A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
In a bit of a reporting coup, ABC News has reviewed copies of the voice memo Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran made of his recollections of his representation of the former president that is now a central piece of evidence in the Mar-a-Lago case.
Some of the highlights from the ABC News report:
- “We’ve got a grand jury subpoena and the alternative is if you don’t comply with the grand jury subpoena you could be held in contempt,” Corcoran recalled telling Trump.
- Trump repeatedly suggested they not cooperate with investigators, Corcoran recalled.
- Corcoran told the former president: “Well, there’s a prospect that they could go to a judge and get a search warrant, and that they could arrive here.”
- Corcoran recalled he was told by a fellow Trump attorney that Trump himself would “go ballistic” over complying with the subpoena and “that there’s no way he’s going to agree to anything, and that he was going to deny that there were any more boxes at all.”
Historic Sentence In Proud Boys Case
Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. It was stiffest sentence handed out to any Jan. 6 defendant to date.
Georgia RICO Case Takes Center Stage Today
The state judge overseeing the Georgia RICO case against Trump et al. summoned some of the parties yesterday for a hearing today at 1 p.m. ET. We anticipate it will be televised. At issue: the motions by defendants Ken Chesebro and Sidney Powell to sever their cases from the other co-defendants’.
In setting the hearing on a tight schedule, State Judge Scott McAfee also asked District Attorney Fani Willis to provide a “good-faith estimate” of how long it would take to present at trial the state’s case in chief against all 19 defendants. He also wants estimates on the numbers of witnesses and exhibits she plans to use.
This will be an interesting early look at how McAfee will handle some of the procedural matters in a case full of them – and at Willis’ approach to trying the case.
Willis Firing Real Bullets
Pretending does not make it so, Willis argued: “Defendant’s argument is akin to claiming that a homemade badge could transform him into a genuine United States Marshal with all the powers afforded that position.”
Georgia RICO Miscellany
There are more procedural twists in the Georgia case than you can easily keep track of, so let me run through a few of the latest developments.
- All 19 defendants have now waived their arraignments and pleaded not guilty ahead of this week’s deadline to do so.
- John Eastman is now seeking to sever his case from the other defendants seeking speedy trials.
- Ken Chesebro filed a motion to dismiss the state case based on a convoluted argument under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
- Sidney Powell is seeking to delay the Smartmatic defamation case against her for 90 days due to her being prosecuted in Georgia.
Who Will Flip On Trump?
- Politico: Trump’s co-defendants are already starting to turn against him
- WSJ: Who Among Donald Trump’s Georgia Co-Defendants Might Flip?
Scott Perry Phone Mystery
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a sealed decision on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s access to the phone of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) as part of the Jan. 6 investigation. But the docket entry included a few clues. Namely, the decision reverses in part the lower court’s ruling giving investigators access to some of the phone’s contents. The appeal court ordered the lower court to “apply the correct standard” when it takes the matter back up, but the exact contours of the decision remain unknown at this time.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team continues to operate at break-neck speed.
When Donald Trump’s lawyers objected yesterday to a sealed filing in the Jan. 6 case, Smith’s team had an immediate and definitive response that suggested the still-sealed filing involves Trump’s out-of-court statements that threaten to “prejudice” the DC jury pool.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that Smith’s Jan. 6 probe continues to look at a possible financial fraud component:
Questions asked of two recent witnesses indicate Smith is focusing on how money raised off baseless claims of voter fraud was used to fund attempts to breach voting equipment in several states won by Joe Biden, according to multiple sources familiar with the ongoing investigation.
Letitia James Keeps Pounding On Trump
The New York attorney general is seeking $20,000 in sanctions against Trump for allegedly recycling the same old frivilous arguments that courts have already rejected.
Just Security has compiled a calendar with all the dates of Trump’s legal and political perils.
Quote Of The Day
Indicted Rep. George Santos (R-NY), denying to TPM’s Hunter Walker that he’s in plea talks with federal prosecutors: “You’re a real hack of a reporter. Please do not contact me any longer or I will deem your unsolicited communication as harassment.”
McConnell Tries To Tamp Down Health Concerns
After a very unconvincing statement last week by the Capitol doctor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a more detailed letter on his health, including ruling out a stroke and a seizure disorder.
Alabama May Be Playing With Fire
The GOP-controlled statehouse has refused to comply with a Supreme Court order to draw its congressional maps with two majority-Black districts. A three-judge panel nixed the new map yesterday, and Alabama immediately appealed to the Supreme Court again.
Kudos to Bloomberg Law:
This Needs To Be On Your Radar
Wisconsin Republicans are already gunning to impeach newly elected state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz before she has even heard her first case. Protasiewicz tilted the balance on the court in favor of more liberal justices, breaking the GOP stranglehold on the state Capitol.
Paxton Impeachment Trial Continues
The Texas attorney general pleaded not guilty on day 1 of his Senate trial in Austin. Impeachment managers are expected to be calling witnesses today. You can watch here.
Gabriel Amo Wins In Rhode Island
Gabriel Amo’s win in the Democratic primary all but clinches the House seat vacated by David Cicilline, setting Amo up to be the first Black member of the state’s congressional delegation.*
*Correction: I misidentified this seat as Rhode Island’s only one in Congress. Apologies to Rep. Seth Magaziner (D-RI) in the RI-2.
- Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) announced his run for the open Senate seat in Michigan.
- Biden campaign names new top aides.
WaPo’s Will Sommer got ahold of a copy of a draft of a private internal audit of the conduct of Project Veritas’ founder James O’Keefe, conducted by an independent law firm.
The Long History Of Right-Wing Trolling
At the end of yesterday’s Morning Memo, I mused on exactly when white Americans started to cosplay identity politics as they understood it. In response, I was directed to this nicely-done 2021 piece by Rick Perlstein – “A Short History of Conservative Trolling” – that suggests it is not new at all, but has always been a component of reactionary right-wing politics.
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