The social media company previously known as Twitter, X, has handed over at least 32 of Donald Trump’s private messages as part of an investigation into his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Recently unsealed court filings revealed that federal prosecutors had received “some volume” of Trump’s private messages, and the exact number of 32 was disclosed as part of X’s appeal against a $350,000 fine for non-compliance with a search warrant. The content of the messages remains unknown.
The search warrant, served on X in January, required the company to submit Trump’s data from October 2020 to January 2021. This time frame includes the November 2020 presidential election and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Alongside the search warrant, X was issued a nondisclosure order to prevent Trump from being aware of prosecutors’ access to his private messages. The order aimed to prevent the destruction or tampering of evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, or jeopardizing the investigation.
However, X claimed it could not comply with the search warrant due to insufficient time provided. The company also objected to the nondisclosure order, citing the intense publicity surrounding the investigation. Prosecutors argued that the materials provided by X to the government were minimal, consisting of only 32 direct-message items. They emphasized the significance of the nondisclosure request, considering Trump’s alleged attempts to obstruct another federal investigation into his handling of classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases against him.
Prosecutors highlighted that Trump propagated false claims of fraud, including making false allegations in a federal court filing. They also alleged that he pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply with his demands, eventually leading to the violence at the US Capitol on January 6.
X’s appeal was unsuccessful, and they were found to be in contempt of court for delaying compliance with the search warrant. As a result, a $350,000 fine was imposed.
In conclusion, X, formerly Twitter, has provided access to 32 of Donald Trump’s private messages in the investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. While X objected to the search warrant and nondisclosure order, citing insufficient time and intense publicity, federal prosecutors argued the importance of the investigation given Trump’s alleged obstruction in another case. The appeal by X was denied, leading to a $350,000 fine for non-compliance.