Trump trap: Long list of witnesses includes his inner circle
Potential witnesses at former President Trump's criminal trials could include his vice president and now-rival for the GOP nomination, the chair of the Republican National Committee, one of Trump's own lawyers and at least seven current advisers.
Why it matters: Trump's legal troubles have blanketed the vast network of aides, lawyers, advisers and associates that fueled his takeover of the Republican Party. Many remain Trump loyalists — raising thorny conflict-of-interest questions that further tie the campaign to the courtroom.
Driving the news: Trump has agreed not to communicate with any known witnesses about his indictments unless through an attorney — a commitment that could prove difficult for a famously unrestrained candidate surrounded by them.
- Prosecutors have identified 84 witnesses in the classified documents case alone, including Trump's valet and co-defendant Walt Nauta, who traveled with the former president to his arraignment in the D.C. case last week.
- Also traveling with Trump were advisers Jason Miller and Boris Epshteyn, both of whom were involved in post-election challenges in 2020 and were interviewed by prosecutors.
- The classified documents indictment accuses Trump of showing a military map to senior adviser Susie Wiles, who has taken an active role finding and financing lawyers for Trump associates, CNN reports.
- Campaign aides Liz Harrington and Margo Martin were present at a 2021 meeting in which Trump was recorded boasting about a classified document — triggering a superseding indictment last month.
- RNC chair Ronna McDaniel was on a December 2020 call in which Trump and attorney John Eastman discussed the plot to assemble fake electors, according to the Jan. 6 indictment.
Between the lines: To understand the scale of Trump's tangled web, just look at the lawyers defending him and his associates.
- Evan Corcoran, whose detailed notes gave prosecutors a roadmap to indict Trump in the classified documents case, remains on Trump's legal team and was present in the courtroom for last week's arraignment.
- Prosecutors have requested a hearing in the classified documents case to discuss potential conflicts posed by Stan Woodward, an attorney who represents Nauta and at least three possible government witnesses.
- Attorney Todd Blanche represents Trump in all three indictments, including the Manhattan hush money case. He also represents Epshteyn, whose cell phone was seized in the Jan. 6 investigation last year.
The bottom line: Days after signing a court order pledging not to intimidate witnesses, Trump unleashed a barrage of online attacks against former Vice President Mike Pence.
- Pence has vowed to "comply with the law" if called to testify at trial — but his first face-to-face with Trump during the campaign could come on debate stage.