders, and to speak publicly about the January 6 investigation,” Pan wrote.
Smith secured a four charge indictment against Trump in August relating to his alleged attempt to interfere with the 2020 election. He also brought 37 charges against the former president for his alleged mishandling of classified documents in June.
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