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Special counsel Jack Smith has made headlines for himself by going after former President Donald Trump.
And his efforts at criminalizing speech were far more extensive than previously realized.
Newly released court documents revealed that Smith was able to procure a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account in January. Except Twitter, now know as X, refused to comply with the warrant.
In response, a federal judge held the company in contempt for its compliance delays and issued a $350,000 fine. That decision was then upheld by a federal appeals court in July,
Trump responded on Truth Social after learning of Smith’s attempts to examine his account.
“Just found out that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ secretly attacked my Twitter account, making it a point not to let me know about this major “hit” on my civil rights,” Trump posted. “My Political Opponent is going CRAZY trying to infringe on my Campaign for President. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Does the First Amendment still exist? Did Deranged Jack Smith tell the Unselects to DESTROY & DELETE all evidence? These are DARK DAYS IN AMERICA!”
Trump Targeting And Twitter Fines Show Double Standards
Not only did Smith demand access to a private Twitter account, but he served the warrant with a nondisclosure order, preventing the company from talking about it. Twitter challenged that encroachment, but was denied.
After losing the legal fight, the company complied with the warrant, giving Smith access to Trump’s Twitter.
Despite asserting that the warrant violated the First Amendment, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Twitter’s appeal. In their written opinion, the court said not complying “would seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation” by giving Trump “an opportunity to destroy evidence, change patterns of behavior, [or] notify confederates.”
Unsurprisingly, privacy and free speech concerns in this case have been summarily ignored, since it harms one of the left’s most important targets. When Apple refused to comply with the FBI’s request to unlock one of its phones after the San Bernardino shooting, they weren’t punished.
But in this instance, Twitter faced a substantial fine for a three day delay in complying with a warrant allowing the government to examine protected speech.
As usual though, when it comes to Trump, all bets are off. Smith, judges and other authorities have made damaging him their top priority. And somehow the political party that for years said private companies could do what they wanted suddenly have no problem with Twitter being told to turn over access to a private account.
The ends for them, as always, justify the means.