Don Jr set his phone up to delete text messages after 30 days before Jan 6 testimony

Donald Trump Jr. listens as former President Donald Trump speaks at a meeting at Dayton International Airport on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio (Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. listens as former President Donald Trump speaks at a meeting at Dayton International Airport on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio (Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. reportedly set his text messages to automatically delete after 30 days before he testified before a House select committee investigating the January 6 riots.

The revelation came as the select committee released a transcript of the testimony on Thursday. The committee held an interview with the president’s eldest son on May 3, 2022.

When questioned, the questioner said it had called Mr Trump’s cell phone company to get the records and that Mr Trump had set his phone so that text messages were automatically deleted after 30 days. Mr Trump said he was setting some time in the fall of 2021.

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“I didn’t even realize it was a thing until then,” he said. “So I put it in there.”

But Mr Trump said the committee’s work had not influenced his decision to set his phone to automatically delete text messages.

“No, not even a little,” he said.

Similarly, he said he was under no court or discovery order to preserve his text messages.

“I have provided my phone to all our counsel on all the extraordinary things before that, which, as you know, is quite extensive,” he said. “So, you know, they did everything they had to do in accordance with all those things before I did it.”

In addition, he responded affirmatively when he said that his phone had been taken in 2021 and all its contents had been copied. Mr Trump’s lawyer Alan Futerfas said a “full image” of the phone had been obtained but Mr Trump’s legal team could only find part of the image, which he said was being done for a different investigation.

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“It’s still a pretty broad search term, but it’s for different litigation,” said Mr. Futerfas.

In response, the questioner for the committee asked if there was any effort from the IT team to find the full copy.

“It is,” said Futerfas. “There is some corruption that occurs between storage devices when that part is moved between storage devices.”

Mr Trump said that when he spoke to his father during Mr Trump’s presidency, he usually called through the White House operator. Last year, it came out that Mr. Trump texted the then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as a way to communicate with his father during the chaos.

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“He needs to punish this *** ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” he reportedly texted at the time.

During the interview, Mr Trump was asked if he felt it was not enough.

“I don’t remember but I don’t think it was enough,” Mr Trump said in response. He said he also texted Mr Meadows because he was likely to be on a plane without internet and his father did not send text messages.

The committee also asked Mr Trump if he had ever spoken to his father about his activities during the aftermath of the riots.

“I don’t believe I have, no,” he said.


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