Between the release of the January 6 Committee transcripts and the unsealing of some grand jury orders from last summer, I’ve been pondering how many lawyers were central to Trump’s efforts to steal the 2020 election. Consider this table, for example, which is based on two separate sets of subpoenas (June, November) sent out to the swing states Trump tried to steal. Only the people marked in blue are not lawyers.
Eighteen people on this list — all people who played key roles in one or various plots — have a colorable claim to have played the role of an attorney, though the J6C transcripts show that for some — Boris Epshteyn and Jenna Ellis, for example — there was some dispute about whether they were functioning as lawyers or some other role, like spokesperson. And Sidney Powell was famously formally separated from the campaign.
Add those 18 people to the lawyers on this list, which includes state officials reported to have had their phones seized, Jeffrey Clark (who’s not on the fake elector warrants but is a subject based on other factors), Mike Lindell (whose phone was seized as part of the Colorado investigation into accessing voter machines) as well as five other lawyers known to be witnesses to key parts of the various plots.
Four of these people — the two Pats, Greg Jacob, and Marc Short — were reported to have had Trump’s Executive Privilege claims overridden by Chief Judge Beryl Howell for follow-on appearances before grand juries.
With seven more lawyers added to the list, that’s a total of 25 witnesses, all of whom have to be treated with kid gloves to avoid blowing the entire case.
That’s one reason I’m interested in a detail from the February 24 J6C transcripts from Michael McDonald (NV GOP Chair) and James DeGraffenreid (another NV fake elector). Both men pled the Fifth — there were aspects of Nevada’s fake elector certificates that even Trump’s people admitted presented more serious legal problems. Neither man is an attorney. And both men claimed to have retained the Signal and Telegram texts they had sent using their phones.
Q On your personal devices, did you use any secured messaging applications like Signal, telephone [sic], or WhatsApp?
A Yes, sir.
Q And did you search those applications for any materials that might be responsive to the subpoena?
A Yes, sir.
We saw that DOJ used Scott Perry’s role in the Jeffrey Clark node to identify unprivileged communications (though that approach also yielded a lot of junk communications). I would imagine that that makes people like Mike Roman (who ferried fake elector certificates around but has been dropped from subpoenas) and the two NV fake electors particularly important to chiseling away at privilege claims.