Court Refuses To Reconsider Case Involving Trump’s Social Media

Court Refuses To Reconsider Donald Trump's Social Media Case

( – On August 1, 2023, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against former President Donald Trump for allegedly conspiring to seize another term in office after he lost the past election. Special Counsel Jack Smith obtained and executed a search warrant to take materials from Twitter (now X) as part of his investigation into those allegations. A federal appeals court recently refused to reconsider Trump’s prior legal action against federal prosecutors related to the seizure of those documents.

A federal judge from the US District Court for the District of Columbia approved Smith’s warrant in mid-January 2023. The judge later held X/Twitter in contempt and fined the tech giant $350,000 for its initial failure to comply with the terms of the search warrant. X filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. However, in mid-July, a three-judge panel upheld the lower court’s ruling.

X filed a petition asking the full court to reconsider its appeal. However, on January 16, the court issued a one-paragraph order denying the appellant’s petition for a rehearing of its appeal. The notice advised that the court considered the merits of the petition along with a friend of the court brief filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based digital rights non-profit.

The DC Circuit’s four conservative judges attached an 11-page dissent against the majority’s decision not to hear the case and the lower court’s ruling. They argued that executing a search warrant to obtain data related to Trump’s use of X violated the balancing act laid out in the Presidential Records Act regarding executive privilege. They also said the ruling harmed Trump as an individual and the presidency itself.

The conservative judges conceded that the matter regarding Trump’s rights is moot since the potential damage associated with Smith obtaining those documents has already been done.

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