A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
The Plot Thickens
After four years of criming, scheming, plotting and conspiring, it seems like we’ll never get to the bottom of everything that went down during the Trump presidency. But damn this is a good one!
Over the summer the New York Times reported that James Comey and Andrew McCabe, at one time the No. 1 and 2 at the FBI, were subjected to rare, highly intrusive audits by the IRS. It was fishy because the odds were very long of two highly public foes of Donald Trump each getting unusual treatment from the IRS.
Now there’s more.
Former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly tells the Times that while he was still at the White House Trump repeatedly said he wanted his political enemies to be investigated by the IRS. Among those Trump singled out, according to Kelly: Comey and McCabe.
For his part, Kelly said he thought he had talked Trump off the ledge. It involved some contentious conversations about ethics and the law blah blah blah. But Kelly seemed to think he had averted Trump acting on the worst of his vengeful instincts.
Notably, the audits of Comey and McCabe came after Kelly left the White House.
Among the other people Trump wanted to send the IRS after, according to Kelly, were Hillary Clinton, Jeff Bezos, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page.
A Trump spokesperson had a thoughtful and muted response to the Kelly allegations: “It’s total fiction created by a psycho, John Kelly, who never said this before, and made it up just because he’s become so irrelevant.”
Why GA-Sen Matters So Much
The difference between 50 and 51 seats for Dems is huge. So the stakes in the Senate runoff in Georgia remain very high. Don’t take my word for it:
This thread digs a little deeper:
Here’s a more practical and grim reason 51 seats matters in the ancient Senate:
Judges, Judges And More Judges, Please
With Democratic control of the Senate now assured by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s re-election victory in Nevada, President Biden will have another two years to remake the federal judiciary.
Dem Hopes For A Miracle House Win Faded Over The Weekend
He’s seen enough:
GOP Starts To Abandon Trump LOLs
The signal-to-noise ratio on the GOP dumping 3-time loser Trump is off the charts, as in lots of noise but very little signal. A few right-wing pundits here and there vent their spleens over the midterm results, or a few lesser light GOP officials talk about “getting back to normal,” and suddenly it’s free-for-all of news stories about the GOP moving on from the Trump era. Of course we want to encourage the GOP to decultify itself, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet.
Latest On Mar-A-Lago
The Guardian: Court files show evidence Trump handled records marked classified after presidency
Trump Indictment Watch
With the midterms over, Senate control settled, and House control nearly decided, the Justice Department is free once again to take overt investigative steps in its various investigations into Donald Trump.
The Mar-a-Lago documents investigation seems to be the farthest along, but it’s still hamstrung by the special master process that a Trump-friendly federal judge in Florida imposed. So I wouldn’t anticipate an indictment until after either the special master is done in mid-December or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals shuts the process down as the Justice Department has requested. But we may still see more publicly obvious moves from DOJ now that the election is past.
The same is true of the Jan. 6 investigations, which continue to grind along but with a relatively low public profile.
Pence Goes Farther Than He Has Before About Trump On Jan. 6
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” former Vice President Mike Pence said in a sit-down interview with ABC News.
I Detect A Theme
The Economist: The world is going to miss the totemic 1.5°C climate target
Scientific American: The world will likely miss 1.5 degrees C—why isn’t anyone saying so?
Overnight Shooting At UVa
Three dead and two wounded on the grounds of the University of Virginia, with a gunman still on the loose in Charlottesville.
~ Congress returns for its lame-duck session before the new Congress is sworn in in January.
~ President Biden’s weeklong foreign trip continues. Biden is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this morning in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The President arrived in Indonesia after stops in Egypt for COP27 and in Cambodia.
Tuesday, Nov 15
~ Trump makes bigly announcement, presumably to announce his candidacy for president in 2024.
~ House GOP to hold leadership elections, where we’ll get our first taste of what a colossally weak and simpering speaker Kevin McCarthy will be.
~ DOJ has a deadline to object in federal court in DC to the unsealing cases involving the Jan 6 grand jury.
Thursday, Nov. 17
~ Senate GOP holds leadership elections
Zelensky Visits Kherson
The triumphant Ukrainian president visited the Black Sea port city for the first time since Russian forces withdrew:
Please Let This Be True
The author Michael Lewis has reportedly been embedded with Sam Bankman-Fried for the past six months for a book on the crypto hero turned villain.
Please Let This Be True, Part II
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