US fines Elon Musk’s X USD 350,000 for delayed response in Donald Trump records

The United States has imposed a fine of USD 350,000 on X, formerly known as Twitter, for delaying to provide records pertaining to former US President Donald Trump to the Justice Department, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in an opinion released Wednesday.

X, formerly known as Twitter, was fined $350,000 for defying a judge’s deadline to comply with a Justice Department search warrant for records. Photo courtesy: X

A US district court issued a search warrant in a criminal case, ordering Twitter (now known as X) to provide information to the government on Trump’s account, the filing said.

Twitter delayed the production of the information while unsuccessfully litigating a nondisclosure order restricting them from talking about the warrant, the filing said.

“Although Twitter ultimately complied with the warrant, the company did not fully produce the requested information until three days after a court-ordered deadline. The district court thus held Twitter in contempt and imposed a $350,000 sanction for its delay,” the filing said. “We affirm the district court in all respects.”

The filing comes following an indictment against Trump on four charges related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe of alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 US presidential election. The case involving Twitter stems from Smith’s investigation, the filing said.

In response to the filing, Trump accused the Justice Department of attempting to derail his 2024 presidential campaign.

“Just found out that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ [Department of Justice] secretly attacked my Twitter account, making it a point not to let me know about this major ‘hit’ on my civil rights,” Trump said in a statement via Truth Social.

Trump has frequently characterized legal action against him as a weaponization of  the US justice system and defended his political speech as protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.