In a recent development, the special counsel, Jack Smith, who has previously indicted former President Donald J. Trump, secured a search warrant for Trump’s previously inactive Twitter account. This move is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations surrounding the 2020 election. A federal judge in Washington approved the warrant after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, now rebranded as X.
This action is significant as it’s the first instance where prosecutors have directly delved into Trump’s communications, shedding light on the depth of the special counsel’s inquiry into the former president. The details of what the prosecutors sought from Trump’s Twitter account remain undisclosed. However, it’s worth noting that Twitter suspended this account for almost two years following the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Interestingly, the court allowed the prosecutors to keep the warrant a secret from Trump for several months. Their rationale was that informing Trump might compromise the investigation, potentially leading to evidence tampering or changes in behavior.
Reacting to the news, Trump took to his platform, Truth Social, to express his concerns. He stated, “Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ covertly targeted my Twitter account, deliberately keeping me in the dark about this blatant infringement on my civil rights. My political adversaries are going to great lengths to undermine my Presidential campaign.”
While Politico initially reported this warrant’s existence, its revelation emphasizes the covert nature of the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s endeavors to retain power. Much of this probe, including the case related to Trump’s handling of classified materials, has been conducted discreetly in front of federal grand juries.
During the tumultuous period between the election and January 6, Trump’s Twitter was a dominant force in the social media landscape, boasting millions of followers. The fact that prosecutors sought a warrant for this account indicates their interest in specific data or a non-public facet of the account.
As the investigation unfolds, several electronic devices from Trump’s inner circle have been seized. Notably, devices from John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark, both identified as co-conspirators in the recent indictment against Trump, have been taken into custody.
The charges against Trump allege his involvement in multiple conspiracies, including attempts to defraud the United States, disrupt the election certification on January 6, and infringe upon citizens’ voting rights.
Trump’s extensive use of Twitter is highlighted in the indictment. For instance, he used the platform on December 19, 2020, to rally his supporters for a “wild” protest on January 6. This call resonated with many of his followers, both extremists and regular supporters. The indictment also emphasizes Trump’s use of Twitter to propagate the misconception that Vice President Pence could overturn the election results.
On January 6, Trump’s tweets continued to exert pressure on Pence. When Pence resisted, Trump criticized him for lacking the courage to “protect our country and our Constitution.” Moments after this tweet, Pence was evacuated to safety. The indictment points out that rioters at the Capitol were heard chanting derogatory remarks about Pence.
The recent search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account underscores the gravity and depth of the ongoing investigation. As events unfold, how these developments will shape the political landscape remains to be seen.