Appeals court rejects X’s challenge to special counsel’s secret request for Trump’s Twitter data
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A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected X Corp’s latest appeal of a nondisclosure order it received as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
Smith first served Company
Meanwhile, Smith obtained a non-disclosure order preventing X from disclosing the search warrant to Trump or anyone else.
In granting Smith’s request to keep the memo confidential, a federal district court said it was reasonable to believe that disclosing the request “would destroy or tamper with evidence, intimidate potential witnesses, and seriously jeopardize the investigation.”
X initially refused to comply with the arrest warrant, and the District Court in Washington, D.C., held the company in contempt of court and fined it $350,000. X eventually handed over the data Smith was looking for.
In August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied X’s first appeal of the order.
It was brought before 11 judges at the Court of Appeal, and X’s appeal was again dismissed in an order on Tuesday.
But four of the 11 justices, including three appointed by Trump, strongly criticized the courts that allowed Smith to secretly obtain the search warrant.
“We should not have supported this maneuver,” said a statement attached to the order denying X’s bid for a rehearing.
“Rather than following established precedent, for the first time in American history, the Court allowed access to presidential communications prior to any scrutiny of executive privilege,” the statement penned by Justice Neomi Rao said.
Rao said Smith’s efforts “obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and evaded the delicate balancing act that Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act.”
A spokesman for Smith declined to comment on the court filing. Seth Waxman, the lead attorney representing X in the case, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Trump nominated Rao to the appeals court in 2019. Joining her statement were Justices Gregory Katsas and Justin Walker, who were also nominated by Trump, and Justice Karen Lecraft Henderson, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com