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Special Counsel Obtained Search Warrant for Trump’s Twitter Account


Prosecutors working for Jack Smith, the particular counsel who has twice introduced indictments towards former President Donald J. Trump, obtained a search warrant early this yr for Mr. Trump’s long-dormant Twitter account as a part of their inquiry into his try and overturn the 2020 election, in line with courtroom papers unsealed on Wednesday.

The warrant, which was signed by a federal choose in Washington in January after Elon Musk took over Twitter, which is now known as X, is the primary recognized instance of prosecutors straight looking Mr. Trump’s communications and provides a brand new dimension to the scope of the particular counsel’s efforts to analyze the previous president.

The courtroom papers, which emerged from an attraction by Twitter difficult the choose’s determination to challenge the warrant, didn’t reveal what prosecutors have been searching for in Mr. Trump’s Twitter account, which the tech firm shut down simply days after the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

However the papers point out that prosecutors obtained permission from the choose to not inform Mr. Trump for months that they’d obtained the warrant for his account. The prosecutors feared that if Mr. Trump realized concerning the warrant, it “would critically jeopardize the continued investigation” by giving him “a chance to destroy proof, change patterns of habits, [or] notify confederates,” the papers mentioned.

The existence of the warrant was earlier reported by Politico.

The truth that prosecutors quietly obtained a choose’s permission greater than seven months in the past to look into Mr. Trump’s Twitter account underscores how a lot of the particular counsel’s work might have taken place out of public view. The majority of the investigations into Mr. Trump’s efforts to take care of his grip on energy and into his different federal case — the one associated to his dealing with of categorised supplies — have been carried out by federal grand juries, that are ruled by strict secrecy guidelines.

Within the chaotic interval between the election and Jan. 6, Mr. Trump’s Twitter account, which boasted hundreds of thousands of followers, was one of many nation’s most distinguished platforms on social media. That prosecutors requested for a warrant to look the account suggests they have been occupied with some nonpublic side of it — although it stays unclear exactly what that was.

As a part of their sprawling investigation, prosecutors have seized cellphones and different digital gadgets from a few of Mr. Trump’s shut aides and legal professionals. These embody not less than two folks recognized as the previous president’s co-conspirators within the indictment towards him filed this month: John Eastman, a lawyer who suggested Mr. Trump on a plan to strain his vice chairman, Mike Pence, into throwing the election his means at a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, and Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Division loyalist who Mr. Trump sought to put in as appearing legal professional basic.

The election expenses filed towards Mr. Trump accuse him of three overlapping conspiracies to defraud america, to disrupt the certification of the election at a continuing on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and to deprive folks of the proper to have their votes counted.

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