Trump’s Campaign Of Retribution Is Already Well Underway

INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Lindsey Graham ... Mark Robinson
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC, June 4, 2024. Republicans repeatedly questioned him about his role in Trump's conviction in New York... U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies during a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC, June 4, 2024. Republicans repeatedly questioned him about his role in Trump's conviction in New York, which was a state trial and out of the Department of Justice's jurisdiction. (Photo by Allison Bailey / Middle East Images / Middle East Images via AFP) (Photo by ALLISON BAILEY/Middle East Images/AFP 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.

About The House GOP Attack On Merrick Garland

I wrote yesterday about the House GOP eschewing any pretense of governing for this entire term in favor of using the levers of power to advance its own electoral interests via a relentless disinformation campaign against Joe Biden and his administration.

The vote yesterday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress — for sticking to well-established precedent and not coughing up an audio recording of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s interview with President Biden — is just the latest example of that disinformation campaign at work.

I also mentioned how the House GOP uses journalistic conventions to run its disinformation campaign not just on the backs of friendly right-wing propaganda outfits, but also directly through witless mainstream news outlets.

Here’s an easy example of what that looks like: Politico reduces it all to gamesmanship, score-keeping, and horse-race coverage. Under a headline that reads “House GOP gets a political win for Trump,” the lede is:

House Republicans landed a big political punch against President Joe Biden on Wednesday, just hours before they’re set to welcome Donald Trump to the Hill. They almost certainly can’t do more before November.

Well done, everybody.

A final point on all this: It’s clear to anyone paying a whit of attention that the House GOP is the forward operating base for Trump’s campaign of retribution. He has set out to avenge all of the perceived slights, attacks, and legal accountability directed at him in part because he’s characterologically incapable of anything else. But he also does it because it makes a strength out of a weakness and further inoculates him from the political damage of his criminal trials, especially with the kind of coverage he gets for it, even from non-propaganda outlets.

Holding Merrick Garland in contempt is just a small part of that larger revenge agenda.

Trump Returns To The Scene Of The Crime

Republicans welcome Donald Trump to the Hill today, his first visit since he, as president, instigated the Jan. 6 attack on the country’s legislative branch. But why let a violent armed mob sicced on the nation’s Capitol get in the way of letting bygones be bygones.

Also, This …

Trump is obsessed with getting Congress to somehow overturn his conviction — or at least exact revenge on those involved. See, e.g., Garland contempt of Congress vote above.

What Happened To The Proud Boys?

TPM’s Josh Kovensky reports: “Through a series of prosecutions, federal law enforcement effectively decapitated the Proud Boys’ leadership. It’s left an organization that is vulnerable, unclear in its organization, more prone acting at the local level, far weaker than it was at the end of the Trump administration, but still resilient and capable of inflicting harm.”

Lindsey Graham Kills Modest SCOTUS Reform Bill

Under pressure from nearly everyone left of center, Senate Democrats mustered a messaging bill on Supreme Court reform. It wasn’t the most ambitious set of reforms, and they knew Republicans would kill it. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did the honors for Republican senators and refused to provide unanimous consent for the bill to proceed.

Quote Of The Day

I didn’t expect her to meow several times.

Lauren Windsor, the activist who posed as a conservative Catholic and secretly recorded Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife Martha at an event last week

The Supreme Court As Trump’s Shamans

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on Trump’s claims of presidential immunity, some sharp analysis beautifully executed by Yale historian Timothy Snyder:

The legal theory of Trump’s coup attempt, made explicit in argument before the Supreme Court, is that the chieftain is immune to law.  There is magic around the chieftain’s person, such that he need respond only to himself.  The words “presidential immunity” are an incantation directed to directed to people in black robes, summoning them to act as the chieftain’s shamans and confirm his magical status.

Some of the people in black robes, Supreme Court justices, like being shamans. Our shamans are allowed to take bribes from those who support the chieftain, and also allowed to claim that as magicians, people unlike others, they are unaffected by them. If there is any doubt, our shamans tell us, they can be trusted to be judges in their own case.

The full essay is here.

Senate GOP Expands Election-Year Blockade On Biden Noms

Some Senate Republicans are using Donald Trump’s conviction as an excuse to do something they probably would have done (or at least wanted to do) anyway: Slow roll the confirmation of Biden nominees between now and the election. That same group expanded the blockade yesterday.

The hook here, of course, is that these senators are pitching in on the disinformation campaign that falsely claims President Biden engineered Trump’s Manhattan hush money conviction.

On The IVF Front …

  • Senate Republicans are expected to filibuster today a Democratic bill to protect IVF access nationwide. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up the election year vote to put Republicans on the spot about their support for Dobbs and their lack of support for IVF.
  • TPM’s Emine Yücel was on the Hill yesterday and filed this dispatch on Senate Republicans’ squirming and their tactics to try to flip the script on IVF.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention voted to oppose IVF as inconsistent with the dignity of “every human being, which necessarily includes frozen embryonic human beings.”

Quite A Trick

If I’m reading this right, the extremist track record of Mark Robinson, the GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina, is so controversial that state Republicans are altering campaign finance laws to make it easer to make anonymous campaign contributions. So you’ll be able to contribute to Robinson’s campaign without fear of being tarred by association with him!

End Of A Long Road

With so much time having elapsed, the last remaining survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre had to rely on somewhat novel legal theories to seek reparations for the attack, and yesterday the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected those arguments.

‘With All Due Respect’ Never Contained So Little Respect

It’s nice to see someone not indulge Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy’s overlarded bumpkin schtick. Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, is mesmerizing in this snippet of testimony. With her use of her voice, her body language, and the substance of her answer, she takes Kennedy apart at the molecular level:

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