The office of Special Counsel Jack Smith argued in court filings unsealed Friday that former President Donald Trump might attempt to “precipitate violence,” if he learned that his X (formerly known as Twitter) account had been investigated by the Biden Justice Department under a court-approved search warrant:
Newly unsealed court records indicate special counsel Jack Smith’s team warned that former President Trump could “precipitate violence” unless the court shielded its efforts to obtain information on his Twitter account.
The records show Smith’s office obtained a total of 32 direct messages from Trump’s account as part of its investigation, with a copy of the warrant also unsealed Friday showing the breadth of the information prosecutors sought.[…]
The secret battle to obtain the records was revealed in an opinion unsealed in August, showing that Twitter, now known as X, was fined $350,000 for not complying with a court order to turn over the records.
That unsealing filing, which runs 71 pages, “offers new details about why Smith’s team feared alerting Trump to the matter”:
The Special Counsel made the arguments after Elon Musk’s X sought to have an order to hand the data to the DOJ overturned by a higher court. But prosecutors gave examples of “several steps” Trump had taken to “undermine” the investigation, and past behavior that allegedly showed he must not know about the warrants. It reads, in part:
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.
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.
The filing continues:
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.
The new report on the unsealed docs adds that it still isn’t clear what exactly is in those direct messages by Trump:
The filing leaves unclear the content of the 32 direct messages Trump exchanged on the platform, with the detail only used to combat arguments from X’s attorneys that such messages might be covered 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,” prosecutors wrote.
As this is a developing story, RedState will provide more details as they become available.