Cough ‘Em Up, Kelli!

INSIDE: Kari Lake ... Donald Trump ... Rudy Giuliani
on August 28, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - AUGUST 28: Kelli Ward (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

But What About Her Phone Records?

Kelli Ward will have to cough up her phone records to the House Jan. 6 committee after the Supreme Court turned back her effort to rein in the subpoena against T-Mobile.

Ward, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, was a key figure in the run-up to Jan. 6. She was one of the slate of fake electors the Trump team assembled as part of its election subversion plan. She previously took the Fifth when questioned by the Jan. 6 committee.

Notably, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito broke from the rest of the justices. Not only would they have had the court take up the matter, they would have gone so far as to actually block the subpoena (on what possible grounds is not clear). It should also be mentioned that Thomas did not recuse himself from the case even those his wife Ginni Thomas was in communications with Arizona lawmakers in advance of Jan. 6, urging them to name fake electors.

Ward, who first came to fame as Chemtrail Kelli, was also part of the pressure campaign against Mike Pence ahead of Jan. 6.

Your Daily Mar-a-Lago Update

There were a flurry of news stories yesterday about the Mar-a-Lago investigation after two recent filings in the case by the Justice Department and Trump were unsealed. The filings revealed more about Trump’s inane legal positions on various issues the special master will soon weigh in on.

Here’s the TPM rundown: DOJ Knocks Trump ‘Shell Game’ Over Classified Docs

NYT: Justice Department and Trump Lawyers Clash Over Status of Seized Documents

CNN: Trump tells Mar-a-Lago special master that he got to decide which White House documents were his to keep

Then there was this weird story from the Washington Post, headlined “Investigators see ego, not money, as Trump’s motive on classified papers.” Read it for yourself. Are ego and money really the only two potential motives? What about … power?

Kari Lake Loses In Arizona

The worst of the MAGA candidates (Vance and DeSantis win honorable mention) went down to defeat Tuesday night, as the networks called the Arizona governor’s race for Democrat Katie Hobbs. No concession yet from Kari Lake, true to form.

Liz Cheney was happy to see Lake go:

Election Deniers Take A Beating

With Kari Lake losing, none of the election deniers running for governor or secretary of state in key swing states won their races.

A bipartisan group of secretaries of state met yesterday for an election postmortem, as TPM’s Kaila Philo reported. There was relief, but also awareness that election denialism isn’t over. Here’s Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson:

We are really just at the halfway point of what is a multi-year, multifaceted effort to delegitimize democracy in our country,” said Benson. “We still have a presidential election now under two years away, in which we anticipate a lot of the same challenges that Brad [Raffensperger] and I encountered in 2020, regardless of what candidate is on or off the ballot.

Trump’s Bigly Announcement

The preview pieces for Trump’s expected announcement later today that he’s running again in 2024 largely frame it up in terms of Republican dismay. I remain deeply skeptical of this newfound “anti-Trumpism” among some Republicans, but let’s watch it closely as it plays out.

How Desperate Is Kevin McCarthy?

At one level this is just smart politics. But at another level it’s revealing of how narrow the GOP’s House majority is going to be if, as expected, they take control.

Allies of McCarthy spent the weekend trying to woo Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), the last remaining House Democrat who opposes abortion rights, into switching parties.

Cuellar reportedly rebuffed the party-switch gambit.

McCarthy’s office denied the entreaties were made at his request: “Anyone suggesting this is simply exercising in fan fiction.” 

Coming Up

This morning: Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) is set to testify before the Fulton County grand jury investigation into 2020 election interference by Trump. Kemp succeeded in delaying his testimony until after the midterms. Time’s up!

Midday: House GOP to hold leadership elections, where we’ll get our first taste of what a colossally weak and simpering speaker Kevin McCarthy will be.

This evening: Trump makes his bigly announcement from Mar-a-Lago at 9 p.m. ET.

Also today: DOJ has a deadline to object in federal court in DC to the unsealing cases involving the Jan 6 grand jury.

Wednesday, Nov. 16: The first of the procedural votes is expected in the Senate on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would attempt to codify same-sex marriage at the federal level.

Thursday, Nov. 17: Senate GOP holds leadership elections

The FBI Had EIGHT(!) Proud Boy Informants?


The F.B.I. had as many as eight informants inside the far-right Proud Boys in the months surrounding the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, recent court papers indicate, raising questions about how much federal investigators were able to learn from them about the violent mob attack both before and after it took place.

Too Bad We Don’t Have An Emoluments Clause Or Anything

NPR: Foreign officials spent more than $750,000 at Trump’s D.C. hotel, new documents show

No Charges For Rudes!

Federal prosecutors revealed publicly that they do not intend to bring criminal charges against Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of the investigation into foreign lobbying arising from Rudy’s Ukraine misadventures.

Monitor Named To Oversee Trump Org

Former federal judge Barbara Jones has been appointed as a monitor of the Trump Org during the New York attorney general’s civil lawsuit against the company. Jones job will be in part to make sure the Trump Org doesn’t begin to siphon off assets while the lawsuit is pending. Jones had previously served as a special master in cases involving Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani.

Russia Wants GOP Control Of Congress

In another sign that Russia is well aware that a GOP Congress will be more compliant and less supportive of Ukraine (it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out: House Republicans will happily say so publicly), the U.S. has intelligence that Russia waited to announce its withdrawal from Kherson until after the U.S. midterm election, CNN reports.

Shocker Headline Of The Day

Reuters: “U.S. authorities probe FTX collapse, executives’ involvement -sources”

No kidding?

Hide Your Eyes!

A very colorful description of the FTX balance sheet from Bloomberg’s Matt Levine:

[T]he balance sheet that Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto exchange sent to potential investors last week before filing for bankruptcy on Friday is very bad. It’s an Excel file full of the howling of ghosts and the shrieking of tortured souls. If you look too long at that spreadsheet, you will go insane. 


Virginia McLaurin of Washington, D.C, who was 106 when she so memorably danced with the Obamas at the White House, has died at 113.

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