Jordan ends hopes of leading Judiciary for House GOP

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power Cohen to testify before three congressional panels before going to prison MORE (R-Ohio) is bowing out of the race for ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, his spokesman told The Hill.

Jordan was encouraged by fellow conservatives to run for the high-profile committee role amid expectations that Democrats will be issuing a slew of investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE and his administration next Congress.

“He won’t be seeking the position, it has been made clear to him that leadership is going to be selecting someone else,” said Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury.

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Questions of whether Jordan would officially throw his name and his energy into the contested race circled until the final day of when he would need to declare his interest in the role.

Leading up to this decision, Republican lawmakers cast doubt on whether Jordan has enough allies in the GOP conference to make it through the steering committee, a voting body largely controlled by Republican leadership.

Jordan, a leading voice in the conservative House Freedom Caucus, challenged House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCongress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall Bret Stephens: Would love to see Hannity react when Dem declares climate change emergency MORE (R-Calif.) for minority leader of the House Republican Conference — a move that may have further alienated his relations with members of the Republican Steering Committee and GOP leadership.

Some GOP lawmakers have privately questioned whether Jordan would be a thorn in leadership’s side if he were named the Judiciary Committee's attack dog.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHouse panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales House lawmakers roll out bill to make court records free Jewish advocacy group calls on Omar to apologize after 'stunningly anti-Semitic' tweet MORE (R-Ga.), the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, is currently seen as the front-runner in the race. Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotHouse Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 GOP lawmakers offer several locations for Trump address The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump headed to border as shutdown hits Day 20 | Talks fall apart | Emergency plan could set up clash with GOP MORE (R-Ohio) is also seeking the position. 

There is a possibility that Jordan could change course and pursue the ranking member role of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where his close House ally Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-N.C.) is currently running uncontested.

Jordan is the senior GOP member of Oversight returning to the next Congress and is active on both panels, including their joint investigation into FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) decision-making during the 2016 presidential election. Meadows has been deeply involved in the probe as well.

Some congressional sources believe the amiable Meadows might have a better shot of winning the post in a contest with Jordan, however. They say Meadows is well-liked among the GOP conference.

It is unclear whether Meadows would defer to Jordan for the ranking member position of Oversight.