X held in contempt, fined $350K over Trump data delay
The information was revealed by the new court documents unsealed on Wednesday, reports The Verge.
The warrant was issued as part of a Department of Justice special investigation.
In January, as part of his inquiry into Trump’s role in interfering with the orderly transition of power following the 2020 election, special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant for the former President’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump.
According to the unsealed opinion, Twitter, now known as X, objected on February 1 to providing the material requested in the warrant, claiming that its accompanying nondisclosure order was unlawful under the First Amendment, which guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.
The objection came four days after the court-mandated deadline and asked the district court to determine if the nondisclosure was legal before handing over the warrant’s requested material.
On February 2, X moved to vacate the nondisclosure order, claiming that it “violated the company’s First Amendment rights to communicate with its subscriber, former President Trump”.
During a hearing on February 7, the court determined that X was in contempt.
However, the company was given the opportunity to purge the finding by supplying the requested materials that day before 5 pm.
According to unsealed documents, X failed to meet the deadline. The company did send some records, but that submission was considered incomplete.
It wasn’t until February 9 that X finally provided all the requested records to the government. As a consequence of missing the deadline, the company received a fine of $350,000.
In January 2021, the company announced the permanent suspension of Trump’s account on the platform.
However, after purchasing the platform last year, Musk in November reinstated Trump’s account.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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