Experts and reporters speculate who mystery "co-conspirator 6" in Trump's latest indictment may be

The indictment did not name Trump's co-conspirators — but prosecutors left some clues

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published August 2, 2023 1:48PM (EDT)

Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump points as he speaks at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on July 29, 2023. (JOED VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)
Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump points as he speaks at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on July 29, 2023. (JOED VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump's latest indictment, which was handed down on Tuesday by a federal grand jury in its investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack, lists six unidentified co-conspirators alleged to have aided him in the scheme. But while legal experts have identified the first five with confidence, many are speculating online about who the sixth could be.

Trump, who denies any wrongdoing in the case, was charged with four felonies: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He was summoned to appear in court on Thursday by Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is the only federal judge to deliver sentences to Jan. 6 defendants that were longer than what the government requested.

The former president's six co-conspirators were not charged in the indictment, but according to NYU Law professor Andrew Weissman, a former member of special counsel Bob Mueller's team, the sextet will likely be charged "in a separate DC indictment (if that has not happened already)."

"Indeed, the Trump DC indictment reads like an indictment of them already," Weissman tweeted.

Several legal experts and reporters have confidently identified co-conspirators one through five as former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Sidney Powell, former Assistant Acting Attorney General for the Civil Division Jeffrey Clark and Trump-tied appellate attorney Kenneth Cheseboro respectively, per their descriptions in the charging document.

The identity of the unnamed sixth conspirator, whom the indictment describes as "a political consultant who helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding," remains unclear.

Attorneys and reporters dug through the indictment for clues, with some suspecting it could be Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who also works as a political consultant.

"Is Ginni Thomas unindicted co-conspirator # 6?" civil rights lawyer Arthur Benson asked in a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "If so, that would disqualify Justice Thomas from participating in any appeal that reaches the United States Supreme Court."

Benson also named former Trump advisor Peter Navarro, who served in Trump's administration as the assistant to the president and director of trade and manufacturing policy, as the potential sixth co-conspirator.  

Grace Panetta, a reporter for 19th News, pointed to Navarro's 2022 interview with Insider where he recalled that then-Vice President Mike Pence hung up on him when he pitched him an electoral-slate scheme as evidence that the former Trump aide could be the sixth person.

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"A clue for who co-conspirator 6 might be: Peter Navarro recounted last year how VP Pence hung up on him when he was pitching him on "The Green Bay Sweep," a plan he said he & Steve Bannon came up with to overturn the election w/ the fake electoral slates," she wrote on X.

Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman also threw Trump's former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon's, hat into the ring, adding that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow's absence from the lineup of co-conspirators indicates that he's cooperating with authorities.

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Others believe that the sixth individual is more likely to be Trump advisor Boris Epshteyn or former Trump campaign official Mike Roman.

"This piece, from late June, makes me wonder if alleged CC6 in the new Trump indictment is Mike Roman. (Roman or Epshteyn?)," foreign policy reporter Laura Rozen tweeted, citing a June article from the New York Times that describes Roman's efforts to garner support for the creation of a slate of false electors in states like Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan. 

"but, this June 2022 piece makes me think CC6 was Boris Epshteyn," Rozen added, citing another Times article that indicates Epshteyn was acting as a political advisor to Trump following his 2020 defeat rather than his legal counsel. 

"I agree that Co-Conspirator 6 is most likely Mike Roman or Boris Epshteyn. However, I would consider crossing Roman off the list because he attempted to get Ron Johnson to hand the fake electors to Pence on Jan. 6 and that person is named as 'an agent' in the indictment, not CC6," HuffPost senior reporter Paul Blumenthal wrote

"I believe that @fordm is probably right that Co-Conspirator 6 is Boris Epshteyn — who is a lawyer, but at that point was not acting as one, hence his description in the indictment as a political consultant," added former Obama-appointed Justice Department official Eric Columbus.

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

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2020 Election Aggregate Boris Ephsteyn Donald Trump Jack Smith January 6 Mike Roman Politics