A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Not A Great Court Day For Ex-POTUS
A three-judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled unanimously yesterday to temporarily block Judge Aileen Cannon’s shocking order in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, allowing Justice Department investigators to access the classified material the FBI seized from Trump’s Florida resort.
- The court’s 29-page ruling was pretty candid about its incredulity toward Trump’s arguments. The panel noted that the ex-president “has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,” and he’s provided “no evidence that any of these records were declassified.”
- And it doesn’t matter whether Trump declassified the documents anyway, the court said, adding that the declassification argument is a “red herring” because “declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”
- And there was also this little gem directed at Cannon:
- Two of the judges on the panel were appointed by Trump, a reminder that the type of special MAGA treatment Cannon invoked in her ruling isn’t always a guarantee for the ex-president.
Legal Twitter Reacts
Yesterday dealt Trump perhaps the worst one-two legal punch that he’s ever endured, with the New York state lawsuit against his companies on top of the setback at the 11th Circuit. So much to digest:
Trump Claims He Can Declassify Documents Telepathically
Just you wait until Trump blows judicial minds with this new argument he made during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last night:
- Peter Strzok, the former senior FBI agent of Mueller probe fame, homes in on one tell from the wacky interview:
Don’t focus on the crazy start of this. Focus on the end.
“If you’re the President of the US, you can declassify just by saying, it’s declassified, even by thinking about it. Because you’re sending it to MAL, *or to wherever you’re sending it.*
Ginni Thomas Finally Agrees To Testify
The House Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday reached an agreement with far-right activist Ginni Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, for her to testify in a voluntary interview sometime in the coming weeks.
- The development comes after months of negotiations between the panel and Thomas. She told the Daily Caller all the way back in June that she was eager to talk to the committee and “clear up misconceptions” after it was revealed that Thomas had exchanged emails with MAGA coup architect John Eastman.
- Thomas walked back her apparent eagerness to speak to the panel several weeks after her Daily Caller interview, with her lawyer demanding that the committee give a “better justification” for interviewing his client.
NY AG Exposes A Decade Of Alleged Fraud In Sweeping Trump Lawsuit
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Wednesday slapped Trump and his three adult children who helped him run the Trump Organization–Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric Trump–with a massive lawsuit accusing the ex-president of engaging in years of fraud with his businesses.
- James is seeking to have Trump and the adult children banned from doing business in New York ever again. She’s also imposing a $250 million penalty on the ex-president.
- Trump responded to the lawsuit several hours later via his Twitter knockoff in a rant accusing James, a Black woman, of being “racist” and carrying out a “witch hunt” against him.
House Passes Coup-Proofing Bill
The Presidential Elections Reform Act, aka the House Jan. 6 Committee’s proposed guardrails to keep Trump from triggering another Jan. 6, passed 229-203 in the House yesterday. All the “no” votes were Republicans; just nine voted “yes.”
- All the Republicans who did vote for the bill were the ones who’d either lost their primary or retired:
- Jan. 6 committee vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY)
- The only other GOP Jan. 6 panel member, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
- Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC)
- Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
- Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY)
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI)
- TPM’s Kaila Philo lays out how the legislation could keep Trump from exploiting the loopholes in the 135-year-old Electoral Count Act to try to overturn a future election.
Must Read (And Watch)
“Here’s the Secret “Sheriff Fellowship” Curriculum From the Country’s Most Prominent MAGA Think Tank” – Slate
“‘Death to the dictator’: Videos show growing protests in Iran” – The Washington Post
Jan. 6 Panel Has New Info On Pence
House Jan. 6 Committee member Pete Aguilar (D-CA) told Politico yesterday that the panel has received new information on what then-Vice President Mike Pence was doing as Trump tried to pressure him into stealing the 2020 election.
- It’s still unknown whether Pence will agree to testify in front of the committee (he’s said he would “consider” doing so). Panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told reporters on Tuesday that the committee was “still working through it” with Pence’s lawyers.
- Pence is releasing a book in November, so he very well could just pull a John Bolton by refusing to testify and making people pay 30 bucks to hear his side of the story.
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music
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