The Devil’s Bargain Kevin McCarthy Struck With Tucker Carlson For Jan. 6 Footage

INSIDE: Javanka ... Mike Pence ... Don Jr.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) celebrates while holding the Speaker's gavel after being elected as Speaker in the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 07, 2023 in Washing... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) celebrates while holding the Speaker's gavel after being elected as Speaker in the House at the U.S. Capitol on January 07, 2023 in Washington, DC. After four days of voting and 15 ballots McCarthy secured enough votes to become Speaker of the House for the 118th Congress. (Photo by Win McNamee/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.

Kevin McCarthy Is A Useful Idiot For Jan. 6 Propagandists

Even the NYT is speaking plainly about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s devil’s bargain with Tucker Carlson for Jan. 6 security cam video: “In granting exclusive access to Jan. 6 Capitol surveillance footage to a cable news host bent on rewriting the history of the attack, the speaker effectively outsourced a politically toxic re-litigation of the riot.”

McCarthy briefly commented on the matter, but the Times wasn’t having it:

“I promised,” Mr. McCarthy said on Wednesday in a brief phone interview in which he defended his decision to grant Mr. Carlson exclusive access to the more than 40,000 hours of security footage. “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”

Still, the sunshine Mr. McCarthy referred to will, for now, be filtered through a very specific prism — that of Mr. Carlson, a hero of the hard right who has insinuated without evidence that the Jan. 6 attack was a “false flag” operation carried out by the government.

We mentioned yesterday that Capitol Police were not aware of Carlson’s access to the video until news reports this week, but it’s a little more specific and troubling than that, CNN reveals:

The terminals referred to above are reportedly the same kind of terminals and arrangement that Capitol Police had set up to provide the Jan. 6 committee with access to the thousands of hours of footage.

One more note on this fiasco. McCarthy is fundraising off of it:

It’s About Time!

Special Counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner as part of his Jan. 6 investigation.

Big Day For Scott Perry

Oral arguments are scheduled for today at 9:30 a.m. ET before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on whether the Justice Department can access the contents of the phone of Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) seized by the FBI in its Jan. 6 investigation. Some the oral arguments will be public, some behind closed doors in a proceeding that remains mostly secret because it’s part of a grand jury investigation.

Key Witness Testifies In Proud Boys Trial

The weeks-long seditious conspiracy trial of the Proud Boys is still going, but it picked up a bit this week with the testimony of Jeremy Bertino, a former member of the group who flipped and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Deeply Rotten

A truly amazing report from the WaPo on how then-Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich buried exculpatory findings of a report he ordered looking into the 2020 election:

In April, the attorney general — who was running in the GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat —released an “Interim Report” claiming that his office had discovered “serious vulnerabilities.” He left out edits from his own investigators refuting his assertions.

Worth a read.

Inside the Fox News Sausage Factory

Asha Rangappa on how the Dominion Voting Systems case shows the “propaganda feedback loop” operating in real time.

Could See This Coming From A Mile Away

Former President Trump was inexplicably giddy after he wasn’t named in the excerpts released last week of the report of the Georgia special grand jury investigating his role in tampering with the state’s 2020 election. No one was named in the excerpts, which is why a judge authorized their release. Trump’s chicken is coming home to roost:

Gotta Love It

While DC Republicans are howling that they have not before, are not now, and never will cut Social Security despite decades of declaring their intentions to do just that, former Vice President Mike Pence is out there touting cuts to Social Security. Meanwhile, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, the GOP poster child for Social Security cuts, has a sad that Trump and Biden are both opposed to Social Security cuts. But, sure, go ahead and cover this as a “claim” Democrats make about Republicans that reporters are in no position to adjudicate. Shrug.


TV reporter Dylan Lyons and his photographer Jesse Walden were both shot while covering a shooting in the Orlando area Wednesday. The Spectrum News 13 duo was at the scene of a fatal shooting that had happened earlier in the day when the alleged gunman returned, killing Lyons and grievously wounding Walden, before randomly entering a nearby home and killing a 9-year-old girl and wounding her mother, according to police and local reports. The 19-year-old alleged gunman is in police custody.

Colorado Springs Gay Night Club Shooter Ran Neo-Nazi Site

The alleged gunman in the Colorado Springs gay night club massacre ran a neo-Nazi website and used gay and racial slurs while gaming online, a police detective testified Wednesday.


By a vote of 35-1, the Alaska House has censured GOP state Rep. David Eastman for asking in a public hearing whether there was a net cost savings when abused children die rather than require years of treatment and therapy. Eastman was the sole no vote against his own censure.

Trouble Brewing In Mexican Politics

Mexico took a step backwards from free and fair elections when its legislature passed new laws weakening the federal election agency credited with ending one-party rule. David Frum with a good thread explaining the backstory and the significance:

S. Carolina Law Criminalizing School Misbehavior Declared Unconstitutional


A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that a pair of South Carolina laws that allowed elementary and secondary school students to be criminally charged for behaviors like cursing or acting in a “disorderly” or “boisterous” way were unconstitutional.

A 2-1 panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held the laws failed to provide students notice of what behaviors might expose them to criminal charges and lacked sufficient safeguards to prevent arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.

Great Read

Rachel Connolly: The Women Who Relate to Fleishman Is in Trouble Are Life’s Losers

Don Jr. Is Not Okay

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