A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Get Ready, Folks
The bullshit has already begun.
The GOP won the House yesterday, and the first order of business is to tee up the Hunter Biden “investigations.”
At 9:30 a.m. ET, the incoming chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill to preview their bogus probes into the President’s son.
Let me repeat: These are the new chairmen of two major House committees, not some fringe backbenchers angling for airtime.
The culprits are Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY). But it’s not just them. It’s the whole right-wing apparatus rolling out the B-E-N-G-H-A-Z-I playbook.
It was on full display on Sean Hannity’s show last night. First, presumed incoming Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had his own segment talking up various investigations of the Biden administration. Then Jordan and Comer immediately followed with their own lengthy segment on the Hunter Biden nonsense.
“We are going to make it very clear that this is now an investigation of President Biden,” Comer told Hannity about their focus on Hunter.
Media coverage of these manufactured scandals is so painful to watch: taking them seriously, amplifying the bogosity, making them part of the national political agenda. For our part, we’re going to be vigilant in telling you a toxic circus has come to town without trafficking in elephant manure. Onward.
How Tiny Will The House Margin Be?
What became inevitable over the weekend turned semi-official late in the day Wednesday as the AP declared Republicans had captured a majority of House seats.
The exact size of the GOP majority isn’t fully determined yet, but here’s the best estimate from a leading expert on such things:
Via Molly Jong-Fast: “House of Horrors: The Marjorie Taylor Greene Congress is upon us“
Kevin McCarthy is in for quite a ride.
McConnell Re-Elected As Senate GOP Leader
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) fell short in his challenge to McConnell’s leadership.
Big Swing And Miss Vibes
You’ll want to read TPM’s Emine Yücel on Fox News and others faceplanting in their eagerness to turn Gisele Fetterman into a target of ridicule and scorn.
Quite A Turnout, Sir
The Mussolini of Mar-a-Lago, as Dana Milbank puts it, was only able to draw a single member of Congress for his BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: lame-duck Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who of course did not survive his own primary. Or at least Cawthorn was the only member reporters spied there.
Lindsey Graham’s Turn In the Barrel
After taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court – and losing – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is set to testify today before a Georgia grand jury investigating Trump’s 2020 election meddling.
In related news, former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson apparently testified to the grand jury yesterday.
What Price For Insurrectioning?
There’s been a lot of interest in vigorous application of the Insurrection Clause (a.k.a. Disqualification Clause) of the 14th Amendment to root out Jan. 6 types serving or attempting to serve in public office. The Project On Government Oversight has a new report out on the Insurrection Clause.
So far only one officeholder has felt the bite of the Insurrection Clause, and this week the New Mexico Supreme Court shot down his appeal because it was procedurally defective.
Mar-A-Lago Probe Update
Don’t sleep on this one! It remains for my money the most serious criminal culpability former President Trump currently faces. Or perhaps more precisely the most immediate threat of criminal prosecution.
One development this week to flag for you: The 11th Circuit has scheduled oral arguments for Tuesday, Nov. 22 in the Justice Department’s appeal of the whole special master mess the lower court judge unleashed.
In the meantime, the special master – himself unsullied by the district judge’s dubious decision to even have a special master – continues to do his work. He has set a status conference for Dec. 1 for the parties to make their arguments to him over the documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. He has said that his report and recommendations to the judge will be completed by Dec 16.
This means there remains the possibility that the 11th Circuit will short-circuit the whole special master process before it is complete and allow the Justice Department to proceed with its investigation and potential prosecution unencumbered by the restrictions so flagrantly imposed by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.
One additional note for the most obsessive observers: The Justice Department has added a former Scalia clerk on loan from the Office of the Solicitor General to its team handling the case.
Same-Sex Marriage Protection Advances In Senate
The Respect For Marriage Act cleared a key hurdle in the Senate. A final vote has not yet been scheduled.
Hate To See It
Defeated in her race for Arizona governor, Kari Lake (R) now must decide whether to remake herself yet again. The Democrat-turned-Republican, Buddhist-turned-Christian, local-TV-anchor-turned-media-hater now must decide whether to flip from election denier to gracious conceder. It’s a close call!
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