DOJ Started Getting Serious About Jan. 6 Higher Ups … In May

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland listens during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on February 22, 2021 in Washingt... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland listens during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on February 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Garland previously served at the Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (Photo by Al Drago/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.

Better Late Than Never?

As the laggardly Justice Department played catchup to the Jan. 6 committee probe, a federal grand jury back in May subpoenaed the National Archives for all the records it had turned over to the House committee in its parallel investigation. The NYT has the subpoena:

It was signed by Thomas P. Windom, the federal prosecutor who has been leading the Justice Department’s wide-ranging inquiry into what part Mr. Trump and his allies may have played in various schemes to maintain power after the former president’s defeat in the 2020 election — chief among them a plan to submit fake slates of pro-Trump electors in states actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.

For the math-impaired, May is 16(!) months after the Jan. 6 attack, and more than two years after Trump’s conspiracy to subvert the 2020 election was hatched.

Happening Today

A federal judge in Florida is scheduled to hear arguments today over whether the FBI affidavit in support of the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago should be unsealed and made public.

News orgs are seeking to have it unsealed. The Justice Department opposes the move because it claims it would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation involving national security.

Pro tip: The judge is unlikely to unseal the affidavit over the objection of the government.

Pence Walks A Thin Blue Line

The former vice president urged congressional Republicans raging about the Mar-a-Lago raid to direct their ire at Merrick Garland and not rank and file law enforcement: “Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”

One point about Pence’s construct of “rank and file law enforcement” at the FBI. There’s only one political appointee at the FBI: the director. Everyone else is career, working their way up through the ranks. And of course the current director was appointed by Trump.

This is your occasional reminder that there has never been a Democratic director of the FBI.

What Four More Years Of Trump Would Look Like

Trump is telling you himself:

Christian Right Plots How To Avenge Mar-A-Lago Raid

Sarah Posner writing for TPM:

This toxic brew of conspiracy theories, incendiary language, and veneration of Trump is likely to only get uglier and more dangerous as this and other investigations of Trump progress. Christian right figures are repeating Trump’s claim that FBI agents searched his wife Melania’s closet, feeding right-wing paranoias that the “deep state” is filled with sexual deviants. On one side is Trump, whom God anointed. On the other are creepy thugs who rummage through his wife’s intimate belongings.

A TPM Member Exclusive

Key Pro-Trump Lawyers, Technicians Worked Together To Breach Voting Machines Nationwide by Matt Shuham

North Carolina Falls, Too

Relying on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs, a federal judge has reinstated a 20-week abortion ban in North Carolina.

CDC Director Acknowledges Colossal COVID Failure

The big question is whether Dr. Rochelle Walensky can fix it.

ProPublica’s Jihad Against The For-Profit Tax Prep Industry Scores A Win

As TPM alum Paul Kiel and Justin Elliott point out, the landmark Inflation Reduction Act allocates $15 million for the IRS to study providing a free tax filing option:

Unlike many developed countries, the U.S. does not offer free tax filing services for taxpayers, who instead pay billions of dollars every year to highly profitable private tax prep companies.

More Details On Weisselberg Plea Deal

Early reporting on the plea deal reached between former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg were a little murky about whether he would cooperate with New York state prosecutors. The latest reporting, though, suggests he has agreed to testify against the Trump Org in its upcoming trial on tax fraud charges:

The plea deal does not require Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate with a broader investigation into Mr. Trump, and his admissions will not implicate the former president. His decision to accept jail time underscored the extent of his loyalty to a family he has served for nearly a half-century.

It’s Like ‘Watching A Cat Lick A Dog’s Eye Goo’

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NYT book critic Dwight Garner roasts Jared Kushner’s new book Breaking History:
A White House Memoir

What a queasy-making book to have in your hands. Once someone has happily worked alongside one of the most flagrant and systematic and powerful liars in this country’s history, how can anyone be expected to believe a word they say?

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