FBI Seizes MyPillow Guy’s Phone At A Hardee’s

INSIDE: Lindsey Graham ... Ken Starr ... Alex Jones
MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell is seen outside the door of the West Wing at the White House on Jan 15, 2021. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Not A Hardee’s!

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced on Tuesday night that FBI agents “surrounded” him at a Hardee’s restaurant in Minnesota, seized his cell phone and served him a subpoena (in his announcement, the pillow tycoon gleefully waved the order he claimed the feds gave him that said “not to tell anybody” about the subpoena).

  • More specifically, the FBI confronted him while he was in his car at a Hardee’s drive-thru, Mr. Pillow told CNN.
  • The FBI confirmed to the Daily Beast and CNN that agents were “at that location executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge.”
  • The seizure and subpoena were part of the FBI’s investigation into the election equipment security breach in Mesa County that was masterminded by indicted MAGA clerk Tina Peters, according to Lindell and the Daily Beast’s copy of the documents.

DOJ Calls Out Trump Legal Team’s Non-Classification Argument

It hasn’t escaped the Justice Department’s notice that Trump’s lawyers are shying away from invoking in court the ex-president’s bold claim that he already declassified the documents the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago.

  • Trump “does not actually assert—much less provide any evidence—that any of the seized records bearing classification markings have been declassified,” prosecutors wrote in their response to the Trump legal team’s request that Cannon continue to block investigators from using the seized materials in their probe.

Jan. 6 Panel Regroups And … Not Much Seems To Come From It

The House Jan. 6 Committee held an in-person meeting yesterday to work out its next steps, but Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) signaled afterward that the discussion didn’t really lead to any concrete decisions.

  • The panel plans to hold its next hearing on Sept. 28 (as has already been reported), but that date is subject to change, Thompson told reporters.
  • The panel also hasn’t decided what the next hearing will be about, or whether to invite Trump and/or ex-Vice President Mike Pence to testify, according to Thompson.

Graham’s Big Flop

Yesterday Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proudly unveiled his proposed national abortion ban, or what he calls the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act” (virtually everything about that Bible-long title is hogwash, by the way).

  • Graham’s stunt was supposed to be some triumphant show of unity, but unfortunately his fellow GOP senators don’t wanna touch it, so pop goes that particular trial balloon (for now).

Ken Starr Dies

Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose Whitewater investigation eventually led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, died at 76 yesterday. Starr’s family said that his death was caused by complications from surgery at a hospital in Houston, Texas.

Must Reads

“The Kohinoor diamond was obtained by the British Empire. Some argue it should be returned to India.” – NBC News

“As Elizabeth gives way to Charles, realms consider severing ties” – The Washington Post

New Alaska Dem Rep Sworn In

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK), who made history last month by winning the special election for late Rep. Don Young’s (R-AK) seat and becoming the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress, was sworn into office yesterday.

  • Peltola is keeping her GOP predecessor’s chief of staff in the same role in her office as she serves out the last four months of Young’s term. The Anchorage Daily News notes that the Democrat’s family was close with Young.
  • Peltola has the November general election ahead of her, when she’ll be facing off against Libertarian Chris Bye plus Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich (who flatly rejected Palin’s demand that he drop out of the race and thus let her collect more Republican votes in Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system).
  • Fun fact: Washington Post analyst Aaron Blake found that the GOP would’ve kept Young’s seat if Palin had dropped out in the special election. But she didn’t, and now Alaska has a Democratic House representative after nearly 50 years of voting red for that seat.

Alex Jones Faces The Music Again

Yesterday was the first day of far-right tinhatter Alex Jones’ trial in Connecticut, where the jury will decide how much he’ll have to pay the Sandy Hook families in damages for repeatedly lying about their kids’ horrific deaths. Here are some takeaways.

Stefanik Shooting For Another Term As GOP Conference Chair

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is planning on keeping her leadership spot as House Republican Conference chair in the next congressional term: The New York Republican announced yesterday that she’ll be running for the role.

  • Stefanik already has House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) support, according to CNN.

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Notable Replies

  1. “Multi-millionaire” eats at Hardees. Okay.

    Also… does that really work? Claiming to be the “victim” of a criminal investigation? It seems to me that most people aren’t going to feel a whole lot of sympathy.

  2. I always pictured rich people as having chefs and eating well, I guess I was wrong.

  3. Well, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are now the same company (Carl’s on the West Coast, Hardees everywhere else – except they are pretty scarce here in New England, and in New Jersey as well.) Carl’s, before it went bust and was acquired by Hardee’s, was owned by one Carl Karcher, a well known right wing asshole in California. He was busted for insider trading in the 1980s, and in the early 1990s, his own board axed him. Karcher was a member of one of those right wing Catholic cults (the “knights of Malta”), was an early John Bircher, and a general all around crackpot.

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