Trump Allies Battle Indictments in Several States


Top allies of Donald Trump are facing unprecedented indictments in at least five states as the former president contends with his own series of four criminal cases amid the 2024 election season.

On Friday, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Mike Roman, a former member of Trump’s campaign team, appeared virtually in Arizona court for a state case to enter “not guilty” pleas to nine felony counts, including conspiracy and forgery. Meadows and Roman were among 18 individuals indicted by an Arizona grand jury in April, alleging that 11 state Republicans and seven Trump aides conspired to send alternate electors to Washington, D.C., to contest President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state.

Arizona Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes announced the indictment on April 24. Meanwhile, three other defendants in the Arizona case, including state Republican James Lemon and former Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis and Boris Ephsteyn, are scheduled to be arraigned on June 18.

Earlier in the week, three men, two of whom are Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia case, were charged with attempts to overturn Wisconsin‘s 2020 election results. However, unlike the Georgia case, Wisconsin Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul filed the felony without using a grand jury, making it one of the most openly partisan indictments against pro-Trump allies thus far.

“Our approach has been focused on following the facts where they lead,” Kaul said at a news conference on Tuesday when he announced three Trump allies were each charged with one count of “forgery,” a felony. In response to Kaul’s case, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) called it “outrageous.”

“Now Democrats are weaponizing Wisconsin’s judiciary,” Johnson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Apparently conservative lawyers advising clients is illegal under Democrat tyranny. Democrats are turning America into a banana republic.”

On Wednesday, the sweeping racketeering indictment in Georgia, in which Meadows and Roman are also charged, hit a new wall of challenges for Willis.

The Georgia Court of Appeals paused all lower court case work in the Fulton County Superior Court for Trump and eight other defendants. The decision came just one day after setting a tentative hearing in early October on Trump and eight other defendants’ effort to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over an alleged conflict of interest by the district attorney.

The sheer volume of cases brought by Democrats, or by a Justice Department under a Democratic administration, against Trump and his allies have fueled Republican claims of a weaponized legal system.

Beyond the Democrats in five states that have brought similar “fake electors” indictments, federal prosecutors have brought unrelated charges against at least two former Trump administration advisers who are now either currently imprisoned or may be facing prison time in the future. A judge on Thursday ordered former Trump administration adviser and War Room podcast host Steve Bannon to surrender himself by July 1 to begin serving a four-month sentence for defying a subpoena from the now-defunct House Jan. 6 committee. Trump’s former trade adviser Peter Navarro is in a Miami prison for a similar offense after he was denied appellate court and Supreme Court relief.

Bannon told reporters outside the federal district courthouse in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that he has “great lawyers, and we’re going to go all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.”

Bannon, who gained widespread attention as the former editor at Breitbart and now retains tens of thousands of viewers on his daily podcast show, said, “There’s not a prison built or jail built that will ever shut me up.”

Bannon attorney David Schoen previously told the Truth Voices that imprisoning the War Room host would backfire politically and that “it should tremendously strengthen the base.”

Trump posted to his Truth Social platform in solidarity with Bannon on Thursday afternoon, saying federal prosecutors looked “desperate” trying to imprison Bannon.

The developments in this array of criminal cases against Trump’s allies follow the former president’s recent guilty conviction by a 12-member jury on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg this week urged Judge Juan Merchan to sustain a gag order limiting some of Trump’s speech imposed on the former president through his July 11 sentencing. The judge’s chosen date for Trump’s sentencing has also caused concern among Republicans, as Trump’s nomination for the presidency will happen just days afterward. Trump’s lawyers have also argued that the gag order could affect the 2024 presidential candidate as he and incumbent Biden prepare for their first debate on June 27.

But while the Georgia case now appears unlikely to head to trial before 2025, Trump still faces two federal cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith: one that accuses him of attempting to subvert the 2020 election that is being litigated in Washington, D.C., and a separate case accusing him of hoarding classified documents and seeking to block government efforts to retrieve those records.

The 2020 election case in Washington, D.C., is paused pending a potentially landmark Supreme Court decision later this month that asked the justices to determine whether Trump has immunity from Smith’s indictment, and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has been moving slowly to bring the documents case to trial, in part because she is seriously considering Trump’s constitutional challenges to the indictment as well as his argument that Smith was improperly appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to each indictment he faces as he seeks to delay trials in the other three criminal cases ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

Here is a look at the different cases against Trump allies:


Kaul this week filed charges against former Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro, attorney and former judge James Troupis, and Roman following media reports dating back to December about a criminal investigation in the state. Chesebro has been cooperative in the probe, in addition to his guilty plea in the Georgia RICO case. Additionally, state GOP officials have resolved a civil case requiring the alternate electors to withdraw their slate and publicly acknowledge Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.


In April, 18 Trump allies were indicted on charges relating to a post-2020 plan to assemble alternate electors, including former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Ellis, John Eastman, and Christina Bobb, along with Roman and Meadows.


Willis indicted 19 people on 41 charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This group includes Trump, Giuliani, and others involved in the alternate electors plan. Four defendants, including attorney Chesebro, who was accused of helping plan the alternate electors scheme, have since taken plea deals. Several alternate electors secured immunity deals before charges were filed.


In July, Michigan Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges for 16 GOP officials who acted as alternate electors after the 2020 election with felonies. One defendant’s charges were dropped in October following a cooperation deal with prosecutors. Trump was labeled an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the investigation, though he has not been charged.


A grand jury in Nevada indicted six Republicans alleged to be responsible for the state’s alternate slate of electors in December. This came weeks after media reports in November revealed that the state’s Democratic attorney general, Aaron Ford, had been quietly investigating the fake electors despite his earlier testimony that state statutes might not address the electors’ actions.

Kaelan Deese
Kaelan Deese
Supreme Court reporter covering the latest happenings at the nation's highest court and the legal issues surrounding Second Amendment rights, abortion, and religious liberties. He previously wrote breaking news as a fellow for The Hill during the 2020 election cycle. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications program in 2019.

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