Trump’s ‘Co-Conspirators’ Are Already Starting to Turn on Each Other

The putative “co-conspirators” identified in Jack Smith’s latest indictment of Donald Trump are already turning on each other — and some of them aren’t even being subtle about it.

Trump’s ‘Co-Conspirators’ Are Already Starting to Turn on Each Other
Trump’s ‘Co-Conspirators’ Are Already Starting to Turn on Each Other

Several of the ex-president’s top aides and alleged co-conspirators in the election-rigging conspiracy, including conservative attorney John Eastman, have argued that the endeavor was entirely legal and based on solid evidence. Others, on the other hand, have recently sought to disassociate themselves from the activities of others, implicitly blaming fellow participants in Trump’s attempted coup for any potential illegal behavior.

“It’s the ‘please don’t put me in jail, put that other guy in jail’ strategy that was bound to come up at some point,” says one attorney close to Trump.

Attorneys for veterans of Trump’s post-election activities, such as Rudy Giuliani and Kenneth Chesebro — both of whom have been named as among the six unnamed “co-conspirators” in the most recent federal indictment of Trump — are now pointing the finger at others on the campaign’s legal team or people close to the then-president. Giuliani and his counsel are now openly criticizing and blaming Sidney Powell, another lawyer who worked on Trump’s post-election initiatives. Furthermore, Chesebro, a key architect of Trump’s fake-electors ruse, is now attempting to downplay his involvement in the campaign, shifting blame and criminal exposure elsewhere.

And, in recent weeks, Trump and his lawyers have made it quite plain that a large part of their legal defense will rely largely on “advice of counsel” claims — in other words, scapegoating attorneys who were only doing what Trump told them to do, or wanted them to do.

Prosecutors appear to be eager to exploit these schisms. According to sources who have been in the room with special counsel employees, the special counsel’s office has signaled in recent weeks that they expect to put pressure on the half-dozen “co-conspirators” named in the Trump indictment. According to individuals who have spoken with the office, representatives of the special counsel’s office look particularly well-briefed on the existing schisms among members of Trump’s post-election initiatives.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the conflict between Giuliani and Sidney Powell — another attorney and accused Trump co-conspirator — is among those being investigated by investigators. Recent witnesses have revealed facts about the two attorneys’ feud behind the scenes. They’ve also informed investigators about the former New York mayor’s private shenanigans in the months leading up to Election Day 2020.

Adding to the intra-MAGAland strife, Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, attempted to put as much distance as possible between his client and part of Powell’s work to keep Trump in power. “Rudy Giuliani had nothing to do with this,” he said flatly, and “you can’t attach Rudy Giuliani to Sidney Powell’s crackpot idea.”

As Rolling Stone reported last week, Powell in particular has been a significant focus of the special counsel’s office, with certain Trump friends already giving the Justice Department with what they see as incriminating evidence against Powell.

“If I were the feds, and I wanted to build cases against the [so far unindicted] ‘co-conspirators’ to apply maximum pressure on them, to see what they’d…have to say about the [former] president, this is exactly how I’d do it,” one person aware with recent questioning says.

According to the source, it is “highly likely that several others will be charged.” “Jack Smith is not slowing down.”

The prospect that one of Trump’s former advisers will testify against him, his aides, or close associates is clearly clear to the twice-impeached former president.

According to two people who have heard Trump ask about this, this summer, Trump asked some of his political and legal advisers to name who they believe are the most “vulnerable” and likely to crack under pressure from prosecutors, particularly among those being investigated or questioned by the special counsel’s office.

Longtime Giulian colleague and Trump loyalist Bernie Kerik participated for a nearly five-hour voluntary interview with special counsel employees last week, and his attorney blamed overblown election fraud concerns on Trumpist fanatic Powell. Kerik is not one of the six unindicted suspected co-conspirators, but federal investigators have asked him to provide information about other alleged Trump associates and other matters.

“Sidney Powell’s conduct stands in stark contrast to that of Rudy Giuliani and President Trump, who were looking to only make claims that could be backed up by evidence,” Kerik’s lawyer Tim Parlatore tells Rolling Stone. Parlatore was previously one of Trump’s senior attorneys in charge of the Jack Smith investigations.

“Having Sidney Powell in the same courtroom would also significantly undermine [Jack Smith’s] case against the president, because the president and his lawyers could easily point to Sidney and say: Over there is evidence of making knowingly false claims, not here,” Kerik’s lawyer argues. And President Trump dismissed Powell’s efforts.”

According to sources close to Giuliani and the former president, this is a sentiment shared by Giuliani, as well as various top members of Trump’s own team, who would be happy if Powell ended up being one of the persons who takes the fall for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the activities leading up to it.

Chesebro, the attorney accused of being an architect of the Trump campaign’s bogus-electors plot, has also intimated that he may be attempting to dissociate himself from the campaign’s effort to swap in slates of phony electors. That is, now that the Department of Justice’s sprawling criminal investigation has centered on the fake-election schemes.

Chesebro’s attorney, in a statement given to Rolling Stone last week, distinguished between memoranda his client wrote for the campaign and how the campaign acted on them. “Whether the campaign relied on that advice as Mr. Chesebro intended,” noted attorney Scott Grubman, “will have to be resolved in court.”

Chesebro’s attorney stated emphatically, “We hope that the Fulton D.A. and the Special Counsel fully recognize these issues before deciding who, if anyone, to charge.”

Chesebro, unlike other notable Trump-aligned attorneys, lacks a long conservative background. He studied under the leftist constitutional expert Laurence Tribe at Harvard Law School and attended a fundraiser for fellow Tribe law student, Barack Obama, in 2004.

Chesebro’s lawyer submitted the statement to Rolling Stone late last week, raising more questions and speculation among Trump’s inner circle.

According to two people with direct knowledge of the situation, the statement, along with other chatter about Chesebro’s recent moves, has led some of Trump’s lawyers and several members of the ex-president’s inner circle to wonder if the architect of the fake-elections plot was attempting to shift all blame and potential criminal liability to Trump and his loyalists.

“These concerns have been shared with the [former] president,” according to one of these sources.

Chesebro’s counsel declined to comment on the matter on Sunday.

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