A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
All Gamesmanship All The Time
In the grand scheme of things, this probably doesn’t rank as the Trump legal team’s worst offense, but I mention it because his lawyers continue to quickly use up whatever benefit of the doubt U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan may have harbored.
The same pattern has played out in other Trump cases: An over-the-top defense combined with playing fast and loose with the rules while making it abundantly clear that the audience is a political, not a legal, one. The only case where it hasn’t resulted in Trump becoming adversarial with the judge is in the Mar-a-Lago case. Looking at you, Aileen Cannon.
The latest gamesmanship from Trump went like this:
- Media coalition seeks live TV coverage of the trial of Trump in the Jan. 6 case.
- Special Counsel Jack Smith opposes it, arguing that the judge doesn’t have authority to override the procedural rule prohibiting the broadcast of proceedings.
- Trump tells Smith he’s taking no position on this issue, and Smith conveys that to the judge.
- Days later, Trump reverses course and supports broadcasting the trial, submitting a filing long on invective and short on the law.
In a follow-up filing yesterday, Smith brought the switcheroo to Chutkan’s attention and asked for leave to file a brief four-page reply to Trump’s newfound support for TV in the courtroom: “[T]he Government sought the defendant’s position on the applications, and his counsel requested that the Government represent to the Court that he took no position. The Government accurately reported that to the Court.” Smith noted that his brief was ready to file as soon as the judge gives him leave to do so.
In an epitome of Trump’s gamesmanship, he opposes Smith’s motion for leave to reply.
Judges do notice this kind of thing.
Trump Wants More Time In Jan. 6 Case
While all of the above gamesmanship was going on, Trump made a last-minute appeal to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to extend the deadlines for filings due this week. Smith opposed that motion.
Aileen Cannon’s Latest Disaster
I wanted to make sure you saw the sleight of hand from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon late last week in the Mar-a-Lago case. She pushed several pre-trial deadlines, and while she didn’t move the trial date back … yet … she all but ensured she would later by creating a nearly impossible schedule.
Stone Cold Jack Smith
Politico: New book details Trump lawyers’ secret meeting with Jack Smith ahead of DC indictment
Trump Attacks Jack Smith And His Wife … Again
While the federal courts keep the gag order against Trump on hold while considering his appeal, Trump continues to spew threatening, inflammatory, and inciting public attacks against his chief prosecutor and his family:
Never Say We Vermin Weren’t Warned
Trump takes the darkest fears harbored by progressives, animates them, then takes them up a few notches:
So About That NYT Headline …
How it started:
How it ended:
How it played:
Bannon Contempt Case Lingers On
TPM’s Kate Riga on the oral arguments before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals as Steve Bannon attempts to get his contempt of Congress conviction overturned.
AP: Secret Service agents protecting Biden’s granddaughter open fire when 3 people try to break into SUV
Self-Proclaimed ‘Sniper’ Threatened To Kill MTG
A Georgia man was arrested after allegedly leaving a threatening voicemail for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greeene: “I’m going to murder her. I’m going to shoot her in the f—ing head and kill her, OK.”
Let’s Check In On The Jan. 6 Defendants … WTF?
- NBC: Tennessee man admits to conspiring with Jan. 6 defendant to kill FBI agents
- ABC: Jan. 6 suspect Gregory Yetman surrenders to police after widespread manhunt
Speaker Johnson A-Okay With His Role In The Big Lie
When I asked Speaker Johnson on November 2 whether he regretted any of his actions between the 2020 election and January 6, 2021, he told me: “No, I stand by that position, even today, adamantly.”
In this NYT weekend piece – Sweeping Raids, Giant Camps and Mass Deportations: Inside Trump’s 2025 Immigration Plans – you see the peril of Trump II:
The constellation of Mr. Trump’s 2025 plans amounts to an assault on immigration on a scale unseen in modern American history. Millions of undocumented immigrants would be barred from the country or uprooted from it years or even decades after settling here.
Such a scale of planned removals would raise logistical, financial and diplomatic challenges and would be vigorously challenged in court. But there is no mistaking the breadth and ambition of the shift Mr. Trump is eyeing.
- NYT: With Manchin Out, Democrats’ Path to Holding the Senate Is Narrow
- Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) announced that she will run for Virginia governor in 2025 instead of seeking re-election to the House.
- NPR: 5th Circuit sets a January deadline for a new Louisiana congressional map
- NBC: How the GOP muzzled the quiet coalition that fought foreign propaganda
- Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) suspends his presidential campaign:
GOP Gov’t Shutdown Watch
The House GOP is a expected to bring to the floor as soon as Tuesday a gimmicky continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown at the end of this week.
Eric Adams Is In Hot Water
This is starting to look a lot less like a campaign finance case and a lot more like a foreign influence case:
- FBI is investigating whether NYC Mayor Eric Adams cleared red tape on a building project backed by the Turkish government.
- The FBI seized Adam’s electronic devices in the probe.
The Case Of Crystal Clanton
Ruth Marcus on what happened to the protégé of Clarence Thomas who allegedly sent racist text messages.
What Israel’s Far Right Looks Like
You probably know the drill by now. Isaac Chotiner gets some dubious personality on the phone and let’s them self-eviscerate across the pages of the New Yorker. At this point, if Isaac Chotiner asked me my favorite flavor of ice cream, I’d go into hiding. In the latest installment of his notorious Q&A, Chotiner hands the knife to Israeli settlement leader Daniella Weiss.
AP: Media watchdog says it was just ‘raising questions’ with false insinuations about photographers and Hamas
- Long Island: Swastikas, Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found At Restaurant/Bar In Montauk
- NYC: Man of Indian descent wearing Arab scarf says he was violently confronted by a woman in Brooklyn park
- Paris: More than 100,000 demonstrators march against anti-Semitism
WaPo exclusive: Ukrainian military officer coordinated Nord Stream pipeline attack
Pope Francis Removes Conservative US Bishop
AP: “Pope Francis on Saturday ordered the removal of the bishop of Tyler, Texas, a conservative prelate active on social media who has been a fierce critic of the pontiff and has come to symbolize the polarization within the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.”
‘God Is A Bunch Of Drunks Together In A Room’
Hank Azaria on how his friend Matthew Perry helped him to get sober.
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