Identifying the Co-Conspirators in Trump Indictment

August 2, 2023

Former President Trump was indicted Tuesday on four criminal counts related to his actions surrounding attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the related January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

The unsealed indictment names six co-conspirators. 

Unlike Special Counsel Jack Smith’s initial and superseding indictments of Trump related to his handling of classified documents post presidency, in which his employees Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira are both facing criminal charges, so far no criminal charges are listed against the six co-conspirators whose actions are detailed in the 2020 election indictment. 

The co-conspirators are also not named, but they’ve since been identified based on their described actions. 

Co-Conspirator 1 is Rudy Giuliani. In the indictment, this co-conspirator is described as having said to Arizona’s state House Speaker, “We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence”—the exact words then-Trump attorney Giuliani said to state House Speaker Rusty Bowers, according to the Speaker’s testimony last year before the House Select January 6 Committee.

Co-Conspirator 2 is John Eastman. The indictment states that this co-conspirator—like Co-Conspirator 1—was an attorney. Co-Conspirator 2 is further described in the indictment as having “devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President’s ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election.” 

Eastman is currently facing potential disbarment in the state of California for authoring the plot to “obstruct the electoral count on January 6 and stop Vice President Pence from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the election.”

Co-Conspirator 3 is Sidney Powell. Another attorney, Trump refers in the indictment to some of this co-conspirator’s ideas about election fraud as “crazy.” In a speech Powell gave alongside Giuliani, she stated a number of unsubstantiated and false claims. For example, in an attempt to link Dominion Voting Systems’ voting machines to the election software of another company, Smartmatic, Powell said the software was created “at the direction” of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to swing his own election results.

First, Smartmatic, though it was founded by two Venezuelans, has not only never provided software tech to Venezuela, the pair did in fact speak out  against voter fraud by the Venezuelan government in 2017. Second, former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez died in 2013.

Additionally, evidence revealed amid the now-settled lawsuit brought by Dominion against Fox News, Powell reportedly claimed to “talk to the wind” and had listed “wackadoodle” ideas in an email about election fraud to Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo.

Co-Conspirator 4 is Jeffrey Clark. This co-conspirator is described in the indictment as a “Justice Department official who worked on civil matters and who, with the Defendant, attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations.” After Attorney General Bill Barr’s departure after the 2020 election, Trump and Clark reportedly plotted to oust the Acting Attorney General and replace him with Clark.

In the indictment Co-Conspirator 4 is further described as having responded to White House Counsel Pat Philbin’s assertion that any efforts to keep Trump in power would spark “riots in every major city” by stating, “That’s why we have an Insurrection Act.”

Co-Conspirator 5 is Kenneth Chesebro, yet another Trump campaign attorney. He is described in the indictment as having “assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” According to the January 6 Committee, Chesebro wrote an email in December 2020 referring to two other members of the legal team that said, “Ward and Townsend are concerned it could appear treasonous for the AZ electors to vote on Monday if there is no pending court proceeding that might, eventually, lead to the electors being ratified as the legitimate ones.”

Though early Wednesday morning the identity of Co-Conspirator 6 remained unclear, but by Wednesday afternoon the New York Times had recognized that a December 2020 email from political consultant Boris Epsheyn to former New York City mayor Giuliani matched a description of one in the indictment.

The email reads, “Dear Mayor, As discussed, below are the attorneys I would recommend for the memo on choosing electors,” and it goes on to identify lawyers in seven states.

According to the indictment, this person was “a political consultant” and goes on to say that Paragraph 57 of the indictment says that Co-Conspirator 1 (Giuliani) “spoke with co-conspirator 6 regarding attorneys who could assist in the fraudulent elector effort in the targeted states” and received an email from co-conspirator 6 “identifying attorneys in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

It was also unclear whether any of the co-conspirators have struck deals with the Department of Justice to mitigate any potential charges for their alleged actions in return for cooperation—though Giuliani has recently denied any claims that he has “flipped” on Trump.

PHOTO: Trump attorneys Giuliani and Powell in December 2020

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