How Much More Warning About Trump II Do You Still Need?

INSIDE: Ken Chesebro ... Hunter Biden ... Adam Schiff
New York, NY - May 31 : Former President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference from the lobby of Trump Tower the day after being found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree ... New York, NY - May 31 : Former President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference from the lobby of Trump Tower the day after being found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree at Manhattan Criminal Court, in New York, NY on Friday, May 31, 2024. Trump became the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes as a New York jury found him guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to a porn actor who said the two had sex. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post 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. Sign up for the email version.

The Threat Is Very Real

We have a trio of stories this morning from mainstream news outlets warning of Donald Trump weaponizing the justice system in a second term to go after his perceived political enemies.

The promised retribution of a Trump II reign of revenge is so open, obvious, and direct that you begin to wonder who still needs to heed the warnings.

Is it low-info swing voters who missed the weaponization of the Trump DOJ the first time, haven’t paid attention to the new warnings yet, and are unlikely to see future ones?

Is it mainstream media editors and reporters who also missed the politicization of the DOJ in Trump I and keep falling into the same old lazy campaign and election coverage?

Is it that unicorn, the movable Trump voter who might be finally persuaded that things have gone too far?

Maybe at the margins the drumbeat of warnings will nudge elected officials, lawyers and judges, editors and reporters, bureaucrats and other gatekeepers toward greater vigilance and prepare them for the break-the-glass moments that may lie ahead.

Or are the warnings really just a way of acknowledging amongst ourselves that the threat is quite real, a way of keeping our sanity while Republicans lose theirs? I suspect there’s real and ongoing value in confirming for each other that we’re seeing the same thing, interpreting it the same way, and continuing to prepare for what a Trump victory would bring.

On the downside, the warnings themselves contain and reiterate the underlying threat, they rally and inspire the MAGA urge to intimidate and cause pain, and they give Trump and all the would-be Trumps a chance to preen. It’s not a sufficient downside to dispense with the warnings altogether, but it needs to be factored into the cost-benefit analysis.

The latest batch of stories are not perfect (lacking enough self-awareness to escape the grip of the horserace coverage paradigm), but taken together they are a remarkable portrait of where things stand a week after Trump was convicted and five months before the election is concluded:

  • WaPo: GOP plans aggressive ‘weaponization’ investigations in wake of Trump conviction
  • NYT: The G.O.P. Push for Post-Verdict Payback: ‘Fight Fire With Fire’
  • Axios: MAGA’s jail plan

Meanwhile …

The WSJ is leading today with a story titled “Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping” that cites as leading evidence accounts of meetings with the president from notoriously reliable House Republicans Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Mike Johnson (LA).

Unbelievable How Little Attention This Is Getting

A former colleague and I were lamenting the other day that Trump’s cooptation of Russia’s illegal detention of WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich for his own electoral ends is a travesty that in another era would be the lead story for weeks and cripple any major party candidate. Instead, it was mostly crickets, and Trump has now re-upped his craven plea to vote for him because Putin will do him – and no one else – the favor of releasing Gershkovich:

Charges Filed In Wisconsin Fake Electors Scheme

TPM’s Josh Kovensky was, I believe, the first to obtain the charging documents filed yesterday in the Wisconsin fake electors probe, where Attorney Ken Chesebro, former state judge Jim Troupis, and GOP operative Mike Roman were each charged with one count of entering into a conspiracy to commit forgery.

It’s Coming From Inside The House

TPM’s Emine Yücel: Uptick In Far-Right Ideology In Congress Contributed To Record Number Of Anti-Gov’t Extremist Groups In 2023

Election Year Politics

President Biden announced harsh new restrictions on asylum seekers.

2024 Ephemera

  • NJ-Sen: As expected, Rep. Andy Kim (D) won the Democratic primary to fill the seat of indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D), who is planning to run as an independent.
  • NJ-10: The late Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D), who died in April won the Democratic primary yesterday. A special primary is set for July 16, with a special general election Sept. 18, to fill the seat.    
  • MD-Sen: GOP senators are urging the RNC to back off former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD), an anti-Trumper who gives Republicans an unexpected pickup opportunity in the super close race to take back the Senate.

Hunter Biden Trial

On a day Hunter Biden’s wife was overheard at the courthouse calling a Trump ally a “Nazi piece of shit,” prosecutors began laying out their gun case against him.

Good Read

WaPo: “Far-right conservatives are sowing misinformation that inaccurately characterizes IUDs, emergency contraception, even birth-control pills as causing abortions.”

Barb Of The Day

I have to say I am pleased and a bit surprised to see the flag in this committee is still flying right side up …

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), during Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee

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