A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Another One Bites The Dust
The Jan. 6 rioter who famously propped his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk – and left her a note saying “Nancy, Bigo was here bi-otch” – was convicted by a DC federal jury of obstructing Congress and of disorderly conduct in the Capitol while carrying a dangerous weapon.
Second Oath Keepers Seditious Conspiracy Trial Ends In Convictions
After 13 hours of deliberations, a federal jury in DC convicted four Oath Keepers of seditious conspiracy and related charges for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
This was the second successful prosecution of Oath Keepers for seditious conspiracy, following last year’s conviction of group leader Stewart Rhodes and others.
While the Oath Keepers and Richard Barnett were being convicted elsewhere in the same courthouse, the seditious conspiracy trial of the Proud Boys descended into weirdness:
Carmen Hernandez, attorney for Zach REHL, now asking the FBI case agent about this part of the Proud Boys initiation manual. pic.twitter.com/5M9mnOAafH— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 23, 2023
Big Day In Georgia
A Georgia judge will hear arguments on whether to release publicly the report of the special grand jury investigating Trump’s interference in the state’s 2020 election.
TPM’s Josh Kovensky previews the hearing.
A couple of additional points:
- Trump is not a party and is not represented at today’s hearing. News outlets have weighed in collectively urging the judge to release the report.
- The Washington Post reports that the judge is not expected to rule from the bench today. But expect a decision fairly soon.
The Problem With TWO Special Counsels
Even if the Trump and Biden investigations turn out to be factually and legally quite different, as it seems they might, the dual special counsel structure will make it hard for the department to portray its decisions as principled. Normally in such prominent side-by-side investigations, an official reporting to the attorney general would ensure that the same legal and discretionary judgments informed decision-making in the two cases. But these decisions are now delegated to the special counsels Jack Smith and Robert Hur, who do not have the incentives or even the mechanism to coordinate their decision making.
Worst Attorney General Since John Mitchell
Aaron Blake: William Barr is still being misleading about the Mueller report
This Case Is So Crazy, Y’all
The counterintel and law enforcement worlds were rocked by the arrest of a former top FBI official on not one but two separate federal indictments, one in NYC, the other in Washington, DC.
Very roughly, the DC indictment covers the time that Charles McGonigal was still at the FBI, and the New York indictment covers the period since his retirement from the bureau.
TPM’s Josh Kovensky dives into the charges from DC.
Bloomberg: Ex-FBI Agent Charged With Taking Payments, Aiding Oligarch
WSJ: Former FBI Agent Charged With Taking Payments From Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska
NYT: Former Senior F.B.I. Official in New York Charged With Aiding Oligarch
Oh, Look, Our Old Friends At True The Vote
ProPublica: Promoters of Election Lies Also Hyped a Hospital for Ukraine. That Never Happened Either.
McCarthy Now Embraces MTG
McCarthy And His Allies Vow: We’ll Never Let You Go MTG
What Did Elise Stefanik Know And When Did She Know It?
As George Santos’ biggest backer in Congress, Elise Sefanik has some explaining to do.
The Debt Ceiling And Bad Faith
Just one more data point in support of the debt ceiling hostage taking being done entirely in bad faith:
Holy Crap! Another Coup Plot In Germany?
You remember the minor German nobleman with alleged fever dreams of restoring the Second Reich, circa 1871?
It turns out that investigation was merely a spinoff from another coup probe which was unveiled yesterday by German authorities.
The two alleged plots have similar underlying origins in the extremist Reichsbürger movement, but the latest revelations have their own eye-popping details. Among the alleged aims of the five people arrested:
- blow up power supply facilities;
- kidnap Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and subject him to a show trial;
- put an actor on TV pretending to be the president or chancellor and announce that the government had been deposed and that the constitution of 1871 was in force again.
Reactionary revanchism is the emerging theme of the early 21st century.
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