Three years after Jan. 6, where are the key players in Trump’s orbit?

In the third year after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump’s allies and loyalists continued to face scrutiny for their roles in the events of that day.

Trump’s close network of former aides, lawyers and advisers have enjoyed mixed fortunes over the past year, both in terms of their places within the former president’s inner circle and their ability to avoid legal and financial consequences.

The riot, meanwhile, loomed heavily over the House Republican caucus in 2023. The issue of how members responded to the attack has become a litmus test for the party’s right flank and a proxy for leadership’s support for the former president, and dominated the October battle for the House speakership.

Still others have paid hefty political costs for bucking Trump, as loyalty to the former president remains a priority for Republican voters.

The loyalists

None of Trump’s allies faced more scrutiny for their role on Jan. 6 in the past year than former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who worked to advance discredited election fraud theories alongside John Eastman and Sidney Powell.

Giuliani filed for bankruptcy in December after a jury ordered him to pay $148 million in damages to two former Georgia poll workers whose lives were upended over his baseless accusations of ballot fraud. He was also indicted in Georgia as an alleged co-conspirator to Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s election results and faces a disbarment proceeding.

Other Trump allies have fared little better. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Eastman, Powell and other key aides were also indicted in Georgia as alleged co-conspirators. Powell struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty in October. Giuliani, Meadows and Eastman have all pleaded not guilty.

Conversely, no loyalist has retained his place in Trump’s orbit quite like Stephen Miller, who crafted many of the Trump administration’s most controversial immigration policies and wrote the speech Trump delivered at his rally on Jan. 6.

In April, Miller testified for six hours before a Washington, D.C. grand jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith as part of his investigation into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riot. That grand jury indicted Trump on several counts of election interference. Miller was not charged in that case and continues to play a key role advising the former president.

The congressmen

Despite initially condemning Trump for the Capitol riot, Kevin McCarthy weeks later made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago and met with Trump.

And last year, McCarthy claimed the House speakership after four days and 15 votes partly thanks to Trump’s calls to dissenting members on the House floor asking them to drop their opposition. But despite supporting a push to “expunge” both of Trump’s impeachments, including the impeachment associated with Jan. 6, McCarthy was left out to dry by the former president, who claimed the speaker gave too many concessions to the White House and Senate Democrats in negotiations for a debt ceiling increase. He resigned from the House in December.

Meanwhile, Speaker Mike Johnson’s role in the lead-up to the riot has come under scrutiny since the little-known Louisianan clinched the top House job after weeks of party infighting. Johnson, at the time a minor figure in the conference, was one of the chief advocates for Republicans to overturn the election results. He has also faced criticism for his decision to release 44,000 hours of footage of the Jan. 6 riot with the faces of rioters intentionally blurred, earning praise from Trump.

Though Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, did not run for speaker, he has drawn attention this year for his role as a go-between for Trump and his allies. A judge ordered Perry in December to provide federal prosecutors with thousands of messages as part of Smith’s investigation showing his communications with key Trump allies and alleged co-conspirators.

The converts

Cassidy Hutchinson, the then-25-year old former assistant to Meadows who became a household name following her 2022 blockbuster testimony to the select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, fled D.C. after her appearance, fearing for her safety.

Despite that, she has continued to speak out against her former bosses in the White House. She released a memoir, “Enough,” this year, and has given interviews along with other former Trump administration staffers-turned-critics Alyssa Farah Griffin and Sarah Matthews, where the trio warned of what they argued were the possible dangers of a second Trump administration. Hutchinson has also accused Giuliani of groping her on Jan. 6.

But perhaps no figure paid the price of their actions on Jan. 6, 2021 like former Vice President Mike Pence, whose presidential bid flatlined in 2023 as GOP primary voters refused to forgive him for his refusal to decertify the results of the 2020 election. Pence, who presided over the certification as part of his constitutional duty, faced intense pressure from Trump, Eastman and others to not certify the results. However, Pence argued he had no constitutional ability to do so, prompting Trump to declare his vice president a traitor.


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