Much of the focus of former President Trump’s recent indictments has, understandably, been on his re-election prospects and the implications for the rule of law and democracy moving forward. But what about the (so far) six unindicted co-conspirators in the election subversion case? People like attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro may also be facing legal jeopardy.

Eastman, an attorney and longtime fellow at the far right Claremont Institute, was the mastermind behind the plan to have Mike Pence use magical powers to stop the counting of electoral votes on January 6th 2021, and Chesebro was the brains behind the fake electors scheme that saw the Trump campaign put together “alternate slates” of electors to send to Congress on January 6th.

What is a fitting punishment for trying to subvert American democracy?

Prosecution would be the most just and sensible consequence for what they did. But some analysts believe that Smith left the unindicted six out of the case for good reason: A trial with seven defendants, wrote NPR’s Jaclyn Diaz earlier this month, would be infinitely harder and more complicated to try than one with just Trump as the target.

At minimum, the coup lawyers as well as former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark should be disbarred. Eastman, Sidney Powell, Rudy Guiliani, and Chesebro had their fingerprints all over these embarrassing proceedings, and then gave their imprimatur to the lunatic fringe theory that Pence could treat electors invented out of thin air equal weight to those awarded on the basis of free and fair elections in the states. Clark was willing to, in effect, set aside the election results by fiat and then put down the ensuing demonstrations using the Insurrection Act.

Unfortunately, there is not a national procedure for disbarring lawyers, which is a decentralized process in the states and different court systems. Disbarment proceedings have already been initiated in California against Eastman, and an ethics complaint was submitted in New York last year against Chesebro. Efforts to disbar Powell in Texas don’t seem to be going very well, while Guiliani has been the subject of disbarment hearings in Washington, D.C.

Those are the plausible repercussions, allowable under current statutes, and one hopes they succeed. But surely disbarment doesn’t feel like enough somehow, which had me dreaming up more cosmically appropriate punishments.

In this combination image, a government file photo of John Eastman (L) and Donald Trump arriving to speak to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Gov.org; BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty

What about exile to Russia? Vladimir Putin’s flailing dictatorship is the perfect destination for failed American coup plotters. After all, the New Right has become thoroughly infatuated with Putin’s anti-woke authoritarian dystopia. In 2017, Eastman’s Claremont Institute colleague Christopher Caldwell wrote that using “traditional measures for understanding leaders,” Putin should rank as “the pre-eminent statesman of our time.” According to Caldwell, Putin “restrained the billionaires who were looting the country and “restored Russia’s standing abroad,” for which he deserves the admiration of conservatives.

Caldwell is hardly alone; Tucker Carlson once ranted approvingly, “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia?”

Sounds like paradise!

Russia is even, conveniently, building a community for U.S. and Canadian conservatives who want to get out from underneath the yoke of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion HR initiatives and live in a place where you are free to express your true electoral preference for one man and only one man.

What patriotic American wouldn’t celebrate seeing these traitors repatriated somewhere more fitting than a vibrant, functioning democracy!

The U.S. Constitution, sadly, lacks a provision to impose exile on American citizens. Which leads me to the next scenario in my wishful thinking: They could be forced to teach courses to undergraduates at Claremont College.

The Claremont Institute has no affiliation with any of the five Claremont Colleges, instead parasitically trading on the name ID—the equivalent of progressives setting up a Harvard Institute eight feet from Cambridge. Accustomed to hosannas from the crowds at National Conservatism conferences and the right-wing lecture circuit, one of the worst punishments someone like Eastman could suffer would be getting sentenced to teach first-year seminars at, say, Scripps College, where he would spend the rest of his life marinating in the palpable loathing that a supermajority of young people feel for his New Right ideology.

Unfortunately, academic hiring committees generally have to conduct national searches that tend not to land on the intellectual apologists for overthrowing democracy. Those people usually wash up sooner or later as temporary appointments at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

There is one final possible fate for the gormless coup crew, one that is so terrible to contemplate that I raise the possibility only to dwell upon its true horror: They could be sentenced to house arrest along with Donald Trump, not at Mar-a-Lago but in the $100 million Trump Tower penthouse suite in New York City owned by the most dedicated Man of the People ever to serve as our president. They wanted Trump to stick around for another four years, right? Well now they will get to stick right to him, perhaps serving as his chefs and party planners and housekeepers.

Imagine the Downfall-style raving sessions, and years of nothing but burgers and taco bowls and the sound of one unhinged man screaming at his phone in the bathroom. It’ll surely make them all wish they were on the “pardon list” that Eastman dreamed about before it all came crashing down.

David Faris is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Roosevelt University and the author of It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. His writing has appeared in The Week, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Washington Monthly and more. You can find him on Twitter @davidmfaris.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.