Greg Nash

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced his bid for Speaker on Thursday afternoon in a letter to colleagues asking for their support.

“President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people,” Jordan wrote in the Dear Colleague Letter released exclusively to The Hill. “Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that.”

Jordan wrote that his first focus is maintaining Republican control of the House.

“After that, we can focus on filling the vacancy resulting from Speaker Ryan’s retirement from Congress,” he wrote. “At that time, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to Congress.”

In his letter, he emphasized his priorities of repealing the Affordable Care Act, building a security wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and fixing the “broken immigration system.”

“Many believe that our congressional majorities have let them down,” he wrote. “Beyond tax relief and regulatory reform, the American people want us to follow through with our promises.”

The Daily Caller first reported the Ohio Republican’s plans, which were confirmed to The Hill.

Jordan has been floated as a possible candidate to replace current Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) since Ryan’s announcement in April that he would not be seeking reelection. 

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Ryan, however, said on Thursday that he would not support Jordan as his replacement.

“I’m not going to be here,” he said. “I support [House Majority Leader] Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Everybody knows that.”

McCarthy, who failed to garner the required votes to become Speaker in 2015, confirmed publicly on Wednesday that he is eyeing another bid for the gavel.

In recent weeks, Jordan’s bid for Speaker has been hampered by allegations from former wrestlers at Ohio State University (OSU) claiming that Jordan turned a blind eye to reports of sexual abuse when he coached at OSU.

Former wrestlers have accused Dr. Richard Strauss, the OSU wrestling team doctor from the mid-1970s to 1990s, of sexually assaulting them during his tenure with the team. Jordan, who was OSU’s assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994, has said multiple times he was not aware of the abuse until players began speaking publicly about it earlier this year. 

GOP lawmakers have come out in support of Jordan, including the conservative voting bloc the House Freedom Caucus, which he cofounded.

A group of former wrestlers and OSU coaches has also stated on the record that they do not believe Jordan knew about the abuse. 

Jordan’s bid for Speaker comes one day after he and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top Department of Justice (DOJ) official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The articles of impeachment, signed with nine other GOP lawmakers, charge that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller’s probe, and obfuscated information for ongoing investigations into the FBI and DOJ’s conduct during the 2016 presidential election.

Jordan on Wednesday night said he and Meadows believe Rosenstein has “stonewalled” efforts by Congress to obtain documents necessary for their investigations.

“We’re tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information,” he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on her show, “The Ingraham Angle.”

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Thursday came out in opposition against Rosenstein’s impeachment. He told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would vote against any effort to impeach Rosenstein.

– Scott Wong contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:44 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump House Jim Jordan Kevin McCarthy Mark Meadows Mark Walker Paul Ryan Republican Party Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Speaker of the House

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