Trump’s Twitter Searched Via DOJ Warrant – Rolling Stone

jack smith elon twitter

The D.C. Court of Appeals upheld a $350,000 fine against the social media company, which dragged its feet in complying with a DOJ warrant

Special Counsel Jack Smith issued a warrant to Twitter in January seeking access to Donald Trump’s Twitter account, according to a report from Politico citing court documents.

The request started a fight between the prosecutor and the Elon Musk-led company, with Twitter (now known as “X”) getting fined $350,000 for missing a deadline to hand over the account, according to the documents. Twitter has since handed over the account, but the D.C. Court of Appeals has upheld the fine for the company.

According to the ruling, Twitter “initially delayed production of the materials required by the search warrant while it unsuccessfully litigated objections to the nondisclosure order. Although Twitter ultimately complied with the warrant, the company did not fully produce the requested information until three days after a court-ordered deadline. The district court thus held Twitter in contempt and imposed a $350,000 sanction for its delay.” 

The filing, submitted by D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Florence Pan, stated that the government initially applied and obtained a warrant on January 17, 2023, for “data and records related to the “@realDonaldTrump” Twitter account.” The government also obtained a nondisclosure order which “prohibited Twitter from disclosing the existence or contents of the search warrant to any person.” 


Twitter failed to meet the deadline to hand over the materials, instead arguing that the nondisclosure order was invalid under First Amendment freedom of speech protections. According to the filing, “the company asserted that compliance with the warrant before resolution of the motion to vacate or modify the nondisclosure order would preclude the former President from asserting executive privilege to shield communications made using his Twitter account. 

The Justice Department has since charged Trump in two criminal cases. In June, the former president was charged in relation to his mishandling of classified documents following his departure from office. In August, Trump was indicted by the special counsel on separate charges related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

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