The House committee investigating Jan. 6 has named a second sitting Republican member of Congress: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). The committee on Wednesday requested an interview with the MAGA-friendly lawmaker who previously admitted to talking with former President Donald Trump on the day of the insurrection.
“We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation,” Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote in a letter asking Jordan to discuss “in detail” all communication between him and Trump on Jan. 6. In addition to his conversations with Trump, Thompson wrote that the committee wants to ask about any discussions regarding strategies to overturn the election, as well as any communications Jordan had on Jan. 5 and 6 with Trump’s legal team, White House personnel, or the president’s allies who were based in a “War Room” at D.C.’s Willard Hotel. Another line of questioning the committee wants to pursue involves Jordan discussing “the possibility of presidential pardons for individuals involved in any aspect of Jan. 6 or the planning for Jan. 6.”
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 22, 2021
During a media interview over the summer, Jordan confirmed he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6.
“I spoke with the president last week, I speak with the president all the time, I spoke with him on Jan. 6th,” Jordan told Spectrum News. But when pressed about whether he and Trump talked before, during, or after the insurrection, Jordan demurred. “Uhh, I’d have to go — I spoke with him that day after … I think after?” he said. “I don’t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don’t know. I don’t know when those conversations happened. I know that I spoke with him all the time.”
Jordan, who voted with nearly 150 Republicans to overturn Biden’s electoral victory, sought a seat on the House committee investigating Jan. 6 but was barred by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who cited “concern about statements made and actions taken by” Jordan.
Jordan was recently identified as the member of Congress who forwarded to Mark Meadows a text message from a conservative legal scholar advocating a strategy for overturning the election. According to the committee, the text Jordan sent the Trump chief of staff read, in part: “On January 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 — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.”
In short, the text message argues that Pence could reject any electoral votes he saw as unconstitutional. At the time, Trump and his allies were pushing a plot to deny electors from states where they claimed (without evidence) that rampant fraud took place, even though experts believed appointing alternate electors was unlikely to change the election outcome.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) is the only other sitting Republican to receive an interview request from the committee. In response to the committee’s request, Perry said earlier this week that he will not cooperate and will instead “continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures.”
In his letter to Jordan, Thompson wrote, “The American people deserve a full and accurate accounting of what happened on Jan. 6.”