Newly released court documents reveal that federal prosecutors obtained a warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account in January – but Twitter, under owner Elon Musk, refused to hand over the information.
The search warrant had been sent with a nondisclosure order prohibiting Twitter from notifying anyone about the existence or contents of the warrant.
The court document also revealed that Twitter had initially delayed the production of the materials required while undertaking unsuccessful litigation objections to the nondisclosure order.
PostMillennial report: While the social media platform ultimately complied with the warrant and handed over the requested information three days after the deadline, the district court held X in contempt and was fined $350,000.
The revelation came as part of an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in which the court upheld a lower court’s ruling on the case.
The ruling stated:
“In sum, we affirm the district court’s rulings in all respects. The district court properly rejected Twitter’s First Amendment challenge to the nondisclosure order. Moreover, the district court acted within the bounds of its discretion to manage its docket when it declined to stay its enforcement of the warrant while the First Amendment claim was litigated. Finally, the district court followed the appropriate procedures before finding Twitter in contempt of court – including giving Twitter an opportunity to be heard and a chance to purge its contempt to avoid sanctions. Under the circumstances, the court did not abuse its discretion when it ultimately held Twitter in contempt and imposed a $350,000 sanction.”
Twitter argued in its appeal that the nondisclosure order had violated the First Amendment and the Stored Communications act, and that the district court should have issued a stay of the enforcement of the search warrant until the objections to the nondisclosure order were solved.