Rudy Giuliani during a news conference in November 2020. Attorney Sidney Powell is at left. Photo for The Washington Post by Sarah Silbiger

In criminally charging former president Donald Trump for his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss, federal prosecutors allege that Trump enlisted six co-conspirators to “assist him in his criminal efforts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and retain power.”

The co-conspirators are not named in the indictment, but five of them can be identified using the detailed descriptions provided by prosecutors. They have not been indicted, and their lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Here’s what we know about them:


The indictment describes “co-conspirator 1” as an attorney “who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies” that Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign would not pursue. Giuliani served as Trump’s personal attorney and was central to efforts by the Trump team to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

A former federal prosecutor and celebrated New York mayor who was regarded as a national hero in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Giuliani spearheaded bogus legal challenges in key battleground states, including Michigan and Georgia, promoting unsupported claims of vast election fraud. He continued to do so even as many state and federal officials – including William P. Barr, Trump’s own attorney general – disputed those claims.

In 2021, New York state suspended Giuliani from practicing law there, citing the false statements he made while acting as Trump’s attorney. In July, a D.C. Court of Appeals committee that oversees attorney conduct recommended that Giuliani be disbarred for the “utterly false” claims he had made as part of his attempts to overturn the election. He is also being sued for defamation by two former Georgia election workers whom he accused of election fraud. In that case, Giuliani said in a legal filing that he is no longer contesting that he made false and defamatory statements about those workers – though he also indicated he will argue that his claims were constitutionally protected speech and did not damage the workers.



“Co-conspirator 2” was 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,” according to the indictment.

Eastman, a conservative attorney who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, crafted a legal strategy that involved creating slates of pro-Trump electors in states that Joe Biden won. He falsely asserted, without evidence, that Trump lost Georgia in part because 66,000 underage people and 2,500 convicted felons had voted in the state that year.

Eastman has remained defiant, even as he faces potential disbarment for his role in aiding Trump. In June, Eastman defended himself before the State Bar of California on 11 charges stemming from allegations that he was the architect of the legal road map Trump followed to try to obstruct the electoral vote count in certain states. The State Bar also accused Eastman of making false and misleading statements regarding alleged election fraud, referencing claims he made at a rally at the Ellipse outside the White House that preceded the deadly riot. If Eastman is found culpable for the allegations, he could lose his license to practice law in California.


The indictment describes “co-conspirator 3” as an attorney whose baseless accusations Trump “embraced and publicly amplified,” even though he privately acknowledged to others that the unfounded claims of election fraud sounded “crazy.”


A former federal prosecutor, Powell became a defense attorney and conservative commentator critical of the Justice Department after representing a banker in the Enron scandal. She represented former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn when he withdrew a guilty plea after admitting he lied to the FBI.

Powell came to the Republican National Committee after the 2020 election with the baseless claim that voting machines had been hacked to rig the election for Biden. After she aired those falsehoods at a poorly received news conference, the Trump campaign distanced itself from her. But she kept filing lawsuits claiming election fraud and airing those allegations on Fox News. In a White House meeting in December 2020, Trump considered naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate the election. After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, she continued to pursue voting machine data and raise money off election falsehoods. She has since been sanctioned for misconduct and repeatedly sued for defamation.

Powell told the House Jan. 6 committee that she did not read or review all the declarations she presented as alleged evidence of election fraud and argued through an attorney that “no reasonable person” would take her claims as fact. She has said in depositions that she still believes her fraud claims will one day be proved true.


“Co-conspirator 4” is described in the indictment as a Justice Department official who focused on civil matters and worked with Trump to “use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.”

Clark was a mid-level Justice Department official friendly to Trump’s views on the election – so much so that Trump considered installing him as acting attorney general. Several former senior Justice Department officials testified about a bizarre effort by Clark to volunteer himself and the Justice Department as advocates for Trump’s bogus claims of massive voter fraud during the election. Clark proposed sending a letter to officials in key states that said the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns” about the vote and that the states should consider sending “a separate slate of electors supporting Donald J. Trump” for Congress to approve, according to hearing testimony from the House Jan. 6 Committee.


Clark’s actions led to a dramatic confrontation at the White House on Jan. 3, 2021, when senior Justice Department officials told Trump they would resign – and many other senior officials would also quit – if the president appointed Clark in place of acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, who was refusing to legitimize the fraud claims. Clark has denied that he devised a plan to replace his boss, the attorney general, and said all of his communications after the election were lawful.


The indictment states that “co-conspirator 5” was an attorney who “assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.”

An appellate attorney who had studied under and worked with Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe, Chesebro was the first to suggest that slates of pro-Trump electors could organize in states that he lost and be recognized by Congress on Jan. 6. He first shared the strategy with a friend representing the Trump campaign in Wisconsin before connecting with Eastman, Epshteyn and Giuliani to coordinate across six more swing states. Chesebro has argued that his communications with the Trump campaign were protected by attorney-client privilege, although he was never paid for his work. He also invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.


“Co-conspirator 6” is described in the indictment as a “political consultant” who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors. The Washington Post has not yet identified that person.

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