Oh Cool, A Dem’s Seat Got Flipped By A QAnoner

INSIDE: A Whiny Jeffrey Clark ... Gun Control Bill ... Cheney
Texas GOP congressional candidate Mayra Flores at a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters on May 17, 2022. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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

Normal Times We Live In

Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX), a newly elected congresswoman who flipped now-retired Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela’s seat in Texas’ special election last week and who will also be on the ballot in November’s general election, posted QAnon hashtags and slogans repeatedly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in 2020, CNN and Media Matters found.

  • Flores also posted and shared conspiracy theories about the Capitol insurrection claiming that the attack was a “set up” by Antifa and “infiltrators.”
  • It almost goes without saying that Flores promoted Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election too. And at one point, she praised MAGA lawyer/Krakenista Sidney Powell, who lost every single election lawsuit she filed, as an “American hero” on Twitter.
  • All the posts have been deleted and Flores now denies being a QAnoner. She told the San Antonio Express-News in April that she’s “always been against any of that” and “never been supportive of it.” (Unfortunately for her, CNN has the archived versions of the tweets.)

Kemp To Testify In Georgia DA’s Trump Probe

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will be providing crucial testimony in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into Trump’s election meddling next month, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • Kemp will reportedly give a “sworn recorded statement” (instead of answering questions in front of a special grand jury) on July 25.
  • Kemp has also been subpoenaed for a host of documents that a prosecutor in Willis’ investigation said must be turned over at least 72 hours before his testimony.

Yesterday’s Jan. 6 Hearing: How Trump Tried To Corrupt DOJ

The House Jan. 6 Committee had its fifth public hearing on Thursday, which focused on how Trump tried to use the Justice Department to help him steal the 2020 election.

  • Here’s our liveblog.
  • One of the things we learned yesterday was which Trump cronies in Congress had sought pardons near the end of Trump’s presidency: Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ). Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) talked about wanting pardons but didn’t ask for them (at least not from any of the ex-Trump officials and lawyers who testified yesterday).

The Feds Had A Very Busy Wednesday

Yesterday, we found out that federal law enforcement subpoenaed or executed search warrants on at least 11 people tied to Trump’s election steal plot on Wednesday.

  • The biggest target by far was former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, Trump’s top DOJ lackey in the election steal scheme and the focus of yesterday’s Jan. 6 hearing. Federal agents searched his home in Virginia on Wednesday, and he was left “in the streets in his pjs,” according to his boss.

Jeffrey Clark Whines About Raid

Clark went on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show last night to complain about the FBI’s “Stasi-like” raid on his home on Wednesday.

  • “I just think we are living in an era that I don’t recognize,” he griped. “And increasingly, Tucker, I don’t recognize the country anymore with these kinds of Stasi-like things happening.”
  • Tucker was especially sorry it happened when Clark was in his jammies.

Senate Passes Bipartisan Gun Reform Measure

The Senate on Thursday voted 65 to 33 to pass the bipartisan gun reform bill, which, though pretty modest, is still the only significant gun control legislation the Senate’s managed to pass in decades.

  • What it includes:
    • Extra funding to states to help them pass red flag laws that would let authorities temporarily take away firearms from people deemed to be a threat to themselves and others
    • Enhanced background checks for gun buyers under 21
    • Extra funding for mental health services and school security
    • Crackdowns on gun trafficking, straw purchasing and convicted domestic abusers’ ability to buy firearms
  • 15 GOP senators joined all 50 Democrats to pass the bill. That included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who made it clear that his vote was almost entirely political in nature, saying he hoped it would be “viewed favorably by voters in the suburbs.”
  • The House will move this morning toward a vote on it, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). It’s expected to pass there, and Biden has said he’ll sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.
  • The vote came several hours after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down New York’s gun control law, which required people to show “proper cause” to carry a concealed weapon when applying for a license.

Must Reads

Cheney Trying To Get Dems To Switch Parties To Save Her

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who isn’t doing super hot in the polls against her Trump-backed rival, is specifically targeting Wyoming Democrats with mailers to help them switch party affiliations to be able to vote for her ahead of her state’s Aug. 16 primary.

Birx Testifies Publicly For First Time

Dr. Deborah Birx, Trump’s former White House COVID-19 coordinator, on Thursday testified publicly for the first time on Trump’s exceptionally terrible handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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