Jack Smith Probes Whether MAL Video Was Tampered With

INSIDE: Clarence Thomas ... Jack Smith ... Jared Wise
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 14: Former President Donald Trump (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

A rock ’em sock ’em trio of big scoops overnight: Mar-a-Lago, Herschel Walker, Clarence Thomas. Let’s get after it!

‘Obstruction On Steroids’

Special Counsel Jack Smith is probing whether surveillance video at Mar-a-Lago subpoenaed by a federal grand jury was tampered with, CNN reports.

Smith appears to be focused on what, if anything, happened to the surveillance video after it was subpoenaed by investigators last summer. The surveillance video was subpoenaed in June 2022 because investigators already had suspicions about whether Trump had fully complied with a May 22 subpoena for government documents.

Among the new developments via CNN:

  • “Longtime Trump Organization executives Matthew Calamari Sr. and his son Matthew Calamari Jr. are expected to appear Thursday before the grand jury investigating possible mishandling of classified documents brought to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, sources said.”
  • “Prosecutors are expected to ask them about the handling of the surveillance footage and Trump employees’ conversations following the subpoena, according to the sources.”
  • “Investigators also have previously asked about a text message from [Trump aide Walt] Nauta to Calamari Sr. and subsequent conversations about the surveillance footage, according to two of the sources.”

NYU law professor Ryan Goodman said any tampering with the subpoenaed surveillance video would be “obstruction on steroids”:

Herschel Walker Did WHAT?

Just an amazing scoop by The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger showing then-Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R-GA) soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a billionaire donor who believed he was giving to Walker’s campaign – but the money ended up going to Walker’s personal company:

  • “Emails obtained by The Daily Beast—and verified as authentic by a person with knowledge of the exchanges—show that Walker asked [Dennis] Washington to wire $535,200 directly to that undisclosed company, HR Talent, LLC.
  • “In the best possible circumstances, legal experts told The Daily Beast, the emails suggest violations of federal fundraising rules; in the worst case, they could be an indication of more serious crimes, such as wire fraud.”
  • “According to the legal experts who spoke to The Daily Beast for this article, this scheme appears to not just be illegal—it appears to be unparalleled in its audacity and scope. The transactions raise questions about a slew of possible violations. In fact, these experts all said, the scheme was so brazen that it appears to defy explanation, ranking it among the most egregious campaign finance violations in modern history.”

Things Just Got Worse For Clarence Thomas

ProPublica with the third big overnight scoop: Clarence Thomas Had a Child in Private School. Harlan Crow Paid the Tuition.

Smith Sat In On Pence Grand Jury Testimony

Special Counsel Jack Smith personally attended the grand jury testimony of former Vice President Mike Pence, the first known time that Smith has sat in on grand jury proceedings in the Jan. 6 investigation, CNN reports.

Fani Willis Speaks

“I haven’t made any decisions regarding charging, at all, at least none that I’m willing to make public at this time,” Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis said Tuesday.

Judge Tosses Trump Lawsuit Against NYT

A state judge in New York threw out the lawsuit former President Donald Trump filed against the NYT over its 2018 Pulitzer-Prize-winning series on his taxes. Trump was also ordered to pay attorney fees and court costs.

Trump To Offer No Defense In Carroll Trial

Donald Trump will not take the stand or call any witnesses to defend against’s E. Jean Carroll’s defamation and rape claims, his lawyer told the court Wednesday. The judge expects the jury to get the case Tuesday.

No Fucks Left To Give

Dahlia Lithwick: “[P]erhaps the era of the wan, ruined, long suffering victim may be well and truly behind us.”

Jaw Dropping

Jared L. Wise, the former FBI agent charged for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, was … get this … the supervisory special agent in charge of Homegrown Violent Extremism for the FBI New York Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from 2014-17, NBC reports.

After Wise left the FBI, he joined … get this again! … Project Veritas, the NYT reports:

  • “Mr. Wise later joined the conservative group Project Veritas under the supervision of a former British spy, Richard Seddon, who had been recruited by the security contractor Erik Prince to train operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets.”
  • “At Project Veritas, according to a former employee with direct knowledge of his employment, Mr. Wise used the code name Bendghazi and trained at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming with other recruits.”
  • Mr. Wise was among a group of Project Veritas operatives who were assigned to infiltrate teacher unions in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky, according to the former employee. 

Wise’s time with Project Veritas was short-lived. He left in mid-2018, Project Veritas told the NYT.

Deep Dive

WaPo: Behind Trump’s musical tribute to some of the most violent Jan. 6 rioters

‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’

A.O. Scott on that Tucker Carlson text:

That is a jaw-dropping sentence — as empirically ludicrous as it is ideologically loaded. A glance at American history — taking in night riders, lynch mobs, the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 and the killings of Michael Griffith and Yusef Hawkins in New York in the 1980s, to say nothing of Jan. 6 itself — suggests that this is exactly how white men fight. Not all white men, of course, and not only white men, but white men precisely when they perceive the symbolic and material prerogatives of their whiteness to be under attack.


Prosecutor nears charging decision on Hunter Biden.

2024 Ephemera

  • Rep. David Trone (D-MD), the self-financing Total Wine magnate, plans to run for the open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).
  • Big Lie aficionado Jim Marchant (R-NV). who lost his bid for secretary of state, is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

And Another …

Florida is poised to enact a new anti-trans bathroom law.

We’re Not In A Good Place, Y’all

Yesterday was the day elected Republicans in DC went all in on impeaching Joe Biden on the basis of spurious, unsubstantiated claims that the FBI has records of his corruption as vice president. I won’t burden you by making you read the supposed details of this particular nonsense or watch the multiple Fox News segments touting it, but to give you some sense of the saturation coverage, it included:

That’s not a full list. That’s just some of the elected Republicans on TV yesterday about this manufactured non-scandal. The GOP sickness is not just Trump.

`Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo

Notable Replies

  1. DFG’s crew are dumb enough to think they can get away with doctoring the video.



  2. “We’re Not In A Good Place, Y’all”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  3. Not first here, nor am I the first to say that in being silenced by the Montana legislature, Zoe Zephyr’s voice has only gotten stronger.

    She was on NPR this morning, and I was struck by how her eloquence is not on behalf of herself but on behalf of her constituents and our democratic system of government. Genuinely inspiring.

  4. Avatar for paulw paulw says:

    Anti-trans bathroom laws fascinate me, in a sort of evil car-crash way. First because they’re the ultimate in projection (male legislators fantasizing about how they could invade women’s bathrooms), second because they erase trans men.

    Lots of additional evil there, but those two issues, um, stick out for me.

  5. …any tampering with the subpoenaed surveillance video would be “obstruction on steroids”

    “Can you say ‘obstruction’? I knew you could.”

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

764 more replies


Avatar for jnbenson Avatar for jw1 Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for teenlaqueefa Avatar for becca656 Avatar for inversion Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for lastroth Avatar for esva Avatar for leftcoaster Avatar for darrtown Avatar for pshah Avatar for 21zna9 Avatar for coimmigrant Avatar for cub_calloway Avatar for kelaine Avatar for bcgister Avatar for jwbuho Avatar for llwillis Avatar for occamscoin Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for zenicetus Avatar for garrybee Avatar for trustywoods

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: