Rep. Jim Jordan wants to know why people are talking about “old news” about the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The “old news” in question? The fact that Jordan spoke with Donald Trump at some point on Jan. 6, though he’s not saying exactly when during the day that happened. So that was certainly news at the point that it emerged. And as for the “old” part, Jordan only admitted to the conversation with Trump last week—and Monday brought news of the deaths by suicide of two more officers who responded to the attack.
At the time Jordan acknowledged the conversation, he was dodgy and evasive about exactly when on Jan. 6 he spoke with Trump. “I spoke with him that day, after?” Jordan said. “I think after. 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.”
Sure. Either there is about to be, or there is ongoing, or there has just been, a bloody attack on the U.S. Capitol while you, as a member of the House of Representatives, are there conducting congressional business, and you just can’t quite remember when you spoke to the leader of the party, the man who rules your world.
No, that’s something you remember.
Jordan’s admission might well lead him to get a subpoena to testify to the select committee investigating the insurrection. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy previously tried to put Jordan on the committee that may now call both of them as material witnesses because they talked to Trump on the day of the violent insurrection he incited. “If it's anybody that talked to the president that can provide that information—I want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day after he said, I'm going to walk with you to the Capitol,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republican members of the select committee.
“I’ve got nothing to hide,” Jordan claimed Monday. Except for, thus far, everything about when he talked to Trump and what was said. Jordan also claimed that Democrats “don’t want to answer the fundamental question, that’s why they didn’t allow Congressman Banks and I on the committee, the fundamental question being why wasn’t there better security posture that day.” To be sure, security failures are a key question. But why thousands of people marched from a speech by Trump to attack the Capitol is also an important question, and it’s one Jordan really, really doesn’t want answered.
Jordan’s dismissal of his conversation with Trump as “old news” came on the evening of a day when we’d been reminded that the events of Jan. 6 are still playing out, tragically. Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Monday that two more officers who responded to help defend the Capitol have died by suicide. Officer Gunther Hashida, an 18-year department veteran, was found dead at home on Thursday, while Officer Kyle DeFreytag, who had been with the department since 2016, died July 10. Their deaths follow two previous deaths by suicide among the officers who responded at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The testimony of the four officers who appeared at the select committee’s first hearing last week offered a haunting picture of what the officers who have died faced on that day. “You will die on your knees,” the terrorists told Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges.
“I vividly heard officers screaming in agony, in pain, just an arm's length from me," Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell said.
"I too was being crushed by the rioters," Gonell continued, "I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, 'This is how I'm gonna die.'"
”What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened," said Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone. "I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist or that hell actually wasn't that bad.”
Officers are still dying, and Jim Jordan wants us to believe it’s “old news” that on that day he talked to the person who incited the attack.