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Good Lord, Who Among Us Hasn’t Paid For A Clarence Thomas Vacation?
INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Elon Musk ... Fani Willis
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
A new report from ProPublica this morning on all the lavish gifts and freebies bestowed on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over the years by conservative-minded benefactors:
At least 38 destination vacations, including a previously unreported voyage on a yacht around the Bahamas; 26 private jet flights, plus an additional eight by helicopter; a dozen VIP passes to professional and college sporting events, typically perched in the skybox; two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica; and one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club overlooking the Atlantic coast.
Some Things You Can’t Make Up
Former President Trump is now asking a federal judge to order the U.S. government to reconstruct a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) at Mar-a-Lago for pendency of his criminal trial.
Why? So that he is not inconvenienced whenever he wants to discuss with his lawyers the national defense information at the heart of the criminal case against him.
It’s such a preposterous request that it left observers sputtering and confused. Can a judge even do that? Would U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon dare grant such a request? Is there any precedent for such a thing (short answer: no).
If Cannon were to indulge this nonsense, I suspect this would be the first of what could be many pre-trial issues that Special Counsel Jack Smith would take to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for relief.
Fun Reactions To The Trump SCIF Nonsense
Katie Phang: “This ask by Trump is not only unusual, but basically asks Judge Cannon to make the literal scene of the crime into a SCIF…”
Elizabeth de la Vega: “What authority would Cannon possibly have to order the government to establish a SCIF anywhere? A US District Court Judge has no authority to do that.”
Joyce Vance: “It is, yet again, about fostering more delay to keep Trump from facing justice.”
Elon’s X Hit With $350,000 Court Sanction
We finally learned what a sealed legal fight in the Trump Jan. 6 investigation was all about: Elon Musk’s Twitter-turned-X failed to comply in a timely fashion with a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account. The January 2023 search warrant and a related non-disclosure order to keep Trump from finding out about the search warrant became the subject of a extended fight at the district court level, where Twitter initially lost. It lost again on appeal in a decision rendered last month but not made public (in redacted form) until yesterday.
For what it’s worth, Twitter ultimately did comply months ago with the search warrant, so the investigation has not been stalled this entire time.
Are We Really Doing This Now?
The phrasing “X, formerly known as Twitter” has started popping up in news stories. TPM’s general approach is to call people and entities what they want to be called (within reason), so we’ll probably be making a similar adjustment, but … ugh.
Atlanta Indictment Watch
District Attorney Fani Willis is reportedly going to seek “more than a dozen indictments” in her investigation of 2020 election interference.
Glenn Kirschner: Trump’s newest lawyer John Lauro seems confused about what his job actually is.
Arraignment In MAL Case
Former President Trump will be arraigned today in federal court in Ft. Pierce, Florida, on the charges contained in the new superseding indictment in the Mar-a-Lago case. This will be the first arraignment for Carlos De Oliveira, the newest defendant in the case. Trump himself has waived his right to appear. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected a request by a coalition of media outlets to allow electronic devices into the courthouse today.
MAGA Adherent Dies In FBI Raid
A Utah man was killed during an early morning raid in Provo when the FBI tried to serve arrest and search warrants on a MAGA adherent who had been posting to social media threats against Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and President Biden, who was set to visit Utah later in the day.
A sampling of some of the threatening posts:
Wildfire Death Toll In Maui Climbs To 36
Some Good Ones On The NYT Opinion Page
Charles M. Blow: The Montgomery Brawl Was, for Some, a Clarifying Moment
David Wallace-Wells: Why Is America Such a Deadly Place?
Alexander Nazaryan: Rewild The National Mall
Fernando Villavicencio Assassinated In Ecuador
NYT: “A presidential candidate in Ecuador who had been outspoken about the link between organized crime and government officials was assassinated Wednesday evening at a political rally in the capital, just days before voting begins in an election that has been dominated by concerns over drug-related violence.”
RIP Robbie Robertson
With Mick Jagger turning 80 last week and Robbie Robertson dying this week – both born the same year as my dad – my thoughts turned to the not-all-at-all pressing question of which rocker in my cohort will my son compare me unfavorably to when I’m 80 and not prancing around on stages lighting up large crowds. It took me all of one minute to figure it out: Fucking Dave Grohl.
Sums It Up!
Trae Crowder on the Ohio abortion vote: “Did they think people were going to line up around the block to disenfranchise themselves?”
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