Jan. 6 panel seeks sit-down with Jim Jordan
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is asking Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an ardent supporter of former President Trump, to voluntarily sit down with its investigators.
In a Wednesday letter to Jordan, the committee contended that he was in regular communication with Trump leading up to the election and thereafter.
“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. 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,” Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote in the letter, referring to the Willard Hotel, where the Trump team organized its efforts.
“Public reporting suggests that you may also have information about meetings with White House officials and the then-President in November and December 2020, and early-January 2021, about strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 election. We would also like to ask you about any discussions involving the possibility of presidential pardons for individuals involved in any aspect of January 6th or the planning for January 6th,” he added.
Jordan, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and the vice chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is the second member of Congress to receive such a letter from the committee.
On Monday, the committee asked for similar cooperation from incoming House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who has already rebuffed the committee and said he will decline to appear.
The letter seeks to immediately combat any such behavior from Jordan, even offering to arrange an interview with Jordan in his district.
“When you were asked during a Rules Committee hearing on October 20, 2021, whether you would be willing to share with the Select Committee the information you have regarding January 6th and the events leading up to that day, ‘I’ve said all along, I have nothing to hide. I’ve been straightforward all along,’” Thompson wrote.
Jordan’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Jordan acknowledged speaking to Trump on Jan. 6 earlier this summer in an interview with Spectrum News.
“Yeah, I mean, I spoke with the president last week. I speak with the president all of the time. I spoke with him on Jan. 6. I mean, I talked with President Trump all the time, and that’s … I don’t think that’s unusual. I would expect members of Congress to talk with the president of the United States when they’re trying to get done the things they told the voters in their district to do,” Jordan said.
The letter is a departure from other letters and subpoenas sent by the committee that often lay out the actions taken by the recipient and the rationale for subpoenaing them.
But the letter to Jordan spends ample time reviewing Trump’s actions and inaction on that day, noting it took the former president until 4:17 p.m. to issue a video message to supporters and spent hours glued to the television that day.
The request to Jordan indicates an interest in uncovering more about Trump’s state of mind after the committee subpoenaed a number of individuals who spent time with the former president that day.
And while the letter doesn’t list specifics, it highlights a keen interest in the extent of Jordan’s knowledge about the planning of Jan. 6.
The committee recently released text messages from GOP lawmakers to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Though it has not been identified by the committee, Jordan has said one of the texts was forwarded by him, passing along the pleas of a Washington, D.C., lawyer.
“On Jan. 6 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” the text read.
Jordan’s office has since stressed the forward was not an endorsement, though the text does call for blocking the certification of election results.
The letter from the committee also nods to earlier reporting from Rolling Stone magazine that detailed that pardons may have been offered to Jan. 6 rioters, though it does not highlight what role if any Jordan may have played in that discussion.
The October article reported that Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) allegedly dangled the prospect of “blanket pardons” from Trump in another ongoing investigation in order to entice rallygoers to participate in protests against the election.
The committee requested to meet with Jordan as soon as Jan. 3 or Jan. 4 — just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of the riot.
Updated 4:13 p.m.
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