A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Our First Look At Jim Jordan’s Bogus Subcommittee
Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the members of Rep. Jim Jordan’s already notorious subcommittee that is running interference for coup plotters, Trump, and his own members under federal investigation by targeting the Justice Department, FBI, and other “Deep State” players:
A few notes:
- Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), whose phone was seized by the FBI as part of its Jan. 6 investigation and who has insisted he’s not too compromised to serve on the subcommittee, didn’t make the cut.
- Democrats haven’t named their members of the subcommittee yet.
- Politico reports that McCarthy plans to introduce a resolution to expand the number of subcommittee members and that Democrats will get a proportional increase in their representation on the subcommittee.
With a propagandistic name like the “Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government,” the subcommittee is tipping its hand, but that’s enough to fool some news outlets, our old friend Brian Beutler noted last week:
Notable indication here that DC publications are prepared to refer to this corrupt committee with the deceptive, hysterical name Republicans gave it. If so, it’s a big propaganda coup for the GOP, but it’s important to note this is not standard practice. https://t.co/JHKOVFnIre
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 18, 2023
This is what enforcing the rule of law looks like. DOJ took a firm line on Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, and everyone else, including President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence, is scrambling to comply. Not a bad thing!
A few notes on the discovery of classified documents in Pence’s home:
- The outside lawyer who did the search for Pence was identified by the NYT as Matthew E. Morgan, who worked on the 2020 campaign.
- About a dozen classified documents were found in the Pence home, CNN first reported.
- Despite immediately initiating contact with the National Archives and Justice Department, Pence and his legal team seemed startled that the FBI showed up unannounced late one evening in Indiana to retrieve some of the documents.
- A good thread on the dance between Pence’s legal team and DOJ:
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) filed Tuesday a sweeping series of amendments to his campaign’s FEC reports, the Daily Beast first reported.
Of particular interest: Santos indicated on the new filings that he was not the source of the funds of personal loans he made to his campaign. But he doesn’t indicate who was?
The change was baffling to campaign finance experts:
The significance of the change … was not immediately clear to campaign finance experts. Mr. Santos’s lawyer, Joe Murray, said it “would be inappropriate” to comment given pending investigations.
The experts said they were struggling to interpret the change, especially because in filings from later in 2022, the box marking “personal funds of the candidate” remains checked.
“I have never been this confused looking at an F.E.C. filing,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group.
So Much George Santos News
Grid News: Rep. George Santos’ earliest political backers faced financial misconduct investigations
MSNBC: Rep. Santos describes assassination attempt, mugging in new video
Politico: The improbability of George Santos’ $199 expenses
Josh Marshall: Santos Now Identifies as Straw Donor
Georgia Charging Decision Is ‘Imminent’
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis suggested indictments are “imminent” in her investigation of Donald Trump’s meddling in the 2020 election. That’s about all we learned in the court hearing yesterday over whether to release to the public the report of the Georgia special grand jury that investigated the 2020 election interference scheme.
Chastened Trump Backs Down Again
After getting slapped with nearly $1 million in sanctions last week, Donald Trump has withdrawn a second lawsuit against the New York attorney general, this one an appeal pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Last week, Trump dropped a related lawsuit against AG Tish James that was pending before the same judge who imposed sanctions.
Compelling New Testimony In Proud Boys Trial
AP: Proud Boys expecting ‘civil war’ before Jan. 6, witness says
CNN: Proud Boys member testifies about group’s culture and celebration of violence
Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially blocks Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House intel committee.
Ilhan Omar Has A Chance
Politico reports that some House GOP defectors combined with staunch Democratic support may make it hard for Speaker McCarthy to boot Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Ukraine Gets Its Tanks
After days of what looked from the outside like a diplomatic stalemate, a big breakthrough for Ukraine in pursuit of heavy armor to repeal an expected spring offensive by the Russians:
- The U.S. will supply Ukraine with some 30 M1 Abrams tanks.
- After much initial resistance, Germany has finally agreed to provide Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine.
Can’t Fix This Fast Enough
The U.S. EV charging infrastructure, to use the technical term, sucks.
California is considering ways to hold charging networks accountable for reliability.
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