From the legal theories to the obscure characters, much of what was in Jack Smith’s January 6 Trump indictment is stuff readers may have seen over the last three years at TPM. That, of course, is why you’re a member. (Unless maybe you’re not a member. In which case you should absolutely become a member!)
- The person referred to as “Co-conspirator 5” in the indictment is almost certainly attorney Kenneth Chesebro. Chesebro’s only substantial, on-record comments to the press were to TPM’s Josh Kovensky, who profiled him in June 2022. Over two interviews, Chesebro explained how he approached his work for Trump. Josh reflected on those interviews in light of the indictment in a piece published last night.
Read: Trump Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro Talks About His Role In The Runup To Jan. 6
- The fake electors scheme plays a prominent role in Jack Smith’s indictment. That makes sense, as it was the keystone of the plot to overturn the election — the thing everything built toward, with January 6 as its culminating day. This is a point TPM’s Josh Kovensky has made repeatedly over the last few years.
Read: How The Fake Electors Scheme Explains Everything About Trump’s Attempt To Steal The 2020 Election
- As Jack Smith seeks to prove that Trump and those around him knew their claims about election fraud were nonsense, he details one interaction between White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and lawyer Eric Herschmann in which Herschmann informs Meadows that claims of “10k+ supposed dead people voting in GA is not accurate.” Meadows agrees. The two also agree that the real number might be more like 12. This exchange first came out in the House January 6 committee report but few noticed it. TPM was among those few.
Read: Meadows Mocked Rudy Claims Of Dead Voters
- It’s taken for granted now that ex-president Trump’s conspiracy to stay in the White House at any cost started long before January 6 — some time in early 2020 — ramped up in November after the election, and continued even past the Capitol riot. But in the days immediately after the insurrection, the events of that day were often covered as if they happened in relative isolation. TPM was among the first outlets to point out this was not the case. On January 25, 2021, Tierney Sneed and Matt Shuham published an account of the steps Trump took that holds up pretty well.
Read: The Capitol Mob Was Only The Finale Of Trump’s Conspiracy To Overturn The Election
- Among the statutes Trump was ultimately charged under was 18 U.S. Code § 241 – conspiracy against rights. When news of that potential charge surfaced after Trump received a target letter, it took some by surprise. Tierney and Matt both wrote about the possibility back on February 8, 2021.
Read: Why Trump’s Attacks On Democracy Could Be Criminally Charged