The New York Times reports:
The federal prosecutors who charged former President Donald J. Trump this month with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election got access this winter to a trove of so-called direct messages that Mr. Trump sent others privately through his Twitter account, according to court papers unsealed on Tuesday.
While it remained unclear what sorts of information the messages contained and who exactly may have written them, it was a revelation that there were private messages associated with the Twitter account of Mr. Trump, who has famously been cautious about using written forms of communications in his dealings with aides and allies.
It took a bruising battle with Twitter’s attorneys in January and February — punctuated by a blistering analysis by a federal judge, who wondered whether Elon Musk was attempting to “cozy up” to the former president by resisting the special counsel’s demands — before prosecutors got the goods.
Ultimately, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell held Twitter (now known as X) in contempt of court in February, fining the company $350,000 for missing a court-ordered deadline to comply with Smith’s search warrant. But the newly unsealed transcripts of the proceedings in her courtroom show that the fine was the least of the punishment.
Howell lit into Twitter for taking “extraordinary” and apparently unprecedented steps to give Trump advance notice about the search warrant — despite prosecutors’ warnings, backed by unspecified evidence, that notifying Trump could cause grave damage to their investigation.
The federal prosecutors who charged Donald Trump with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election got access this winter to Trump’s direct messages on Twitter, court papers revealed on Tuesday. https://t.co/E1qqH3UQzY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 16, 2023