A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
What’s Next For Jack Smith?
After winning at the appeals court late Wednesday, Special Counsel Jack Smith wasted no time in hauling former Vice President Mike Pence before a DC federal grand jury investigating the Trump-led effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Extra security and an arriving motorcade at the federal courthouse were the first clues Thursday morning that something was up. Pence testified before the grand jury for most of the day before motorcades were spotted leaving the underground parking garage in the late afternoon. Soon after that, major news outlet began reporting that it was in fact Pence.
Pence, a primary target of President Trump and rioters (don’t ever forget the “Hang Pence” chants at the Capitol), has the air of a domestic abuse victim. His testimony is essential to the case, but he’s been reluctant to turn on his former political partner. When he has turned on him, it’s been short-lived and followed by excusing-making for Trump and more enabling.
It took months of negotiations, a grand jury subpoena, and two parallel court proceedings, including Wednesday’s appeals court ruling, before Pence would provide his account under oath.
While no details of Pence’s testimony have yet emerged, the fact of it suggests we’re closer to the end of Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 investigation than the beginning (that is almost certainly true as well of Smith’s Mar-a-Lago probe, which by nearly every account is farther along). It’s not at all clear when we should expect to see charging decisions by Smith. Among the many unknowns:
- Will Smith proceed first against a layer of figures between the Proud Boys/Oath Keepers and the White House?
- Will Smith work his way up to Trump with charges against lower level figures directly within Trump’s orbit?
- Will Smith first obtain guilty pleas and cooperation from people close to Trump? Has he perhaps already done so but kept it under wraps?
And of course, while it now seems unlikely, it’s possible Smith charges no one in his Jan. 6 probe.
A Look At Jack Smith’s Team
ABC News has a good rundown of the lawyers working with Special Counsel Jack Smith.
It All Started At ‘Good Morning’
E. Jean Carroll appears to have held her own through a full day of cross examination on the stand by Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina.
Things started testy and never let up:
Cross-examining E. Jean Carroll is Joe Tacopina.— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 27, 2023
Tacopina: "Good morning, Ms. Carroll."
Tacopina: (somewhat louder) "Good morning, Ms. Carroll."
Carroll: "Good morning."
No trial today. The cross examination of Carroll is set to resume Monday.
While Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was strutting around Thursday like a bantam rooster after he struggled to get his conference to pass their dream debt-ceiling bill, Senate Dems were laughing at him.
Watch The Politics Of Abortion Shift In Real Time
Republican-dominated legislatures in South Carolina and Nebraska failed to advance new abortion restrictions Thursday in the face of pushback by some conservative legislators.
Painful To Watch
Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), the body’s only transgender member, spent Thursday working on a bench in a hallway outside the House chamber from which she has been banned by the GOP majority.
New Anti-Trans Law In Kansas
The GOP-controlled legislature in Kansas overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to pass one of the most sweeping anti-trans bathroom bills in the country.
Blowback In Florida
Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade, who won three championships with the Miami Heat and is the team’s all-time leading scorer, reveals he moved his family out of Florida because of the anti-LGBT atmosphere. Wade has a transgender teen.
Emmett Till Accuser Dies
Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose accusations against Emmett Till immediately preceded his lynching, has died in Louisiana at age 88
Fits The Profile
Jack Teixeira, the accused Discord leaker hailed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) as “white, male, christian, and antiwar,” was armed to the teeth and fantasized about mass shootings, prosecutors allege.
‘We Got Him’
The Washington Post has obtained hundreds of photos taken at the White House on the day Osama Bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military raid.
New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will no longer issue real-time service alerts on Twitter after Twitter tried to gouge $50,000 a month from the transit agency for the privilege.
Lede Of The Day
AP: “Private armed guards aboard a famous yacht once owned by the late Welsh actor Richard Burton opened fire on Yemeni Coast Guard members Friday after mistaking them for pirates, sparking a gunfight in the Gulf of Aden, authorities said. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was wounded.”
- Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) jumped into the race against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
- NYT: Top Republicans Balk at WinRed’s Plan to Charge More for Online Donations
- Is Donald Trump impersonating Herman Munster? What is happening?
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