What House GOP Insanity? It’s Just Another Wednesday

INSIDE: Gal Luft ... Chris Wray ... E. Jean Carroll
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: (L-R) US. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Daniel Webster (R-FL) listen as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a news conference after... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 11: (L-R) US. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Daniel Webster (R-FL) listen as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a news conference after the House passed H.R.2 - the Secure the Border Act of 2023 at the Capitol, May 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Republican-led bill increases spending for security at the southern border through the hiring of additional Border Patrol agents, upgrading existing technology and resuming construction of the southern border wall. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Your Periodic Check-In On the House GOP

I could lard up Morning Memo every day with the latest antics from the House GOP. Their hijinks are never-ending, the damage to civic life ongoing, and the threat to the rule of law is real and present. But to over-focus on their stunts, conspiracy-mongering, and manufactured indignation day in and day out is to be led around by the nose. And yet … so many outlets cede their news judgment to the crazies.

It doesn’t take that much self-awareness to avoid allowing House Republicans to take advantage of journalistic conventions. It’s possible to cover them without being used by them. You can frame it up in your own way, and not become dependent on their framing.

And it should be said that from time to time it is worth it to pull back and behold the entire spectacle as a way of seeing it for what it is.

Just this week, we’ve had:

On the Senate side, meanwhile, you have Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) – unable to denounce white nationalism in the military – single-handedly holding up all senior level promotions at the Pentagon.

And I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet.

Another House GOP Stunt Blows Up In Their Faces

Nothing quite captures the current state of the GOP like the story of the “missing” witness in the House GOP’s effort to drum up a Biden scandal who turned out to be under federal indictment all along and on the lam.

Nincompoop Headline Of The Day

“WSJ: “Indictment of Gal Luft, Called Key Witness by GOP, Clouds Biden Probe”

“Clouds Biden Probe” is for the ages. Well done, WSJ.

Prepare Yourself For Another Media Fail

FBI Director Chris Wray is set to testify today to the House Judiciary Committee in what we think of as a “routine” oversight hearing. But the historic trend toward circus hearings has only accelerated under committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), meaning this will mainly be an opportunity for GOP committee members to air conspiracy theories, political attacks, personal smears, and other damaging nonsense. They do this because it still receives the kind of media coverage that amplifies and extends the disinformation even outside of the right-wing media echo chamber.

Georgia Case Against Trump Gets Rolling Again

Anna Bower has a dispatch from yesterday’s empaneling of a new state grand jury in Atlanta that DA Fani Willis is expected to use to indict former President Donald Trump and others before the end of the summer.

Rudy G Is One Hot Mess

Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss who are suing Rudy Giuliani for smearing them as being part of a made-up election theft scheme are now asking the court to sanction him for consistently and persistently failing to turn over evidence in the case. They are seeking a default judgment against Giuliani.

How’s Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 Probe Coming?

To its credit, CNN has the resources to commit people to monitor the comings and goings at the federal courthouse in DC for signs of who is testifying in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 probe. Here’s the result of that labor. Keep in mind, however, that this can’t be a comprehensive list of witnesses or subjects of the probe. It’s only who CNN has managed to spot at the courthouse.

Big Win For E. Jean Carroll

In a significant shift, the Justice Department said Tuesday that it will no longer defend former President Donald Trump against E. Jean Carroll’s initial defamation suit. DOJ cited changes in the law, new facts, and the jury verdict in Carroll’s favor in her other lawsuit against Trump as deciding factors in changing its legal position in the case. Trial is scheduled for January 2024.

To be clear, this was largely a self-own by Trump, who continued to make disparaging comments about Carroll after his presidency, undermining his argument that he had qualified immunity against her claims.

Iowa Poised To Enact New Abortion Ban

In an extraordinary one-day special session devoted to abortion, the Iowa legislature passed a new six-week abortion ban. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who called the session, is expected to sign the bill later this week.

SCOTUS Launching A Preemptive Strike?

Is the Supreme Court already gunning for a wealth tax that doesn’t even exist yet? TPM’s Josh Kovensky on the high court’s curious decision to accept an obscure tax case.

Why SCOTUS Needs Ethics Rules

The latest report on questionable ethical behavior by a Supreme Court justice – in this case Sonia Sotomayor – simply reinforces why an independent objective standard of conduct is needed. The justices – and journalists and the public – shouldn’t be in the position of having to decide on a case-by-case basis what is and is not okay.

Thanks For All The Feedback!

I appreciated all the emails in response to my request in yesterday’s Morning Memo. I know it takes time and effort to write in. Many thanks!

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