Rep. Jim Jordan, who says he can’t remember how many times he spoke to former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, is now refusing to speak to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.
The right-wing Ohio congressman on Sunday posted a letter he sent to the committee chair, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, decrying the committee for issuing him a subpoena. Jordan claimed the subpoena “amounts to an unprecedented and inappropriate demand to examine the basis for a colleague's decision on a particular matter pending before the House of Representatives,” and said the request was “far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core constitutional principles and would serve to further erode legislative norms.”
The letter portrays the committee, which is made up of mostly Democrats who voted to impeach Trump after the attack on the Capitol, as a “partisan cudgel against their political adversaries and not to advance any legitimate purpose.”
Jordan has been one of Trump’s most ardent defenders in Congress over the past five years, serving on Trump’s congressional defense team during the former president’s first impeachment trial in 2020. In the aftermath of the 2020 election and in the lead-up to the Capitol insurrection, Jordan not only echoed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud but also participated in strategy sessions to coordinate opposition to certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Jordan has also confirmed that he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6, but told another House committee in October that he didn’t recall how many times he spoke with the former president that day.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair and one of two Republicans on the committee, said last week that after Trump supporters had breached the Capitol and members were being escorted out of the House chamber, Jordan came over to her and said that “we need to get the ladies away from the aisle.” Cheney told the New York Times that she told Jordan, “Get away from me, you fucking did this.”
Despite this, Jordan said that he had no information to share with the committee. He implied that if he did, however, he wouldn’t tell them.
“Even if I had information to share with the Select Committee, the action and statements of Democrats in the House of Representatives show that you are not conducting a fair-minded and objective inquiry,” Jordan wrote.
Jordan is only the latest Republican ally of Trump to refuse to cooperate with the committee. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows have both refused to comply with subpoenas, and in both cases the House has voted to hold them in contempt of Congress. Bannon was indicted in November.
One person who is cooperating with the committee is former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who quit her job as chief of staff for former first lady Melania Trump after Jan. 6 and whose recent book about her time in the White House is critical of the former president.
Grisham spoke with the committee last week. Though the full extent of what she told the committee is unknown, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin told CNN Friday that Grisham had “named a lot of names I had not heard before” and “identified some lines of inquiry that had never occurred to me.”
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