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Court Rules Special Counsel Jack Smith Can Access Trump’s Twitter Direct Messages

via CBS News
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A federal appeals court has granted Special Counsel Jack Smith access to former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account for an investigation into 2020 election interference.

The court rejected Twitter’s petition to rehear the case, allowing it to potentially move to the Supreme Court.

Smith obtained the content through a search warrant and a non-disclosure agreement with Twitter. (Trending: Joe Biden’s Approval Crashes To New Low)

The release included at least 32 direct messages sent by Trump.

Four judges appointed by Republican presidents criticized the decision, expressing concerns about the potential implications for executive privilege and presidential communications in future investigations.

“Rather than follow established precedent, for the first time in American history, a court allowed access to presidential communications before any scrutiny of executive privilege,” the judges wrote.

They noted that Smith “obscured and bypassed any assertion of executive privilege and dodged the careful balance Congress struck in the Presidential Records Act.”

“Without a presumption for executive privilege, new questions will invariably arise, particularly because nothing in the panel’s opinion is limited to a former President,” they said.

“What if, in the course of a criminal investigation, a special counsel sought a warrant for the incumbent President’s communications from a private email or phone provider? Under this court’s decision, executive privilege isn’t even on the table, so long as the special counsel makes a showing that a warrant and nondisclosure order are necessary to the prosecution.”

“And following the Special Counsel’s roadmap, what would prevent a state prosecutor from using a search warrant and nondisclosure order to obtain presidential communications from a third-party messaging application?”

“And how might Congress benefit from this precedent when it seeks to subpoena presidential materials from third parties in an investigation or impeachment inquiry?” the judges questioned.

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