The Walls May Finally Be Closing In On Donald J. Trump

INSIDE: Tina Peters ... Joel Greenberg ... Kanye West
A slow shutter speed image of former US president Donald Trump on a TV screen is seen in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on 23 February, 2022. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto)
A slow shutter speed image of former US president Donald Trump on a TV screen is seen in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on 23 February, 2022. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Devastating Ruling In MAL Case

A DC lawyer emailed me shortly after the 11th Circuit panel handed down its decision in the Mar-a-Lago case: “Wow. Complete and total rejection of everything the district court did.”

That pretty much sums up the reaction from legal observers.

Joyce Vance: 11th Circuit to Trump: You’re Not Above the Law!

George Conway: “To say that the court of appeals today completely eviscerated Judge Cannon’s ruling and Trump’s arguments is an understatement.”

Barb McQuade: “11th Circuit decision dismissing the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case is obviously correct, yet still a relief to see the court get it right. This will clear the way for special counsel Smith to review all of the documents and make a charging decision.”

Neal Katyal: “The Mar-a-Lago Trump investigation is now going forward with the blessing of the Court of Appeals, in a decision signed by all 3 judges (two of whom were appointed by Trump and one by President George W. Bush) This Trump maneuver backfired spectacularly. Like all he touches.”

More Really Bad News For Trump

As if the Mar-a-Lago loss wasn’t enough, CNN first reported Thursday that Trump also lost his bid to use executive privilege to block the grand jury testimony of his own White House counsel.

In secret proceedings, the chief judge of federal district court in Washington, D.C., has ordered former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin to provide additional grand jury testimony in the Jan. 6 investigation.

Scavino Testifies Before Jan. 6 Grand Jury

The NYT buries this little nugget in its MAL coverage:

In recent weeks, several witnesses connected to the investigation have appeared in front of a grand jury in Federal District Court in Washington. On Thursday, that included three close aides to Mr. Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The aides included Dan Scavino Jr., Mr. Trump’s former social media guru, William Russell and William B. Harrison, who worked for Mr. Trump when he was in the White House, the people said.

Mike Flynn Still Fighting Georgia Grand Jury Subpoena

Former Trump National Security Adviser turned conspiracist Mike Flynn has been ordered by a Florida judge to testify to the Georgia grand jury investigating 2020 election subversion, but he’s appealing that decision trying to avoid having to appear as scheduled on Dec. 8.

Jury Will Soon Get The Trump Org Criminal Case

Closing arguments in the criminal case highlighted by the testimony of Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg should wrap up today and the case will go the jury.

Making Sense Of the Oath Keepers Verdict

The mixed verdict was a huge win for the rule of law and the Justice Department, but the way the jury approached the case leaves a lot to chew over: “Five Stray Thoughts on the Oath Keepers Verdict.”

Bad News For Tina Peters

Tina Peters’ ex-deputy has agreed to testify against her in her upcoming trial. Peters, the Mesa County, Colorado clerk who boosted election conspiracy theories, is facing criminal charges arising from a data breach at her office.

Flat Out Funny

Republicans are starting to figure out that Trump’s war on mail-in voting may not be good for them. Go figure!

I snorted over this Politico headline: “Pennsylvania Republicans reconsider their war on mail voting”

And this quote is golden:

“There’s no question in my mind that Republicans have to have a different mail-in strategy,” said Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania. “When one party votes for 30 days and one party votes for one, you’re definitely going to lose.”

Joel Greenberg Sentenced To 11 Years

The Matt Gaetz buddy who ultimately cooperated with prosecutors was sentenced to 11 years in prison, the upper end of the sentence range prosecutors were seeking.

IRS Audits Of Comey And McCabe Were Legit Random

A Treasury Department inspector general has concluded that the unusual audits of former top FBI officials James Comey and Andrew McCabe were in fact random. The IG found no evidence of political mischief involved in the surprising coincidence that two of Donald Trump’s leading provocateurs were singled out for IRS scrutiny.

Another Kanye Meltdown

How to sum it up? A totally masked Kanye West went full Nazi on Alex Jones’ Infowars show and was suspended from Twitter after posting a swastika. As crazy as all that sounds, it really doesn’t do Kanye’s day justice.

  • The Infowars interview was too much even for Alex Jones:

This InfoWars interview with Kanye West is getting so thoroughly antisemitic that even Alex Jones is pushing back, after West has spent the last few minutes accusing Jews of being pedophiles. “I think most Jews are great people,” Jones says. “But I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”

  • Benjy Sarlin: “We are in the worst case scenario mode here of celebrity, neo-Nazism, conspiracy thinking, partisanship, and reflexive anti-woke contrarianism all colliding at once and it’s genuinely extremely concerning.”
  • Even chief twit Elon Musk couldn’t take it anymore: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”
  • It was too much even for the Jim Jordan Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, who had steadfastly refused to delete their notorious tweet until yesterday:

Supreme Court Takes Up Challenge To Biden Student Loan Debt Relief

The top line news: Biden’s student loan debt relief program is now on a Supreme Court fast track, and the court is keeping in place the pause on the program while the case proceeds.

But equally interesting is the dramatic pattern of the Supreme Court intervening in high-profile cases with deep partisan stakes before the appeals courts have finished weighing in. Take a look:

How Bad Is The Western Drought?

The Colorado River is facing a “complete doomsday scenario.”

PAGE, AZ – OCTOBER 23: The Colorado River and the Glen Canyon Dam is seen from the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook on October 23, 2022 in Page, Arizona. The water in Lake Powell and the Colorado River has been receding due to recent droughts leaving parts of the lake and river parched. The federal government are moving forward with plans to reduce water allocations from the Colorado River Basin to Arizona and is asking millions of residents to reduce their water consumption as the drought get worse. (Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Obama Still Got It

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