Elected Official Arrested In Murder Of Vegas Journo Who Reported On Him

INSIDE: Fetterman ... Bannon ... Obamas
Journalist Jeff German is shown on the Las Vegas Strip on June 2, 2021. He was found dead Saturday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Holy Crap

Robert Telles, the Clark County public administrator in Las Vegas, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder in the stabbing of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German. Telles’ first court appearance is scheduled for today.

  • German had been reporting on allegations that Telles was bullying and playing favorites with office employees. The journalist was also working on a follow-up story the week he was fatally stabbed.
  • German was found dead outside his home on Saturday after he was stabbed during what investigators believe was an altercation the previous day, according to law enforcement.
  • Telles lost his bid for reelection in the Democratic primary in June after German published his stories. The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted in its report on Wednesday that Telles had publicly criticized German several times via Twitter that month.
  • The Las Review-Journal reporting on the murder of one of its own made for some wild scenes:

The breakthrough in the case came after police released an image of a vehicle tied to the homicide suspect: a red or maroon GMC Yukon Denali.

Police released the image during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Later that evening, Review-Journal reporters observed Telles in the driveway of his home, standing next to a vehicle matching that description.

Schumer Wants To Force A Vote On Marriage Equality Bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters on Wednesday that the Senate will vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would codify the right to same-sex marriage, in the coming weeks. Schumer lacks enough GOP support to pass the bill, but the move gets Republicans on the record on the issue before the midterm elections.

  • Schumer said Democrats would “prefer” to vote on the legislation as a separate bill with enough GOP support instead of attaching it to a must-pass spending bill to keep the government running after the Sept. 30 deadline.
  • There are not 10 Republican senators in support of the bill to overcome a filibuster. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), trailing behind his Democratic rival in the polls, has frantically backpedaled in recent days on what appeared to be his initial support for the bill (which would’ve made him the fifth GOP senator to back it). Now it’s only four Republicans who say they support or are likely to support the legislation:
    • Rob Portman (R-OH)
    • Susan Collins (R-ME)
    • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
    • Thom Tillis (R-NC)

FBI Subpoenas Personal Trump Aide

The FBI has sent a subpoena to William S. Russell, a former Trump White House staffer who continues to work for the ex-president as an aide, in the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to the New York Times.

Fetterman Agrees To Debate Oz

Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman, who’s recovering from some lingering affects of a stroke he suffered in May, told Politico on Wednesday that he plans to face off against GOP rival Dr. Mehmet Oz in a debate “sometime in the middle to end of October.”

  • Maybe Fetterman can ask why Oz, a doctor, once said that certain people don’t have the right to get health care.
  • The Oz campaign has been gleefully attacking Fetterman over his stroke in such nasty terms that even Oz himself tried to distance himself from it by awkwardly claiming that “the campaign’s been saying lots of things” and “I can only speak to what I’m saying.”
  • Two Democratic senators who suffered strokes this year, Sens. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), told HuffPost that Fetterman can rebound and do the job if he gets elected in November.

Bannon Expected To Plead Not Guilty

Ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s lawyer told CNN yesterday that his client will plead not guilty when he turns himself over to New York state authorities to face a new criminal indictment today.

  • The details of the charges haven’t been confirmed, but CNN has reported that the New York case is tied to Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” scheme that got him indicted for fraud by the feds before Trump pardoned him at the 11th hour.
  • Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been probing Bannon’s role in the scam–and Trump’s pardon won’t protect Bannon from any criminal charges the MAGA firebrand is potentially facing in a state-level case.

AOC Recalls Less-Than-Warm Welcome To Congress

In her new cover story profile with GQ Magazine, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) described this dispiriting moment during Democrats’ new-member orientation that was held after her upset victory against then-House Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley (R-NY):

At one point when Crowley was onstage, Ocasio-Cortez recalled that an older male member of Congress sat down next to her, gestured up at Crowley, and, apparently not aware of who he was talking to, said, It’s a real shame that that girl won. “I turned and I said, ‘You know that’s me, right?’ ” she recalled. “And obviously, his face turns pale.”

Obama Gives A Shout-Out To Michelle’s Fineness During WH Visit

The Obamas went the White House yesterday to unveil their official portraits at the National Portrait Gallery:

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Notable Replies

  1. “I wanna thank Sharon Sprung for capturing everything I love about Michelle — her grace, her intelligence, and the fact that she’s fine.”

    Yes. Yes, she is.

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