A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
A Quick Check In With Trump
In recent days, despite being a criminal defendant in four different jurisdictions and at risk of violating the terms of his pre-trial release, the out-of-control former president has continued to launch screeds against prosecutors, judges, witnesses, the FBI, DOJ, and the justice system broadly.
It looks like a meltdown, decompensation, a psychic wound on public display.
But most importantly, it’s a promise of what’s to come if he’s re-elected. He’s telling us, once again, exactly what he will do. He has famously called it his “retribution.” And it’s reflected in the language he is still using: “an eye for an eye” and “fight fire with fire.”
He’s assuring us now that he’ll weaponize the Justice Department, arrest and jail his opponents, and bring to bear the full power of the office of the presidency to inflict punishment on his foes.
He’s not saying it explicitly, but the implication is clear: He’ll also use the office to the greatest extent possible get himself out of the criminal jam he is in.
Don’t trust me, though. Just watch this sampling because, ummm, yeah, dude is not okay:
Pretty Much This
Rudy Loses Badly
Rudy Giuliani’s comedown continues, with a devastating default judgment entered against him in the defamation suit brought by Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.
U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell’s decision to sanction Giuliani for his failure to comply with his discovery obligations to the two Georgia women leaves only the question of how much he must pay them for a jury to decide. The sanction included finding him liable for the defamation and for punitive damages.
Howell kept the pressure on Giuliani to cough up the discovery he owes them by giving him a final deadline to comply. If he still refuses to comply, she will instruct the jury that it must construe his inaction against him. But if he complies, she’ll give the jury the option of construing it against him. A subtle difference between bad and worse.
The Next Phase In Georgia RICO Case Begins
Everything Is Totally Normal In Georgia
This is Georgia state Sen. Colton Moore (R):
Navarro Can No Longer Avoid Trial
Former Trump White House official and all-around goof Peter Navarro lost his bid to delay his contempt of Congress trial when U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that former President Trump had not invoked executive privilege on Navarro’s behalf.
Navarro, who rebuffed a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee, is set to stand trial beginning next week.
A classic moment outside the courthouse after Navarro’s setback:
Fuck Around And Find Out
Keep calling the judge a “kangaroo court” and a “Nazi court” and you might find yourself jailed for criminal contempt, as one Jan. 6 defendant did.
Brandon Fellows will serve five months in prison for contempt of court after completion of his trial, in addition to whatever sentence imposed on him if he’s convicted. There’s some irony that Fellows ran afoul of U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee who has generally been more lenient on Jan. 6 defendants.
Proud Boys Sentencing
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly was ill yesterday, postponing the sentencing of top Proud Boys for the their seditious conspiracy convictions. Sentencing will resume today, but the most closely watched defendant, Enrique Tarrio, now won’t be sentenced until next week.
Don’t Forget About This One
In October, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil suit against Donald Trump and three of his adult children for their allegedly fraudulent running of the Trump Org is set to go to trial. A new found of filings sets the stage for some key pre-trial rulings:
- NYT: Trump Asks to Dismiss Suit as A.G. Says He Inflated Worth by $2.2 Billion
- CNN: New York AG’s office alleges Trump inflated his net worth by as much as $2.2 billion in 1 year
Mitch McConnell Has Another Episode
Another disturbing frozen-in-public moment for the 81-year-old Senate minority leader:
Meet Kitara Ravache
The WaPo dives into Rep. George Santos’ past life as a drag queen in Brazil.
- WSJ: Losing 2022 GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters (AZ) is set to run for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat next year, setting up a potential primary race against failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
- Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R_MI) is expected to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Anyone See A Pattern?
Another day, another Republican arrested for voter fraud.
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Last month, the WSJ first reported that some on Tesla’s board were concerned company resources were being used on secret project to build Elon Musk a glass house near Austin. Now federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the SEC are investigating, the WSJ reports exclusively.
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