Trump's push to quash Jack Smith's Twitter data usage in trial shot down

 January 18, 2024

Special Counsel Jack Smith and former President Donald Trump's lawyers seemingly trade legal blows every day. 

Last year, Smith filed for the government to execute a search warrant related to Trump's Twitter activity at the time of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol protest and riot. The issue has bounced around in the legal realm since, but a judge this week gave Smith the upper hand.

According to the Washington Examiner, a "federal appeals court declined on Tuesday to reconsider its decision to allow the government to execute a search warrant for information related to former President Donald Trump‘s Twitter account.

Trump's request to quash the warrant was made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

What's going on?

While several Republican judges pushed back, a majority of the federal appeals court declined to take further action in reconsidering Smith's request for the warrant.

"Upon consideration of appellant’s petition for rehearing en banc, the response thereto, the amicus curiae brief filed by Electronic Frontier Foundation in support of rehearing en banc, and the absence of a request by any member of the court for a vote, it is ordered that the petition be denied," the court's decision read.

The Trump-appointed U.S. Judge Neomi Rao pushed back hard on the situation, saying, "The decisions in this case break with long-standing precedent and gut the constitutional protections for executive privilege."

She added that Smith's overall approach to securing the warrant "obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act."

"The district court and this court permitted this arrangement without any consideration of the consequential executive privilege issues raised by this unprecedented search," Rao said.

"We should not have endorsed this gambit."

Social media reacts

News of the decision to not reconsider the request to quash the warrant received mixed reactions across social media, with some not surprised and others saying it was the right move.

"Not a big deal. Rao is the most conservative. There was no vote to hear the case enbanc. Bottom line, Trump lost again," one X user wrote.

"In other words - they ruled against Trump, but feel better because they wrote a big opinion supporting Executive Privilege. Twitter did turn over the data, and Smith's had it for a long time," another X user wrote.

Only time will tell how Smith uses the Twitter data in the upcoming trial, whenever that will be.

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