Biden Issues Dire Warning About The Threat Posed By Republican Extremists
INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Robert Hur ... Kevin McCarthy
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
‘A Threat To The Character Of Our Nation’
It was quite a contrast Thursday as President Joe Biden gave a forceful speech warning of the threat to democracy and the rule of law posed by MAGA Republicans while those same radicals were taking overt steps in the House of Representatives to impeach him on baseless, evidence-free claims of wrongdoing.
In a speech in Arizona, Biden drew a through-line from Donald Trump’s threats against the media to the House GOP’s government shutdown to Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s attacks on the military leadership. Biden is not a powerful speaker, and his delivery often steps on his best lines, but don’t let the presentation distract from how extraordinary it is that an American president is having to issue such warnings about the threat to democracy.
A sampling of his remarks (based on the White House transcript):
“And there is something dangerous happening in America now. There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs in our democracy: the MAGA Movement.”
“Their extreme agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American democracy as we know it.”
“They’re pushing a notion the defeated former President expressed when he was in office and believes applies only to him. And this is a dangerous notion: This president is above the law, with no limits on power.”
“Did you ever think you’d hear leaders of political parties in the United States of America speak like that? Seizing power, concentrating power, attempting to abuse power, purging and packing key institutions, spewing conspiracy theories, spreading lies for profit and power to divide America in every way, inciting violence against those who risk their lives to keep America safe, weaponizing against the very soul of who we are as Americans.”
“This MAGA threat is the threat to the brick and mortar of our democratic institutions. But it’s also a threat to the character of our nation and gives our — that gives our Constitution life, that binds us together as Americans in common cause.”
You’ve been warned.
GOP Impeachment Shitshow
Two things you need to know about yesterday’s clown show as the House GOP initiated its impeachment inquiry: 1) The ham-handedness of their handling of the hearing reinforced how baseless, unserious, and often silly their impeachment jihad is; but 2) Those kinds of theater reviews of their performance can often veer into coverage that would, if their theatrics were more polished, eat it right up – so be a careful news consumer.
If you want a better sense of how epically bad yesterday went, Aaron Rupar has you covered with this video-heavy thread:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has died.
Trump Won’t Seek Removal Of Georgia RICO Case
After toying with the idea of removing the sweeping RICO case against him from Georgia state court to federal court, Donald Trump has decided to stay put. This was a complicated calculation for Trump, and oddly the low odds of succeeding were probably among the least of his considerations.
Two major factors argued against him seeking removal: 1) The case was likely to move faster in federal court, which is in conflict with Trump’s broad strategy of delay; and 2) Any effort by Trump to put on evidence to argue for removal would have been very constrained by the fact that having him testify would have been a disaster.
Trump Seeks Another Delay In Jan. 6 Case
Trump Loses Bid To Delay NY Civil Trial
A New York appeals court declined to delay the start of next week’s civil trial by the state attorney general against Trump, his adult sons, and numerous of his business entities. It had made a last ditch effort to stave off trial by suing the trial judge. Yep.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Letitia James’ witness list for trial includes Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Michael Cohen
Disqualification Clause Watch
Minnesota’s top election official isn’t taking a position on whether the Disqualification Clause renders Donald Trump ineligible for office but agrees the case currently pending before the state’s Supreme Court is the proper vehicle for answering that question.
So Many Trump Legal Entanglements!
After years of effort to make it happen, former FBI official Peter Strzok is finally set to depose Donald Trump next week – if a government shutdown doesn’t interfere.
Pro Tip: When On The Lam, Don’t Go Home
The Proud Boy convicted in the Jan. 6 attack who failed to show up to his sentencing last month was arrested … at his Florida home.
Is Biden Special Counsel Close To Wrapping Up?
Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Biden’s handling of classified information from his vice presidency is still pending. The NYT reports that Hur’s team has interviewed, among others, Steve Ricchetti, Jake Sullivan, Antony Blinken, Ron Klain, and Michael Carpenter.
Dead Man Walking?
Things are tense inside the House GOP conference, as the far-right gang plots to replace Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker as early as next week with his top deputy Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the WaPo reports.
House Progressives Name Their Price
If Kevin McCarthy comes hat in hand for Democratic votes to pass a budget deal or to save his speakership, House progressives want to extract a power-sharing agreement from him, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told TPM.
GOP Shutdown Watch
Chances are high that when you read Morning Memo on Monday, the federal government will have shutdown after running out of funding.
The House GOP will try to pass a stopgap funding bill Friday, but it’s not clear McCarthy has the votes. Even if it passes, it’s DOA in the Senate.
As of this morning, there is no obvious vehicle in the wings for avoiding a shutdown.
After a long ride on the struggle bus, the House GOP was able to pass three of four appropriations bills Thursday, but that won’t have any real impact on the looming shutdown.
2024 Is Gonna Be Another Misinfo Shitshow
Elon Musk has gotten rid of the team at X/Twitter assigned to combat election misinformation.
Idaho Abortion Ban Back In Effect
A three-judge panel of Trump appointees on the Ninth Circuit lifted an injunction blocking enforcement of Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion.
Makes My Head Hurt
The folks ginning up all kinds of conspiracy theories to justify a Biden impeachment are now conspiracizing about why they sucked so bad in the first impeachment hearing:
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