Rep. Jim Jordan rejects Jan. 6 panel interview request

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Rep. Jim Jordan rejects Jan. 6 panel interview request

Rep. Jim Jordan has rejected an invitation from the chairman of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot to appear before the panel, calling the probe the latest in a series of “witch hunts” against Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

“The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts,” Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote in a four-page letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) on Sunday.

Jordan, one of the 45th president’s most vocal allies in Congress, said the request to be interviewed amounted to “an unprecedented and inappropriate demand to examine the basis for a colleague’s decision on a particular matter pending before the House of Representatives.”

“This request is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core Constitutional principles, and would serve to further erode legislative norms,” he added.

Thompson wrote to Jordan on Dec. 22 to request he voluntarily appear before the committee to discuss his communications with Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as any attempts by the Trump administration to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

“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,” Thompson wrote in his missive to Jordan.

Rep. Jim Jordan.
Rep. Jim Jordan said the request to be interviewed amounted to “an unprecedented and inappropriate demand.”
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Select Committee invitation.
“The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts,” Rep. Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson.
Twitter/@Jim_Jordan

“And we also wish to inquire about any communications you had on January 5th or 6th with those in the Willard [Hotel] War Room, the Trump legal team, White House personnel or others involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th,” Thompson said. 

In his response, Jordan said, “I have no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate purpose.”

Jordan said at the time of the riot, he was in the House “performing my official duties pursuant to the US Constitution and federal law.”

Chairman Bennie Thompson.
Chairman Bennie Thompson said the panel wanted to question Jordan about discussions of granting presidential pardons for people involved in the Jan. 6 riot.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Ohio Republican went on to say he is not aware of any effort to have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) or any other Democrats appear before the committee to talk about their role in overseeing security before mayhem broke out. 

“This double standard confirms our suspicion that Democrats are using the Select Committee as a partisan cudgel against their political adversaries and not to advance any legitimate purpose,” Jordan wrote. 

The lawmaker previously admitted to having conversations with the former president on Jan. 6 of last year during a House Rules Committee hearing last October about holding former White House adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the select committee. 

“Of course, I talked to the president,” Jordan said at the time. “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.”

Thompson’s letter said the committee also wants to interview Jordan about the events that led up to Jan. 6, including “strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 election.” The chairman also said the panel wanted to question Jordan about discussions of granting presidential pardons for people involved in the Jan. 6 riot or the planning leading up to that day. 

A number of former Trump administration officials have already spoken to the committee, including former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Rioters.
A number of former Trump administration officials have already spoken to the committee about the Jan. 6 riot.
Lev Radin/Sipa USA
Capitol riot.
The committee is also seeking to have former Vice President Mike Pence appear voluntarily.
Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The committee is also seeking to have former Vice President Mike Pence appear voluntarily.

Pence refused to go along with demands by Trump that he decertify electoral votes on Jan. 6, saying he did not have the constitutional authority to do so.

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