Durbin Not Buying Ridic Biden Deal For GOP Anti-Abortion Judge

INSIDE: Graham ... Viktor Orbán ... A Look At The Universe
Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) questions Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Wash... WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) questions Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Corrupt Bargain In Jeopardy

If Biden ends up going through his apparent agreement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to nominate Chad Meredith, a longtime anti-abortion Republican, as a federal judge in Kentucky, it’s not a sure bet that Meredith will actually get a confirmation hearing.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Politico on Monday, “Imagine how controversial it would be within the Democratic caucus,” adding that “We’ll wait and see if we receive [the nomination] and then we’ll decide.”
  • Biden’s reported head-scratcher of a deal with McConnell is that GOP leader wouldn’t obstruct the President’s other picks in exchange for Meredith’s nomination. Slate reported that the picks McConnell agreed not to stonewall are nominees for two U.S. attorney posts in Kentucky.

Georgia Judge Orders Graham To Testify

A judge in Fulton County, Georgia issued an order on Monday directing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to testify to the special grand jury in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation, calling the GOP senator a “necessary and material witness” in the probe.

  • The judge ordered Graham to testify in front of the grand jury on Aug. 2. Willis wants to focus on the senator’s shady calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), according to her subpoena.
  • This isn’t the end of Graham’s fight against Willis’ subpoena, however. You can bet he’ll be appealing the judge’s decision and drag out the process.

Today’s Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump’s Call For Violence

The House Jan. 6 Committee is holding a public hearing today at 1 p.m. ET, which will focus on how Trump summoned the mob of his supporters, including far-right extremist groups, to the Capitol, and on connecting the dots between those extremists and Trumpland.

  • There’ll also be testimony about Trump’s infamous White House Dec. 18 meeting about seizing voting machines, according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
  • The committee hasn’t said who will testify. We do know it won’t be indicted Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who had offered to publicly testify just hours before the DOJ filed new allegations against him and his Oath Keeper buddies in their seditious conspiracy case.
  • These are at least two of the witnesses, according to reports from CNN, NBC News and ABC News:
    • Jason Van Tatenhove, who was a spokesperson for the Oath Keepers
    • Stephen Ayres, the Jan. 6 insurrectionist who posted Trump’s infamous call to come to the “wild” rally on Facebook

Judge Shoots Down Bannon Bid To Delay Trial

Steve Bannon’s trial in his criminal contempt case will proceed as scheduled on July 18, a judge ruled on Monday, after the ex-White House adviser’s gambit with a last-minute offer to testify to the Jan. 6 committee proved to be a flop with the Justice Department.

  • It was a bad day for Bannon overall yesterday. The judge rejected several explanations the former Trump official gave for flouting the House Jan. 6 Committee’s subpoena, leading Bannon’s frustrated lawyer to gift us with this amazing complaint:

“What is the point of going to trial here if there are no defenses?”

– The lawyer of a very innocent guy

Barr Finds Himself Ensnared In Dominion’s Fox Defamation Suit

Dominion Voting Systems subpoenaed former Attorney General Bill Barr last week in its enormous $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News.

  • It’s not a mystery why Dominion might see Barr as a valuable witness: The ex-DOJ official told the House Jan. 6 Committee, under oath, in a recorded testimony available for all to see, that Trump’s lies about the 2020 election were “bullshit.”
  • Dominion has also subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and Chris Krebs, the ex-top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security whom Trump fired for debunking MAGA voter fraud conspiracy theories.

GOP’s Lovefest With Viktor Orbán Takes Another Step

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is slated to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas in early August, fully closing the gap between U.S. conservatives and the leader of a backsliding democracy.

  • CPAC already hosted Orbán as a star speaker at its special session in Hungary in May. In his speech, the far-right leader urged Republicans to go for a media takeover because “the madness of the progressive left can only be demonstrated if the media is there to help us do it.”

New UK Prime Minister To Be Announced In September

Britain’s Conservative Party will announce the results of the Tories’ leadership election for disgraced ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s replacement on September 5.

The Right-Wing Media Cesspit: Mad Guy In A Bow Tie Edition

This Fox News guest visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation and was disgusted to find out that the woke tour guides at Jefferson’s plantation actually tell visitors that Jefferson was a slave owner:

But as David Kurtz points out here, this “recent Monticello visitor,” aka Jeffrey Tucker, apparently has ties to a white nationalist neo-Confederate organization known as the League of the South, which would explain why he was so butthurt about the tour.

Space Is Cool

Let’s take an even closer look:

Get Thee To A Punnery

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