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Latest Trump indictment includes two big names in Colorado Republican politics

Two co-conspirators named in the latest Trump indictment are big names in Colorado Republican politics: John Eastman and Jenna Ellis.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The latest indictment of former President Donald Trump names 19 co-conspirators, including John Eastman and Jenna Ellis, two prominent figures in Colorado Republican politics.

The indictment, released by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis late Monday, claims Trump's team's efforts to overthrow the 2020 election results and retain power were a criminal conspiracy.

Trump adviser and former CU Boulder visiting scholar John Eastman faces nine counts including racketeering, conspiracy, and filing false documents. 

The Jan. 6 Commission called Eastman one of the architects of the scheme to overturn the 2020 election. He's been indicted for filing legal documents with knowingly false claims, including the claim that tens of thousands of illegal votes were cast in Georgia. 

The indictment says Eastman admitted within the Trump team that "his knowledge that at least some of the allegations in the verified complain were not accurate." 

On Dec. 3, 2020, Eastman testified at the Georgia legislature, while working at CU. During the hearing, he suggested one of two scenarios for Georgia lawmakers:

1. There was election fraud in Georgia

2. State statutes governing elections were not followed

"Your argument is that, essentially, we have a failed election that would require the legislature to step in and assign electors, is that correct?" asked Democratic Georgia State. Sen. Elena Parent.

"Yes," Eastman said.

On May 10, 2022, Next with Kyle Clark interviewed Eastman by phone. One question was if he still believed that four states, including Georgia, should have picked Trump electors even though Trump did not win those states.

"The evidence continues to mount of illegal conduct that affected the result of the election," Eastman said.

Eastman drafted the plan to have Vice President Mike Pence reject electors or stop the vote count to prevent Biden from winning. According to the indictment, he said it was "better for them just to act boldly and be challenged," in regard to Pence's certification of the vote. The indictment also says Eastman "admitted both options violated the Electoral Count Act." Pence ultimately refused to follow Eastman's plan.

Eastman is facing potential disbarment in California, where bar discipline authorities charged him with multiple violations of professional rules, ethics and the law. Much like the indictment, these violations were part of his participation in the election conspiracy. Eastman's asked to postpone the disbarment proceedings pending Trump's criminal charges.

While Eastman doesn't live in Colorado, he's representing the Colorado Republican Party in its lawsuit to end open primaries. The Colorado GOP, which currently has no paid staff, has said it may pay Eastman up to $250,000 for the primary lawsuit.

The second Colorado political figure, Jenna Ellis, is a Colorado native and licensed attorney in the state who was previously a professor at Colorado Christian University and talk radio host on 630 KHOW. Ellis was a legal advisor to Trump during the 2020 campaign who made false claims of widespread voter fraud, including in Colorado. 

Earlier this year, Ellis admitted making false statements about the election and was censured by the Colorado Supreme Court but did not lose her license to practice law.

She faces two counts of racketeering and soliciting a violation of an oath by a public officer.

Ellis has been indicted for her work going around the country, including swing states Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, trying to convince Republican legislators to submit fraudulent slates of electors that would throw the election to Trump. 

The indictment says Ellis wrote a memo urging that "'the Vice President should therefore not open any of the votes' from six states, including Georgia, that were falsely characterized as having 'electoral delegates in dispute.'" These were six states that Trump had lost in 2020. 

The indictment also says Ellis wrote a memo saying Pence should stop the electoral vote count at Arizona and not proceed. 

Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems is also mentioned in the indictment. Dominion machines were at the center of election rigging conspiracies pushed by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, also named in the indictment. Another far-right conspiracy theory created by Douglas County conservative activist Joe Oltmann claims Dominion worked with antifa (anti-fascists) to rig the 2020 election.

Fox News settled a defamation suit with Dominion for $787.5 million earlier this year.

The indictment charges several other co-conspirators with illegally obtaining voting information from Dominion voting equipment in rural Coffee County, Georgia. The allegations from Coffee County mirror the criminal complaint against former Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who faces felony charges for providing illegal access to voting systems so conspiracy theorists could hunt for evidence of voter fraud.

This is Trump's fourth indictment. The first was a hush money case in New York City where he pled not guilty to falsifying business records concerning payments to an adult film star to cover up an affair. The second, he pled not guilty to federal charges for allegedly retaining and obstructing the retrieval of classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago home in Florida. The third, he pled not guilty to charges concerning the Jan. 6 investigation, where he's accused of conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing a congressional proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

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