Trump’s Twitter use analyzed by expert witness in election interference case


Special counsel Jack Smith plans to call three expert witnesses to testify in Donald Trump’s federal election interference trial, including one who has analyzed the former president’s cellphone data, according to a court filing.

In January, Smith obtained a secret search warrant against Twitter, now known as X, seeking information about the 77-year-old former president’s use of the social media platform and the number of devices used to log into Trump’s account. Until January 6, 2021, riots took place in the US Capitol.

Monday’s filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is the first indication of how Justice Department prosecutors intend to use the data in the investigation against Trump.

One of the witnesses testifying in the federal election interference trial of Donald Trump has had his cell phone data analyzed. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

“Expert 3 s/he: (1) extracted and processed data from White House cell phones used by Defendant and an individual (Individual 1); (2) reviewed and analyzed data on Defendant’s phone and Individual 1’s phone, images found on visited phones and websites; “including analyzing; (3) determining the use of these phones throughout the post-election period on and around January 6, 2021; and (4) specifically identifying the periods when the defendant’s phone was unlocked and the Twitter application was unlocked on January 6,” the court filing states.

“Individual 1” is believed to be an aide who also had access to the former president’s Twitter account.

The government describes “Expert 3” as someone who specializes in the analysis of cellular phone data, including the use of Twitter and other applications on cellphones.

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It’s unclear how much information prosecutors obtained from Trump’s phone.

Special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant against X, formerly known as Twitter. AP

In heavily redacted documents released by the DOJ last month, prosecutors requested information about every imaginable aspect of Trump’s Twitter account, including search history, drafted tweets, blocks and mutes.

Prosecutors requested “all ad information … and ad title preferences,” all IP addresses associated with the account, Trump’s privacy and account settings, records of the account’s communications with Twitter support, and all direct messages sent and received by the account from October 2020 to January 2021.

The government additionally asked for information about users who interacted with Trump leading up to the riots.

Prosecutors requested data from the former president’s social media accounts for the prosecution. AFP via Getty Images

Two other expert witnesses filed Monday had expertise in “interpretation and visual representation of geographic location data” and “analysis of location data, including Google location, and location history data.”

Smith explains that those two experts can help the jury “understand the movements of persons during and after the capital part. [Trump’s] Jan. 6, 2021 speech on Elliptical”.

Judge Tanya Sudkan has set the opening date for Trump’s 2020 election interference trial as March 4, 2024.

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