Special Counsel Jack Smith successfully acquired the former President Trump’s direct messages from the social media platform previously known as Twitter, despite the company’s active attempts to prevent such access.
Unsealed court documents reveal that Smith’s investigative team not only secured the ex-president’s messages but also managed to obtain location data and draft tweets.
Legal representatives for the company, now operating under the name X Corp., made efforts to obstruct and delay this process during the months of January and February. This obstruction led U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell to speculate whether Elon Musk, the owner and former CEO of X Corp., was aligning himself with Trump.
In February, Judge Howell held the former Twitter entity in contempt of court, imposing a $350,000 fine based on court records. The courtroom transcripts reflect Howell’s evident frustration with the company’s legal team.
“How does this align with making Donald Trump feel particularly welcome as a renewed user of Twitter?” Howell inquired.
Responding to Howell’s inquiry, the legal team representing Twitter stated, “Twitter’s sole focus is to uphold its constitutional rights through litigation.”
Undeterred, Howell persisted with her line of questioning, later asking, “Is this because the new CEO wishes to establish a favorable relationship with the former president?”
Ultimately, the social media giant conceded its position and relinquished an extensive cache of data linked to the “@realdonaldtrump” account. This trove encompassed all types of tweets, including those in draft form, as well as favorited, liked, or retweeted content.
The data handover encompassed a range of elements, including searches pertaining to the 2020 election on the platform, devices utilized to access the account, IP addresses associated with the account’s logins, and a comprehensive list of affiliated accounts.
This data transfer was a pivotal aspect of what would eventually lead to the third criminal indictment against Trump. This indictment centers on Trump’s endeavors to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election.
In addition to the aforementioned indictment, Trump is facing three other legal charges, including allegations related to hush payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, his business transactions in New York City, and another election-related indictment in Georgia.