President Donald Trump’s attorneys – the group of lawyers working to overturn the election results in his favor – pegged themselves as ‘elite strike force team’ in a bizarre press conference at the Republican National Committee.
But the group of five – Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Boris Epshteyn, Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing – are more known for their engagement with conservative media, appearances on Fox News and their public advocacy for Trump rather than for winning election cases.
Here’s a look at the president’s legal team:
Rudy Giuliani: Hair apparent
He made his name in New York City as a top federal prosecutor where he battled the mob. He became a national hero on September 11th, when, as mayor, he led the city through the worst terrorist attack in American history.
But at 76, he has served as Trump’s personal lawyer for years and has fed him conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine and argued it was a Ukrainian company that had the server with Hillary Clinton’s emails.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said they believe Giuliani is a target of an influence operation from the Russian government. Giuliani is believed to have business clients with ties to the Ukraine although he has not revealed his client list.
Now he’s reported to have asked the Trump campaign for $20,000 a day to spearhead Trump’s effort to overturn the election results.
He’s told the president that his other advisers have not been telling him the truth about his chances of success in his legal battles to overturn the results of the election, The New York Times reported.
On Friday, Trump put Giuliani in charge of all election-related litigation and communications for it. That resulted Thursday’s press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters where Giuliani, with hair dye dripping down both sides of his face, spouted baseless conspiracy theories about voter fraud while praising the movie ‘My Cousin Vinny.’
Trump elevated Giuliani, a source told The Wall Street Journal, because ‘he was the only person telling the president he could win.’
Sidney Powell: Plans to unleash the Kraken
She represented Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and has been a major promoter of viral conspiracy theories about vote switching – theories she repeated on Thursday.
In her series of bizarre claims, she said Hugo Chavez (who died in 2013) was part of a group of communists from China and Venezuela helping to rig the election in Joe Biden’s favor.
She also claimed that operators of Dominion voting machines went in and injected votes for Biden while deleting votes for Trump. She has shown no proof of her claims.
She has said she will ‘release the Kraken’ when it comes to proving voter fraud – a phrase that trended on Twitter.
Trump first noticed her when she was on Fox News defending Flynn, her client. She has accused the Justice Department of prosecutorial misconduct against Flynn.
She also has alleged special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was part of a plot by the intelligence community to force President Trump from office.
Jenna Ellis: Called Trump an idiot in 2016
Ellis, a legal adviser to the Trump campaign, was reportedly part of an internal coup that put her and Giuliani in charge of the post-election legal strategy.
White House aides have expressed concern about her.
She was viewed as an uncontrollable figure inside the campaign who often provided President Trump with questionable information about alleged voter fraud.
And she appeared on television without asking for approval from campaign officials, aides told The Washington Post.
She dubbed herself ‘President-Elect Jenna Ellis’ on Twitter.
During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, she called Trump an ‘idiot,’ a ‘bully’ and agreed that he was someone intent to ‘destroy American democracy.’
Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing: Anti-Soros conspiracy theorists
The husband-and-wife legal team are panelists on Newsmax, a right-wing media outlet. They used to be regulars on Fox News until DiGenova made wild claims that much of the State Department was under the control of a well-known Jewish financier George Soros.
Trump wanted them on his legal team for his impeachment trial – he was said to be impressed with diGenova’s defense of him on Fox News – but the two were unable to join due to conflicts of interest.
They represent Ukrainian businessman Dmitri Firtash, who was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with bribery and racketeering.
They also reportedly worked with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of Giuliani’s who were arrested on charges of campaign finance violations.
A former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, diGenova pushed the theory that lawmakers tried to frame Trump when they investigated whether his campaign colluded with Russia four years ago.
Toensing represented Scooter Libby, the assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, when Trump pardoned him.
Boris Epshteyn: Eric Trump’s Russian-born friend
He was the Chief Political Commentator at Sinclair Broadcast Group until December 2019 when he joined President Trump’s re-election campaign.
He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States as a child with his parents. He met Eric Trump at Georgetown University, where Epshteyn received his law degree.
Epshteyn became a special assistant in the Trump administration when the president first took office. He wrote Trump’s controversial statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2017, which omitted any mention of the Jewish people. He later resigned from the White House in March 2017.
He also testified behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
Rudy Giuliani was surrounded by a maskless group on stage including from left Sidney Powell, who is Mike Flynn’s attorney, Joseph diGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing, a husband-and-wife lawyer team who have promoted conspiracy theories, and Boris Epshteyn, a Trump aide