Texas AG Threatens Docs And Hospitals Who Comply With Court Order On Abortion
INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Aileen Cannon ... Cole Brauer
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Ken Paxton Is Being Awful Again
After a Texas state judge issued a restraining order to allow a woman to get an abortion under one of the state’s very narrow exceptions to its abortion ban, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued a statement threatening health care providers who complied with the court order:
The 31-year-old woman who is 20 weeks pregnant faces a risk of not being able to bear children again if she carries the fetus to term. The fetus was diagnosed with a fatal condition.
It’s a landmark case in the post-Dobbs landscape:
The case is believed to be among the first attempts in the nation to seek a court-approved abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year and allowed states to enact their own abortion restrictions.
The case showcases how exceptions to abortion bans are hard to invoke, difficult to navigate, and by the nature of their ambiguity give very little legal cover to doctors and hospitals.
Paxton exploits those difficulties by threatening to prosecute anyone who helps the plaintiff in the case. Note that chilling last line from his statement: “The TRO will expire long before the statue of limitations for violating Texas’ abortion laws expires.”
A fantastic bit of reporting from Texas Monthly on how the Texas Historic Commission was pressured into removing books about slavery from the gifts shops of two slave plantation historic sites it oversees.
Keep An Eye On Aileen Cannon
Donald Trump is trying to turn the Classified Information Procedures Act on its head in the Mar-a-Lago case. If U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon lets him do so, it will probably be the first appeal Special Counsel Jack Smith makes in the criminal case. Stay tuned.
Chesebro Is Cooperating Bigly
Former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, a key architect of Trump’s 2020 fake electors scheme is reportedly cooperating with investigators in multiple jurisdictions after pleading guilty in the Georgia RICO case.
Wisconsin Is Investigating Fake Electors Scheme, Too
Add Wisconsin to the list of state attorneys general launching criminal probes of Trump’s 2020 fake electors scheme, according to CNN.
Oregon Gets A Disqualification Clause Case
A new challenge to Trump’s eligibility for the presidency under the Disqualification Clause has been filed directly with the Oregon Supreme Court.
Hunter Biden Hit With Tax Charges
A new but expected federal indictment in California charges Hunter Biden with nine counts of tax-related crimes. It is a brutal indictment: graphic, humiliating, and no-holds barred. It alleges that Biden used the monies that he should have paid in taxes to instead lead a profligate lifestyle, and then proceeds to describe that lifestyle in minute and embarrassing detail.
If Biden were not a notorious substance abuser during the key period of his profligacy, it would be hard to have sympathy for him. As it is, it’s painful to read the unsympathetic account of prosecutors.
This story is so effing complicated: addiction, a president’s son who is a target of the previous president under whom the case was initiated, all the political dynamics up to and including the looming bogus impeachment of Biden’s father, roots in the impeachment of the previous president for extorting Ukraine for Biden dirt, the plea deal that blew up leading to this new batch of charges, separate federal gun charges in Delaware … so much here.
To go deeper, Marcy Wheeler is probably following all this closer than anyone else.
The Ziegler Files
Police have reportedly recovered the cellphone video recorded by Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler of the sexual encounter with the woman who alleged he raped her after his wife was a no-show for a planned threesome.
Fair warning that the description by the Florida Center for Government Accountability, relying on accounts of the video provided by two anonymous sources, is graphic:
Inside the apartment, Ziegler made a cell phone video of the sex act while she was bent over a piece of furniture in the bedroom, according to sources.
The video of the sex act is brief in duration and the victim can be heard telling Ziegler to climax in her mouth rather than on her new shirt, the sources said.
The new report suggests that the video may actually be more helpful than harmful to Ziegler, who has denied raping the victim and said the sex was consensual, but the nonprofit news outlet hasn’t see the recording itself, so a lot is riding on the accounts provided by the two unnamed sources. I should also note that the alleged victim told police that she had been home on her day off drinking tequila all day, another factor in assessing consent.
A simply horrific incident in North Dakota this week when a sheriff’s deputy was killed while trying to stop a fleeing car driven by Sen. Kevin Cramer’s 42-year-old son, who was going through a mental health crisis:
Ian Cramer, of Bismarck, was traveling over 100 mph and already had two flat tires when he slammed head-on into Deputy Paul Martin’s squad car on Wednesday, pushing it “directly into Martin’s person and launching him for about 100 feet,” according to charging documents. Martin, 53, was killed.
Ian Cramer is expected to make his first court appearance today on charges that include manslaughter, fleeing a police officer, and reckless endangerment.
Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) is the Democratic Party choice to run in the special election to fill Rep. George Santos’ seat. Suozzi beat Santos handily in 2020, then ran a losing race for governor in 2022 rather than seek re-election to Congress.
Jonathan Martin: Where Are All the Anti-Trump Republicans?
Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY) claims that during a personnel dispute with two aides they threatened to expose his 27-year-old daughter’s OnlyFans account.
Cole Brauer is a 29-year-old badass who is the youngest and only female competitor in the ongoing Global Solo Challenge, a nonstop single-handed sailing race circumnavigating the globe. She’s aiming to become the first American woman to race solo around the world.
On top of all that, she’s been cranking out super engaging content since she started the race in Spain on Oct. 29. She rounded the Cape of Good Hope on Dec. 3. When last I checked this morning, she was cruising along at 8 knots in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles south of Madagascar.
It’s not all fun and games out there. Earlier this week, she posted footage of herself getting thrown across the cabin and bruising her ribs in particularly rough seas. A week or so ago, the boat broached when the autopilot failed. But there are also days like this.
Enjoy your weekend!
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