Was Elon Musk Trying To ‘Cozy Up’ To Trump In Fight With Jack Smith?

INSIDE: Mark Meadows ... Fani Willis ... Ronny Jackson
Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as US President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House February 3, 2... Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as US President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Federal Judge Pulls No Punches

An unsealed transcript of a court hearing in the fight earlier this year between Special Counsel Jack Smith and Elon Musk’s Twitter shows an extremely suspicious federal judge questioning why the social media company was so intent on warning Donald Trump that it had received a search warrant in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who while chief judge of the district court in DC presided over many of the grand jury disputes in the Trump investigations, noted that Twitter was taking what she called “momentous” steps that were unlike any the company had taken before in response to a search warrant.

Her questions were brutal:

  • “Is it because the new CEO wants to cozy up with the former president?”
  • “Is this to make Donald Trump feel like he is a particularly welcomed new renewed user of Twitter?”

At issue wasn’t merely whether and how Twitter would respond to the search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account. It focused instead on a nondisclosure order that prevented Twitter from notifying Trump, as account holder, of the search warrant.

Ultimately, Howell ruled against Twitter, enforcing the nondisclosure order and the search warrant. She then held Twitter in contempt and sanctioned it $350,000 for being delinquent in complying with the search warrant. An appeals court just upheld the sanction.

(As for the substance of the search warrant, it’s intriguing but don’t get too excited.)


TPM’s Hunter Walker: How Kanye West’s publicist, an “MMA fighter,” and a Lutheran pastor teamed up to pressure a Georgia election worker.

Mark Meadows Wastes No Time

With a real lawyer and a lot at stake, Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows quickly took action to remove the Georgia indictment from state to federal court.

Trump Will Try It, Too

Laurence H. Tribe, Donald Ayer, and Dennis Aftergut: Don’t Let Donald Trump Take His Case to Federal Court

What Dumping Trump Looks Like

Making Sense Of The Georgia Indictment

  • TPM: The 6 Interlocking Schemes Fani Willis Is Trying To Make Stick To Teflon Don
  • LawFare: The Fulton County Indictment: An Initial Examination
  • Norman Eisen and Amy Lee Copeland: This Indictment of Trump Does Something Ingenious
  • Rick Hasen: The Biggest Difference Between the Georgia Indictment and the Jan. 6 Indictment

Book ‘Em, Danno

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office: “At this point, based on guidance received from the District Attorney’s office and presiding judge, it is expected that all 19 defendants named in the indictment will be booked at the Rice Street Jail.”

Want More Georgia Indictment News?

  • NYT: Inside a Georgia Prosecutor’s Investigation of a Former President
  • LawFare: What the Heck Happened in Coffee County, Georgia?
  • TPM: Meet The 18 Others Charged With Trump
  • AP: Special prosecutor will examine actions of Georgia’s lieutenant governor in Trump election meddling


Special Counsel Jack Smith: There is no ‘law or precedent’ for building a criminal defendant a SCIF to see classified evidence.


After some delay, all three defendants in the Mar-a-Lago case have now been arraigned.

‘Trump’s Toast, Folks’

Clark Neily: “Being an inveterate liar is a major liability in litigation. So is being openly disdainful of the entire process. And so is complexity. But put all three of those together at the same time for the same defendant, and his goose is cooked. So you can put a fork in Donald Trump—he’s done.”

‘You Better Recalculate, Motherfucker!’

Texas Tribune: Bodycam video shows confrontation between Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and law enforcement

What A Tool

WaPo: Elon Musk’s X is throttling traffic to websites he dislikes

Hunter Biden Poised To Fight Over Plea Agreement

The attorney who helped negotiate Hunter Biden’s plea deal with federal prosectors is moving to withdraw from representing Biden because he may be a witness in the case. The implication is that Biden will seek to enforce the agreement. In what looks like a corresponding move earlier this week, DC uberlawyer Abbe Lowell, who has been representing Biden for a few months but hadn’t been of record in the Delaware case, entered his appearance in the case.

McGonigal Pleads Guilty In New York Case

WaPo: “Former high-ranking FBI official Charles McGonigal pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions and to laundering money by secretly working on behalf of a Russian oligarch he had been tasked with investigating.”

DiFi’s Difficult Twilight

San Francisco Chronicle: Dianne Feinstein’s bombshell new lawsuit alleges financial abuse over husband’s estate

2024 Ephemera

Maui Death Toll Reaches 106

Difficult stories to read:

  • Star-Advertiser: Maui Officials Begin to Formally Identify the Dead
  • NYT: Honolulu Burn Unit Put to the Test by Fires in Maui
  • NPR: Cell phone photos and some metadata. A son’s search for his mother in Maui

Ben Shapiro Batted Around Like A Piñata

All it took was one ill-advised tweet:

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