A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Finally Going After Bigger Fish?
Justice Department investigators looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection are now looking at the planning for the pro-Trump rally at the Ellipse that took place before a mob of Trump supporters ransacked Capitol grounds, according to the Washington Post and the New York Times.
- The grand jury in the DOJ’s investigation has issued several subpoenas to some people in Trump’s circle who were involved in the rally, the Post and the Times report. One of the subpoenas reportedly focuses on people who were “classified as VIP attendees” at the rally.
- MAGAland’s fake Trump elector plot is also part of the investigation now, according to the Times.
- The Justice Department is also now scrutinizing those in the executive and legislative branches who were involved in any pre-insurrection rallies or tried to “obstruct, influence, impede or delay” Congress’ Jan. 6 certification of the election results.
Biden To Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve
The President is slated to announce today that his administration will be releasing about a million barrels per day from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve for several months to combat skyrocketing gas prices caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Washington Post reports. Several other outlets have similarly reported that Biden is considering the plan.
- Gas prices have shot up nationwide to an average of $4.23 per gallon as of this morning, according to AAA.
- Biden will be giving a speech about gas prices today at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Arizona GOP Guv. Signs Anti-Abortion, Anti-Voting And Anti-Trans Legislation In One Day
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) neatly packaged his party’s top targets in their war on civil rights on Wednesday, during which he signed the following into law:
- A sweeping abortion ban that prohibits the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, only medical emergencies.
- More voting restrictions that require all Arizonians to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote in both state and federal elections.
- Two bans targeting transgender youth. One forbids access to gender-affirming care for people under 18, the other bars female transgender students from participating in women and girls’ school sports teams.
Does McCarthy Want Us To Believe Cawthorn Doesn’t Know What Coke Is?
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Wednesday had a Very Serious Talk with Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who claimed several days ago that Congress is rife with cocaine parties and orgies. McCarthy then told Politico that Cawthorn claimed in their Very Serious Talk that A) it might’ve been a staffer, not a lawmaker, he saw doing coke “in a parking garage maybe 100 yards away” and B) he didn’t know what cocaine was.
- McCarthy’s big punishment for Cawthorn: “He’s lost my trust.” Also the threat that there could “very well could be” more Very Serious Talks based on “what actions are taken” by Cawthorn in the future.
- Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) told CNN he’s backing Cawthorn’s primary opponent, North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards (R), because Cawthorn “hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of results over the last 18 months.”
Ivermectin Doesn’t Work For COVID, New Study Shows
The results of a new clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveal that ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug generally given to horses, doesn’t work as effective treatment for COVID-19.
Biden Gets Second Booster Shot
The President received a second booster shot for COVID-19 on Wednesday, a day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized second boosters.
CBS Honcho Admits Mick Mulvaney Hire Was For ‘Access’ To Republicans
One of the co-presidents of CBS News told upset network employees that Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was hired to be a contributor because “getting access to both sides of the aisle is a priority” and “we know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms,” according to the Washington Post.
- A senior CBS News producer reportedly tried to defend Mulvaney’s hiring by pointing out the fact that 74.2 million people voted for Trump. LOL.
- Mulvaney’s there to provide “political analysis,” according to the network’s press release. Again, LOL (except it’s pretty hard to laugh when you’re watching one of Trump’s worst cronies get rehabilitated into a supposedly trustworthy source of insight in real time!).
Commission To Dig Through More Than 750 Pentagon Items To Help Weed Out Confederate Names
The Naming Commission that was established by Congress to take down names of military bases honoring Confederate leaders will comb through more than 750 items, including not just bases but also roads, signs, bridges and fields on properties belonging to the Defense Department.
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