House committee seeks to interview GOP firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan about January 6
Jordan previously warned the committee that targeting GOP lawmakers in any capacity would be met with political retribution if Republicans retake the House after next year’s midterm elections.
“We understand that you had at least one and possibly multiple communications with President Trump on January 6th. We would like to discuss each such communication with you in detail,” Thompson wrote.
The panel says in its letter that it has documents on file that show Trump was watching television coverage of the January 6 attack from his private dining room next to the Oval Office and that Trump, through his legal team, was trying to delay or impede the electoral count even after the crowd had dispersed.
“And we also wish to inquire about any communications you had on January 5th or 6th with those in the Willard War Room, the Trump legal team, White House personnel or others involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th,” the letter states, referencing in part an election-related “command center” for Trump allies at the Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington around January 6.
The committee proposes meeting with Jordan on January 3, January 4, or the week of January 10 when the House returns to Washington. The committee also proposes holding the interview in Jordan’s district if that were easier for the congressman.
Jordan’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Sent text message
A portion of that message was read by the January 6 select committee during its contempt report presentation before the full House voted to refer Meadows to the Justice Department to decide on possible criminal contempt charges.
A spokesperson for Jordan previously confirmed to CNN that he forwarded a text to Meadows on January 5 that was sent to him by Joseph Schmitz, a former Department of Defense inspector general. Schmitz’s text included a draft presentation arguing that Pence had the constitutional authority to object to the certification of election results from certain states.
The interview requests to both Perry and Jordan mark a significant step in the investigation and could lead to the committee issuing subpoenas to lawmakers who refuse to cooperate voluntarily, which would dramatically escalate political tensions.
When Perry declined to speak with the committee on Tuesday, the panel condemned his actions but stopped short of saying it would issue a subpoena.
‘I have nothing to hide’
Jordan has long been seen as a target of the committee. In August, Jordan was among a group of Republican lawmakers whose phone records the committee asked various companies to preserve. At the time, Jordan warned the precedent the panel would be setting if it went after sitting members of Congress.
In its letter to Jordan, the committee references the Ohio congressman stating, “I have nothing to hide. I have been straightforward all along” in response to a question about whether he would be willing to share the information he has about the events leading up to January 6.
Seen as next in line to chair the Judiciary Committee if Republicans reclaim the House, Jordan could be in a position to go after Democrats if he feels the committee is overreaching in its requests.
Jordan has provided a megaphone to the narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.
“I don’t know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn’t actually win this thing based on all the things you see,” Jordan said in an interview on Fox News in December 2020.
One day before the committee released its letter, Jordan and fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee participated in a phone “briefing” for supporters of the Conservative Political Action Committee, which is led by Trump ally Matt Schlapp, that centered around criticizing the House select committee’s investigation into the January 6 riot, according to a source familiar with the call.
The invitation, sent exclusively to CPAC supporters, touted Jordan’s efforts to “protect Americans from the January 6 committee’s expansive subpoenas and overreach,” according to a copy obtained by CNN.
This story has been updated with additional details.