Aileen Cannon Has Created Another Mess In The MAL Case
INSIDE: Jack Smith ... Donald Trump ... James Lankford
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Special Counsel Jack Smith revealed in a new filing last night that there is a federal investigation ongoing into social media threats against a potential witness in the Mar-a-Lago case.
Not much was revealed about the nature of the threats, the witness, or the status of the investigation. The investigation is being handled not by Smith, he said, but by a U.S. attorney’s office. ABC News was the first to report on the new filing.
The reason Smith was forced to reveal the investigation is that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is taking a hard line on what discovery Smith must hand over to Trump and on whether Smith can file sealed and/or redacted documents in the case to protect sensitivities like ongoing investigations.
Cannon ruled partially against Smith on these issues earlier in the week, forcing his hand. Smith’s filing last night alerted Cannon that he’ll be filing a motion today for her to reconsider her earlier rulings, but even to do that he wants to attach more information about the ongoing investigation into witness threats to the motion ex parte and under seal. Trump is opposed to allowing Smith to do that.
Cannon has created a box for Smith and perhaps for herself by taking such a hard line. But it’s consistent with her defense-friendly approach throughout this case. For more on the mess Cannon is making, I defer to Joyce Vance.
Biden Special Counsel Report Is Done
Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed in a letter to Congress that Special Counsel Robert Hur has completed his report on President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents during his vice presidency. It will be released once the White House counsel’s office has completed a review for anything protected by executive privilege. The White House expects to be done with its review this week.
Happy Disqualification Clause Day!
Supreme Court oral arguments in the Disqualification Clause case out of Colorado are scheduled for 10 a.m. ET.
The TPM team will be covering it in all its dimensions, including this live blog.
Some additional reading as you settle in to listen:
Timothy Snyder: “Trump disqualified himself from office by taking part in an insurrection and thereby seeking to substitute the rule of fear for the rule of law.”
If Not Now, Then When?
I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about the Disqualification Clause, not because I worry it’s anti-democratic or will spark backlash, but because it’s not entirely clear to me how this was intended to work. Ambivalent doesn’t mean against its use here, just curious and open-minded. As a result, I am as interested in the Supreme Court’s rationale as the ultimate outcome.
But what I keep coming back to is this point that Judge Luttig makes so well: If this isn’t a proper application of the Disqualification Clause, then what it is? The worst possible decision by the Supreme Court would be one that renders the Disqualification Clause impotent and inapplicable to any situation.
A Threat Disguised As A Legal Argument
Steve Vladeck and Lee Kovarsky: The bad-faith argument against good-faith accountability for Trump
Senate GOP Won’t Let House GOP Corner The Market On Crazy
Perhaps its a sign the the enfeebled Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t have the same iron grip on his conference as before. Maybe it’s just another consequence of Trump wrecking the GOP as political party. But whatever the case, Senate Republicans are looking every bit as foolish as their House counterparts, at least this week.
Senate Republicans Wednesday voted en masse against the Ukraine aid-border package they had insisted on. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) started the process of bringing up a standlone foriegn aid package for a vote today, and now some GOP senators are insisting on border amendments. It’s crazymaking, and they can’t be satisfied.
Please Name Names
The Senate GOP craziness has exacted a high price on lead Republican negotiator James Lankford (R-OK):
House GOP Refuses To Yield Crazy To The Senate GOP
They’re so mad, y’all:
So Simple Yet So True
Preach, Brother, Preach
NYT Mag: How Mark Meadows Became the Least Trusted Man in Washington
MT-Sen: Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is expected to buck the Senate GOP and endorse Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) over Republican Tim Sheehy in the GOP primary to decide who will challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
WI-Pres: Biden and Trump are tied 49-49 among registered voters in Wisconsin, according to a new Marquette University Law School Poll.
For The Record
Police have determined that the stabbing Sunday of a Palestinian American in Austin was a hate crime.
TPM’s Kate Riga: Florida Chief Justice Pushes Fetal Personhood At Argument For Abortion Amendment
Iceland Eruption Resumes
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