WASHINGTON — Special counsel Jack Smith’s office executed a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account earlier this year, according to new court filings.
The filing was made public by the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which also revealed Twitter was held in contempt of court and sanctioned $350,000 for not immediately complying with the warrant.
Elon Musk took over the company in 2022, and restored Trump’s Twitter account, which had been banned after the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
“Based on ex parte affidavits, the district court found probable cause to search the Twitter account for evidence of criminal offenses. Moreover, the district court found that there were ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that disclosing the warrant to former President Trump ‘would seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation’ by giving him ‘an opportunity to destroy evidence, change patterns of behavior, [or] notify confederates,’” the ruling said.
U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell held Twitter in contempt and sanctioned the company after the social media website had delayed following the order.
Trump was told about the warrant in June, according to the decision.
It is not clear if the government obtained anything useful during the probe. However, the former president was indicted last week on “unlawful means” to remain in power after he lost the 2020 election. The indictment referenced his tweets, including his calls to supporters to come to D.C. on January 6th.