The Department of Justice yielded to outcry from the public and civil liberties groups Tuesday and asked the District of Columbia Superior Court for a much narrower search warrant for the website “DisruptJ20.org” related to its investigation into the violent Antifa actions at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
DOJ lawyers had previously sought an unusually broad search warrant including a readout of all 1.3 million visitors to the site that helped organize the Disrupt J20 protests surrounding the inauguration this January. The request sent civil libertarians and others into a furor. DreamHost, the service that hosted the website, wrote on its blog, “That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.”
As reported in The Hill, the Justice Department’s new motion to compell DreamHost to comply with the warrant denies any attempt to collect this broad dataset on mere visitors for political purposes. It contains modified and narrower parameters for the warrant. So modified, only the use of DisruptJ20.org to organize the riot, it argues, is subject to the warrant’s scope. “The Warrant-like the criminal investigation-is singularly focused on criminal activity. It will not be used for any other purpose,” the brief explains. “[L]aw enforcement will set aside any information that was produced by DreamHost but is outside the scope of the Warrant.”
The issue will be decided Thursday, when Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin will rule on the DOJ’s motion to compell.
The Justice Department launched their investigation after those “protests” quietly devolved into a violent riot lead by “anti-fascist” (Antifa) groups. More than 200 arrests were made after property was damaged, vehicular arson, and attacks on police. In an incident subject to seperate investigation, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas discovered a plot by Antifa activists involved with the “Disrupt J20 Movement” to attack the Deploraball inauguration party with butyric acid, a substance so stomach turningly pungent that, according to the secretly recorded anti-fascists, if one pint were deployed, “I don’t care how big the building is, it’s closing.”