House

Jordan again rebuffs Jan 6 panel as subpoena deadline looms

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) again rebuffed the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack as he stares down a Saturday deadline to comply with a subpoena from the panel.

In an 11-page letter to the committee, Jordan renewed earlier demands that the committee share the bulk of what it has assembled on the Ohio lawmaker, one of five in the GOP who now face demands for compulsory testimony. 

The lengthy letter seeks to provide a tit-for-tat with earlier correspondence from committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who extended Jordan’s initial deadline for compliance. It was delivered as the committee prepares to kick off a month of hearings, starting in prime time on Thursday night.

Each of Jordan’s missives has relied on arguments that the select committee was not properly composed or does not have a valid legislative purpose — arguments that have largely been rebuffed by the courts.

“While some courts have recognized the Select Committee’s investigation as having a legitimate legislative purpose, it does not necessarily follow that the Select Committee’s subpoena to me is in furtherance of a legitimate legislative purpose,” Jordan writes.

“That is the distinction at issue here, and one over which you glossed in your May 31 letter.”

Still, Jordan has failed to file suit himself to get the judiciary to consider that issue, as well as the even weightier question of whether committees have the power to subpoena fellow members.

It’s a case that does not guarantee victory and instead risks solidifying the power of the legislative branch to compel testimony from its own members.  

A spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee declined to comment on Jordan’s letter. 

The panel initially asked Jordan to voluntarily speak with the panel’s investigators about his calls with President Trump on Jan. 6, as well as multiple calls and meetings with the White House and campaign to review strategy for contesting the election.  

Jordan, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have pushed back on the committee in earlier letters but failed to completely rule out a willingness to testify. Experts previously told The Hill that such moves can be part of a strategy to “beat the clock” in hopes that Republicans overtake the House after November’s midterm elections. 

In his new letter, Jordan objected again to the idea that he has relevant information to the committee or that they are in a position to judge whether actions he took were outside the scope of his role as a lawmaker.

“I will repeat again what I have informed you twice before: I have no relevant information that would advance a legitimate legislative purpose of the Select Committee,” Jordan wrote.

He also added: “You seem to believe that you have the authority to arbitrate the scope of a colleague’s official activities. Respectfully, I do not answer to you or the other members of the Select Committee.”

Tags Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Jan. 6 attack Jan. 6 panel Jim Jordan Jim Jordan
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