A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
The chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division has reached out to Trump’s lawyers in recent weeks telling them that the DOJ believes the ex-president is still clutching government documents he unlawfully took when he left the White House, according to the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
- Trump lawyer Chris Kise (aka the attorney who wisely made notorious lawyer-stiffer Trump pay him $3 million upfront), reportedly suggested recently that the ex-president hire an independent firm to find more documents. Trump’s more “combative” lawyers (in the Times’ words) suggested the ex-president be more aggressive toward the DOJ. Guess who won?
- FBI agents found dozens of empty folders that were marked as holding sensitive materials when they raided Mar-a-Lago, the DOJ has reported.
Fox News CEO Warned Against Giving Election-Denying ‘Crazies’ A Bullhorn
In the face of Trump and Co.’s fury over Fox News calling Arizona for Biden on election night, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott told her colleagues, “We can’t give the crazies an inch,” according to an attorney representing Dominion Voting Systems in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against the right-wing network.
- Fox News executives tried to stop Fox Business anchors Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from letting then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Krakenista Sidney Powell go on their shows to peddle the Big Lie, the lawyer said during a court hearing on Wednesday.
- A lawyer for Fox didn’t dispute the Dominion attorney’s accounts.
Biden Warns Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ At Highest Risk Since Cuban Missile Crisis
The President sounded the alarm over the possibility of Russian leader Vladimir Putin unleashing his nuclear weapons arsenal in his flailing Ukraine invasion.
- Until now, “we have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said during a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser on Thursday.
- Biden said he was still trying to figure out Putin’s “off-ramp” in Ukraine, where the Russian leader’s military is “significantly underperforming.”
GOPers Saw Trouble With Herschel Walker Nearly Two Years Ago
While the report of Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker paying the mother of one of his children to have an abortion reportedly came as a huge shock to the GOP, Republican operatives have known since early 2021 that Walker had a massive amount of baggage that could sink his campaign, according to the Washington Post.
Biden Pardons All Federal Marijuana Possession Offenses
The President issued a sweeping pardon on Thursday to all Americans and permanent residents who were convicted on simple marijuana possession charges under the Controlled Substances Act.
- More than 6,500 people have been charged with marijuana possession, according to a Biden administration official.
- Biden has also directed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review marijuana’s current classification as a Schedule I drug under federal law. That classification puts weed on the same level as heroin.
- Biden called on governors to similarly pardon state-level marijuana possession offenses.
Sasse Expected To Peace Out
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) is expected to announce today plans to resign to accept a job as the new president of the University of Florida, according to local outlet KFAB. His successor will be chosen by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), per state law.
Next Jan. 6 Hearing Scheduled For Thursday
The House Jan. 6 Committee will hold what’s likely to be its last public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.
A Scathing Georgia Judge
Fulton County Superior Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing a legal challenge against Georgia’s abortion ban, shot down on Wednesday state attorneys’ motion asking to delay the scheduled Oct. 24 trial until after Election Day.
You really need to read the judge’s order, which is positively dripping with disdain for that request:
Since then, the State has filed a motion seeking to either “cancel” (not a term of civil procedure with which the Court is familiar) or postpone the trial. The State has offered four reasons for this “cancellation,” which can be summarized as “We are really busy with other things,” “There are no facts in dispute,” “We don’t know what facts are in dispute,” and “You can’t do what you are trying to do.” The Court’s response, detailed below, can be summarized as “Who isn’t?,” “There are,” “You do,” and “I can.”
There was also this little footnote tacked to McBurney’s remark that everyone in the case “can be adequately prepared” for the trial at the date he’d set:
Russians Flee To Alaska By Boat To Escape Putin’s War Draft
Two Russians fled by boat to Alaska to seek asylum from Putin’s partial mobilization order in his war on Ukraine earlier this week. They sailed about 300 miles from Egvekinot, a town in Northeastern Russia, to St. Lawrence Island, a small Alaskan island, according to Alaska’s News Source.
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