The Coup That Almost Succeeded

INSIDE: Marjorie Taylor Greene ... Tina Peters ... Andrew Giuliani
UNITED STATES - JUNE 28: Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol hearing... UNITED STATES - JUNE 28: Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol hearing to present previously unseen material and hear witness testimony in Cannon Building, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Did You See What I Saw?

The testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson moved us decisively beyond questions of incitement and dereliction of duty by President Trump.

The narrative crafted by the Jan. 6 committee during Tuesday’s hearing was that Trump wasn’t a mere bystander or a hapless egomaniac nursing his personal grievances or a ineffectual leader slow to respond to the moment.

Trump, in the committee’s telling, was the prime architect, mover, instigator and cheerleader for the attempted coup. The well-worn trope that Trump lit the fuse seems anemic and pathetic now. He did far more than light the fuse.

To extend the metaphor, Trump called for the bomb-making, wanted to take down the magnetometers to allow the bombthrowers in to his rally, directed the bombthrowers from his rally toward the Capitol, tried to join the bombthrowers so he could waltz into the House chamber himself, rooted for the bombthrowers from the West Wing, and hindered the federal government and law enforcement from responding adequately to the bombthrowers. In short, Trump was a bombthrower.

Perhaps most tellingly, his own chief of staff, as rendered in Hutchinson’s testimony, seemed to know it all along. At best, Mark Meadows resigned himself to it and at worst he enabled and facilitated it. I find it a strained interpretation that he was merely resigned to it.

Not everyone gets it yet. It’s going to take some time to sink in. Trump wasn’t unaware or indifferent. He wasn’t passive or disengaged. He was an active, willing, aggressive, persistent participant in Jan. 6.

I felt anger rising inside of me as the the hearing pulled back the curtain on Jan. 6 that Merrick Garland’s DOJ has been as slow off the mark as it has. Eighteen months after the barely failed coup the Justice Department is only now getting its act together to reach beyond the rioters to the higher ups. Evidence gets lost. Memories grow stale. The sense of urgency fades. Delay makes building and prosecuting a case harder. Time is of the absolute essence.

The Best of TPM’s Coverage

The Craziest Moments Of Cassidy Hutchinson’s Account Of Jan. 6

A Rundown Of Trump’s Tantrums On And Before Jan. 6, According To Ex-Meadows Aide

Aides Dissuaded Trump From Making Jan. 6 So Much Worse

Ketchup And Broken China

I don’t know about you, but by the time I was 8 years old I had stopped throwing tantrums over my attorney general refusing to play along with my coup attempt:

Like A Mob Boss

It came at the very end of yesterday’s hearing, past the peak of the drama of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, but don’t sleep on the possible obstruction of Congress case Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was pressing against Trump World:

How The Other Half Lives

I’m not going to fall down this rabbit hole, but you should be aware that an entire cottage industry sprung up overnight focused on how the layout of the presidential limo PROVES Cassidy Hutchinson was lying about Trump assaulting his Secret Service agent and lunging for the steering wheel.

Hold Off On The Popcorn

Ginni Thomas won’t testify before the Jan. 6 committee, her lawyer says.

Tina Peters Flames Out In Colorado

The Trump-loving county clerk under indictment for all sorts of 2020 election nonsense fell to third place in the latest tally of the GOP primary to become Colorado’s top election official.

Rodney Davis Falls To Mary Miller In Illinois

Redistricting forced two GOP incumbents to square off in a new very conservative district, where the MAGA-loving Mary Miller defeated Rodney Davis, who hadn’t been ardent enough in his cultish worship of Trump. Davis had voted for a Jan. 6 commission (which never came to be) and voted to certify Biden’s 2020 win.

Marie Newman Loses To Sean Casten in Illinois

Illinois redistricting stuck two Dem incumbents in the same district, where Rep. Sean Casten (D) knocked off Rep. Marie Newman (D) in the Democratic primary.

Andrew Giuliani Loses NY Guv Bid

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) won the GOP primary for governor of New York, knocking off Rudy Giuliani’s on Andrew. It wasn’t even close. Zeldin will face Gov. Kathy Hochul in the fall general election. This was the race that featured the “backslap heard round the world.”

Maybe Not All Is Lost

Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) won in a closely watched GOP runoff despite being in some jeopardy over his vote for a Jan. 6 commission.

Inhoff’s Senate Seat Still Unsettled

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon advanced to a runoff for the GOP nomination to fill the seat of the retiring Sen. James Inhoff (R).

Abortion Rights GOPer Wins In Colorado

Businessman Joe O’Dea, the rare breed of Republican who supports abortion rights, won the GOP primary to face off against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in the fall. Some Democratic outside groups had been touting O’Dea’s more conservative opponent in hopes of setting up a general election matchup more favorable to Bennet.

The Post-Roe World

WSJ: State Judges Are in Spotlight After Supreme Court Overrules Roe v. Wade

The Nation: After Dobbs, the Path Forward Is Not Through the Courts

Slate: The Lawlessness of the Dobbs Decision

Former GOP Congressman Avoids Jail Time

Former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) was sentenced to two years of probation for lying to FBI agents about illegal contributions to his 2016 reelection campaign. Prosecutors had sought six months of jail time.

The Big Picture

The EU bans the sale of internal combustion vehicles by 2035.

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Morning-memo
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: