Federal prosecutors’ indictment against former President Trump for efforts to overturn the 2020 election lists six unindicted co-conspirators.
The co-conspirators are not named, but details in the indictment seem to identify a number of close Trump associates, including many who the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol recommended likewise be charged in connection with the scheme.
“The Defendant enlisted co-conspirators to assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power,” the indictment states.
The first co-conspirator, described as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not,” appears to be Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who later became one of Trump’s attorneys, became a central figure in Trump’s post-election challenges, each of which failed to gain any traction in court.
The indictment discusses Giuliani’s actions at length, alleging he pressured lawmakers in multiple states to overturn the election results based on false claims of fraud.
Court documents reference a call and meeting Giuliani had with then-Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), claiming Giuliani knowingly made false claims of election fraud.
“When the Arizona House Speaker again asked Co-Conspirator 1 for evidence of the outcome-determinative election fraud he and the Defendant had been claiming, Co-Conspirator 1 responded with words to the effect of, ‘We don’t have the evidence, but we have lots of theories,’” the indictment states.
The filing goes on to discuss a presentation Giuliani allegedly orchestrated to a Georgia state Senate subcommittee, where Giuliani purportedly falsely claimed that more than 10,000 dead people voted in Georgia.
The indictment notes the co-conspirator spoke at Trump’s Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse, listing a quote that matches Giuliani’s remarks that morning.
Last month, a D.C. Bar Association panel drafted a preliminary recommendation that Giuliani be disbarred based on his work leading up to Jan. 6.
A political adviser to Giuliani defended the former mayor’s actions following the election but did not confirm if he was one of the co-conspirators cited in the indictment.
“Every fact Mayor Rudy Giuliani possesses about this case establishes the good faith basis President Donald Trump had for the actions he took during the two-month period charged in the indictment,” adviser Ted Goodman said.
Harvey Silverglate, Eastman’s attorney, confirmed to The Hill that his client is the second co-conspirator mentioned in the document.
Prosecutors described Eastman as “an attorney who 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 was a central figure in forwarding memos that spurred Trump’s pressure campaign on Pence. Silverglate said he and another attorney would be sending a memo to the Justice Department in the coming days defending Eastman as innocent.
The indictment highlights a point unearthed by the Jan. 6 committee: Though in the days after the election, Eastman advocated for Pence to defy his ceremonial duties, just two months earlier, he had written that neither the Constitution nor the Electoral Count Act permitted Pence any ability to decide the results of an election or “make that determination on his own.”
Court filings also allege Eastman called Bowers, the Arizona House speaker, on the morning of Jan. 4, 2021, urging him to decertify the state’s legitimate electors favoring then-President-elect Joe Biden and “let the courts sort it out.” Bowers then refused.
The indictment also includes a quote from Eastman when he spoke at the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse.
Silverglate said although Eastman has not received a formal target letter from prosecutors, he appears to be a target in the investigation.
“If you look closely at what Eastman did, it is not a crime,” Silverglate said. “He acted as a lawyer coming up with far-out theories. That’s our duty. The Constitution gives people a right to effective representation of counsel.”
Eastman is currently facing disciplinary proceedings in California based on his role leading up to Jan. 6 that could result in the stripping of his law license.
The third co-conspirator appears to be Sidney Powell.
The individual is described in court filings as “an attorney whose unfounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledged to others sounded ‘crazy.’ Nonetheless, the defendant embraced and publicly Amplified Co-Conspirator 3’s disinformation.”
The indictment alleges Trump’s executive assistant in the days following the election emailed the individual and others a document critical of an unnamed voting machine company.
The indictment states the individual filed a lawsuit against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Nov. 25, 2020, alleging the voting machine company enabled “massive election fraud,” a suit that was dismissed Dec. 7. The dates and description correspond to a lawsuit filed by Powell.
“Before the lawsuit was even filed, the Defendant retweeted a post promoting it,” the indictment states. “The Defendant did this despite the fact that when he had discussed Co-Conspirator 3’s far-fetched public claims regarding the voting machine company in private with advisors, the Defendant had conceded that they were unsupported and that Co-Conspirator 3 sounded ‘crazy.’”
The indictment also takes aim at a presentation Powell allegedly orchestrated to a Georgia state Senate subcommittee about her claims, alleging Powell did so “with the intention of misleading state senators into blocking the ascertainment of legitimate electors.”
The Hill has reached out to Powell for comment.
The fourth co-conspirator is described 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 and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.”
That description matches Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department attorney whom Trump mulled installing as attorney general as a way to forward investigations into his baseless claims of election fraud.
Clark pushed the Justice Department to send a letter to Georgia asking it to hold off on certifying its election results so the department could announce an investigation into voter fraud there.
Clark’s proposed appointment launched one of the more contentious Oval Office meetings, with Justice Department officials saying they and numerous others would resign from the department if Trump moved ahead with installing the longtime environmental lawyer.
The indictment points to wrongdoing by Clark leading up to the meeting, including having direct conversations with Trump in violation of Justice Department policy and then lying to superiors about the nature of the exchange.
Clark had his phone seized by the FBI last September in connection with the investigation.
Like Eastman and Giuliani, he is likewise facing the loss of his law license in connection with his role in the effort.
Russ Vought, president of conservative think tank Center for Renewing America, where Clark works as an attorney, declined to directly confirm Clark was one of the co-conspirators.
“These attempts to criminalize legal work and political viewpoints disfavored by the regime show just how far the Deep State has gone in its journey to turn DOJ on Americans they disagree with,” Vought, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under Trump, said in a statement.
“We are fighting with Jeff Clark and all Americans who have been taunted, abused, searched, arrested, and locked up by our federal government,” Vought added.
Prosecutors described the fifth co-conspirator as “an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential elections to obstruct the certification proceeding.”
That description aligns with Kenneth Chesebro, who was previously known to have involvement in coordinating the fake elector scheme.
Chesebro first became involved with the Trump campaign in its legal efforts in Wisconsin, before his work expanded to creating a strategy for fake electors in other target states.
The indictment references three memoranda Chesebro drafted devising a strategy for the scheme, including ideas for how the fake electors could mimic the legitimate electors.
“Kind of wild/creative – I’m happy to discuss. My comment to him was that I guess there’s no harm in it, (legally at least),” an Arizona attorney recounted his conversation with Chesebro in an email, according to the indictment.
The Hill has reached out to an attorney for Chesebro for comment.
A political consultant
Prosecutors also listed a sixth co-conspirator in the indictment, but their identity remains unclear.
“Co-Conspirator 6, a political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding,” the indictment states.
The indictment alleges that on Dec. 7, 2020, the individual emailed Giuliani a list of attorneys who could assist with the fake elector scheme in the seven targeted states.
Days later, the individual allegedly joined a conference call with Giuliani and Cheseboro to talk with Trump’s electors in Pennsylvania.
“When the Defendant’s electors expressed concern about signing certificates representing themselves as legitimate electors, Co-Conspirator 1 falsely assured them that their certificates would be used only if the Defendant succeeded in litigation. Subsequently, Co-Conspirator 6 circulated proposed conditional language to that effect for potential inclusion in the fraudulent elector certificates,” the indictment states.
The indictment also references the individual’s actions on Jan. 6 itself. The individual allegedly attempted to confirm phone numbers for six U.S. senators whom Trump had directed Giuliani to call in an attempt to delay the certification. Giuliani’s calls to the senators were previously known, including a call intended for Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Last updated at 12:08 p.m. on Aug. 2.