Morning Memo comes to you today from a Manhattan Starbucks pumping Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” at 5:30 a.m. Let’s do this thing!
Worst Client Ever
It was a day of swirling news reports, sketchy sourcing, and tea-leaf reading about the latest developments in the criminal probe of Donald Trump for improperly retaining classified and other government records.
Let’s focus on the top line news: The former president had at least two more classified documents in his possession that had not previously been turned over to investigators!
They were reportedly “found” by a third-party contractor hired by Trump to look for additional government documents in his possession. The newly found documents were at at a storage facility in West Palm Beach. To be clear, this search doesn’t appear to reflect a decision by Trump to finally come clean, but was ordered by the chief federal judge in DC who oversees the grand jury investigating the matter.
This comes after:
- The federal grand jury subpoenaed Trump for any and all classified records
- The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago
- Extensive efforts by the National Archives to retrieve documents from Trump
- Months of wrangling in court over what documents Trump had and whether he was entitled to them.
In true Trump fashion, this shocking news was hardly surprising.
That Was A Weird Day
Want to go deeper on this?
- TPM’s Kaila Philo recaps the evolving news over the course of the day.
- The acerbic Marcy Wheeler brings her keen eye to the mishmash of conflicting reporting.
Trump Photographed With QAnon Figure At Mar-a-Lago
The former president posed for a photo with Liz Crokin, a prominent QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist, at a Mar-a-Lago event earlier this week.
Blood In The Water?
“Normal” Republicans are seizing on the moment of Trump’s apparent weakness to try to hasten his departure from the scene. Here’s Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) doing his best to dance on Trump’s grave:
I know a lot of people in our party love the former president. But he’s, if you will, the kiss of death for somebody who wants to win a general election. And at some point, we’ve got to move on and look for new leaders that will lead us to win.
These kinds of comments will lead to lots of stories like this:
- Trump’s isolation deepens as Georgia loss adds to 2024 bid’s rocky start
- Donald Trump and His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 3 Weeks
There’s not much evidence that the Trumpist fever is finally breaking, but power is a mysterious thing and it can evaporate quickly. So while a cowed and powerless Trump seems unlikely, repeated electoral defeats, endless legal turmoil, and the stink of loserdom are some of the ingredients of irrelevance. We may not know it happened except in retrospect.
On the other hand, the man has a point:
It’s About Damn Time
Congressional Democrats are ramping up an investigation into the nexus of Jared Kushner’s family business dealings and his overseas diplomacy while a senior White House official.
Insurrectioning Is Hard
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted – then quickly deleted – his support for Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution.
No Segue Needed
The best part of the German coup plot is its ringleader was a 71-year-old minor aristocrat with monarchist fever dreams of restoring the Second Reich:
The prince, whose professional website calls him Heinrich XIII Prinz Reuss and says he offers “Coordination of Business interest,” worked as a high-end real-estate broker. He was arrested in Frankfurt, where he has both an apartment and offices in the exclusive West End neighborhood.
As for his family legacy, please let this be 100% true:
All of the male children born into the family are called Heinrich, and given a numerical suffix: and when the family reached a hundred, they started numbering again. It is understood the family has long since distanced itself from Heinrich XIII.
The clownishness, the cosplay, the self-absorption, the mix of the absurd and the dangerous, the tentacles into military and law enforcement circles: Right-wing coup plotters are as ridiculous everywhere as they are in America?
There’s Always The Grift
State Rep. Joe Harding (R-FL), who sponsored the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, was indicted on federal fraud charges.
What Went Down At SCOTUS
TPM’s Kate Riga recaps the Supreme Court oral arguments on the independent state legislature theory:
Coda To Rudy’s Ukrainian Hijinks
A pro-Russian Ukrainian official who fed Rudy Giuliani dirt before the 2020 election is now facing federal money laundering and bank fraud charges in Brooklyn.
NYT Reporters and Editors Strike
With talks on a new contract dragging on, the union representing reporters and editors at the New York Times is staging a one-day strike today.
New IG Report On Whitey Bulger’s Prison Death
When notorious mobster and longtime fugitive Whitey Bulger was killed in 2018 at a federal prison in West Virginia within 12 hours of his arrival from another Bureau of Prisons facility, the suspicion that the fix was in was very strong.
Three fellow inmates were charged earlier this year in Bulger’s death.
Sean Spicer Is Still Sean Spicer
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