Georgia Grand Jury Foreperson Goes On Wacky Press Tour
INSIDE: Jennifer McClellan ... George Santos ... Marjorie Taylor Greene
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Just Stop Talking
In the absence of indictments in Georgia and with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s own Jan. 6 investigation mostly tight-lipped, we are left with this: The foreperson of Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis’ special grand jury mouthing off to reporters and sitting for TV interviews.
Juries, including grand juries, are composed of ordinary people, and they do ordinary people things. But with the fate of the Republic and the rule of law hanging in the balance at this perilous moment, it’s not the time to jeopardize long-running investigations with public winks and nods about what’s coming.
Emily Kohrs, a 30-year-old between jobs, was first interviewed by the AP for story published Tuesday morning. Other interviews soon followed, culminating with the on-camera sit-down with NBC last evening.
Kohrs walked right up to the line of discussing grand jury deliberations, which she and the other grand jurors were ordered by a judge not to do. She all but confirmed that the special grand jury recommended that former President Trump be indicted. She also said that the special grand jury recommended indictments of other high-profile figures in the probe, but didn’t name names. Not good news if you’re, say, Rudy Giuliani or Mark Meadows.
Kevin McCarthy’s Corrupt Bargain With Tucker Carlson
The Washington Post has the best rundown yet on Tucker Carlson’s special access to the Jan. 6 surveillance video from the Capitol thanks to Speaker McCarthy.
While much of the video has been made public as part of Jan. 6 prosecutions and official investigations into the attack, Capitol Police have been very reluctant to let all of the surveillance video be made public for fear of compromising existing security measures.
A big tell yesterday on how out of bounds McCarthy is: Officials responsible for Capitol security didn’t know of McCarthy’s dirty deal with Carlson until it became public via Axios on Monday.
Monumental Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Set
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz, regarded as a liberal, and former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly, a conservative, finished 1 and 2 in the primary vote yesterday and will face off April 4 for the empty Supreme Court seat that will determine the ideological makeup of the court, which has been under GOP control for some 15 years.
Virginia Elects Its First Black Congresswoman
State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D) romped over Leon Benjamin (R) in the special election to fill the 4th Congressional District seat, held by Rep. Donald McEachin (D) until he died in November.
In Case You Missed It
The chief investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee sat down for an interview with the NYT now that the committee’s work is done:
What was the moment when you knew this committee would be breaking new ground?
When the pattern of the multipart plan to prevent the transfer of power started to take shape. That started to fall into place pretty early, and that was surprising. The world had seen the violence of the Capitol and how awful it was. But how we got there, and how methodical and intentional it was — this ratcheting up of pressure that ultimately culminates in the president inciting a mob to disrupt the joint session — that was new.
How early on did you know you had enough material for a criminal referral?
When we started to see intentional conduct, specific steps that appear to be designed to disrupt the joint session of Congress, that’s where it starts to sound criminal. The whole key for the special counsel is intent. The more evidence that we saw of the president’s intent, and others working with him, to take steps — without basis in fact or law — to prevent the transfer of power from happening, it started to feel more and more like possible criminal conduct.
Analyzing Pence’s Defense To A Jan. 6 Grand Jury Subpoena
With Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation mostly underground at the moment, legal commentators have had a lot of time to parse former Vice President Mike Pence’s Speech or Debate Clause defense to complying with a subpoena from one of Smith’s grand juries.
If you’re catching up on this sideline debate, Just Security is a good place to start: The Limited Scope of Vice President Pence’s Speech or Debate Clause Immunity.
The folks at Grid News with some good sleuthing on Capitol Hill real estate: Meet ‘Patriot’s Row’: Mark Meadows’ MAGA hub buys a multimillion-dollar chunk of ‘the Swamp’
Why The South Has Such Low Credit Scores
A choice piece of journalism from the Washington Post on the chronic low credit scores across the American South.
Spoiler alert: Failure to expand Medicaid under the ACA leads to medical debt which kills credit scores.
The South is where Republicans continue to resist Medicaid expansion the most, and where its need is greatest.
And so in a way it still all comes back to race.
Minnesota Restores Voting Rights To Convicted Felons
Both chambers of the Minnesota legislature have passed a bill restoring voting rights for convicted felons as soon as they complete their terms of incarceration. Gov. Tim Walz (D) is expected to sign the bill.
A glimpse into the ways in which the Big Lie has firmly embedded itself in the right-wing zeitgeist and become a “thing” for local officials to campaign on, investigate, police, and legislate. All of those dynamics are captured in the goings-on in Tarrant County, Texas, home to Ft. Worth and more than 2 million people where the district attorney and sheriff have created a new election integrity task force.
George Santos, You’re George Santos!
CNN fact check: George Santos tells new lies in interview about his old lies
Politico: George Santos’ campaign spending did not line up from the start
The Brave New World Of MTG
Thanks for reading today’s Morning Memo. You can find the TPM members’ commenting section here.
I don't understand the media pearl clutching over this forewoman thing. She hasn't really said anything earthshaking right?