Nicole Lafond

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Nicole Lafond is TPM’s associate editor, based in New York. She has also worked as the special projects editor and as a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously covered education in central Illinois.

The Golden Dukes Are Back
TPM's troll version of the Oscars have returned.

In 2020 we brought you the Duke of Dukes Golden Duke ceremony, a March Madness style winner-takes-all quest to answer the year’s most burning question: Who is the most brazen political buffoon of all time (errr… the last 20 years or so that TPM has been celebrating this kind of debauchery)???

We asked. You answered. Rudy Giuliani, in all of his rotten glory, was knighted the one Duke to rule them all.

To let old Rudes really marinate in his swamp of celebration, we took a year off from TPM’s annual fête-ing of the year’s scummiest trash holes and greatest grifters. But we’re back.

The midterm elections gifted us something we didn’t even know we were craving: a new cast of craven characters to revive our broken spirits, and a new standard by which to judge and luxuriate in their absurdity.

So without further ado, welcome to ✨Golden Dukes 2022✨ Clinking our glasses to craziness is what TPM does best.

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Where Things Stand: Catching Up On The Trump Org Tax Fraud Case
This is your TPM evening briefing.

There are about a hundred Donald Trump-related investigations happening at the moment, so today I’ll save you the Google with this brief rundown of the Trump Organization criminal tax fraud case, which is wrapping up closing arguments either this evening or sometime tomorrow morning. The jury will then begin its deliberations.

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Where Things Stand: You Made Your Bed, Boys
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has been going off the deep end with the best of them the last several days, hyping various conspiracy theories oozing out of the public comment section of a Maricopa County meeting that took place before election officials certified the midterm results in Arizona’s most populous county this week.

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Where Things Stand: Devil Will Not Be Going Down To Georgia
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Republicans and aides surrounding both Donald Trump and Herschel Walker’s campaigns apparently don’t want the former president touching Georgia’s runoff Senate race with a 10-foot pole.

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Where Things Stand: Pence Rebuffed Jan 6 Panel But Is Open To Considering DOJ Testimony
This is your TPM evening briefing.

The Justice Department wants to question former veep Mike Pence as part of its criminal probe into Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, two people familiar with the matter told the New York Times in a piece published this afternoon. Pence is reportedly considering the request, breaking from his outright refusal to cooperate with the House Jan. 6 Select Committee’s probe into the matter.

A DOJ investigator reached out to Pence’s team before Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee and weigh charges in the DOJ’s criminal probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, as well as the department’s classified records case.

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Where Things Stand: A Fight From Another Era
This is your TPM evening briefing.

The Supreme Court today rejected Donald Trump’s last-ditch request that the High Court block House Democrats from viewing his tax returns, meaning House Democrats can attempt to finally get the records from the Treasury Department before Republicans take back the House in January.

The order was brief, unsigned and noted no dissents.

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Where Things Stand: Top Republicans Are Trying To Talk Trump Out Of Announcing Tonight
This is your TPM evening briefing.

Donald Trump is reportedly considering announcing his 2024 bid tonight during a rally in Ohio with Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, just hours ahead of Election Day.

It was reported last week that Trump was considering announcing his 2024 bid sometime this month, most likely in the week after the election. That timing is key in signaling just how quickly the national conversation will switch to 2024 post-midterms. Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu summed up reports of Trump’s plan to announce before the new Congress is even sworn in: It’s a “terrible idea.”

Today reports surfaced that Trump is actually planning to move up his announcement to tonight. And Republicans are now reportedly even more in sync with the “terrible idea” assessment.

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