Special Counsel Uses Phone Data in Trial

Special counsel Jack Smith has revealed intentions to present crucial evidence extracted from former President Donald Trump’s cell phone, shedding light on his activities during the tumultuous weeks following the 2020 election. The extracted data, slated for presentation to a Washington, D.C. jury, is poised to illustrate Trump’s phone usage during a period where allegations of election subversion loomed large.

In a recent court filing, Smith outlined plans to summon an expert witness who examined data extracted from Trump’s phone, as well as another phone linked to an undisclosed individual within Trump’s circle. The potential revelations from Trump’s phone data encompass a spectrum of details, ranging from his daily schedule and Twitter activity to potential access points for aides to his accounts and devices. Notably, this data might unveil if Trump personally sanctioned critical tweets, such as those targeting then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

However, the extent of Smith’s access to Trump’s phone remains ambiguous. While the filing mentions perusing images, websites, and locations, the scope of communication interception, if any, and potential limitations like executive privilege, remain unspecified.

The impending trial against Trump, charged with alleged conspiracy to disenfranchise voters and obstruct the transfer of power, is scheduled to commence on March 4. The expert witness is poised to elucidate the usage patterns of these phones, particularly during and around the pivotal events of January 6, 2021, when the Capitol was breached following Trump’s rallying cry to his supporters.

Significantly, the expert’s testimony is set to offer insights gleaned from a substantial collection of Twitter data, illuminating Trump’s influential account usage. This data includes details such as location data and periods when Trump’s phone was unlocked with the Twitter application open.

Smith’s probe has amassed evidence, featuring testimony from numerous key figures within Trump’s inner circle, notably including former Vice President Mike Pence. Prosecutors secured a search warrant in January to access Trump’s Twitter data, ultimately acquiring a vast cache of information linked to his account.

The prosecution’s filing refrains from asserting the direct involvement of Trump in the phone activities scrutinized. Notably, Trump’s phones were frequently managed by aides, including his social media manager and Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.