A federal district court judge ruled this week that a federal grand jury is allowed to subpoena the identity of a Twitter user who threatened Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (R-Minn.).
The man, who was notified by Twitter of the request, had asked the court to quash the request to protect his identity.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in his decision referred to the Twitter user only as “Mr. X,” but said his name should be disclosed to the grand jury investigating whether he constitutes a genuine threat against Bachmann. He wrote that the tweet in question is “extremely crude and in almost incomprehensibly bad taste.”
The judge’s opinion, released Thursday, is also a scathing criticism of the motives of “Mr. X” and the content of his Twitter feed, which is also unnamed.
“More offensive than even Mr. X’s chosen vocabulary is the pathetic transparency and vapidity of his attempt to elicit the attention of the Internet that he surely lacks in real life,” Lamberth wrote.
“There appears to be nothing serious whatsoever about Mr. X’s Twitter page. [E]xcept perhaps the severity of mental depravity that would lead a person to produce such posts.”
The judge concluded, however, that a review is warranted because the allegedly threatening tweet, which was sent last August and “professed desire to engage in sadomasochistic activities” with Bachmann, was directed at a presidential candidate.