Donald Trump’s arch-loyalist Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced on Sunday evening that he will not cooperate with the Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, characterizing the bipartisan probe as part of a line of “partisan witch hunts” against the 45th president.
The refusal follows a letter from the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), on Dec. 22, suggesting that Jordan may have insight into Trump’s quest to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
“Public reporting suggests that you may also have information about meetings with White House officials and the then-President in November and December 2020, and early-January 2021, about strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 election,” Thompson wrote to Jordan in a letter shortly before Christmas. “We would also like to ask you about any discussions involving the possibility of presidential pardons for individuals involved in any aspect of January 6th or the planning for January 6th.”
That message cited a New York Times investigation titled “Meadows and the Band of Loyalists: How They Fought to Keep Trump in Power.”
The article described “crisis meetings” between Trump, his chief of staff Mark Meadows, and other allies such as Jordan, whose spokesman insisted the huddles were merely about “media strategy.” Even after former Attorney General Bill Barr announced on Dec. 1 that he found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, Jordan kept supporting Trump’s bid to cling to power despite his defeat.
Asked if Trump should concede, Jordan reportedly responded: “No way.”
On Jan. 5, Jordan reportedly forwarded a text to Meadows from an ex-Pentagon inspector general, who urged that ex-Vice President Mike Pence resist Biden’s certification the next day.
The next day, pro-Trump rioters overran the U.S. Capitol, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) reportedly swatted away Jordan’s hand when he offered to help move her to safety.
“Get away from me,” Cheney told Jordan, according to the Times. “You fucking did this.”
The Times said that Jordan denied the account and insisted that he never claimed the election was stolen.
In his letter refusing to cooperate with the committee, Jordan wrote: “This request is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core Constitutional principles, and would serve to further erode legislative norms.”
Jordan’s rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to what he previously told the committee on Oct. 20.
“I’ve said all along, ‘I have nothing to hide.’ I’ve been straightforward all along,” Jordan said.
Jordan claims to have lost confidence in the committee’s fairness since that time.
“When good-faith disputes over privileged information have arisen, the Select Committee has declined to make genuine efforts to obtain information through the civil contempt mechanism available to Congress, instead choosing to punish individuals with criminal contempt referrals,” Jordan wrote, referring to Steve Bannon and Meadows.
Bannon was later indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress. The Department of Justice has not yet acted upon the House’s contempt referral for Meadows.
“The Select Committee has also failed to operate transparently, holding just a single public hearing to gather testimony,” Jordan added.
That could change quickly. Thompson told CNN Sunday last week that the committee is preparing to hold televised hearings this year.
(Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
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