After Gag Orders Reimposed In NY Case, Trump Goes After The Judge’s Wife

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Former President Donald Trump speaks as he returns from a short break during the second day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 03, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

A Perfect Post

Quite a sequence of events yesterday in the NY civil fraud trial of Trump:

  • An appeals court reinstated the gag orders on Trump and counsel that prevent them from attacking the judge’s staff, including his beleaguered law clerk. The appeals court order was issued without comment.
  • The trial judge in the case noted the appeals court ruling in open court and said he would vigorously enforce the reinstated gag orders.
  • Later in the day, Trump flagged on Truth Social an anti-Trump posting falsely attributed to the judge’s wife as further proof of the injustices being committed against him. Confused? Here’s a succinct rundown of what happened:

Trump earlier on Thursday disseminated social media posts falsely attributed to the wife of New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, based on blog posts by far-right influencer and known conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer. The ex-InfoWars contributor screenshot social media posts from a since-shuttered account with the name “Dawn Marie” on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Loomer presented no evidence that the account belonged to Engoron’s wife, who denied it was hers — and told Newsweek that she never had an account on that social media platform. New York’s court system officially corroborated that on Thursday.

This Is How Trump Backs The Blue

While posting false attacks on the NY judge’s wife, Trump also found time to repost this call for the Capitol Police attacked on Jan. 6 to be charged criminally:

Chesebro Is Cooperating In Fake Elector Probe

A series of related updates on the state-level fake electors criminal investigations:

  • Nevada: Former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro “has agreed to sit down with Nevada investigators in hopes of avoiding prosecution” in the fake electors probe there, CNN reports. He is expected to testify to a grand jury in Nevada next week, the WaPo reports.
  • Arizona: Investigators there also want to talk to Chesebro, the WaPo reports, but don’t seem as far along in their probe as Nevada.

Hearings Set For Today In Georgia RICO Case

In hearings this morning at 10:30 ET and this afternoon at 1:30 ET, the trial judge in the Georgia RICO will hear arguments on substantive pre-trial motions.

A Break-The-Glass Moment

A strong, across-the-board analysis by Ilya Somin of the legal, political and democratic values underlying the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause:

Ultimately, barring some types of dangerous people from public office is a useful tool for protecting both democracy and other liberal values. It is far from the only such tool; others include judicial review and separation of powers. But disqualification is valuable in cases where there may be no other way to prevent dangerous authoritarians from reaching positions of power.

Is Today The End Of Road For Rep. Santos?

A floor vote is expected this morning on whether to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from the House. Democrats are lined up to vote to expel him, but it’s harder to get a read on where the House GOP stands.

Notably, the House GOP leadership is not whipping its members on this and is barely taking a public position on how it will vote. A few days ago, expulsion seemed like a sure thing. I think it remains more likely than not, but a lot more doubt about it exists now.

TPM’s Kate Riga filed this dispatch from a surreal Santos press conference early yesterday morning.

We’ll keep you posted today.

Hmmm …

Like Speaker Mike Johnson, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) lists no checking or savings accounts on his financial disclosure form, prompting NewsChannel 5 in Nashville to ask where he obtained the $320,000 he told the FEC that he loaned to his 2022 campaign.

About Damn Time

The Senate Judiciary Committee finally authorized subpoenas for Clarence Thomas whisperers Leonard Leo and Harlan Crow, but not before Republican members of the committee threw every procedural monkey wrench into the works. For his part, Leo says he will not comply with any forthcoming subpoena.

Newsom v. DeSantis

It was a made-for-Fox News debate hosted by Sean Hannity between two polar-opposite governors so it’s really not worth spending too much time thinking about it. But DeSantis is truly a peculiar character whose peculiarities were heightened, isolated, and thrust into the limelight under Newsom’s relentless attack, so you might enjoy watching a bit of it:

Florida GOP Chair Investigated For Alleged Rape

I’m going to let Nicole Lafond catch you up on this but let me tease the details a little bit: Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler accused of rape by a woman in a throuple with him and his wife Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the extremist pro-Trump group Moms for Liberty. Yeah.


NYT: Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago

Fair Question

Josh Marshall: Why Did So Many People Hate Henry Kissinger So Much?

Can We Go Back To That Elon Musk Interview?

I can’t stop watching the interview that Elon Musk gave to “Jonathan” Ross Sorkin:

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Notable Replies

  1. Mom for Liberty is going to beat her scumbag husband to death for ruining her nationwide grift.

  2. Free to read
    Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan Over a Year Ago - The New York Times (

    sraeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.

    The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.

    The translated document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not set a date for the attack, but described a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters.

  3. I’m doing my best to ignore that story, so I’ll just say since she’s not going to come out of it looking any better. She’s probably going to resign as president to “spend more time with her family.” Or any family not her own.

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