Elon Musk is fined for delaying a search warrant on Trump's account

Onur Demirkol
Aug 10, 2023

According to the latest reports, Elon Musk is fined $350,000 for delaying a search warrant on Donald Trump's Twitter, now X, account.

In mid-January, special counsel Jack Smith secured the warrant and delivered it on Twitter, now known as "X," along with a "nondisclosure order." The court ordered that the social media network not notify Trump that his account would be inspected.

However, after being issued with the warrant, the corporation waited several days to react. On February 2, Twitter filed a move to vacate the nondisclosure order, claiming it violated the First Amendment and refusing to comply. The corporation requested that U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell, who was handling the case at the time, stay the search warrant's execution until the situation was settled.

Instead, Howell declared Twitter in contempt and punished it with $50,000 per day, with the amount rising for each day of noncompliance. Twitter did not comply with the warrant until February 9, incurring a total fine of $350,000.

Twitter filed an appeal, but an appeals court confirmed Howell's judgment in July, according to the records disclosed Wednesday. You can see the decision here.

elon musk is fined
Elon Musk is fined $350,000 Image Credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Elon Musk is fined for not meeting the deadline

Elon Musk is fined by the United States for failing to turn in the documents on time. The new information was released in a decision from a federal appeals court in Washington on a legal battle over the warrant that has been underway in secret for months. The court rejected Twitter's claim that it should not have been held in contempt or sanctioned.

Smith's team cited to Trump's comments many times in the indictment, which charges the former president with seeking to subvert voter will and cling to power after losing the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mark Zuckerberg vs Elon Musk: From social media banter to cage match

It's unclear what Smith was looking for on Trump's Twitter account. The former president preferred Twitter over all other forms of communication, and he utilized it to promote his election fraud theories and to encourage his fans to visit Washington on January 6, 2021. Many of those jailed in connection with the January 6 insurgency thought Trump's remarks were a clear call to weapons.

Featured image credit: Patrick Pleul/Pool Photo via AP


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  1. Funkyy said on August 10, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    The buck stops with Musk, it’s his name on the company, so he pays one way or another.
    Poor Musk, another rich guy who thinks laws don’t apply to him/his company…like the fat orange guy whose account was involved.

    1. Anonymous said on August 10, 2023 at 11:39 pm

      JD and Oxa are correct. There’s a difference between the individual and the corporation.

      “We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.”

      Apparently ghacks doesn’t follow its own policy when it approves of Funkyy’s comment by publishing it.

      This is another example of “the rules are for thee but not for me,” especially when someone’s opinion flies in the face of someone else and their inconsistent agenda.

    2. John said on August 10, 2023 at 10:19 pm

      Nothing Trump said on Twitter was illegal.

  2. JD said on August 10, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    Twitter incorporated was fined, not Elon Musk. There is a difference. This is what you call poor journalism.

    1. Why said on August 11, 2023 at 12:34 pm

      Why are all the good things always associated with Elon (Elon makes rockets, self driving cars, etc), but as soon as someone screws up, he is not mentioned anymore?

    2. Oxa said on August 10, 2023 at 8:57 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree. It’s sloppy, sensationalistic “journalism”.

      1. Art said on August 10, 2023 at 9:10 pm

        Can’t resist the allure of the Trump/Elon-bait combo for views.
        I miss old ghacks :(

      2. Martin P. said on August 16, 2023 at 8:51 pm


        “I miss old ghacks :(”


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