Rudy Giuliani Is Trump Jan. 6 Indictment’s ‘Co-Conspirator 1’ – Rolling Stone

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Donald Trump was the star of the indictment handed down by a federal grand jury on Tuesday but Rudy Giuliani, appearing in the document as “co-conspirator 1,” played the biggest supporting role in the narrative of Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Jack Smith mentioned Giuliani — always as “co-conspirator 1” — 34 times, more than any of the half dozen Trump co-conspirators identified in the charging document. The indictment described Giuliani as an attorney “willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.” 

Despite his prominence in the indictment, the description of him as a “co-conspirator,” and interviews with the special counsel’s office this summer, a spokesperson for the former New York City mayor told NBC on Thursday that he “has not been contacted by the Special Counsel’s office, and he has no reason to believe that he will.”

None of the co-conspirators have been charged, and it’s unclear whether Smith intends to continue his investigation in the events surrounding Jan. 6 or prosecute others in the investigation. 

Tim Parlatore, a Trump attorney who resigned from the former president’s legal team in May, told CNN on Tuesday that the special counsel’s office was “still investigating” others involved in the January. Smith’s decision to charge only Trump and list a half dozen co-conspirators “may be an indication that this is just the initial indictment” and that Smith “is going to try and put pressure on the other six to move over to become cooperating witnesses.”

The special counsel’s indictment describes Giulaini as the pointman for trying to convince officials in battleground states of bizarre and transparently false claims of voter fraud as a basis to appoint bogus slates of alternate, pro-Trump electors in order to help disrupt the counting of electoral college votes on Jan. 6. 

In Georgia, Smith alleged, Giulaini “[misled] state senators into blocking the ascertainment of legitimate electors. In Arizona, he confessed to the state’s House speaker that “We don’t have the evidence [of voter fraud], but we have lots of theories.” In Michigan, he told the state’s senate majority leader that “I need you to pass a joint resolution from the Michigan legislature that states that, * the election is in dispute, *” and that the legislature was investigating, despite no evidence of fraud. 

In an attempt to show that Trump knew—or should have known—that his claims about the election were bogus, prosecutors repeatedly provided glimpses of the Trump campaign’s own frustration with Giuliani’s trafficking in conspiracy theories. In one section, Smith’s office quoted a senior Trump campaign aide complaining that “our research and campaign legal team can’t back up any of the claims made by our Elite Strike Force Legal Team” and called the claims made by Giuliani and his team all “just conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.”

“When our research and campaign legal team can’t back up any of the claims made by our Elite Strike Force Legal Team, you can see why we’re 0-32 on our cases. I’ll obviously hustle to help on all fronts, but it’s tough to own any of this when it’s all just conspiracy shit beamed down from the mothership.”

Other pseudonymous co-conspirators in the indictment are identifiable from descriptions of their work and quotes. 

The indictment refers to John Eastman, a Trump campaign attorney who helped hatch the plot to have Vice President Mike Pence disrupt the electoral count on Jan 6, as “co-conspirator 2.” In one new revelation, Eastman allegedly told the Arizona House speaker to decertify the election and “let the courts sort it out” even though by his own admission he “[didn’t] know enough about facts on the ground.”  

Smith describes Sidney Powell, listed as co-conspirator 3, as “an attorney whose unfounded claims of election fraud [Trump] privately acknowledged to others sounded “crazy.” As Rolling Stone previously reported, the “crazy” reference came after an infamous November 2020 White House meeting with Powell, Flynn, and Trump, which prompted interest from investigators in the special counsel’s office. 

Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department acting assistant attorney general in the civil division, is co-conspirator 4. Clark, according to prosecutors, “attempted to use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud.”


Clark allegedly “tried to coerce” senior Justice Department officials, including former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue into signing a letter to state officials with false claims of election fraud. Clark allegedly told the two he would decline Trump’s offer to make Clark acting attorney general if the two “would agree to send the proposed letter to the targeted states.”

Ken Chesebro, one of the lesser-known players in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election, appears in the indictment as “co-conspirator 5.” Chesebro, who authored a memo that morphed into “a corrupt plan to subvert the federal government function by stopping Biden electors votes from being counted and certified,” according to the indictment.

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