A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
The Crescendo v. The Circus
A federal judge is set to hear Hunter Biden’s guilty plea on misdemeanor tax charges this morning in Delaware. The plea deal, which must be approved by the judge, would result in no jail time for the president’s son.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s semi-adjacent Hunter Biden Circus has entered a weird phase where it’s bumping up against the real world. To-wit:
- The House GOP has taken the unusual and absurd step of trying to file an amicus brief in Hunter Biden’s criminal case urging the judge not to approve the plea deal. It’s hard to imagine a world in which the judge allows the filing of such a friend of the court brief. But wait, there’s more …
- In a bizarre twist, the lawyer for House Republicans is claiming that a staff member at the major law firm representing Hunter Biden called the clerk of the court and pretended to be associated with him in an effort to get the amicus brief pulled from the public court record. The judge has looked into the matter on a preliminary basis and found the claim to be credible enough to order Hunter Biden’s law firm, Latham & Watkins, to show cause for why sanctions should not be issued for misrepresentations to the court. For its part, Latham & Watkins told the court:
The matter under consideration appears to stem from an unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication between a staff member at our firm and employees of the Court. We have no idea how the misunderstanding occurred, but our understanding is there was no misrepresentation.
- U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the Trump-appointed prosecutor in Delaware who was left in place by President Biden so as not to interfere in the investigation of his son, has agreed to testify to the House Judiciary Committee – but not until this fall, after the Hunter Biden case is disposed of. It appears that Weiss will rebut GOP conspiracy theories by reaffirming his prior statements that he retained his independence and authority throughout the case.
For more details on the Hunter Biden developments, former Alabama U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance goes deeper.
Trump Indictment Watch
NYT: Prosecutors Follow Multiple Strands as Jan. 6 Indictment Decision Looms on jan 6 probe
Politico: A big lie, an attack on the Capitol — and soon, another indictment
8 Search Warrants Issued In MAL Case
A total of eight search warrants were obtained by prosecutors in the Mar-a-Lago case, and they want to continue to keep most of them under seal. The search warrant for Mar-a-Lago itself was previously known, and most of the rest have been either hinted at or mentioned in court proceedings. There’s reason to think that the balance of the search warrants are probably for electronic devices, not additional physical locations.
Big Admission From Rudy G
In an overnight filing, Rudy Giuliani has admitted to the disputed underlying facts in the defamation lawsuit against him by Georgia poll workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. It appears to be an effort by Giuliani to sidestep looming sanctions for failure to turn over evidence in an ongoing discovery dispute in the case. Giuliani is now arguing that by admitting to the disputed facts of the case no further discovery is needed. But Giuliani still wants to argue that he’s not liable because it was protected speech, and he did not concede that his remarks damaged the two women.
Public Universities Under GOP Siege
A Texas A&M professor was suspended by the university for allegedly criticizing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in a lecture on the opioid crisis.
Nigerian Prince George Santos Scheme Revealed
Before he was elected to Congress, Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and three other men approached a campaign donor for help unlocking the supposedly frozen funds of a wealthy Polish investor who wanted to buy cryptocurrency, the NYT reports:
The donor was immediately skeptical. He was not told the Polish citizen’s name. The men’s plan — having the donor create a limited liability company to gain access to the funds — made no sense to him.
And while they hadn’t yet asked for money, he was struck by how much their pitch resembled the classic Nigerian prince email scheme, in which a rich, potentially fictitious, foreigner asks an outsider to help free up frozen assets.
Ammon Bundy Hit With Multimillion-Dollar Judgment
An Idaho jury has awarded damages against far-right provocateur Ammon Bundy in a defamation suit against him and various other defendants by a local hospital.
Bundy refused to participate in the case and a default judgment was entered against him. The jury was then tasked with awarding damages. The verdict was $26.5 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages, of which Bundy personally was found liable for $6.2 million in compensatory damages and $6.15 million in punitive damages.
Gonna Be Ugly
A House Judiciary subcommittee is scheduled to hold an anti-transgender hearing Thursday titled “The Dangers and Due Process Violations of ‘Gender-Affirming Care.”
Just Another Day In The DeSantis Campaign
- The DeSantis presidential campaign laid off one-third of its staff.
- The DeSantis campaign fired the aide who made and circulated a pro-DeSantis video containing a Nazi symbol.
- DeSantis was uninjured in a wreck involving his motrocade in the Chattanooga area.
Israel’s Ongoing Crisis
Josh Marshall takes a look at Israel’s unending constitutional crisis.
Death Knell For Legacy Admissions?
The Biden Education Department has opened a civil rights investigation into Harvard’s admissions policy.
UPS Strike Averted
The Teamsters and UPS have reached an agreement on a new contract ahead of an Aug. 1 threatened strike.
Mick Turns 80
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