What Exactly Is Going On In The E. Jean Carroll Trial?
INSIDE: Jack Smith ... Greg Abbott ... Dark Brandon
A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Things Went And Got Weird
The cross examination of E. Jean Carroll in her rape and defamation case against Donald Trump is set to resume this morning in federal court in New York City. But a couple of odd developments over the weekend:
First, there is some sort of sealed matter that the judge is overseeing related to the case. The first inkling came when the trial was delayed for a bit Thursday morning while the lawyers met with the judge. Then over the weekend, Carroll’s lawyer filed a letter on the record with the court that referenced Thursday’s “brief proceeding under seal concerning an issue that had arisen during.” It’s not clear what is going on exactly. MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin does a good job laying out in this thread what we do and do not know (teaser: She doesn’t think it’s a run-the-mill evidentiary issue):
Then early this morning Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to declare a mistrial over the judge’s own conduct during the trial. You don’t see this every day:
The best part of all this, however, is the complaint by the Trump team that the judge understood a literary reference that they themselves did not:
To follow the Carroll trial in real time, this is your guy: @KlasfeldReports.
The Latest On Jack Smith
NYT: Prosecutors in Jan. 6 Case Step up Inquiry Into Trump Fund-Raising
Here’s the key bit (emphasis mine):
But the Justice Department, with its ability to bring criminal charges, has been able to prompt more extensive cooperation from a number of witnesses. And prosecutors have developed more information than the House committee did, having targeted communications between Trump campaign aides and other Republican officials to determine if a barrage of fund-raising solicitations sent out after the election were knowingly misleading, according to the three people familiar with the matter.
WaPo: A second firm hired by Trump campaign found no evidence of election fraud
Here’s the key bit (emphasis mine):
Former president Trump’s campaign quietly commissioned a second firm to study election fraud claims in the weeks after the 2020 election, and the founder of the firm was recently questioned by the Justice Department about his work disproving the claims.
No Verdict Yet
The jury in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy case continues to deliberate.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) responded to a mass shooting over the weekend in southeast Texas by highlighting the immigration status of the victims (and getting that wrong, too):
NC GOP Wants To Destroy UNC
A bill to eliminate tenure in the UNC and community college systems is on the move in the North Carolina General Assembly.
This isn’t a story about gerrymandering. It’s about the right wing seizing hold of the courts to undermine the rule of law. And it’s on full display in North Carolina right now, where the new right-wing majority on the state’s highest court is undoing its own precedent from last year.
Jason Zengerle, who has a book coming out on Tucker Carlson, assesses last week’s firing of the top Fox New host.
Supreme Court Scandal Watch
NYT: How Antonin Scalia Law School cultivated ties to justices with generous pay and unusual perks to gain prestige, donations and influence.
Chris Geidner: April’s SCOTUS scandal-fest showed us just how out-of-touch the conservative justices are
Immediate past White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain making sure DOJ hears him loud and clear:
First Republic Goes Down
First Republic Bank was seized overnight in the second largest bank failure in U.S. history, with its remnants sold to JP Morgan.
The WSJ obtained a trove of documents that includes the schedules of Jeffrey Epstein, showing him associating with a wider circle of influential and prominent people than previously known.
The President went full Dark Brandon to end his WHCA speech:
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Thank you TPM; I am a retired CA Trial Attorney. Evidence in the Courtroom must be going very badly indeed for Tacopina to file a motion for a mistrial under seal. Defense counsel is already desperately highlighting micro issues & working on an appeal. Testimony of tfg's prior sexual assaults & modus operandi is expressly permitted under the relevant statute. Note, two female witnesses will testify shortly.
I cannot help wondering about that letter (an ex parte communication to the presiding judge during an ongoing trial) and think it was possibly sent as a way to cause a mistrial (which it would if the judge had responded to it instead of releasing it publicly). If these concerns about judicial errors were genuine, the Trump shysters could have filed a motion instead. And I have to admit, the whole letter is laughable whining, especially their protest about how many lawyers each party has.