Trump Chickens Out Of Testifying In Carroll Trial

INSIDE: Stewart Rhodes ... Fani Willis ... Bryan Slaton
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Magazine Columnist E. Jean Carroll leaves after her civil trial against former President Donald Trump at Manhattan Federal Court on May 04, 2023 in New York City. Attorney Joseph Tacopina... NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Magazine Columnist E. Jean Carroll leaves after her civil trial against former President Donald Trump at Manhattan Federal Court on May 04, 2023 in New York City. Attorney Joseph Tacopina, former President Donald Trump's lawyer, informed Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that the former president will not be coming to court to testify in the civil case and will also not present any witnesses in the trial. Lawyers for Ms. Carroll rested their case and closing arguments are expected to happen on Monday. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/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.

Carroll Judge Calls Trump Bluff

The 5 p.m. ET deadline came and went Sunday without former President Trump changing his mind and deciding to testify in his own defense in the trial of E. Jean Carroll’s rape and defamation claims.

The judge set the deadline after Trump made noises that he was returning early to the States from a trip to Ireland in order to confront his accuser. Trump’s lawyers had already told the court he would not be testifying, but the judge turned the knife by giving Trump the unusual chance to change his mind.

Bluff called.

Closing arguments are expected to begin today. The jury should get the case tomorrow.

Great Read

TPM alum Ryan Reilly with the story of how the Jan. 6 rioter in a pink beret was finally caught:

The breakthrough in the FBI investigation started inside a Joann Fabric and Crafts store. Last weekend, a clothing designer was standing in the checkout line waiting to purchase a needle for his sewing machine when his buddy saw something funny on his phone.

It just gets better from there.

DOJ Is Going Hard At The Oath Keepers

The sentencing memo the Justice Department filed Friday in the Oath Keepers case reflects a deep appreciation for the historic significance of the Jan. 6 insurrection, for what real accountability looks like, and for the ongoing threat to the rule of law that Trump and the far-right represent.

Prosecutors are seeking a 25-year jail sentence for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy.

A key passage from the memo:

Here, the need to deter others is especially strong because these defendants engaged in acts that were intended to influence the government through intimidation or coercion—in other words, terrorism. And they were leaders of such efforts. Because these defendants not only contributed to the attack on the Capitol but helped to organize it, their sentences will be noted by those who would foment such political violence in the future.

Sentencing for the Oath Keepers is scheduled in late May and early June.

What The Proud Boy Jurors Thought

Vice News’ Todd Zwillich interviewed one of the jurors in the four-month-long Proud Boys trial.

Immunity Deals For Eight Fake Electors In Georgia

Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis is still at it. She’s reportedly doled out immunity deals to eight fake electors in the Trump-led effort to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. But I should point out that the news of the immunity deals came via an unusual channel, so I’m hesitant to interpret this as I typically would offers of immunity.

Is Bragg’s Case Against Trump That Unusual?

The NYT does an analysis of false business records cases brought by the Manhattan DA’s office under Bragg and his predecessor Cyrus Vance:

A New York Times analysis of about 30 false business records cases brought by Mr. Bragg and his predecessor — based on court records, interviews and information the office provided — shows that in this respect, the case against Mr. Trump stands apart. In all but two of the indictments reviewed by The Times, the defendant was charged with an additional crime on top of the false records charge.

Debt Limit Status Update

I can save you a lot of time by assuring you that a resolution to the GOP’s hostage-taking on the debt ceiling is unlikely to be resolved this week despite the much-ballyhooed White House meeting scheduled for tomorrow between President Biden and congressional leaders. We’ll keep you up to speed throughout the week on any major developments, but I don’t expect many.

Early Signs Of A Major Shift On Abortion Politics

There’s some tension between reporting on the enormous impact Dobbs has had and will continue to have on the lives of women nationwide and looking for the early signs of a political retrenchment that breaks the stranglehold abortion foes have had on the Republican Party. But in the end both things can be true. Here’s a good read on one data point: The Unexpected Women Blocking South Carolina’s Near-Total Abortion Ban

Weekend Hate Read

It’s been a while since a story elicited the kind of universal scorn that the NYT’s soft-focus profile of Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos fraud fame provoked.

2024 Ephemera

  • Ooops: Ted Cruz confused his potential 2024 opponent, Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), with another black man: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg:

Texas Moves To Expel Lawmaker For Sex With Intern

The Texas legislature could vote to expel state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R) as early as this week for allegedly plying a 19-year-old intern with alcohol and having sex with her. Slaton’s attorney has denied the allegations. It was just a few weeks ago that Slaton was leading the charge against drag shows as a “grooming event” that leads to the “the sexualization of our children.”

8 Killed By SUV Outside Migrant Shelter

Witnesses reported the driver of the SUV was hurling anti-immigrant remarks before the vehicle hit a group of mostly Venezuelan men waiting at a bus stop in Brownsville, Texas.

Texas Outlet Mall Shooting Investigated As Possible Hate Crime

The gunman who killed eight people Saturday at an outlet mall in suburban Dallas had a fascination with white supremacist and neo-Nazi views – and was wearing a “RWDS” patch on his chest: Right Wing Death Squad.

It Was An Ugly Weekend

America’s usual macabre tableau after a mass shooting – thoughts and prayers, turgid explanations for why nothing can be done, soulful howls of mourning from those directly affected, cries of despair from everyone else with a conscience – had barely gotten underway after the Allen, Texas outlet mall shooting before the SUV-rampage in Brownsville.

Among the worst of the worst was, as you might expect, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But nothing quite captured the American right’s obsession with guns and carnage as this moment on Fox News:

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Notable Replies

  1. YeS! FIRst.

    Oh, how delightful iT is To be THE first COmmenter.! What a joyous feeling it is to have the privilege of starting the conversation, ON MOnday, of setting the tone for wHAt is surE to bE a lively and Engaging discussion OF wHAt UNpatriotic LIBtards thinK IS Wrong ABOUT AMerica.

    HOPefuLLY my Being First WILL spaRK a PAssionaTE discuSSION On the LEft abOUT TruMP and Chickens, GUNS KILLING peoPLE, WHY we SHOULDn’T baN carS because THEY also KIll PEOPLE.

    So let us raise a glass to, ME the first poster on THE comment board ON the FIRST day of The WEEK - a pioneer, a trailblazer, a true visionary. May MY words inspire, MY ideas ignite, and MY enthusiasm be contagious to all WHO arE late to THE game. Cheers, losers ANd HATers!

  2. Avatar for mec mec says:

    “* Ooops : Ted Cruz confused his potential 2024 opponent, Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), with another black man: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg:”

    Very possible that Allred will be Ted’s biggest nightmare. A former NFLer, who has a brain, and showed real courage under pressure.

  3. All politicians look alike??

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