(LibertySociety.com) – New details about the extent of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into former President Trump for the events surrounding the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol were revealed on August 9. Just over a week after Smith indicted Trump on four counts, a federal appeals court released a redacted version of a month-old sealed opinion, revealing that Smith had obtained a warrant for Trump’s Twitter account in January. Twitter challenged the warrant in court due to the nondisclosure order that was included. The company felt that the order was a violation of its First Amendment rights by not allowing Trump to be informed of the warrant.
A federal judge held Twitter in contempt for not complying with the warrant along with a fine of $50,000 per day, as the company refused to turn over the materials that were requested while the case was ongoing. The company ultimately paid a fine of $350,000, missing the deadline for compliance by three days. The federal judge’s opinion was upheld by the D.C. Court of Appeals in July.
Former President Trump immediately addressed the news of the warrant in a Truth Social post, slamming “Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ.” He blasted the nondisclosure order and stated that his “Political Opponent is going CRAZY trying to infringe on my Campaign for President.” He also questioned whether Smith was involved in the destruction of the evidence from the January 6th Committee’s investigation into the Capitol riot and whether the First Amendment was still in existence.
The appeals court agreed with the federal judge that Twitter’s First Amendment rights were not violated and that the nondisclosure order was to prevent the former president from taking any actions that would hide what the DOJ was looking for. Prosecutors alleged in the warrant application that there could potentially be evidence of a crime within Trump’s Twitter account. The news of the warrant broke just hours after Rep. James Comer released the bank records of payments made to Hunter Biden and his associates, all of which came from people or company executives who met with then-Vice President Joe Biden.
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