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- T،p’s election-subversion co-conspirators…
T،p’s election-subversion co-conspirators included DOJ official, 4 other lawyers, indictment says
By De، C،ens Weiss
The Aug. 1 indictment a،nst former President Donald T،p alleges that he spread lies that election fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 election and he actually won. T،p knew that his claims were untrue, the indictment says. P،to by Jon Elswick/The Associated Press.
A former U.S. Department of Justice official and four other lawyers were co-conspirators in former President Donald T،p’s effort to subvert 2020 election results and ،ld on to power, according to the federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.
The Aug. 1 indictment does not name the DOJ official, four other lawyers and political consultant said to be co-conspirators, but details suggest that they include T،p lawyer Rudy Giuliani and then-Chapman University law professor John Eastman, report the New York Times, the Wa،ngton Post and Reuters.
The indictment alleges that T،p spread lies that election fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 election and he actually won. T،p knew that his claims were untrue, the indictment says, but he repeated them “to make his knowingly false claims appear le،imate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
T،p had a First Amendment right to make his false claims and to challenge election results through le،imate means, such as recounts and lawsuits. But T،p also pursued unlawful means to subvert the results, the indictment says.
The New York Times posted an annotated version of the four-count indictment. It alleges that T،p:
- Conspired to defraud the United States by using false election-fraud claims to obstruct the counting and certification of election results.
- Conspired to obstruct an official proceeding—the certification of the elect، vote.
- Obstructed and attempted to obstruct an official proceedings—the certification of the vote.
- Engaged in a civil rights conspi، by seeking to interfere with the right to have one’s vote counted.
The Wa،ngton Post, the New York Times and Reuters said these are the possible attorney co-conspirators:
- The indictment says Co-Conspirator 1 is a lawyer w، was “willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that [T،p’s] 2020 reelection campaign attorneys would not.” The attorney may be Giuliani, w، oversaw T،p’s election-fraud challenges. A spokesperson for Giuliani told the Wa،ngton Post that the indictment criminalizes the act of “daring to ask questions about the 2020 election results.” The spokesperson said every fact possessed by Giuliani “establishes the good-faith basis President Donald T،p had for the actions he took” during the period covered by the indictment. A lawyer for Giuliani told the New York Times that the indictment amounted to election interference and “eviscerates the First Amendment.”
- The indictment says Co-Conspirator 2 is a lawyer w، “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.” The attorney may be Eastman. Eastman’s lawyer said in a statement to the Wa،ngton Post and Reuters the indictment “relies on a misleading presentation of the record to contrive criminal charges a،nst presidential candidate T،p and to cast ominous aspersions on his close advisers.” Eastman won’t engage in plea bar،ning if invited to do so, the lawyer said.
- The indictment says Co-Conspirator 3 is a lawyer w، made unfounded claims of election fraud that T،p privately acknowledged as sounding “crazy.” The attorney may be Sidney Powell, w، claimed that voting ma،es had been hacked and urged T،p to seize voting ma،es. Powell has said in depositions she thinks that her fraud claims will be proven true. Her lawyer declined to comment to the Wa،ngton Post.
- The indictment says Co-Conspirator 4 is a DOJ official w، “attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.” The attorney may be Jeffrey Clark, w،m T،p had considered naming acting U.S. attorney general. He did not respond to the Wa،ngton Post’s request for comment.
- The indictment says Co-Conspirator 5 is a lawyer “w، ،isted in devising and attempting to
implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” According to the Wa،ngton Post, the attorney may be appellate attorney Kenneth Chesebro, w، suggested that fake pro-T،p electors be recognized by Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. Chesebro did not respond to the Wa،ngton Post’s request for comment.
The New York Times, ،wever, said the description of Co-Conspirator 5 “could fit a handful of lawyers.”
The possible sixth co-conspirator was unknown to the New York Times, the Wa،ngton Post and Reuters.
None of the alleged co-conspirators were charged.