A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
The Proud Boys Trial Is Very Much About Trump
It was a crazy day in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial yesterday, and they didn’t even get to opening statements.
The entire day was devoted to pretrial issues (which look likely to spill over into today and could further delay opening statements):
- The biggest news coming out of the day was the judge’s decision to allow prosecutors in their opening statement to use video of then-President Trump calling for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”:
- U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that Trump’s comments showed “an additional motive to advocate for Mr. Trump (and) engage in the charged conspiracy” to keep Trump in power.
- At one point, the judge ended up in a shouting match with one of the defense attorneys, after which he put all counsel on notice: “Everyone take note – you talk over me, and contempt will be coming down the line. It’s going to be a long trial.”
- Still unresolved is the status of defense lawyer Norm Pattis, who has been suspended from the practice of law by a Connecticut judge for allegedly improper conduct during his representation of Alex Jones in the Sandy Hook defamation cases.
- Pattis lost his bid yesterday to delay his suspension and says he will appeal it to the state Supreme Court.
Buckle up! The Proud Boys trial is going to be a scene.
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REVEALED: New Subpoena From Jack Smith’s Team
The Washington Post has obtained a previously unreported subpoena issued to Trump 2020 campaign officials in early December as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of the events leading up to Jan. 6. Let’s break it down into subparts:
- Potential witness tampering and obstruction of justice: The subpoena appears to zero in on issues that came up during the Jan. 6 committee’s work around who is paying for the lawyers for witnesses. According to the Post: “One part of the four-page legal document asks recipients to reveal if anyone other than themselves are paying for legal representation — and if so, to provide a copy of the retention agreement for that legal work.”
- Dominion and Smartmatic: The subpoena seeks information about the two voting tech companies that were the subject of scurrilous conspiracy theories from Trumpworld, according to the Post: “That request seems designed to gather what campaign officials might have been saying privately at the time Trump backers were publicly disparaging those firms in the wake of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.”
- Follow The Money: The subpoena requests information about a host of Trump entities beyond just the Save America PAC, including Make America Great Again PAC, the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee: “Recipients are asked to produce documents related to the “formation, funding and/or use of money” of the groups and to show all employment contracts or correspondence with the groups or officials affiliated with them.”
- Bogus Fundraising: The subpoena also seeks information about the so-called “Election Defense Fund”: “Officials later testified to the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, that such a fund never technically existed but was a mechanism to generate funds from people who believed and were outraged by Trump’s false election-fraud claims.”
The final little nugget from the Post story:
Separately, several lawyers involved in the investigation said the Jan. 6 grand jury had accelerated its activities in recent weeks, bringing in a rapid-fire series of witnesses, both high and low level.
A quick reality check from Andrew Weissmann:
Pro: good they are asking for all this. Con: two years after the events!
Does That Secret Three-Page Addendum Even Exist?
First reported by Punchbowl last week, the purported three-page addendum to the House GOP’s rules package was supposed to contain the most controversial concessions Kevin McCarthy made to the Freedom Caucus crazies to win the speakership. Now Politico is calling into question whether such a document ever existed.
New Biden Classified Docs Found
NBC: Biden aides find second batch of classified documents at new location
George Santos’ Campaign Finances Are Raging Dumpster Fire
TPM’s Hunter Walker and Josh Kovensky talked with former campaign staffers and plowed through thousands of pages of FEC reports for their exclusive inside look at the unlikely congressional campaign of Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
More New Santos Revelations
So much new damning info:
- The NYT obtained Santos’ resume.
- WaPo: “The Mysterious, Unregistered Fund That Raised Big Money for Santos”
Drumbeat Of Calls For Santos Resignation Picks Up
The dam finally broke yesterday, with New York state Republicans calling for Rep. George Santos (R-NY) to resign:
- In a sign of their own tenuous political positions, four fellow GOP freshmen from New York called for Santos to step down.
- Local GOP officials in Santos’ district also called for him step aside.
Santos Is Bringing Everyone Down
The Santos scandal has yielded the amazing admission from the speaker of the House that lots of pols on the Hill have inflated their resumes.
My Fave Santos-ism Is The Volleyball Lie
So many juicy elements of George Santos’ fabulism, but college volleyball star at Baruch is the chef’s kiss of made-up bullshit.
This new tidbit emerged yesterday via the local GOP committee chair in Santos’ district:
Evidently not satisfied that the written record was enough, Mr. Santos told Nassau County Republican officials that he was also part of a championship-winning volleyball team at Baruch, according to Mr. Cairo.
“He said he was a star and that they won the championship and he was a striker,” Mr. Cairo said on Wednesday.
Not true, as it turns out.
And … what’s this “striker” nonsense? Volleyball aficionados were quick to point out that’s a soccer term, not an actual volleyball position.
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