A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
I Mean, Come On
Republicans are super mad at Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) for talking about congressional orgies and coke “key bumps” and for being an all-around nuisance. And they’re not exactly making a secret of it.
- One of Cawthorn’s home state senators piled it on thick Wednesday. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) took the unusual step of demanding that the ethics committee in the other chamber investigate Cawthorn after the Washington Examiner published a story suggesting the House lawmaker was allegedly involved in a potential insider trading scheme.
- As TPM’s Josh Kovensky reports, Cawthorn isn’t alone among conservative figures involved in the dubious cryptocurrency venture.
- Tillis declared that “insider trading by a member of Congress is a serious betrayal of their oath,” a principle he curiously kept to himself when North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr (R) had (and continues to have) … similar issues.
- A superPAC tied to Tillis has poured more than $300,000 into an anti-Cawthorn ad campaign that, among other things, painted the House Republican as an “attention-seeking embarrassment.”
- Tillis’ demand and the Examiner’s article come less than a week after photos of Cawthorn wearing lingerie were leaked to Politico (which reported on said photos with a very weirdly worded headline).
McCarthy Tamps Down Restive Members
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had a conference-wide meeting with House Republicans on Wednesday to do some major damage control after his rebukes of certain far-right lawmakers in his Jan. 10 House GOP leadership call were published this week–and apparently he successfully pulled it off, according to the Washington Post and CNN.
- But that was reportedly at least in part because, like Trump, the MAGA loyalists in the conference would rather use McCarthy’s comments as leverage for legislation and committee spots they want if the GOP takes the House in the midterms, rather than pick a damaging intra-party fight.
- Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) were reportedly the only Republicans who spoke out against the leaders during the meeting, the former reportedly in more heated terms than the latter. Greene reportedly asked for an apology but also blamed the media, not necessarily the leaders themselves, for the chaos. Gaetz was reportedly more confrontational.
Scalise Privately Meets With Gaetz To Discuss Taped Remarks
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) had a one-on-one meeting with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Wednesday to talk about Scalise calling Gaetz’s actions “potentially illegal” during the now-leaked Jan. 10 House GOP leadership call.
- Sounds like Scalise only half-apologized, telling Politico that he told the Florida Republican, “I’m sorry if this caused you problems.”
- Gaetz kept his lips sealed after the meeting, telling Politico he wanted to “reflect on it further.”
NY Grand Jury In Trump Case To Expire This Week
The special grand jury that’s been hearing evidence in the Manhattan district attorney office’s criminal investigation into the Trump Organization is going to expire at the end of the week and won’t be extended, CNN reports.
- Prosecutors’ presentations to the grand jury stopped after Alvin Bragg was sworn in as district attorney this year, and key prosecutors on the case subsequently resigned.
- Bragg insisted earlier this month that the investigation was still going on even though he had declined to pursue prosecution against Trump in the probe.
Giuliani To Testify In Front Of Jan. 6 Panel
The House Jan. 6 Committee is expected to finally hear from ex-Trump lawyer and election steal extraordinaire Rudy Giuliani in May after months of negotiations over the scope of the panel’s subpoena to him, CNN reports.
Tennessee GOP Leader Wants To Burn Books
In an almost too on-the-nose development in conservatives’ war on books they find personally offensive, Tennessee state House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) proposed flat-out burning the library books that get removed:
Trump Appeals Contempt Ruling
The ex-president’s lawyer, Alina Habba, filed an appeal on Wednesday after a New York state judge held Trump in civil contempt for defying New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) subpoenas for documents about the Trump Organization.
- Trump was ordered to pay $10,000 in fines every day until he turns over the documents James seeks in her civil investigation into his businesses.
- Despite the judge’s ruling on Monday, Habba still insisted that Trump’s legal team had already turned over the requested documents.
Iowa’s Fate As First Dem Primary Contest In Even More Jeopardy
As the Democratic Party reevaluates where it’ll hold its first primary contest in the 2024 presidential election, New Hampshire is in the lead in the competition for the coveted spot that Iowa holds dear, according to Politico.
Biden To Visit Asia For The First Time As POTUS
The President is slated to visit South Korea and Japan from May 20-24, his first trip to Asia since his presidency began.
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