A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
The Dog That Didn’t Bark
Welp, we’re coming up on a month since U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued any meaningful orders or rulings in the Mar-a-Lago documents case – and frankly that’s a generous application of the word “meaningful.”
Back on Aug. 17, Cannon did issue an order but it was more notable for kicking the can on the case than actually moving it forward. And since then, very little has happened in the Mar-a-Lago case. If you’re watching closely to see if Cannon is slow-rolling the case to the benefit of Trump, whose entire legal strategy at this point across multiple prosecutions is delay, then the past month is plenty cause for concern.
Here’s what Cannon still hasn’t done:
- Issued a protective order covering the handling of classified documents in the case.
- Held Garcia hearings on the potential conflicts of interest facing two of the defense counsel in the case.
But it’s actually even a little worse than that: Cannon hasn’t even scheduled hearings on these matters yet, even though they’ve been pending in one form or another for weeks.
I would’t call the protective order under CIPA or the conflicts issues routine or every day matters, but they’re not uncommon either, and they are the kinds of housekeeping matters that you would expect to be handled crisply and cleanly.
Cannon hasn’t held a hearing in the case since July 18. At that hearing she denied the government’s motion for a CIPA protective order and gave it a chance to re-up its motion, which the government did, later in July. The government in early August first raised the potential conflicts of interest for one of the defendants.
Not only has no hearing been scheduled for either matter, but Cannon took a hearing off the calendar instead. When she removed the Aug. 25 hearing date from the calendar, she cryptically said that a hearing on the CIPA protective order “will take place at a designated time and place,” but no hearing has been scheduled on the public docket since then.
One point in Cannon’s defense: The grand jury issued a superseding indictment in late July, adding a third defendant. So there was a need for the arraignment of the third defendant, and the government later raised its concerns about the conflicts of interest of the third defendant’s lawyer, so the case itself hasn’t been static, even if Cannon has.
Just to give you some sense of everything that has happened since Cannon’s last substantive hearing in the case:
- Special Counsel Jack Smith obtained a superseding indictment in the Mar-a-Lago case.
- A D.C. grand jury indicted Donald Trump for his role in the run-up to Jan. 6.
- Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis obtained a sweeping RICO indictment of 19 defendants, including Trump.
Meanwhile, the MAL case languishes. I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see some movement in the MAL case this week, but the last few weeks of dithering shouldn’t escape your notice.
Tarrio: Feds Tried To Flip Me Against Trump
A fascinating account from the NYT:
Mr. Tarrio recounted on Friday in a phone interview from jail, the prosecutors told him that they believed he had communicated in the run-up to the riot with President Donald J. Trump through at least three intermediaries.
The prosecutors, Mr. Tarrio said, offered him leniency if he could corroborate their theory.
Mr. Tarrio said he told them they were wrong. And the discussion with prosecutors — which took place in Miami, Mr. Tarrio’s hometown — apparently went nowhere.
Meadows Defeat On Removal Bodes Poorly For Co-Defendants
Mark Meadows probably had the best case for removal of the Georgia RICO case from state to federal court. With the federal judge rejecting his argument, the remaining defendants, including Trump himself, face bleaker prospects of succeeding. But don’t get too ahead of yourself. The 11th Circuit and perhaps the Supreme Court will have the final word here.
Georgia RICO Miscellany
- TPM: Special Grand Jury Recommended Charges Against Sens. Graham, Perdue, Loeffler
- Anna Bower: Five Observations About the Georgia Special Purpose Grand Jury Report
- Fani Willis turns her attention to pounding on Jeff Clark:
In Defense Of The Disqualification Clause
Ilya Somin: Section 3 Disqualifications for Democracy Preservation
It looks like Donald Trump effed up in two major ways in trying to get that Disqualification Clause lawsuit in Colorado removed to federal court.
Taking Down Rudy G One Dollar At A Time
For the cash-strapped Rudy Giuliani, the hits keep on coming.
Georgia poll workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss are seeking more than $100,000 in attorney fees as sanctions for Giuliani’s failure to respond to their discovery requests in their defamation case against him.
The judge has already approved the sanctions and will now decide whether the amount they’re seeking is appropriate. I wouldn’t expect a dramatic departure from their request.
Conservative Scion Convicted On Jan. 6 Charges
This name should ring a bell.
Leo Brent Bozell IV was convicted Friday after a bench trial of storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Bozell’s father, L. Brent Bozell III, is himself a longtime prominent conservative activist. He was the son of William F. Buckley’s sister Patricia.
The Jan. 6 rioter’s grandfather, L. Brent Bozell Jr., was best buds with Buckley and together they crafted a notorious defense of Joe McCarthy before Bozell ultimately joined McCarthy’s Senate staff.
If you were looking for evidence that Jan. 6 wasn’t an aberration but rather a culmination of the modern conservative movement, Bozell might be Exhibit A.
Jack Smith Miscellany
NYT: He Was Just the I.T. Guy. Then He Got Caught in the Trump Documents Case.
WaPo: A look at the team Jack Smith built to try to convict Donald Trump
Ginni And Leonard
Politico: How a justice’s wife and a key activist started a movement
With the House returning Tuesday after an extended absence, the long-running government shutdown threat moves into its final stages, with funding running out at the end of the month:
WSJ: Hard-Line Conservatives Talk Tough, and Government Shutdown Looms
Politico: McCarthy pressure hits a boiling point
Punchbowl: McCarthy’s nightmarish fall begins
Weak Sauce From Blinken
A Big Deal You May Have Missed
The 5th Circuit upheld in significant part the ghastly decision by a federal judge in Louisiana that the federal government violated the First Amendment by conferring with social media platforms about disinformation.
Death Toll In Morocco Quake Surpasses 2,100
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