What Exactly Is Going On In The E. Jean Carroll Trial?

INSIDE: Jack Smith ... Greg Abbott ... Dark Brandon
MANHATTAN - NY - 04/26/2023 - E. Jean Carroll departs the Southern District of New York Court on Pearl Street after a long day of testimony against former US President Trump which she is accusing in a civil trial o... MANHATTAN - NY - 04/26/2023 - E. Jean Carroll departs the Southern District of New York Court on Pearl Street after a long day of testimony against former US President Trump which she is accusing in a civil trial of rape at the Bergdorf Goodman store in 1996. (Photo by Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Things Went And Got Weird

The cross examination of E. Jean Carroll in her rape and defamation case against Donald Trump is set to resume this morning in federal court in New York City. But a couple of odd developments over the weekend:

  • First, there is some sort of sealed matter that the judge is overseeing related to the case. The first inkling came when the trial was delayed for a bit Thursday morning while the lawyers met with the judge. Then over the weekend, Carroll’s lawyer filed a letter on the record with the court that referenced Thursday’s “brief proceeding under seal concerning an issue that had arisen during trial.” It’s not clear what is going on exactly. MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin does a good job laying out in this thread what we do and do not know (teaser: She doesn’t think it’s a run-the-mill evidentiary issue):
  • Then early this morning Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to declare a mistrial over the judge’s own conduct during the trial. You don’t see this every day:

The best part of all this, however, is the complaint by the Trump team that the judge understood a literary reference that they themselves did not:

To follow the Carroll trial in real time, this is your guy: @KlasfeldReports.

The Latest On Jack Smith

  • NYT: Prosecutors in Jan. 6 Case Step up Inquiry Into Trump Fund-Raising

Here’s the key bit (emphasis mine):

But the Justice Department, with its ability to bring criminal charges, has been able to prompt more extensive cooperation from a number of witnesses. And prosecutors have developed more information than the House committee did, having targeted communications between Trump campaign aides and other Republican officials to determine if a barrage of fund-raising solicitations sent out after the election were knowingly misleading, according to the three people familiar with the matter.

  • WaPo: A second firm hired by Trump campaign found no evidence of election fraud

Here’s the key bit (emphasis mine):

Former president Trump’s campaign quietly commissioned a second firm to study election fraud claims in the weeks after the 2020 election, and the founder of the firm was recently questioned by the Justice Department about his work disproving the claims.

No Verdict Yet

The jury in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy case continues to deliberate.


Gov. Greg Abbott (R) responded to a mass shooting over the weekend in southeast Texas by highlighting the immigration status of the victims (and getting that wrong, too):

NC GOP Wants To Destroy UNC

A bill to eliminate tenure in the UNC and community college systems is on the move in the North Carolina General Assembly.


This isn’t a story about gerrymandering. It’s about the right wing seizing hold of the courts to undermine the rule of law. And it’s on full display in North Carolina right now, where the new right-wing majority on the state’s highest court is undoing its own precedent from last year.

Good Read

Jason Zengerle, who has a book coming out on Tucker Carlson, assesses last week’s firing of the top Fox New host.

Supreme Court Scandal Watch

  • NYT: How Antonin Scalia Law School cultivated ties to justices with generous pay and unusual perks to gain prestige, donations and influence.
  • Chris Geidner: April’s SCOTUS scandal-fest showed us just how out-of-touch the conservative justices are

Hmmm …

Immediate past White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain making sure DOJ hears him loud and clear:

First Republic Goes Down

First Republic Bank was seized overnight in the second largest bank failure in U.S. history, with its remnants sold to JP Morgan.

Welp …

The WSJ obtained a trove of documents that includes the schedules of Jeffrey Epstein, showing him associating with a wider circle of influential and prominent people than previously known.

Dark Brandon

US President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, April 29, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The President went full Dark Brandon to end his WHCA speech:

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