A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
This Could Be Really, Really Good
The Delaware judge in the landmark Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox case said in a Wednesday hearing that he would not block the expected forthcoming subpoenas for the trial testimony of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch.
It sets up an amazing potential witness list for the trial scheduled to begin April 17:
- Rupert Murdoch
- Lachlan Murdoch
- Tucker Carlson
- Sean Hannity
- Lou Dobbs
- Maria Bartiromo
- Jeanine Pirro
- Bret Baier
- Dana Perino
- Paul Ryan (Yes, that one! He’s on the Fox board.)
- Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott
- Fox chief legal officer Viet Dinh
I say “potential” witness list because not all of these people may ultimately testify if the case goes to trial AND the case may yet settle. The clock is ticking … 11 days and counting.
Pence Poised To Testify Against Trump
Given all of Mike Pence’s public puffery on this to date, seemingly in service of his own personal political ambitions in 2024, I’m a bit surprised by how quick and complete his climbdown is: Pence will not continue to resist on Speech or Debate Clause grounds a grand jury subpoena in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 investigation.
Pence recently won a narrow carveout not to testify about some things related to his quasi-legislative role as president of the Senate, and he won’t carry that fight any farther. Meanwhile, President Trump fought the Pence subpoena on executive privilege grounds and lost, meaning Pence is free to testify about things related to his executive branch role as vice president. It’s not clear yet whether Trump will appeal that decision.
(One caveat: The court orders in both disputes remain sealed because they’re part of grand jury proceedings, so what we know about them is based on largely anonymous accounts from those directly involved in the case.)
It Bears Repeating: Trump Wanted To Seize Voting Machines In 2020
This whole episode continues to fascinate me … and apparently Special Counsel Jack Smith, too. The highlights of the new reporting from CNN (emphasis mine):
- “Chad Wolf, the former acting Homeland Security secretary, and his former deputy Ken Cuccinelli were asked about discussions inside the administration around DHS seizing voting machines when they appeared before the grand jury earlier this year, according to three people familiar with the proceedings.”
- “Trump’s former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, in a closed-door interview with federal prosecutors earlier this year, also recounted conversations about seizing voting machines after the 2020 election, including during a heated Oval Office meeting that Trump participated in, according to a source familiar with the matter.”
- “Now some of those same officials, including Wolf, Cuccinelli and O’Brien, as well as others who have so far refused to testify, may have to return to the grand jury in Washington, DC, to provide additional testimony after a series of pivotal court rulings that were revealed in recent weeks rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege.”
Indicted Trump Wants To Defund Federal Law Enforcement
The silver lining of Donald Trump perhaps is that the GOP has finally given up its insidious role as the law and order party:
Scoop Of The Day!
ProPublica: Clarence Thomas Secretly Accepted Luxury Trips From Major GOP Donor
Elon Musk Is Playing A Dangerous Game
The reckless and unsupportable decision by Twitter to label NPR as “US state-affiliated media” imperils the public radio network’s personnel in hot spots around the globe. NPR is not state affiliated, it’s not a mouthpiece for the U.S. government, and it bears no resemblance to actual state press organs. Encouraging anyone to think otherwise is a dangerous game.
There Goes Your Invite On My Gulfstream, Paul!
My old colleague Paul Kiel tees up a good one on how the tax code is skewed to benefit the ultrawealthy.
Remember: Urban Means Black
The urban-rural divide in American politics is, of course, real. But the GOP’s grab bag of rhetorical attacks on big Democratic cities is an unadulterated dose of racism. That’s what MTG is trafficking in here with Tucker Carlson. It’s a racist screed against the Black mayor of New York City, with all the usual tropes: dirty, smelly, shiftless, drug-addled, etc:
A Quick Note
As we approach the end of the first week of the TPM membership drive, I wanted to reach out personally to the Morning Memo community for support. Many of you are already members, so THANK YOU! For those who aren’t, becoming a TPM member is the single greatest way to show your support for what we do because, frankly, it allows us to keep doing it. Pretty simple. You know what to do:
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I hope to see you as a TPM member. Thanks again!