A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Ex-Attorney General Bill Barr baldly confirmed on Wednesday what we all knew: The John Durham investigation, which ended up being a total bust, into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe was nothing more than political theater–and Barr is “very proud” of Durham’s performance despite the case ending in a speedy acquittal. After all, the former Trump crony got what he wanted.
- Durham “accomplished something far more important” than a conviction; he “brought out the truth,” Barr told Fox News.
- Barr openly praised Durham for using the investigation to peddle MAGAland’s conspiracy theories. Durham, the ex-attorney general said, “crystallized the central role played by the Hillary [Clinton] campaign in launching as a dirty trick the whole Russiagate collusion narrative.”
- Not all Republicans are as happy as Barr, though. They’re pretty mad that nobody got convicted.
Uvalde School District Police Chief Dodges CNN Reporter
Uvalde School District Police chief Pete Arredondo, the officer who’s under scrutiny for leading the local police’s botched response to the elementary school shooting last week, refused to answer a CNN reporter’s questions on Wednesday:
Four Dead After Shooting At Tulsa Hospital Complex
A gunman killed four people after opening fire at the Natalie Medical Building on the campus of St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday, according to local authorities. The police said the shooter was found dead inside the building with self-inflicted wounds.
Hit-And-Run Attorney General Not Running For Reelection
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R), who was impeached for fatally crashing into a pedestrian without reporting it until later, won’t run for reelection regardless of how the state Senate’s impeachment trial ends up for him, according to local outlet KOTA.
- Ravnsborg’s impeachment trial is scheduled for June 21-22. The GOP-controlled South Dakota House impeached the attorney general, who had pleaded no contest to a few traffic misdemeanors in the case, in April.
- South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and other Republicans have been calling on Ravnsborg to resign over the incident, and those calls only intensified after the investigation revealed damning details of the crash–including the victim’s glasses being found inside Ravnsborg’s car.
Judiciary Committee GOPers Take Ghoulish Victory Lap Over Depp/Heard Trial
The Twitter account for House Judiciary Committee Republicans posted this shortly after a jury sided with actor Johnny Depp in his defamation suit against Amber Heard, who had referenced her allegations of abuse against Depp without mentioning his name in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, on Tuesday after an ugly trial:
- The jury found that Depp and Heard had defamed each other: The jury awarded Depp $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages combined, and Heard $2 million in compensatory damages her countersuit against her ex-husband.
“I survived Columbine 23 years ago. Is America finally tired of all this death?” – Craig Nason for NBC News THINK
State Senator Loses Primary By One (1) Vote
Alabama Sen. Tom Whatley (R) was defeated by GOP primary challenger Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey by a single vote.
Santa’s Running For Congress
There’s a guy whose legal name is Santa Claus who’s running in the special election for late Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) seat against ex-GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and dozens of other people. He also couldn’t look more like Santa if he tried (though I’m pretty sure he does).
- Santa Claus is a councilman in North Pole, Alaska (I swear I’m not making that up) and he had his name legally changed to Santa Claus in 2005. His pre-Santa name was Thomas Patrick O’Connor.
- He’s running as a democratic socialist whose platform aligns with that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), according to his campaign site.
Cat Pushes The Gay Agenda
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