A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Cue The Benny Hill Theme Music
A newly filed affidavit describes how Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and his wife fled their home in a truck on Monday morning when a process server tried to serve the attorney general a subpoena in a lawsuit by nonprofits working to help Texans receive out-of-state abortion care.
Here’s how part of the scene played out, according to the process server in the affidavit:
“I walked up the driveway approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name. As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and RAN back inside the house through the same door in the garage.”
- The process server said he put the documents near the truck on the ground, only for Paxton to drive away–but not before the process server told the official he was being served.
- Paxton claimed later via Twitter that he ran away out of “concern about the safety and well-being of my family.”
Historic Oath Keepers Trial Begins
Today marks the first day of the criminal trial against Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the far-right militia facing seditious conspiracy charges over their roles in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
- Jury selection in the trial begins today, and opening statements are expected to come on Thursday.
- All five Oath Keepers have pleaded not guilty. They face up to 20 years in prison.
Oath Keeper Indicted Over Jan. 6 Texted Andrew Giuliani About Election
Kellye SoRelle, the general counsel to the Oath Keepers militia who’s been indicted for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, texted former White House public liaison staffer Andrew Giuliani (who’s also ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s son) in November 2020 about the election, NBC News reports.
- SoRelle also attempted to text a White House number on Dec. 20 (which couldn’t be delivered because she sent it to a White House switchboard line), according to a new book by former House Jan. 6 Committee adviser Denver Riggleman and reporter Hunter Walker.
Sinema Gets Mavericky With McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) unrolled the red carpet for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Monday at his eponymous McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, where the Arizona senator bragged that not only was she “committed” to keeping the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold, she also had an “incredibly unpopular view” about the threshold.
- Are you ready to hear it, America? Are you? Okay, here it is: The 60-vote threshold ought to be restored for votes where it’s been eliminated (and now only require a simple majority), like judicial confirmations, because doing so would create “middle ground” in “all parts of our governance,” Sinema argued as McConnell salivated several feet away from the podium.
- Sinema also boasted that she’s “never really wanted to fit in, not in Washington, and not anywhere else.” In other words:
- It’s still not clear who exactly Sinema’s trying to win over by proudly stonewalling her own party’s agenda (assuming it has anything to do with running for president or reelection instead of just pleasing donors). According to this new AARP-commissioned poll, her disapproval figures are at double digits across every Arizona voter demographic that got included in the survey (so hey, she’s definitely succeeding in bringing all sides together!):
Kyrsten Sinema: unpopular among everyone.— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) September 22, 2022
Sometimes it seems like she’s trying to please nobody, and if so, she’s succeeding. Sinema is 20 points underwater among Democrats, 10 points underwater with Independents, 18 points underwater among Republicans. pic.twitter.com/dOgsTqP8LW
“‘They Have Nothing to Lose’: Why Young Iranians Are Rising Up Once Again” – The New York Times
Putin Grants Russian Citizenship To Snowden
In what’s almost certainly meant to be a troll move aimed at the U.S., Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday granted Russian citizenship to ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who’s been living in Russia since 2013 to escape criminal charges after exposing U.S. mass surveillance.
- Snowden won’t have to go fight in Ukraine under Putin’s partial mobilization order (which applies to dual citizens), according to Snowden’s lawyer, because he hasn’t previously served in the Russian military.
- Snowden announced in 2020 that he and his wife were applying for Russian citizenship so they could cross borders more freely with their soon-to-be-born son.
Tracking Hurricane Ian
The Washington Post is following Hurricane Ian’s movement as the storm barrels toward Florida.
NASA Spacecraft Successfully Smashes Into Asteroid
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft plowed into an asteroid on Monday, a major breakthrough in scientists’ study of how to defend the Earth from a potential asteroid crash.
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