GOP drops case in Trump tweet
Party claimed hacker sent #NeverTrump Twitter message
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.