Lawyers from the Department of Justice have disclosed documents linked to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, revealing that prosecutors gathered an extensive set of data about the ex-President’s social media behavior. This includes details on every account that liked, followed, or retweeted him.
The extensively redacted search warrant became public following a judge’s decision on November 17. This came after a coalition of media organizations filed a request in August for the warrant and other related data to be disclosed.
Twitter seems to have handed over extensive amounts of material to the DOJ under compulsion.
Certainly, Special Counsel Jack Smith requested, and seems to have obtained, details on every user that Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked. This includes information on all users who followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked Trump.
Smith also requested that Twitter provide information on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).”
The DOJ’s request also sought details on Trump’s geolocation, private messages, search history, and contact information. Even more surprisingly, prosecutors reportedly aimed to find out his pronouns, as reported by Headline USA in August when court transcripts related to the Twitter-DOJ dispute were released.
The release of the warrant follows Twitter’s objection to both the search warrant and an associated gag order. Twitter argued that the gag order infringed on the company’s First Amendment right to communicate with Trump. Additionally, they suggested that Trump might have legal grounds to invoke executive privilege to block the warrant.
Twitter’s attempt to challenge the DOJ ultimately fell short, as District Judge Beryl Howell, appointed by Obama, imposed a $350,000 fine on the company in February for failing to meet the deadline to comply with the order.
All of Howell’s rulings were upheld by an appeals court.
The Justice Department has transformed into a tool for political partisans, rather than serving as an instrument of law enforcement.
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