No One Will Be Safe From Trump’s Retribution Tour

INSIDE: Mark Meadows ... Aileen Cannon ... Mike Johnson
KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 04: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during the Florida Freedom Summit at the Gaylord Palms Resort on November 04, 2023 in Kissimmee, Florida... KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 04: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during the Florida Freedom Summit at the Gaylord Palms Resort on November 04, 2023 in Kissimmee, Florida. The Republican Party of Florida hosted the summit as candidates continue to campaign across the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Trump And His Allies Plot Revenge

On the heels of a similar story from the NYT, the WaPo details the planning going on to operationalize Trump’s “I am you retribution” promise if he wins election in 2024:

Donald Trump and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.

All of this is part of the so-called Project 2025 being run by Trump loyalists and a network of DC think tanks. The WaPo story identifies specific targets of Trumpian revenge:

In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said.

I’ve seen criticism that the NYT and WaPo don’t connect the dots between the kinds of things Trump was already doing while in office and what he’s promising to do in a second term. Fair, as far as it goes, but I do take some solace in mainstream coverage that treats using the office of the presidency for retribution and revenge as ominous and not normal. I would also note that the WaPo identifies former Trump DOJ flunky Jeff Clark as “leading the work on the Insurrection Act under Project 2025.” So there is some recognition of the continuity here.

My question is more along the lines of this: At what point does a presidential campaign conspiring to weaponize the federal government against its political enemies become fair game for criminal investigation? It’s a delicate and complicated question, but one we best be asking ourselves sooner rather than later.

Good Read

TPM: Trump’s Violent Rhetoric Echoes The Fascist Commitment To A Destructive And Bloody Rebirth Of Society

Trump Appointee Sentenced In Jan. 6 Attack

Ryan Reilly: “A former Donald Trump political appointee at the State Department who tried to storm the Capitol and assaulted law enforcement officers on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 70 months in prison on Friday.”


Daily Beast: Mark Meadows’ Publisher Sues Him for Millions Over Election Lies in Book

Special Counsel Calls Out Trump’s Delay Tactics

Special Counsel Jack Smith is becoming more animated and less circumspect about Trump’s delay tactics. A new filing in the Jan. 6 case offers the most recent look at Smith’s new, more blunt language: “The defendant’s misleading criticism of the way the Government produced emails exposes that he is grasping at straws for an excuse to delay these proceedings.”

MAL Delays And A Spanking

Early on, I cautioned not to overreact to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in the Mar-a-Lago case until we had more to go one. I hope readers of Morning Memo recognize by now that we have plenty to go on.

The two main developments Friday: (i) Cannon wrongly smacked prosecutors for a good-faith courtesy filing alerting her to Trump’s latest antics; and (ii) Cannon okayed another delay in the pretrial schedule.

For more details:

  • TPM: Judge Cannon Knocks Jack Smith For A Filing Calling Out Trump’s Delay Tactics
  • Joyce Vance: “The reality is that Judge Cannon lacks the temperament to be a federal judge.”

Trump Takes The Stand Today In NY Fraud Case

Pass the popcorn: 6 things to watch.

NY Judge Issues New Gag Order

Things got prickly Friday in the NY fraud case when Trump’s lawyers again targeted the trial judge’s law clerk, prompting the judge to expand the gag order from Trump to his lawyers.

GOP Gov’t Shutdown Alert

Reminder: The current CR runs out on Nov. 17.

The Most Ignorant Man In DC?

TPM alum Cameron Joseph with an exhaustive profile of Alabama GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville

Israel-Gaza Watch

  • WSJ: Israeli Military Poised for Battle for Gaza City
  • Michigan Democrats criticize Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for invoking “from the river to the sea.”
  • HuffPo: Republicans Introduce Bill To Expel Palestinians From The United States

Illinois Assault Weapons Ban Upheld

Chris Geidner: “Late Friday afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld Illinois’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — a major decision applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision striking down a New York gun law to uphold a different gun restriction.”

2024 Ephemera

  • NYT/Siena Poll: President Biden is trailing Donald Trump in five of the six most important battleground states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania).
  • Dan Pfeiffer: How to Respond to the Very Bad NYT Poll
  • David Leonhardt: What Can Biden Do?
  • KMOV: Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R), a candidate for governor, implies that if voters enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution he’d have to resign as governor rather than violate his oath of office.

Getting To Know Speaker Mike Johnson

  • Rolling Stone: Mike Johnson Admits He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Intake in Resurfaced Video
  • WaPo: How Speaker Mike Johnson’s plans for a Christian law school unraveled
  • AP: Mike Johnson was founding dean of a planned law school in Shreveport. It never materialized.

NYC Has Some Of The Best Political Scandals

The straw donors probe of NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign gets better and better:

New York City police officers were sent to the home of Mayor Eric Adams’ chief fundraiser — at the request of an internal affairs official — just hours before it was raided by the FBI in a campaign-finance corruption probe tied to Turkey’s government, The Messenger has learned.

The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau official called the 77th Precinct headquarters in Brooklyn around 7 p.m. Wednesday and requested a “wellness check” at the home of Brianna Suggs, 25, a law enforcement official familiar with the matter said.

  • Who is Brianna Suggs and why did Eric Adams tap an inexperienced 23-year-old recent college grad to run his campaign’s fundraising?
  • NYT: Did Fake Donors Give the Mayor Real Money?

The Fight Continues …

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