Mike Johnson Joins The Pathetic Parade To The Trump Trial

INSIDE: Michael Cohen ... Merrick Garland ... David Sanborn
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a press conference at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on... PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 12: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump listens as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a press conference at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on April 12, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida. They spoke about "election integrity," which has been one of the former president's top issues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

GOP Electeds Prostrate Themselves At The Altar Of Trump

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is expected to pay his respects to Donald Trump this morning by showing up at the courthouse where the former president is on criminal trial, joining a steady line of GOP electeds who have seen it as in their own political interest to make the pilgrimage to Manhattan.

The pathetic display of slavish devotion has a third world tinpot dictator feel to it – which is of course in keeping with Trump’s bogus casting of his own fate in terms of political repression by the current ruling regime.

While the GOP pols who see fit to kiss the ring are themselves a dubious collection of easily mocked figures – Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) among them – watching the “law and order” and “faith-based” party kneel before a criminal defendant in a case involving a porn star no less is another marker of how far things have fallen.

But when your party has unified around insurrections past and still to come, anything is possible.

Michael Cohen Cross-Examination Could Start Today

TPM’s Josh Kovensky arrived at the courthouse this morning just after 5 a.m. ET to make sure he snares a seat for Day 2 of Michael Cohen’s testimony.

Prosecutors moved swiftly through the bulk of his direct testimony Monday, and the highly anticipated cross-examination of Cohen by Trump attorney Todd Blanche could begin as early as today.

Kovensky will resume liveblogging the trial this morning. Here’s his wrap on yesterday’s testimony.

I Can’t Let The Mar-a-Lago Case Go

A great thread by Lawfare’s Roger Parloff on what U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is up to in the classified documents case.

I Missed This

Late last week, Politico published an unusual inside account of the work of the Arizona grand jury that brought indictments in the fake electors probe there:

The Arizona grand jury that recently indicted 18 people for their roles in former President Donald Trump’s scheme to subvert the 2020 election cast a far wider net than state prosecutors had publicly foreshadowed.

The panel of 16 Arizonans displayed unusual independence from the prosecutors supervising the investigation, according to a rare inside look at the secret proceedings based on interviews with eight people familiar with the probe and documents signed by a top prosecutor.

The upshot is that at least one person told my prosecutors they weren’t a target of the investigation ended up indicted within days by this very independent grand jury.

Ratfuckery, 2024 Style

TPM’s Khaya Himmelman: Far-Right Group Recruits Followers To Overwhelm Election Offices With Voter Roll Challenges

Quote Of The Day

If you threaten to harm or kill an election worker, volunteer or official, the Justice Department will find you and we will hold you accountable. The public servants who administer our elections must be able to do their jobs without fearing for their safety or their families. We will aggressively investigate and prosecute those who threaten election workers.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, at a meeting of DOJ’s Election Threats Task Force 

On SACR And Extremist Ideology

Drawing in part on TPM’s work, researcher Beth Daviess takes a closer look at the Society for American Civic Renewal, focusing on its gender ideology and accelerationism.

Abortion Watch

  • Louisiana: Legislators are considering designating the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol as “controlled dangerous substances.”
  • Arizona: The state Supreme Court delayed until August enforcement of the Civil War-era abortion ban it revived, which may give the legislature’s repeal of the ban enough time to kick in without the ban ever being enforced.

2024 Ephemera

  • Primary elections are being held today in Maryland, West Virginia, and Nebraska.
  • MD-Sen: The most closely watched race is the Senate Democratic primary, where Rep. David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks will face off for the right to take on former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the general election. Trone, with his Total Wine & More fortune, has outspent Alsobrooks by something in the neighborhood of 10-1, an enormous $60 million in a primary. But Alsobrooks has the support of many major Democratic figures.
  • Democratic super PAC launches a $25 million ad buy in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania featuring abortion rights testimonials.
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court signals it will overturn a 2022 decision and reinstate ballot drop boxes for absentee voting.

Where Are Senate Democrats?

House Democrats – who wield no subpoena power but understand the messaging value of hard-hitting investigations – have launched a probe of Donald Trump’s meeting last month with oil executives at Mar-a-Lago, where he implored them to funnel $1 billion to his campaign and touted it as a good investment.

More Of This, Please

An important rules change by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (so sexy) that is intended to ease the approval process for the massive expansion of the electrical grid necessary for the transition to a non-carbon energy economy.

We’re Still Not Talking About This The Right Way

A lot of focus in recent weeks on what is being dubbed the “insurance crisis” but which is really the climate crisis coming home to roost. Insurers, especially property insurers, are the canary in the coal mine that real estate values are artificially inflated because they don’t take into account heightened risks from climate change. Obviously that has profound implications on the real estate market, and it is deeply frustrating to homeowners, for example, not to have access to affordable property insurance. But I get the sense the public conversation is focused on building a head of steam to address the insurance piece of this complicated problem and continue to ignore the underlying causes.

David Sanborn, 1945-2024

The saxophone great has died after a long bout with prostate cancer:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: