A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
A jury on Thursday ruled against Project Veritas, the conservative organization that carries out so-called “sting operations” to manufacture damning content about its political enemies, in a Democratic consultant firm’s lawsuit – but not before Project Veritas’ own lawyer asserted in his closing statement that his clients engaged in “deceit, deception and dishonesty,” as the New York Times put it.
- And that’s a good thing, the lawyer argued, because that’s how Project Veritas “can speak truth to power.”
- It was all part of Project Veritas’ journalistic mission, according to the attorney. The jury wasn’t buying it.
- Project Veritas was ordered to pay $120,000 to the consultant firm, which had accused the organization of unlawful wiretapping and fraudulent misrepresentation as part of its spy operation in 2016.
- Project Veritas still faces a federal investigation into its role in the Ashley Biden diary scandal. No charges have been filed against the group in that case.
Alleged Neo-Nazi Insurrectionist Sentenced To Prison
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a former Army reservist who was allegedly an out-and-proud neo-Nazi, was handed a four-year prison sentence on Thursday for attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6.
- A speaker at one of Trump’s rallies used Hale-Cusanelli’s case as an example of the persecution the Jan. 6 defendants are supposedly suffering just because they violently smashed their way into the Capitol building to keep their leader in power after he lost an election.
- This guy had tried to defend himself by claiming during one of his hearings that he didn’t know Congress met at the Capitol, and that the reason he didn’t know that was because he was from New Jersey (full quote: “I know this sounds idiotic, but I’m from New Jersey.”). Jersey TPM readers, did you, too, discover for the first time on Jan. 6 that members of Congress work in the Capitol?
Russia Stages Bogus Referendums In Ukraine
In a major escalation in its Ukraine invasion, the Russian government on Friday launched a series of sham referendums in four Russia-controlled territories in Ukraine, marking the beginning of Moscow’s annexation of parts of the country.
- The referendums will last five days, but the process is all for show, of course. Russia’s already decided to absorb those territories.
- The four territories include the separatist Luhansk and Donetsk regions, plus the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces. The staged referendums are being held for those areas despite the fact that Russia doesn’t have full control over them.
Special Master Tells Trump To Put Up Or Shut Up
Things still aren’t going well for the ex-president in the DOJ’s Mar-a-Lago documents investigation: U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, aka the judge Trump chose to be the special master in the case, ordered his legal team to actually prove the ex-president’s claims that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago and that some of the documents were shielded by executive privilege.
Oz Is Sending Very Sad Emails To Supporters
GOP Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz’s campaign has been sending emails bemoaning how terribly he’s doing in fundraising and polling, the Daily Beast reports.
- Oz’s campaign has sent 23 emails since Monday, and all of them are reportedly the TV doctor being a sad boi who’s falling behind Democratic rival John Fetterman and really, really needs your help please.
- “Yeah … this is bad,” one of the emails reportedly lamented.
- And Oz isn’t keeping the misery to his own predicament: On Monday, he reportedly sent an email declaring that “[r]ight now, Democrats are FLATTENING Republicans in Senate races across the country.” And according to the Daily Beast, the title of that email was “It would be humiliating.”
Judge Won’t Let MyPillow Guy Get His Phone Back
A federal judge shot down MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s request to make the Justice Department return his phone, which it had seized at a Hardee’s last week.
- Lindell claims that he does all his business on his cell phone because he doesn’t have a computer.
- Wondering what’s going on with Pillow Man? Here’s your answer.
GOP Sen. Braun Eyes Gubernatorial Bid In Indiana
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) is gearing up to announce a run for governor in his home state after the midterms, according to Indy Politics and Politico.
Graham A Little Doubtful Of Trump’s Telepathic Declassification Abilities
Asked about Trump’s claim that he can declassify things just by “thinking about it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN yesterday that “the process is probably more complicated than that.”
Alex Jones Confronted With His Trash Talk About Judge In Defamation Trial
Witness this moment in the Sandy Hook families’ defamation trial against far-right tinhatter Alex Jones:
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