On A Historic Day, Political Violence Was Just Below The Surface

INSIDE: Fani Willis ... Paul Gosar ... Lauren Boebert
Washington, DC - January 9 : Former President Donald Trump flanked by attorney John Lauro, left, and D. John Sauer, center right, speaks to reporters and members of the media at the Waldorf Astoria hotel after attend... Washington, DC - January 9 : Former President Donald Trump flanked by attorney John Lauro, left, and D. John Sauer, center right, speaks to reporters and members of the media at the Waldorf Astoria hotel after attending a hearing of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals at the federal courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. 09, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Trump Warns Of ‘Bedlam’

Following the oral arguments in DC, which Trump attended in person, he retreated down Pennsylvania Avenue to the site of his former hotel where he threatened to unleash mobs again.

Credit to the WaPo: “Republican polling leader Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened unrest if the criminal charges against him cause him to lose the 2024 election.”

A simple, direct, and true lede that doesn’t obfuscate, excuse, or muddy the grim reality of what we’re up against.


Great coverage by the TPM team yesterday of the DC Circuit oral arguments on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity from prosecution:

Sums Up The Inanity Of Trump’s Immunity Argument

One Cautionary Note

A lot of ink has been and will be spilled on the unprecedented and extreme nature of Trump’s immunity argument. All true, as far as it goes. And there’s no question that if any court adopted anything close to what he is asking for it would mark a fundamental break from the 235-year-old constitutional order.

But don’t get too giddy about the consensus that this is nuts, that Trump fared poorly in yesterday’s oral argument, and that he will ultimately lose even at the Supreme Court. Why? Because this was a delay tactic. It bought him time. It probably slowed down his trial date. Enough to push it past the election? Unclear at this point. But make no mistake what this was about.

I’m not Eeyore-ing about it. It is what it is. But we should be clear about what it is: one element of Trump’s delay strategy to save his own ass.

Quote Of The Day

I believe people when they say that they want to hurt us or kill us. I don’t think they’re idle threats.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky

‘Almost Every Democracy Is Under Stress’

NYT: Elections and Disinformation Are Colliding Like Never Before in 2024

WaPo: Violent political threats surge as 2024 begins, haunting American democracy

What Comes Next

The Disqualification Clause case before the Supreme Court is likely the next big Trump case. I want to start introducing you to the “political” arguments around the legal wrangling. It’s complicated, but there’s a concerning emergence of an almost “too cool for school” cynicism among legal scholars and pundits about what the high court will do that risks giving it cover to ignore the plain language of the Constitution.

A couple of pieces to get you started:

  • Harry Litman: Why the Supreme Court will probably put Trump back on the ballot in Colorado and nationwide
  • Brian Beutler: We Can’t Afford Weak-Kneed Liberalism In The Trump Era

New Twist In The Fani Willis Weirdness

No formal court filing yet from Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis responding to the claims Monday by a Trump co-defendant in the Georgia RICO case accusing her of hiring a lover as as special prosecutor to handle the sprawling election subversion case. But the WSJ reports that Willis was served with a subpoena earlier that same day by special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s wife to testify in their divorce proceedings.

2024 Ephemera

  • Michigan poll: Trump leads Biden 47%-39% among likely voters in a head-to-head general election matchup.
  • New Hampshire polls all over the map: Trump’s lead over Nikki Haley among likely GOP primary voters is down to seven percentage points, 37%-32%, according to a new CNN poll. In contrast, a new Suffolk University/Boston Globe/USA TODAY poll found Trump leading Haley 46%-27%.
  • Iowa: Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will be the only participants tonight in a debate hosted by CNN, while Donald Trump counterprograms with a Fox News townhall-style appearance.

Good Read

I missed this last week, but the Arizona Mirror has a followup on our reporting from last year on the racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia being spewed on social media by now-former staffers of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

Lauren Boebert’s Ex-Husband Arrested

It’s not clear whether Jayson Boebert’s arrest on weapons and assault charges was related to an altercation with ex-wife Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) over the weekend.

Big Land

The Land Report is out with its annual list of the top 100 private landowners in America:

  1. Emmerson Family
  2. John Malone
  3. Ted Turner
  4. Stan Kroenke
  5. Reed Family
  6. Irving Family
  7. Buck Family
  8. Singleton Family
  9. Brad Kelley
  10. King Ranch Heirs

The sizes of the holdings range from just under a million acres in Texas to nearly 2.5 million acres spread across California, Oregon, Washington.

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