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 September 16, 2023

Jack Smith claims search of Trump's Twitter had to be hidden or Trump would "precipitate violence"

Special counsel Jack Smith claimed former President Donald Trump might "precipitate violence" if he found out that investigators had demanded information from his Twitter account, The Hill reported. Smith's request, filed with the court in April, was unsealed Friday.

The social media platform X, formerly Twitter, turned over 32 direct messages from the former president's account. Smith's 71-page filing outlines fears about Trump's ability to incite violence should word get out about what they're trying to do.

X was fined $350,000 for failing to comply with the request for data, according to a court opinion unsealed last month. Other court records unsealed prior to that indicate that prosecutors argued Trump "could precipitate violence as occurred following the public disclosure of the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago" if he found out.

Meanwhile, X's appeal was making its way through to a lower court after the company was compelled to give Trump's private information to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prosecutors maintained the request to keep the request for records sealed based on the false notion of Trump's past actions.

"These are not hypothetical considerations in this case. Following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, the former President propagated false claims of fraud (including swearing to false allegations in a federal court filing), pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply with his demands, culminating in violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6," prosecutors claimed in the court document.

"More recently, the former President has taken several steps to undermine or otherwise influence the investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information following the end of his presidency, including publicizing the existence of the Mar-a-Lago Warrant," they added. Prosecutors also accused Trump of witness tampering by offering to pay their legal fees.

"This pattern of obstructive conduct amply supports the district court’s conclusion that the former President presents a significant risk of tampering with evidence, seeking to influence or intimidate potential witnesses, and 'otherwise seriously jeopardizing' the Government’s ongoing investigations," prosecutors claimed. However, X's reason for keeping the messages private was that some of the content might fall under executive privilege.

"Twitter offers no reason to conclude that the former President, with the full array of communication technologies available to the head of the Executive Branch, would have used Twitter’s direct message function to carry out confidential communications with Executive Branch advisors," they wrote. Their filing shows the extent of the digging expedition went beyond messages.

Signed in January, the warrant demanded all kinds of data from Trump's account, including which devices and IP addresses the former president used to sign into the account. The Justice Department also wanted the location data for Trump during the 2020 presidential campaign through January 2021.

They also demanded a list of every account Trump blocked or who blocked him, and every tweet, including those that were deleted or left as drafts. Any tweets Trump liked, or even those that were tweeted at him, were also included in the request.

All of this was being done while keeping Trump in the dark. The court said prosecutors' argument was "unquestionably compelling" and found in favor of keeping it under wraps.

"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 from the appeals court concluded. It's clear that it was a partisan argument from the start.

The narrative around the Jan. 6, 2021, incident was always that Trump called for the uprising.  There has never been any evidence of this except that Democrats have said so, and now the argument is being used in court.

It's frightening that the lies Democrats told about Trump have now been successfully used against him during his legal proceedings. It's disheartening that Trump will never get a fair shake as long as Democrats in power and their surrogates in the justice system have their way.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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