WASHINGTON – The social media site
Prosecutors with the special counsel’s office disclosed the number of messages in a memo filed in a federal appeals court in Washington earlier this year, according to the filing. The social media company was forced to turn over the documents after receiving a search warrant from Smith’s office in January.
Smith’s office filed the memo after Twitter appealed a lower court’s ruling that forced the company to comply with the search warrant and an accompanying order barring Twitter from informing Trump or his lawyers about the search warrant.
The arrest warrant itself was also unsealed on Friday. It shows that prosecutors also sought all accounts and usernames linked to Trump’s account, as well as all devices used to log into the account.
It also searched for “all content, records and other information related to communications sent or received from the account between October 2020 and January 2021,” including all direct messages. It also requested information about searches made by the account during that time period, as well as “any advertising information.”
The existence of the arrest warrant – and the fact that Twitter complied with it – became known when the appeals court ruling was overturned in August. That ruling said Smith’s office was looking for “evidence of crime.”
The 32 direct messages turned over to prosecutors represent a “tiny portion” of the total data provided by Twitter, the recently unsealed file says.
It’s unclear what exactly the direct messages received say or what other data the special counsel’s office received.
In the indictment last month accusing Trump of using “unlawful means” to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election, he repeatedly referenced the former president’s tweets. For example, prosecutors from the Office of Special Counsel included tweets in which Trump pressured Vice President Mike Pence to reject the Electoral College votes before Congress and tweets in which he urged his supporters to go to Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 come.