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Trump’s Twitter Data and Deleted Posts Acquired by January 6th Riot Investigators

The special counsel investigating the events of January 6th, 2020, managed to obtain significant information from former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, now known as Twitter X, despite initial challenges.

Unsealed court documents shed light on the extensive effort required to secure this data from the social media platform.

The search warrant compelled Twitter to furnish all tweets authored, composed, liked, or retweeted by the @realdonaldtrump account, including those that had been subsequently deleted.

The company was also obliged to provide direct messages (DMs) sent to and received by @realdonaldtrump, as well as any related accounts that might have been utilized on the same device.

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Details about the devices used, account privacy settings, IP address history spanning October 2020 to January 2021, and location data for the same timeframe were also demanded.

Prosecutors stressed Twitter’s adherence to a nondisclosure order, emphasizing the importance of not informing Trump about the warrant.

Credit: DepositPhotos

They argued that such disclosure could potentially compromise the ongoing investigation and the safety of witnesses.

Twitter countered by suggesting that certain information might be shielded by executive privilege, a claim that prosecutors and the judge scrutinized, considering the unlikely probability of official government discussions occurring via DMs.

US District Judge Beryl Howell pointed out Twitter’s unprecedented move of giving Trump prior notice of the search warrant, highlighting that this was an action not extended to other users.

The judge humorously speculated whether Elon Musk’s involvement aimed to make Trump feel especially welcomed on the platform.

Although Trump’s Twitter account had been reinstated under Musk’s oversight, he has not yet resumed posting on the platform.

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