Boris Epshteyn is a right-wing attorney and political consultant who was an advisor to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. In 2017, he became chief political analyst for Sinclair Broadcast Group, which reportedly worked with the 2016 Trump campaign to generate favorable coverage of the candidate in newscasts on its 173 television stations.
In the weeks following the 2020 presidential election, Epshteyn worked closely with Trump allies to overturn the results, acting as a coordinator and go-between for people inside and outside the campaign and the White House who were committed to keeping the former president in power.
January 6, 2021
- Epshteyn shared attorney John Eastman’s detailed proposal for Jan. 6 with Rudy Giuliani and made arrangements for Eastman to visit the White House on Jan. 4 to join a meeting at which Trump pressured Pence to reject certifying electors and discussion of seizing voting machines took place. He also took care of paying Eastman.
- On Dec. 27, 2020, Epshteyn wrote an email saying that Trump “liked” the attorneys’ aggressive approach of refusing to certify the Electoral College count.
- Epshteyn was part of the Trump post-election team that gathered at the Willard Hotel in Washington to strategize about overturning the 2020 election.
- Trump’s team made calls from the Willard Hotel to state legislators.
- In the hours before the Jan. 6 insurrection, The Guardian reported, Trump called his team at the Willard—including Epshteyn—to discuss ways to postpone the election certification. At that point, Vice President Pence had already indicated he would not commandeer the certification vote as Trump proposed. “He’s arrogant,” Trump said of Pence in a call to aides at the Willard.
- On Jan. 6, Epshteyn posted a photo of himself in D.C. for the rally that preceded the insurrection. “Proud to be at the @realDonaldTrump Save America, Stop the Steal rally today!” he wrote.
- In January 2022, Epshteyn acknowledged in an MSNBC interview that he had participated in the scheme to get Republicans from Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona to submit fake slates of electors for Trump. “I was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors,” Epshteyn said, “for when the challenges to the seated electors would be heard.”
- Epshteyn apparently coordinated between people inside and outside the White House on the fake electors project and received many emails on this topic.
- On Jan. 18, 2022, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued Epshteyn a subpoena seeking “documents and a deposition” relating to his involvement with the insurrection and obstruction of the peaceful transition of power.
- In September 2022, the Justice Department seized Epshteyn’s phone as part of its ongoing investigation into the fake electors scheme.
The Big Lie
- On Nov. 19, 2020, Epshteyn joined Jenna Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and other members of the Trump legal team for a press conference to call into question the results of the election. Epshteyn posted a photo from the event on Twitter with the caption “COUNT ALL THE LEGAL VOTES!”
- In the weeks following the 2020 election, Epshteyn repeatedly inveighed against the election results on his Twitter account, which is followed by over 128,000 users.
- “We can absolutely and definitely say that President Trump is fighting for justice and he’s fighting for election integrity in this country,” Epshteyn said on Newsmax in December 2020. He posted a clip of his appearance on Twitter, with the caption: “Great speaking to @SebGorka on @newsmax about @realDonaldTrump’s continued FIGHT for JUSTICE and ELECTION INTEGRITY.”
- In the year following the election, Epshteyn made appearances on Newsmax, Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast (which Epshteyn co-hosts), and One America News to contest the results of the 2020 election and spread election disinformation.
- Epshteyn actively supported Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (R ), a lawmaker who promoted the lie that the election was stolen from Trump and lost his bid for secretary of state in Arizona in 2022. The two of them both spoke at a January 2022 rally in Arizona along with other big promoters of the Big Lie.
- On Twitter and in media appearances, Epshteyn promoted partisan election audits in Arizona and other states.
- In a May 2021 clip from War Room titled “Audit Train is Coming for Pennsylvania,” Epshteyn described Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state, as “completely triggered” in the face of the partisan audit there. “Arizona is the prototype and Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin are gonna be following that prototype, that is what’s happening,” he said of other GOP audit attempts. “The freight train of audits is moving across the country.”
- In another episode of War Room, Epshteyn appeared with Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (R) and made the disproven claim that Maricopa County had destroyed evidence in anticipation of the partisan “audit.”
- In a Sept. 23, 2021 tweet, Epshteyn wrote that the Arizona election “should have never been certified.”
Post-2020 Election Subversion
- Following the events of the Insurrection and attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Epshteyn has become an even more trusted advisor to Trump and his legal team have navigated investigations and legal battles on a variety of fronts, according to Politico.