Prosecutors possess Trump’s Twitter direct messages and drafts.

Prosecutors possess Trump's Twitter direct messages and drafts.

The Special Counsel’s Search for Trump’s Twitter Data Reveals Surprising Insights

Capitol Building

The investigation into former President Donald Trump’s involvement in the January 6 Capitol building storming has taken an interesting turn. In addition to looking into his mishandling of government documents, including classified information, the special counsel has obtained Trump’s Twitter data. This revelation has sparked much speculation about what federal prosecutors hope to uncover.

Recently unsealed documents shed light on the specific information obtained through a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter data. Surprisingly, this search warrant faced opposition from Elon Musk and his company, X. So, what exactly does the obtained data include and why did Musk’s team fight to impede its collection?

First and foremost, X, formerly known as Twitter, had to provide the special counsel with all of the tweets, likes, retweets, and direct messages associated with the @realDonaldTrump account. Interestingly, this also includes unsent tweets and draft direct messages that Trump had composed but never posted. Even deleted tweets and messages were made available to the special counsel.

Beyond the tweets and direct messages, the special counsel also received Trump’s search history on the Twitter platform from October 2020 to January 2021. This period is crucial as it encompasses the time when Trump’s supporters staged a riot in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results in his favor. Additionally, Twitter handed over IP addresses and location information connected to Trump during that timeframe.

The documents further reveal that X had to provide a range of other account information, such as Trump’s contacts, registration details, privacy settings, and any modifications made to his account. In other words, the special counsel obtained comprehensive knowledge about Trump’s Twitter presence.

One particularly intriguing aspect of the data collection is the inclusion of the devices used by Trump to access his @realDonaldTrump account. Furthermore, the special counsel also gained access to any alternative Twitter handles associated with these devices. This means that if Trump maintained secret accounts for posting under different identities, the special counsel is aware of them.

However, the content within Trump’s Twitter data is not the only interesting revelation from these documents. The unsealed transcripts from a February hearing highlight a clash between U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell and Twitter’s legal team regarding the company’s delaying tactics. Judge Howell held Twitter in contempt of court, imposing a fine of $350,000 for its failure to provide the requested items outlined in the search warrant.

The issue at the heart of this disagreement was a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from informing Trump about the search warrant. Prosecutors argued that notifying Trump would jeopardize their ongoing investigation. While concerns have been raised about the government’s use of nondisclosure orders, it is worth noting that Twitter, under Elon Musk’s ownership, has complied with various foreign government requests resulting in user censorship.

Judge Howell expressed confusion and questioned the motive behind Twitter’s staunch position on notifying Trump. She openly pondered whether Elon Musk, as the owner of Twitter, was trying to win favor with the former president. This speculation arose due to Musk having lifted the ban on Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account a few months prior, even though Trump had not yet posted anything on the platform at the time of this article’s publication.

In one hearing, Judge Howell directly asked Twitter’s legal team if this was an attempt to make Trump feel particularly welcomed as a renewed user of the platform. In another instance, she questioned whether Twitter’s CEO was trying to cozy up to the former president.

Eventually, Twitter complied with the search warrant, handing over the requested data to the special counsel. The details contained within Trump’s Twitter data are undoubtedly of great interest to federal prosecutors as they continue their investigation into his role in the events surrounding the Capitol building storming.


In conclusion, the special counsel’s search for Trump’s Twitter data has provided a wealth of information that could contribute to unraveling the events of January 6 and shedding light on potential mishandling of classified government documents. The data includes everything from tweets, likes, and retweets to direct messages, search history, and even unpublished drafts. Twitter’s legal battle to impede the search raised eyebrows, with Judge Howell speculating whether Elon Musk’s influence played a role in the company’s behavior. Only time will tell what the special counsel ultimately uncovers from this trove of Twitter data, but it certainly adds another layer of intrigue to an already captivating investigation.