friend(s) or associate(s)
cohort - associate
A ‘cohort’ is a person who is a companion or supporter of somebody, especially one in authority, and typically operates under their influence. The word is often used to express disapproval and is frequently seen in its plural form. In a more technical and far less common way, the term can also refer to a group of people within a particular category, especially for the purposes of statistical study.
That man is a cohort of the Mayor, and one of the people responsible for slandering his opponent so that he could win the election.
If you and your cohorts have their way, this company will eschew its founding principles for short-term financial gain.
The leader of the terror cell and his cohorts were arrested during a raid last night. They are expected to stand trial in the coming weeks.