Don Jr. set up his phone to delete the text messages 30 days prior to the Jan. 6 testimony
previous president Donald TrumpSon Donald Trump Jr He reportedly set up his text messages so that they would be automatically deleted after 30 days before testifying before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.
The revelation comes as the select committee released a set of transcripts of testimonies on Thursday. The committee interviewed the president’s eldest son on May 3, 2022.
During cross-examination, the interrogators indicated that it had subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s cellphone company to obtain the records and that Mr. Trump had set up his phone so that text messages would be automatically deleted after 30 days. Trump said he created it sometime in the fall of 2021.
“I didn’t even realize that was a thing until then,” he said. “So I put it on there.”
But Mr Trump said the work of the select committee did not influence his decision to set up his phone to automatically delete text messages.
“No, not even a little,” he said.
Likewise, he said he was not subject to any court or order of discovery to preserve his text messages.
“I made my phone available to all our advisors on everything else that was great before that, which, you know, was rather broad,” he said in response. “So, you know, they did whatever they needed to in compliance with all of those things before I did.”
In addition, he responded in the affirmative when he said that his phone was taken in 2021 and all contents were copied. Mr. Trump’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, said a “full image” of the phone was taken, but Trump’s legal team could only dig into a subset of that image, which he said was done for a different investigation.
“They were still fairly generic search terms, but they were for different litigations,” Mr. Futerfas said.
In response, one of the panel’s respondents asked if efforts by the IT team to search for the full version were continuing.
“They are,” said Mr. Futerfas. “There was some damage that occurred between storage devices when this subset was moved between storage devices.”
Trump noted that when he spoke to his father during the elder Mr. Trump’s presidency, he mostly connected through a White House operator. Last year, it emerged that Mr Trump had sent a text message to then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as a way to communicate with his father during the riots.
“He needs to condemn this s*** ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet isn’t enough,” he reportedly sent a text message at the time.
During the interview, Mr Trump was asked why he felt she was not enough.
Mr Trump said in response: “I don’t remember but I didn’t think that was enough.” He noted that he also sent messages to Meadows because he is likely to be on a plane without the Internet and his father is not texting.
The committee also asked Mr Trump if he spoke to his father about his activities during the riots afterwards.
He said, “I don’t think I have it, no.”
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