Florida Man Declares National Secrets Belong To Him

INSIDE: Christina Bobb ... Charlie Kirk ... Sarah Palin
President Donald Trump speaks to the press outside the grand ballroom as he arrives for a New Year's celebration at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on December 31, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Big Day Ahead!

Pump the Mar-a-Lago scandal straight into my veins.

Where do we even start after the explosive DOJ filing from two nights ago?

Yesterday began with a parade of wtf! exclamations from legal experts about how much effing trouble not just Trump – but his lawyers – are potentially in here.

By the end of day, there was a new bombastic Trump filing for legal experts to ridicule.

Today: a closely watched hearing in federal court in Florida to consider Trump’s request for a special master to review the materials seized by the FBI in the Mar-a-Lago raid.

A lot going on! Let’s break it down.

What’s On Tap Today?

The Justice Department and Trump’s D-team legal defense squad meet in court in Florida at 1 p.m. ET for arguments on Trump’s motion to appoint a special master in the case. Here’s what to expect.

Folks Cannot Get Enough Of That DOJ Filing

Philip Bump: The photo of classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, annotated

Adam Klasfeld: What the DOJ’s Footnotes Reveal About the Mar-a-Lago Probe

NYT: Trump’s Legal Jab Left Him Open to Justice Dept. Strike

A punch to the face:

Another Clunker Of A Trump Filing

Trump’s official response last evening to that damning DOJ filing from two nights ago left legal Twitter chortling over its many shortcomings:

Declassification? Who Said Anything About Declassification?

In typical Trump fashion, he’s throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks to defend himself in the media and social media, but when it comes to what he actually is willing to tell the court, it’s a different story.

Trump and his supporters have merrily declared that Trump had secretly declassified everything he kept at Mar-a-Lago. Like duh you idiots, Genius Trump can declassify stuff in his mind!

Trump’s legal team has not made any such defense in court.

In the special master case, including in Wednesday’s filing, Mr. Trump’s lawyers again stopped short of claiming that he had declassified all the documents; lying in court filings can lead to professional sanctions for lawyers. Indeed, Mr. Trump’s lawyers instead said they thought “that it would be appropriate for the special master to possess a top secret” clearance.

Maybe because it’s not that good of a defense:

Who Is Repping Trump Now?

Some tea leaves to sift through based on which Trump lawyers signed the new filing.

No sign of Christina Bobb, who famously certified to the feds that she had turned over all material at Mar-a-Lago responsive to the grand jury subpoena. (Did we mention what a world of trouble she’s in?)

Also missing from the filing: Chris Kise, a former solicitor general in Florida, who was reported to be the new gun Trump was bringing in.

Still on the case: Evan Corcoran, who is also potentially in a world of hurt over his role in the scandal.

The other two Trump lawyers on the filing: Lindsey Halligan and James Trusty.

That Photo Is Driving Trump Crazy

The Best/Worst Trump Defenses

Charlie Kirk is reliably unreliable:

Alina Habba, what are you doing?

Nice to see you here, too, Mark Levin:

Get Enough Mar-a-Lago?

Good, me either!

Here’s more:

Adam Serwer: If It Were Anyone Else, They’d Be Prosecuted

Josh Kovensky: A New York City Rug Expert Weighs In On Mar-a-Lago’s Flooring

Frank Figliuzzi: The Justice Department’s case for obstruction at Mar-a-Lago is growing stronger

Now Back To That OTHER Scandal

Don’t forget we’re all still trying to get to the bottom of the Great Device Migration scandal that resulted in the mass deletion of Secret Service (and others’) texts from around Jan. 6.

Straight No Chaser

Sarah Palin Loses

Democrat Mary Peltola defeated Sarah Palin to serve out the remaining few months of the term of the late Rep. Don Young (R-AK). They will face off again (along with others, in the ranked choice system) in the November general election to permanently fill the seat.

Shel Silverstein Weeps

A New Jersey township cut down all the trees around its town square to … keep homeless people from gathering there.

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