In a surprising twist, a newly unsealed court document has unveiled that Special Counsel Jack Smith managed to gain access to former President Donald J Trump’s Twitter account, including its private messages and draft tweets. This revelation comes amidst his ongoing investigations into alleged wrongdoings by the ex-president.
The document indicates that Smith obtained a secret search warrant in January, permitting him to scrutinize the ‘@RealDonaldTrump’ account for potential evidence related to criminal activities. Initially, a judge imposed a hefty fine of $350,000 on Elon Musk’s social media conglomerate, previously known as Twitter, for its refusal to cooperate, as revealed in documents released last week.
Furthermore, the court order also restricted the company, now identified as X, from informing Trump about the warrant. According to sources from Smith’s special counsel team, the fear was that if Trump were alerted to the warrant, he might interfere with the investigation.
An attorney from Smith’s team explained, “There actually are concrete cognizable reasons to think that if the former president had notice of these covert investigative steps, there would be actual harm and concern for the investigation, for the witnesses going forward.”
Following some legal wrangling, the unsealed filing discloses that Twitter ultimately provided the requested records. The court filing specifies that Smith secured a search warrant that directed Twitter to hand over ‘data and records’ linked to Trump’s Twitter account, according to reports from the Daily Mail. The content of the messages and draft tweets remains undisclosed.
As per a transcript included in the submission, a legal representative from Twitter affirmed that the company divulged ‘all direct messages, including those in ‘draft form,’ to the special counsel’s team. Moreover, access to both ‘eliminated’ and ‘retained’ direct messages from Trump was accorded to the special counsel’s team.
The former president, in response, accused Joe Biden of being responsible for the warrant and criticized Smith for what he deemed a violation of his privacy. Trump posted on Monday to voice his displeasure, stating, “How dare lowlife prosecutor, Deranged Jack Smith, breaking into my Twitter account without informing me and, indeed, trying to completely hide this atrocity from me. What could he possibly find out that is not already known.”
Smith’s actions have culminated in a 37-count indictment against Trump, with charges ranging from obstruction of justice in relation to classified materials to his efforts to maintain power after losing the 2020 election. The indictment also implicates Trump in spreading falsehoods and encouraging the events of January 6th, characterized as an attack on the Capitol “fueled by lies.”
In response to these developments, Smith issued a public statement underscoring that the assault on the Capitol was “fueled by lies” propagated by Trump, aiming to disrupt the core workings of the U.S. government’s electoral process. Smith asserted his commitment to a ‘swift’ trial as part of his pursuit of justice.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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