A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.
James Beeks, an actor who played Judas in the traveling tour of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and who’s been charged with storming the Capitol with Oath Keepers on Jan. 6, informed the judge in his hearing yesterday that “I am here by special divine appearance.”
- “I cannot represent myself because I am myself,” Beeks told the judge when asked if he wanted to represent himself in court.
- Beeks bristled at being called a “sovereign citizen,” arguing that it’s “an oxymoron” and “even an insult.”
- The judge wasn’t super impressed by any of this. “That’s all gobbledygook,” she retorted. “I have no idea what you’re saying.”
- But ultimately Beeks’ claim to divinity didn’t keep the judge from keeping him free on pretrial release, so…
Chris Cuomo‘s Got Some Explaining To Do
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was way more involved in his brother’s response to sexual misconduct accusations than was previously known, according to new documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office on Monday.
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
- Melissa DeRosa, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide at the time, texted Chris Cuomo in March asking for “intel” on any incoming reports of more women coming forward. “On it,” the reporter replied.
- Chris Cuomo admitted in interviews with James’ investigators that he “would reach out to sources, other journalists,” to “see if they had heard of anybody else coming out.”
- After a woman alleged in March that the governor had tried to kiss her at a wedding, Chris Cuomo texted DeRosa informing her “I have a lead on the wedding girl.” The journalist told investigators that he believed at the time that the woman may have been “put up to” making the accusation.
- CNN put out a pretty weird response to revelations that one of its top anchors actively used his resources to help a sexual harasser. CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic said the network “will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity” about “the significance” of the documents.
- When the New York Times first reported last spring on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in helping his brother deal with the allegations, CNN refused to take any meaningful action against the anchor, saying only that Cuomo’s actions were “inappropriate,” “which Chris acknowledges.”
Jeffrey Clark Faces Criminal Contempt Referral
The House Jan. 6 select committee is slated to vote this week on whether to approve a criminal referral for contempt of Congress against senior Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, a key player in Trump’s efforts to use the DOJ to steal the 2020 election.
Remembering The Blood Trees
First Lady Jill Biden unveiled her first White House holiday decorations yesterday, showcasing a fairly standard Christmas vibe:
It’s a pretty stark contrast to the “existential dread” aesthetic Melania Trump went with during Christmases past:
🎵 Morning Memo Radio 🎵
A Second Shot At Unionizing Amazon
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) called for a revote yesterday in the union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama that failed last spring. The NLRB slammed Amazon for interfering in the union vote, saying that the retail giant “essentially highjacked the process and gave a strong impression that it controlled the process.”
Biden Cautions Against Panic Over COVID-19 Variant
The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus is a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” the President said during a White House speech yesterday.
- Lockdowns aren’t needed, Biden told reporters.
- A World Health Organization spokesperson slammed the U.S. and other countries’ travel bans on South Africa, which was the first country to report discovery of the variant, on CNN yesterday. South Africa ought to receive a “gold medal for the quality of its science and the quality of its transparency,” the spokesperson said, also warning that the bans risk putting a stigma on reporting new problems with COVID-19 that may make other countries reluctant to report.
A FOIA Oopsy
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rejected Insider’s request for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s flight records for his private planes under the Freedom of Information Act–only to accidentally send the records to Insider reporter Angela Wang anyway.
Dem Rep Joins Crowded NY Gubernatorial Race
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) announced yesterday that he’s running for New York governor against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). His seat in New York’s Third Congressional District is reliably blue, and he was easily reelected in 2020, so his decision doesn’t really add much to the pre-2024 Demexit narrative.
Your WTF Read Of The Day
The Right-Wing Media Cesspit
Fox News host Lara Logan compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele in this jaw-dropping rant last night:
Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!