The special counsel announced that they have obtained and will present cellphone records from the Trump White House during the trial.

The special counsel announced that they have obtained and will present cellphone records from the Trump White House during the trial.

Washington — Federal investigators have gained access to White House cellphone records — including a phone used by former President Donald Trump — and could use that information as evidence in the special counsel’s 2020 election-related trial

Prosecutors announced this information on Monday evening.

The specifics of what prosecutors obtained and the extent to which Trump’s past online actions are reflected in the White House cellphone records remain uncertain. However, special counsel Jack Smith, an expert who analyzed the phone for usage data “during the time after the election,” may be summoned to testify about the information during the legal proceedings.

In a legal document, Smith identifies an individual as “Expert 3,” who collected and analyzed information from the White House cell phones of the defendant and another person (referred to as “Individual 1”). The filing states that Expert 3 was able to pinpoint when the defendant’s phone was unlocked and the Twitter app was accessed on January 6.

Trump was accused by prosecutors of four criminal charges, to which he entered a plea of not guilty. These charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States, as a result of his alleged actions to impede the peaceful transfer of power. The indictment and court documents refer to “Individual 1” as former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as confirmed by CBS News. The indictment also mentions six individuals who are not named or charged.

The ex-president has rejected allegations of misconduct in the matter and has criticized the prosecution of Smith as being driven by political motives. A representative for the Trump campaign did not promptly reply to a query regarding the recent court papers.

The filing submitted on Monday was in compliance with a court directive requesting details about expert witnesses that will be called for the federal trial scheduled to start on March 4, 2024. Although the filing does not explicitly identify the expert witnesses, the prosecution mentioned two individuals who will utilize digital information to clarify the actions of the crowd during the events of January 6.

This isn’t the initial instance of Trump’s phone usage being a target for investigators examining his actions after the election.

Documents obtained by CBS News and The Washington Post reveal a gap of seven hours and 37 minutes in former President Trump’s official phone logs on January 6, the day of the Capitol riot. These records were turned over to the House select committee, which is now defunct, last year. This gap includes the time when the Capitol building was under attack.

Last year, Costa and Woodward made a report.

The absence of an official record from the White House for any communications made by or to Trump for a period of 457 minutes, between 11:17 a.m. and 6:54 p.m. on January 6, 2021, suggests that there is no documentation of the calls made during the peak of the security breach.

Last year, the National Archives provided eleven pages of documents to the House select committee, which was investigating the January 6th attack. The committee was also looking into allegations that the previous president used disposable phones during their time in office.

Last year, when Costa and Woodward reported on it, Trump claimed, “I am not familiar with the concept of a burner phone. As far as I know, I have never heard of it before.” According to a spokesperson for Trump, he had no involvement with the records and assumed all of his phone conversations were being recorded and kept.

John Bolton, his former national security adviser, asserted in an interview later — after CBS News and Washington Post reported that he recalled Trump using the term “burner phones” in several discussions — that Trump was aware of its meaning.

2016 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Smith submitted a court filing on Monday, shortly after the Supreme Court announced it would expedite its review of a decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2016.

petition from the designated investigator

To make an uncommon decision of determining a crucial question at the core of the case before a higher court reviews it.

The prosecutors have requested that the Supreme Court address whether a president, including Trump, can be immune from federal prosecution for actions taken while in office. A judge has already ruled against Trump’s attempt to have the case dropped based on presidential immunity.

The ex-president appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after which Smith’s team requested the Supreme Court to intervene early due to the approaching trial date. They anticipate that the issue will ultimately be brought before the Supreme Court.