In A Second Trump Term, The Rule Of Law Will Be The Enemy

INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Anne Lamott ... Tucker Carlson
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Personal aide to the President John McEntee (L) and White House senior advisor for policy Stephen Miller walk along the South Lawn to Marine One as they depart from the White House on March... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Personal aide to the President John McEntee (L) and White House senior advisor for policy Stephen Miller walk along the South Lawn to Marine One as they depart from the White House on March 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at a Keep America Great Rally in North Carolina ahead of Super Tuesday. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Be Very, Very Afraid

The NYT has a two-part look at what the lawyers staffing a Trump II presidency would look like. It won’t shock you that it looks very, very bad, especially for the rule of law:

Close allies of Donald J. Trump are preparing to populate a new administration with a more aggressive breed of right-wing lawyer, dispensing with traditional conservatives who they believe stymied his agenda in his first term.

Normally, a presidency starts with an A team, and by the end of the first term you’re down to the B team. A second term can often struggle with C-team-caliber talent. But as we all know, Trump started his first term with, at best, B-team-level talent that quickly was supplanted by C-team players and cycled through them so rapidly that by the end, some D teamers were at the top of the ranks. But in MAGA world, that’s a feature not a bug!

All of which means that Trump II would start with the D team and go downhill from there. I’m not being flip. It’s almost impossible to imagine how bad it will be – and the implications are dire.

Here’s a point of reference for you. By the end of Trump I, a D-teamer – 30something John McEntee – was the director of the White House personnel office, an important gatekeeper who oversees the political appointee process throughout the executive branch. Here’s what McEntee is up to now, according to the NYT:

At Project 2025, a well-funded effort by the Heritage Foundation to prepare personnel and policy for the next conservative administration, John McEntee, one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted aides, is part of a team searching for potential lawyers.

McEntee and Stephen Miller are among those leading the charge on stocking a Trump II administration with more radical Trump loyalists.

What are they looking for exactly? While it won’t surprise you that the consequences of four more years of D-teamers and worse would be a disaster for the country, it might catch your attention that the Trump loyalists involved in these efforts see the Federalist Society as too timid and traditional:

People close to the former president say they are seeking out a different type of lawyer committed to his “America First” ideology and willing to endure the personal and professional risks of association with Mr. Trump. They want lawyers in federal agencies and in the White House who are willing to use theories that more establishment lawyers would reject to advance his cause. This new mind-set matches Mr. Trump’s declaration that he is waging a “final battle” against demonic “enemies” populating a “deep state” within the government that is bent on destroying America.

It’s a whole new world, y’all.

All Things Disqualification Clause

Meanwhile, In The MAL Case …

Donald Trump for the first time visited a SCIF to view the classified evidence Special Counsel Jack Smith has amassed against him.

A Viewer’s Guide

Here’s the latest on when to expect the Trump kids to take the stand in the NY fraud case:

Donald Jr., 45, is up first, scheduled to appear on Wednesday; Eric Trump, 39, is scheduled to appear the following day, and Ivanka Trump, 42, on Nov. 8. Trump himself is scheduled to testify on Monday.

Anti-Semitism Unleashed

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray: Anti-Semitism is reaching a “historic level” in the United States. “In fact, our statistics would indicate that for a group that represents only about 2.4% of the American public, they account for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes,” Wray told a House committee Tuesday.
  • NYT: For Europe’s Jews, a World of Fear
  • Cornell student charged with threatening to massacre Jewish students.

Israel-Gaza Watch

  • WaPo: Israeli strikes on Jabalya refugee camp kill and injure hundreds in Gaza
  • Bloomberg:  First Foreigners Exit Gaza Via Egyptian Border
  • NYT: At least a quarter of buildings in northern Gaza are damaged, analysis estimates
  • Senate confirms Jack Lew as U.S. ambassador to Israel

Ukraine Funding Hangs In The Balance

  • WSJ: House, Senate Brace for Showdown on Israel Aid
  • Punchbowl: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is struggling to hold on to GOP support for Ukraine funding.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) insists on pairing aid to Ukraine and Israel together:

2024 Ephemera

  • Political editors remain so enamored of America’s rural idyll that their reporters unconsciously spew stories like this all the damn time: “Biden tries to staunch Democratic losses in rural America.” How often do you see stories on Republicans trying to staunch their losses in urban America?
  • Politico: Democrats have two big governor races in Trump states next week
  • WSJ: Why a 2023 Virginia Election Is a Proving Ground for 2024

For The Olds

Anne Lamott: We are all on borrowed time

‘It Was Always Going to End Badly’

Brian Stelter: The Untold Story of Tucker Carlson’s Ugly Exit From Fox News

Deep Cut

Yeah, it’s a moronic goof. But also: When you’re brain is so besotted from decades of Clinton conspiracizing that you’re making Webb Hubbell jokes in 2023:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: