A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
‘You Don’t Know Anything About The Boxes’
The new evidence is unsourced, but it comes via the ABC News team doing first-rate coverage of the Mar-a-Lago case. At the center of the new reporting is Molly Michael, the Trump aide who was his executive assistant in the White House, moved with him to Mar-a-Lago post-presidency, and resigned last year when the Mar-a-Lago case blew up.
The most damning allegation in the new report:
Sources said that after Trump heard the FBI wanted to interview Michael last year, Trump allegedly told her, “You don’t know anything about the boxes.”
The next sentence in the ABC report is a doozy, perhaps lol credulous: “It’s unclear exactly what he meant by that.”
Other tidbits from the new report:
- Michael told investigators that on more than one occasion at Mar-a-Lago Trump scratched notes or to-do lists for her on documents marked classified.
- Michael recognized the documents as classified notecards used to brief Trump while he was in office.
- Oddly, the FBI seemed to miss or overlook the notecards in its search of Mar-a-Lago, but Michael found them the day after the search and facilitated turning them over to the FBI.
Michael is identified in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Mar-a-Lago indictment as “Trump Employee 2.”
It Did Not Go Well For Jeff Clark
A federal judge in Atlanta seemed deeply skeptical that former Trump DOJ lackey Jeff Clark is entitled to removal of his RICO case from state court – and Clark didn’t give him much to work with. Highlights from yesterday’s removal hearing:
- Clark didn’t appear in person and did not testify, making it very difficult to meet the legal standard of proof for removal.
- The judge refused to admit a sworn declaration from Clark because he wasn’t there to be cross examined by prosecutors.
- The judge also rejected a sworn declaration on Clark’s behalf by Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese.
- Meanwhile, DA Fani Willis called former Trump DOJ Civil Division Chief Jody Hunt to testify that Clark’s actions were outside the bounds of that role.
Clark faced a tougher slog to begin with than Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows did in his so far losing effort for removal, but Clark did little to help himself.
Rudy G’s Financial Struggles
Attorney Robert Costello is suing Rudy Giuliani in state court in New York for $1.36 million in unpaid and overdue lawyer fees accrued since 2019. Costello claims he has billed Giuliani for $1.57 million of work but has only received payments totaling $214,000.
“I can’t express how personally hurt I am by what Bob Costello has done,” Giuliani said in a statement. “It’s a real shame when lawyers do things like this, and all I will say is that their bill is way in excess to anything approaching legitimate fees.”
Colorado Disqualification Clause Case Looks For Real
A state judge in Colorado appears to be taking seriously a lawsuit seeking to enforce the 14th Amendment’s Disqualification Clause against Donald Trump. Anticipating the case would wend its way to the Colorado Supreme Court and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sarah Wallace determined she would need to render a decision by Thanksgiving. She set deadlines for motions to dismiss and assuming the lawsuit survives those, she scheduled a weeklong evidentiary hearing starting Oct. 30.
Government Shutdown Watch
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sums it up:
Jennifer Wexton Won’t Seek Re-Election
Citing an especially aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) announced she will not seek re-election in 2024. Wexton had previously revealed her Parkinson’s diagnosis earlier this year:
Wexton was first elected in her Northern Virginia district in 2018, knocking off GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock. Her 2022 race was one of the most scrutinized in the country, and she ended up winning more comfortably than expected. The district went heavily for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020.
What Happened To Ken Buck?
Aaron Blake: What the unsparing anti-impeachment op-ed by the GOP’s Ken Buck betrays
Indiana’s Rokita Faces Disciplinary Charges
The Indiana Supreme Court’s disciplinary commission filed charges Monday alleging that Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita violated professional conduct rules with his statements in 2022 about the case of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who sought an abortion in Indiana and the doctor who performed the procedure.
- Donald Trump reportedly plans to travel to Michigan and give a primetime speech to autoworkers on Sept. 27 instead of attending the GOP presidential primary debate that night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California.
- Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), on whether he would get involved as president in the UAW strike: “I think Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike. He said, you strike, you’re fired. Simple concept to me. To the extent that we can use that once again, absolutely.”
How Not To Interview Trump
Aaron Rupar: Kristen Welker’s tenure as “Meet the Press” moderator got off to an inauspicious start.
Right-Wing Authoritarianism As Spectacle
What … ?
Who’s Who In the U.S.-Iran Deal?
A rundown of the prisoners involved in the two-way trade between the U.S. and Iran.
Trudeau’s Surprise Announcement
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament yesterday that his government is investigating “credible allegations” that India was involved in the June shooting a Sikh independence leader on Canadian soil. India dismissed the claim as “absurd and motivated.”
Canada expelled an Indian diplomat, and India responded in kind.
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