A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Where’d They All Go?
New reporting from the Washington Post with several important new revelations about some of what’s been happening behind the scenes in the Mar-a-Lago case:
- At the urging of the Justice Department, DC Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell ordered Trump to certify that he is not retaining any more classified documents.
- Trump hired an outside firm to search his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and Trump Tower in NYC.
- Trump lawyers told DOJ that the searches turned up no more classified documents.
Trump Org Convicted!
It took a New York state jury less than two days to convict the Trump Org on all 17 counts of tax-related crimes.
- Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg was the star witness for the prosecution but refused to implicate Donald Trump personally.
- The direct impact of the verdict on Trump’s eponymous company will not be devastating. It faces a fine of $1.6 million. Sentencing is set for Jan. 13.
- An alternative juror offered her perspective on the case in an interview with the NYT before the verdict.
Jack Smith Wasted No Time In Taking Over Trump Probes
We got the first real glimpse of special counsel Jack Smith at work in the federal investigation of President Trump’s role in subverting the 2020 election.
As the Washington Post first reported, Smith served grand jury subpoenas on several key counties in swing states where Trump sued to overturn the election results. TPM’s Kaila Philo obtained one of the subpoenas.
The subpoenas appear on their face and from close study to be related to the federal probe into Trump’s fake electors scheme. TPM’s Josh Kovensky explains why the fake electors scheme is at the crux of the criminal investigation.
Ain’t That A Shame
Stephen Miller was spotted at the federal courthouse in DC for the second time in the last week. The presumption is Miller is testifying to one or more of the federal grand juries investigating Trump, but it’s not clear which one(s).
Mike Flynn May Have To Testify This Week
Florida appeals court rejects Mike Flynn’s effort to avoid testifying to a Georgia grand jury investigation into Trump’s election interference.
Jan. 6 Commitee Will Make Criminal Referrals
As part of final flourish before being shuttered by the incoming House GOP majority, the Jan. 6 committee does plan to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department.
Warnock Wins In Georgia
In his second runoff in two years, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) knocked off Republican nominee Herschel Walker, relegating the Heisman Trophy winner to that ignominious list of unbelievably bad GOP Senate candidates that includes Todd Akin of Missouri, Sharron Angle of Nevada and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware. It’s a competitive list, and several high-profile candidates were added this year alone: Welcome, Blake Masters and Mehmet Oz! But it’s fair to say that Walker stands alone at the top of that list. Well done, sir.
Big Case Today At SCOTUS
The cockamamie independent state legislature theory gets a hearing in front of the Supreme Court today. TPM’s Kate Riga will be covering it for us.
QAnon Goes International
Special forces in Germany have broken up an alleged terrorist group that … get this … was plotting to overthrow the government because they believed “Germany is currently ruled by members of a so-called deep state.”
- The heavily armed group, which formed in late 2021 and included former police and military personnel, was allegedly planning an armed attack on the Reichstag.
- 25 people were arrested in 130 early morning raids across Germany involving some 3,000 police and Special Forces officers. A total of 52 people are reportedly under investigation.
- A 71-year-old minor aristocrat was allegedly one of the ringleaders of the plot and was to be installed as Germany’s new leader.
- Prosecutors alleged the group was inspired by QAnon and a right-wing German conspiracy group: “Citizens of the Reich … believes that Germany’s post-World War II republic is not a sovereign country but a corporation set up by the victorious Allies,” the NYT reported.
Two stray items from this week:
Daily Beast: “Right-wing undercover operative James O’Keefe has launched holiday-season layoffs at his nonprofit amid an FBI investigation and a series of other legal problems facing the group.”
WaPo: Rupert Murdoch to be deposed next week in Dominion Voting System’s $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox.
Alaska’s northernmost city posted its warmest winter temperature on record.
Biggs Steps Up To Challenge McCarthy … Again
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) plans to put himself forward as an alternative to GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in next month’s floor vote for House speaker. Biggs, who lost in the GOP conference’s vote for leader last month, won’t win, but he is trying to deny McCarthy enough votes to capture a majority of the House, complicating McCarthy’s path to the speakership and giving Biggs’ fellow right-wing members more leverage.
RELATED: TPM’s Emine Yücel on how much McCarthy has had to promise to try to win over his right flank.
Jan. 6 Hero Heckled By Fellow Cops
Former DC Police Officer Michael Fanone, an outspoken hero of the Jan. 6 attack, says he was heckled by fellow officers at the Capitol Tuesday. Fanone was attending an awards ceremony for the officers who defended Congress:
I was heckled by members of my own department. They called me a piece of s— and mockingly called me a great f—— hero while clapping.
McConnell and McCarthy Snubbed
Family members of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after the Jan. 6 attack, refused to shake hands with the Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) at the awards ceremony Tuesday. Brutally awkward:
Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!