A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
Trump Accountability Keeps Chugging Along
A flurry of developments yesterday in the various efforts to break the glass before Donald Trump is elected to a second term.
No one defining event. No breakthrough moment. No real satisfaction yet. But a steady drumbeat of serious efforts undertaken in good faith and making incremental progress.
Colorado Supreme Court Considers DQing Trump
It was remarkable to hear for the second time in as many months a state Supreme Court considering whether to bar Trump from the ballot under the Disqualification Clause for having committed insurrection against the United States.
In contrast to last month’s case in Minnesota, where Trump has won for now, the Colorado high court’s oral arguments yesterday seemed better developed, more on point, and truly grappling with the historic and legal significance of the moment. The lawyers on both sides, including the former Colorado secretary of state defending Trump, were quite capable and effective advocates.
Still, the court offered few clues as to how it would rule in the case.
Fake Electors Indicted In Nevada
The Nevada attorney general obtained indictments of six fake Trump electors in the 2020 election subversion scheme. Among the accused is current Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald. Each of the six defendants faces two felony counts apiece.
This case emerged only recently, even though we’re nearly three years past Jan. 6. The Georgia RICO case and other recent legal developments seem to have sparked renewed interest, primarily among Democratic attorneys general, in the fake electors schemes in their states.
Fake Electors In Wisconsin Settle Civil Suit
The 10 Trump fake electors in Wisconsin have settled the claims against them in an unusual civil case by admitting that Trump lost, withdrawing the elector certificates they submitted, and agreeing not to serve as electors in 2024.
Former Trump lawyers Ken Chesebro and Jim Troupis are also defendants in the case. They did not settle the claims against them, and the case will continue.
A Taste Of What’s To Come
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained some of the names of the nearly 200 people reportedly on District Attorney Fani Willis’ witness list for the RICO trial of Donald Trump and his codefendants. No major surprises, but among the standouts:
- Mike Pence
- Bill Barr
- Jeffrey Rosen
- Richard Donoghue
- Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)
- Steve Bannon
- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
- Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
The usual caveats: Willis may not end up calling everyone on the list, and the working list could continue to change up to and during trial.
Tepid Headline Of The Day
Boston Globe: “Legal experts express concern over Trump’s comments about not being a dictator except for ‘day one'”
Senate Republicans Block Ukraine Aid
It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Congress will approve new aid for Ukraine before its holiday recess.
Garland Plans To Use Dormant War Crimes Statute
This was probably the biggest news of the day: Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the first ever prosecution under a nearly 30-year-old war crimes statute.
The prosecution of four Russian soldiers for alleged war crimes against an American in Ukraine may presage other war crimes prosecutions arising from the Russian invasion, Garland said.
Garland also acknowledged that DOJ is investigating the murders of Americans by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack and may bring charges under the war crimes statute or anti-terrorism laws.
For a deeper dive on the historic significance of DOJ’s move, LawFare has you covered.
I’m surprised Kevin McCarthy stuck around this long.
Humiliated, emasculated, and deposed by his own conference, the ousted speaker hung around for a few more weeks before deciding to pack it in.
His departure before the end of his term narrows the already-thin GOP majority further.
Good riddance, says Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD):
House GOP Preps To Censure Bowman
A censure vote could come as soon as today for Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) for the fire-alarm-pulling incident in which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
There Was A GOP Debate Last Night
Did you miss much? No. Are these debates mere window-dressing on Trump winning the GOP nomination by acclamation? Yes.
- Kate Riga: Haley Main Target At Last Scheduled Republican Debate
- Josh Marshall: A Few Concluding Thoughts
Florida GOP Stuck With Chairman Accused Of Rape
The rape charge is serious, but the Florida Republican Party’s inability to rid itself of a chairman accused of rape is downright comical:
- NYT: As Scandal Simmers, Florida Republicans Want Party Chairman Out
- Politico: Florida Republicans try to oust GOP chair amid rape probe
- Florida Politics: Republicans set in motion 30-day process to possibly expel Christian Ziegler
Consider Yourself Warned
A sweeping new scientific report, with contributions from more than 200 researchers, finds that continued warming could trigger not only the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet but a wide variety of tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. Once crossed, those thresholds would have unstoppable consequences.
Norman Lear, 1922-2023
My former colleague Tierney Sneed interviewed Lear back in 2015, and he was still trolling Richard Nixon all those year later: “Why Norman Lear Thinks Nixon Was So Scandalized By ‘All In The Family.’”
Re-reading that story reminded me that my very first official post at TPM included an “All in the Family” reference.
Rest in peace.
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