The House GOP Clown Show Rolls Right Off The Cliff
INSIDE: Adam Schiff ... MTG ... John Durham
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Craziest House Majority Evah?
It’s been a while since we checked in on the goings-on with the House GOP majority and … what in the holy hell, y’all?
Voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his role in investigating Donald Trump;
Embroiled in internal fight over impeaching President Joe Biden;
Rep. Marjorie Tayor Greene (R-GA) called Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) a “bitch” or a “little bitch” (accounts vary) on the House floor; and
Ripped into corrupt Special Counsel John Durham for not being corrupt enough.
And that was just another Wednesday on the House side on the Hill.
Let’s break it down.
House GOP Gets Its Schiff Revenge
The GOP-controlled House voted Wednesday to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) – a top-tier candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in California – for his role in investigating President Donald Trump. It also referred Schiff to the Ethics Committee for investigation. The final vote was 213-209, with Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and the five GOP members of the House ethics panel voting “present.”
The censure resolution was sponsored by freshman Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL).
There was no legitimate basis for the censure or the Ethics Committee referral. This was pure political payback for Schiff’s role in the first Trump impeachment and other investigations.
“Adam Schiff launched an all-out political campaign built on baseless distortions against a sitting U.S. president,” Luna said.
Democrats rallied to Schiff’s defense, and House Republicans were an easy mark:
For his part, Schiff took the political vengeance in stride:
Schiff was required to stand in the well of the House chamber and receive a verbal rebuke, whereupon Democratic members surrounded him in support and started chanting “SHAME!”
Biden Impeachment Push Foiled
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached a deal with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) that avoids a House floor vote today on impeaching President Biden on a bogus claim of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for failing to control the Southern border.
The deal, such as it is, kicks the impeachment resolution to Judiciary and Homeland Security committees and pushes off any floor vote.
McCarthy had been whipping against the resolution, which was not expected to pass anyway.
Bitch Or Little Bitch?
The tensions over the Biden impeachment resolution spilled out on the House floor where its sponsor, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), was seen in a vigorous exchange with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA):
The Daily Beast reported some of the details of the kindergarten-level exchange, in which Boebert confronted Greene over mean things she said about her and Greene accused Boebert of copying her articles of impeachment against Biden:
All three of the sources said Greene called Boebert a “bitch.” One of the sources said Greene called her “a little bitch.”
Neither member denied the substance of the exchange when asked about it later by reporters:
Gaetz Goes After Durham For Not Doing Enough
While the GOP majority’s antics played out on the House floor, things weren’t much better over in committee.
Special Counsel John Durham, dispatched by then-Attorney General Bill Barr to do his dirty work in investigating the Mueller investigation, was confronted by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), himself only recently out from under a federal sex trafficking investigation, for not going far enough in his poisonous mission to protect Trump:
Durham Gets Grilled By Democrats
Special Counsel John Durham, whose bogus investigation of the Mueller investigators yielded two acquittals at trial, came off as prickly, defensive, sullen, and poorly versed in the details when confronted by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee about the substance of his probe.
Here’s a representative sample of Durham’s hard slog through his testimony:
And There’s Still George Santos …
We could learn as early as this afternoon the identities of the guarantors of the surety bond that is keeping Rep. George Santos (R-NY) out of jail pending is trial on federal fraud charges. Santos has fought to keep the names from becoming public, even vowing to go to jail rather than have them be disclosed.
Jacob Testifies Against Eastman
Greg Jacob, then-Vice President Mike Pence’s chief counsel on Jan. 6, was the star witness Wednesday in the California disbarment proceedings against Trump coup architect John Eastman.
Eastman was emailing with Jacob even as the Capitol was under attack with Pence inside, exhorting them to execute his plan to delay the Electoral College certification, to which Jacob famously responded: “Thanks to your bullshit we are now under siege.”
Jan. 6 Defendant Goes Down Hard
A Donald Trump supporter who drove a stun gun into the neck of a Washington police officer who was abducted by the mob during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol shouted “Trump won” after he was sentenced to 12½ years in prison Wednesday, multiple people present in the courtroom said.
The Bedminster Mystery
The suspicion that Trump travelled with classified documents between Mar-a-Lago, his winter residence, and Bedminster, his summer residence, started early in the criminal investigation that intensified after the FBI search and culminated in Trump being accused of violating the Espionage Act.
TPM’s Josh Kovensky went back and reviewed the representations that Trump and his attorneys made to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon during his ill-fated civil lawsuit to block the criminal investigation of his retention of government documents at Mar-a-Lago. It’s a helluva read with the benefit of hindsight.
Jack Smith Is Hustling In MAL Case
Legal experts took note of how quickly Special Counsel Jack Smith is turning over pre-trial materials, including grand jury witness testimony, to Trump, another sign that Smith is determined to try to get this case to trial before the 2024 election.
Worth A Read
A FBI analysts was sentenced yesterday to nearly four years in prison for taking home classified documents in a case with eery parallels to the Trump Mar-a-Lago case, including stashing documents in the bathroom. A good thread on the case and the parallels:
Freemans Cleared In Georgia Probe
Georgia’s State Election Board dismissed its yearslong investigation into alleged election fraud at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, more than two years after conspiracy theorists — and then-President Donald Trump — claimed that Freeman and her daughter had committed election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The fraud claims were “unsubstantiated and found to have no merit,” the investigation concluded, reporting on the work of the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and investigators from the Secretary of State’s office vetting the alleged fraud.
Two years is a long time.