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Jan. 6 panel wants to interview Jim Jordan

Jordan is second House GOP member asked for information by panel

From left, Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., participate in a news conference on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
From left, Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., participate in a news conference on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Wednesday asked Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to sit for an interview to discuss his communications with former President Donald Trump on the day of the attack, as well as other discussions he had with those involved in planning the events. 

Jordan, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, is the second House GOP member asked to voluntarily cooperate with the committee’s inquiry. Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry was asked to meet and provide information, but said he wouldn’t

The panel wants to discuss each time Jordan and Trump spoke on Jan. 6 “in detail” and any contacts he had on Jan. 5 or 6 with people in the hotel where organizers gathered, the so-called Willard War Room; the Trump legal team; White House employees; or any others involved. 

Jordan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a letter to Jordan, Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., also wrote that the panel is seeking information from Jordan about meetings with White House officials and Trump that preceded the insurrection, in addition to any talks of presidential pardons for those involved in the Capitol attack or its planning.

On Jan. 6, several influential people made efforts to reach Trump and then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to urge Trump to tell the rioters to stop. When the panel recommended holding Meadows in contempt of Congress, Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., read texts Meadows disclosed to the committee that he received on Jan. 6: “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Cheney said, quoting a text from Fox News host Laura Ingraham to Meadows.

Thompson said in his letter to Jordan that the panel has “testimony indicating that the president was watching television coverage of the attack from his private dining room adjoining the Oval Office,” as rioters attacked police and stormed the Capitol. 

“Even after the crowd ultimately dispersed late in the day, then-President Trump, through his legal team, continued to seek to delay or otherwise impede the electoral count,” Thompson said.

Thompson cites Jordan’s own words from an Oct. 20 Rules Committee hearing in which he was asked if he would be willing to share information surrounding the insurrection with the select committee: “I’ve said all along, ‘I have nothing to hide.’ I’ve been straightforward all along,” Jordan said at the time.

Jordan is asked to meet on Jan. 3 or 4, but the panel says it would be willing to schedule a time the week of Jan. 10 and says it would be willing to travel to his district, which includes Elyria and Lima.

It is unclear how the committee will try to get information from members who don’t voluntarily cooperate and whether that would include issuing subpoenas to them. When Perry called the committee “illegitimate” and declined to be interviewed, a spokesperson for the committee said it “will consider seeking such information using other tools.”

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