A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Jim Jordan’s sham “weaponization” committee was dealt a blow when the FBI revoked the security clearances of three agents “who either took part in the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, or later expressed views about it that placed into question their ‘allegiance to the United States,’” the NYT reports.
Two (Marcus Allen and Stephen Friend) of the three agents are set to testify in Jordan’s circus ring today as among the so-called “whistleblowers” that House GOPers have been touting for months. Allen, Friend, and Brett Gloss have all been suspended by the FBI.
The details of each agent’s actions on and around Jan. 6 or in subsequent investigations are almost hilariously bad – were it not all so serious. How serious?
Taking a step back for a moment, I just can’t emphasize enough how preposterous it is that a significant chunk of the Republican “Deep State” rhetorical argument is predicated on the FBI – the FBI! – being a haven of lefties out to get Donald Trump. That undergirded the propaganda around Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation and report, the defenses to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s two probes, the earlier defenses to the Mueller probe, and the list goes on and on.
The FBI, as I repeat at every opportunity, has never in its history had a Democratic director. Like most law enforcement, it skews conservative. To the extent the FBI has inappropriately involved itself in politics in recent years, it was in harboring anti-Clinton animus.
The rhetorical construct of the “Deep State” should topple over under the weight of its own ridiculousness.
Not Looking Good For Trump In MAL Probe
- CNN: New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
- JustSecurity: Trump’s Most Pivotal, Incriminating Admission on CNN
- Politico: Tim Parlatore, an attorney representing former President Trump in the Mar-a-Lago investigation, has resigned in another shakeup in the tumultuous legal team.
Jack Smith Jan. 6 Probe Still Chugging Along
Bloomberg: “A person familiar with the situation who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly said that several witnesses were scheduled to appear before the grand jury in the election probe into the early summer, an indication that prosecutors are still gathering evidence.”
‘Something Between A Target And Witness’
Politico: Trump 2020 lawyer indicated he may be target of Fulton County probe, court docs say
5 Jewish House Dems Call For Censure Of Gosar
In a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dated May 16, five Democratic members of the House who are Jewish called for the censure of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for his staff’s ties to notorious neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes:
RJC Blasts Gosar Over Staffer’s Ties To White Supremacist
TPM: “The Republican Jewish Coalition slammed Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) following a TPM report that detailed substantial evidence tying Gosar’s digital director, Wade Searle, to Neo-Nazi leader Nick Fuentes.”
CBC Chair Calls On Gosar To Stop Allowing ‘Hate To Seethe From His Office’
TPM: “Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to apologize for allowing ‘hate to seethe from his office’ following a TPM report that detailed evidence tying Gosar’s digital director, Wade Searle, to Neo-Nazi leader Nick Fuentes.
Sampling The Gosar Coverage
TPM’s scoop on the links between Nick Fuentes and Rep. Paul Gosar’s staff continues to reverberate:
Haaretz: Jewish House Democrats Demand House Speaker to Censure Rep. Paul Gosar
Arizona Mirror: A Paul Gosar aide is reportedly a white nationalist. Gosar has long associated with racists.
Jerusalem Post: US congressman’s staffer found to be follower of white supremacist Nick Fuentes
Haaretz: Jewish Groups Slam Rep. Gosar After Staffers Revealed as Followers of White Supremacist Fuentes
Vice: Hard-Right Republican’s Staffer Reportedly a White Nationalist Groyper
Arizona Republic: Rep. Paul Gosar blasted by Jewish groups after 2 staffers linked to white supremacist
Times Of Israel: Key aide to Republican Arizona congressman is white nationalist activist
Mediaite: ADL Calls For ‘Full Investigation’ Into GOP Rep. Paul Gosar Staffer’s Reported Links to Neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes
Arizona Republic: Rep. Paul Gosar staffer is a devotee of neo-Nazi white nationalist
The Independent: One of far-right Rep Paul Gosar’s top aides pledged his loyalty to white supremacist Nick Fuentes, report finds
Things Went Very, Very Badly In Abortion Pill Case
The oral arguments yesterday before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the abortion pill case were a complete fiasco. TPM’s Kate Riga listened in on what passed for judicial proceedings. Not feeling enough dismay this morning? Give it a read.
Harlan Crow Gives Wyden The Runaround
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) suggests to TPM that he’s prepared to subpoena billionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow for more information about his gifts to and financial dealings with Justice Clarence Thomas. So far, Crow has been stiffing Wyden on his formal requests for information.
Judge: Clarence Thomas Ethics Complaint Wasn’t Handled Properly
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf of Massachusetts testified to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee about a decade-old ethics complaints involving Clarence Thomas that in his view was mishandled.
Still Trying To Get Your Head Around The Durham Report?
Another tight summary from the NYT’s Charlie Savage of the various crosscurrents involved in Durham’s appointment, investigation, failed prosecutions, and deeply misleading final report.
There Were Warning Signs
Discord leaker Jack Teixeira was admonished repeatedly late last year and early this year by his Air Force commanders for mishandling classified information, prosecutors allege.
Listen, I don’t want to tell the Air Force how to do their jobs, but come on. pic.twitter.com/gBq0U7Xc0E— Aric Toler (@AricToler) May 18, 2023
She’s Lucky She Wasn’t Prosecuted
The DOJ inspector general report on soon-to-resign Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins went well beyond its expected findings that she violated department rules by attending Democratic political events:
In a sweeping, 155-page report that goes beyond inappropriate appearances at political events, the department’s Office of the Inspector General said Rollins falsely testified under oath and violated a number of other federal rules and DOJ standards.
It’s a particularly egregious account of misusing her office to meddle in politics and then lying about it to investigators.
CNN Still Reeling From Trump ‘Townhall’ Disaster
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour went public with her objections to the so-called “townhall” format the network gave Donald Trump last week, telling a Columbia University audience she had a “very robust exchange of views” with CNN CEO Chris Licht about the matter.
Crossing the 1.5 Degree Threshold
The World Meteorological Organization is now warning that a developing El Niño pattern will push global average temperatures above the 1.5 degree Celsius benchmark set by the Paris Climate Accords – at least temporarily.
Pity The Congressional Witnesses Of This Era
Like Morning Memo? Let us know!