Court documents recently made public show the steps federal prosecutors took to acquire a search warrant for ex-President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Politico reported that, among other reasons, prosecutors argued that if Trump became aware of the government’s effort to examine his account, it could lead to violent behavior.
According to Politico, federal prosecutors argued in a secret court filing in April that if Donald Trump were to become aware of their efforts to access his Twitter account, the public disclosure of this could prompt violence similar to what occurred after the search warrant issued for Mar-a-Lago was made publicly known.
In recent months, a major news story has emerged involving the federal government’s covert access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. This effort was spearheaded by Special Counsel Jack Smith in relation to the criminal indictment against Trump issued on January 6, 2021. Smith acquired access to the account as part of his investigation into this case.
It has come to light that Twitter, now known as X, unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the search warrant sought by Smith. The company argued that it was within its rights to inform Trump that his account was being searched by the government; however, this argument did not hold up in court.
As a result of their unsuccessful challenge, Twitter was fined $350,000 and compelled to provide the requested documents. Eventually, Smith gained access to 32 direct messages sent from Trump’s X account; however, the contents of these messages remain undisclosed.
Smith and his team argued that Trump posed a considerable risk of interfering with evidence, attempting to influence or intimidate possible witnesses, and “otherwise significantly impeding” the government’s ongoing investigations. They maintained that this was of paramount importance when obtaining permission to search Trump’s X account.
Smith and his team presented a compelling argument that informing Trump of the government’s search of his X account could potentially result in violence if he were to make this information public.
U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell evidently found this argument convincing, as Smith was eventually granted access to Trump’s X account.
President Trump has already expressed his opposition to Smith’s access to his X account. However, no statement has been issued by the President in response to the most recently released court documents at this time.