GOP drops case in Trump tweet

Party claimed hacker sent #Nev­erTrump Twit­ter mes­sage

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John Frank

The iden­tity of the per­son who sent the “Never Trump” tweet this year from the Colorado Repub­li­can Party’s of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count ap­par­ently will re­main a mys­tery.

The Repub­li­can Party filed a mo­tion on Elec­tion Day — hours be­fore Don­ald Trump won the White House — to dis­miss its law­suit seek­ing mon­e­tary dam­ages and the name of the per­son who al­legedly hacked the @col­o­gop Twit­ter ac­count April 9.

The next day, a fed­eral court clerk granted the dis­missal — first ac­knowl­edged by the party this week in re­sponse to a ques­tion from The Den­ver Post — and ended a six-month legal bat­tle about a four­word tweet that gen­er­ated a na­tional po­lit­i­cal firestorm and led to death threats against Colorado GOP Chair­man Steve House.

The case re­mains un­re­solved, and the party de­clined to comment this week on why it dropped the legal chal­lenge to force Twit­ter to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the user who sent the tweet. Colorado GOP spokesman Kyle Kohli called it “an in­ter­nal party mat­ter” and de­clined to di­vulge whether the party had iden­ti­fied the au­thor.

The tweet — “We did it. #Nev­erTrump” — came two min­utes af­ter the party an­nounced that Sen. Ted Cruz took all 34 of the state’s elected del­e­gates to the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion. The hashtag is one used by crit­ics of Trump, in­clud­ing Repub­li­cans, who vowed to never sup­port him.

The Colorado GOP’s of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count sent this “Never Trump” mes­sage April 9, but later deleted it, say­ing it was unau­tho­rized.The mes­sage fu­eled con­cerns from Trump loy­al­ists that the Colorado pres­i­den­tial cau­cus sys­tem was “rigged” — as Trump com­plained loudly on Twit­ter the next two days.

The only peo­ple au­tho­rized to ac­cess the ac­count were House and Kohli — and the party acted quickly to delete the mes­sage four min­utes later. The Colorado GOP later is­sued a state­ment that the mes­sage was not au­tho­rized by the party and that it planned to in­ves­ti­gate.

The in­ter­nal in­quiry of­fered no clues, the party wrote in court fil­ings, and Twit­ter re­fused to pro­vide the IP ad­dress and mo­bile ser­vice provider of the de­vice that sent the mes­sage. The party even sent an email to party of­fi­cials and con­trac­tors of­fer­ing legal im­mu­nity if the au­thor stepped for­ward.

The party filed the law­suit in U.S. Dis­trict Court.

House faced questions about whether he should re­sign. The court fil­ings also re­veal new de­tails show­ing the vit­ri­olic and and vi­o­lent re­ac­tion from Trump sup­port­ers, which forced the clo­sure of the Colorado Repub­li­can Party of­fices in Green­wood Vil­lage at least twice.

House’s cell­phone num­ber and home ad­dress were posted on­line — in­clud­ing on a web­site call­ing for an “armed protest” at the home of the “GOP chair who rigged the elec­tion (for) Cruz.”

One com­menter on the web­site asked “when will it be time to switch from ‘stand around out­side with firearms protest­ing’ to ‘ac­tu­ally go in this trea­sonous (ex­ple­tive)’s house with firearms?’ ”

Other Trump sup­port­ers sent text mes­sages to House’s cell­phone that read: “You bet­ter stand up for Trump and the Amer­i­can peo­ple if you like your life and your family … that is not com­ing from me, it’s com­ing from the Amer­i­can peo­ple … re­mem­ber that. You can be armed and ready but … your lit­tle firearm will be like a sling­shot.”

An­other texted him the mes­sage: “Hope you and your chil­dren are raped by Mus­lim ex­trem­ists.”

Still, U.S. Dis­trict Court Chief Judge Mar­cia Krieger in Den­ver found the ar­gu­ments did not meet the legal thresh­old needed to force Twit­ter to re­veal the user’s in­for­ma­tion. She dis­missed the law­suit in July. The Colorado GOP ap­pealed the rul­ing but did lit­tle to press its case be­fore drop­ping the legal claim.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.