Trump indictment: Who are the 'co-conspirators'?

ABC News breaks down the latest indictment.

August 3, 2023, 2:16 PM

The indictment against former President Donald Trump references, but does not name, six other "co-conspirators" who took actions alongside Trump.

Based on information in the indictment and publicly available information, five of the co-conspirators have been identified by ABC News to likely be the following individuals:

PHOTO: Trump Indictment: Alleged 'Co-conspirators'
Trump Indictment: Alleged 'Co-conspirators'
ABC News Photo Illustration

Co-conspirator 1: Rudy Giuliani

The indictment describes this conspirator 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."

Specifically, the indictment says it was Trump and this co-conspirator who called Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers to ask him to "use the legislature to circumvent the process" regarding fake electors. In the conversation, this conspirator said something to the effect of, "We don't have the evidence, but we have lots of theories." [Page 10]

Bowers has publicly recounted this conversation in his testimony to the House's Jan. 6 committee and named Rudy Giuliani as the individual who said this.

Co-conspirator 2: John Eastman

The indictment describes this conspirator 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."

In one specific instance, the indictment alleges Trump and this co-conspirator called the Chairwoman of the RNC to "ensure that the plan was in motion," and that during the call this co-conspirator told her that it was "important for the RNC to help the Defendant's Campaign gather electors in targeted states, and falsely represented to her that such electors' votes would be used only if ongoing litigation in one of the states changed the results in the Defendant's favor." [Page 23]

In her testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, according to a clip that was played at the hearings, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said that Trump had called her and, "He turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the results of any states."

PHOTO: In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington, D.C..
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington, D.C..
Evan Vucci/AP, FILE

Co-conspirator 3: Sidney Powell

The indictment describes this co-conspirator as “an attorney whose unfounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledged to others sounded "crazy." It continues: “Nonetheless, the Defendant embraced and publicly amplified Co-Conspirator 3's disinformation,” the indictment continues.

According to the Jan. 6 committee’s final report, Hope Hicks testified that Trump and Powell spoke by phone after a press conference, during which she “repeated the same claims of foreign interference in the election she had made at the press conference.” During that call, according to the report, “Trump muted his speakerphone and laughed at Powell,” and told people in the room “This does sound crazy, doesn’t it?”

Co-conspirator 4: Jeffrey Clark

The indictment describes this co-conspirator 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.”

This is likely Jeffrey Clark, a Trump appointee with the Justice Department who, just weeks before the 2020 election, was named acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

According to the indictment, “Co-Conspirator 4" secretly met with Trump several times in the run-up to Jan. 6, he “tried to coerce” the acting attorney general and acting deputy attorney general to sign a draft letter to Georgia and other states falsely claiming that the Justice Department “had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States,” and he even accepted an offer from Trump to take over the Justice Department as acting attorney general – a move that Trump ultimately abandoned.

While the indictment only says “Co-Conspirator 4,” the Jan. 6 committee report includes some of the same quotes from the draft letter (Page 28 of the indictment) and notes by name that Clark is the one who drafted it.

Co-conspirator 5: Kenneth Chesebro

The indictment describes this co-conspirator as “an attorney who assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

Cross-referencing quotes in the indictment with quotes in the Jan. 6 committee report (and media reports) makes clear that Kenneth Chesebro is co-conspirator 5. For example, the indictment says on page 24 that “Co-Conspirator 5” wrote in an email on Dec. 11, 2020, that “it could appear treasonous for the AZ electors to vote on Monday if there is no pending court proceeding.” The Jan. 6 committee’s report cites a New York Times article quoting Chesebro as writing that email with that same quote.

According to the indictment, this co-conspirator was helping the Trump campaign’s legal efforts for a recount in Wisconsin when he drafted a series of memos that eventually turned into “a corrupt plan to subvert the federal government function by stopping Biden’s electors votes from being counted and certified.”

An attorney in Arizona recounted in an email on Dec. 8, 2020, what co-conspirator 5 told him: “His idea is basically that all of us (GA, WI, AZ, PA, etc.) have our electors send in their votes (even though the votes aren’t legal under federal law – because they’re not signed by the Governor); so that members of Congress can fight about whether they should be counted on January 6th. … Kind of wild/creative.”

Co-conspirator 6: Unknown

The indictment identifies co-conspirator 6 as “a political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

ABC News has not yet confirmed this individual’s identity.

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