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Jan. 6 probe seeks information from Jim Jordan about Trump contact


Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks during a Select Subcommittee On Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

Susan Walsh | AP Photo | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Capitol riot said Wednesday it has asked for a meeting with Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to discuss his communications with then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

Jordan, a staunch Trump ally, is the second lawmaker tapped by the committee to cooperate with the probe of the invasion, when hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and temporarily stopped Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said Tuesday he would refuse to cooperate with the investigators.

In a letter sent to Jordan early Wednesday, select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said, “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.”

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Jordan has given unclear answers about when, and how many times, he spoke with Trump on the day of the riot.

“Of course I talked to the president” on Jan. 6, Jordan told the House Rules Committee in October. “I talked to him that day. I’ve been clear about that. I don’t recall the number of times, but it’s not about me. I know you want to make it about that.”

The rules panel had questioned Jordan after he argued that Congress should not hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in contempt for defying a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 select committee. The House later found Bannon in contempt and referred him to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. He was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt, and has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this month, the House held Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for his refusal to sit for a deposition in accordance with a subpoena from the select panel. Meadows has sued the committee to invalidate the subpoena.

After Perry declared he would not comply with the Jan. 6 probe, a spokesperson said the select committee will pursue the information they seek “using other tools.”

It was revealed last week that Jordan, prior to Jan. 6, had sent then-chief of staff Meadows a legally dubious text arguing that Vice President Mike Pence should reject Electoral College votes while presiding over Congress’ confirmation of Biden’s victory over Trump.

Pence ultimately refused to try to unilaterally invalidate any state’s electoral votes, stoking the fury of Trump and many of his followers who had pressured him to challenge the election results.

Thompson’s letter to Jordan said that in addition to his communications with Trump, the select committee wants to ask the Ohio lawmaker about any talks he had with Trump’s legal team, his White House personnel or “others involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th.”

Thompson also noted, “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,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson’s committee is tasked with investigating the facts, circumstances and causes of the Jan. 6 invasion. It includes seven Democrats and two Republicans — Vice Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both of whom voted to impeach Trump for inciting an attempted insurrection at the Capitol.

The select committee was created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Senate Republicans voted down a bill to create a “9/11-style” commission to investigate the riot. Republican and Democratic leaders each would have been able to appoint half the members on that commission.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had selected Jordan as one of his five picks for the Pelosi-crafted select committee. But Pelosi objected to Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., for the panel, calling them “ridiculous” choices in light of their past remarks and actions about Jan. 6.

McCarthy responded by pulling all five of his picks for the panel.

Cheney, who was ousted last spring from her role in GOP leadership after she refused to stop criticizing Trump for spreading lies about the 2020 election.

Cheney defended Pelosi’s decision to reject Jordan and Banks, saying at the time that one of them “may well be a material witness to events that led to” the invasion.



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2021-12-22 15:38:06

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