Jordan has not yet received a formal subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee, but chairman Bennie Thompson did send the staunch Trump ally a letter seeking his voluntary compliance.
Jordan refused to cooperate, blasting the probe as unsanctioned and overbroad. Despite the ubiquitous protests, courts have ruled in other challenges involving other probe targets that the body is constitutional and well within its authority to conduct this investigation.
Last summer, Fox News host Bret Baier asked Jordan if he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 and Jordan replied, “Yes, I mean, I’ve talked to the president so many times, I can't remember all the days I talked to the president.”
Just a day later, Jim Jordan was pressed again by another reporter about whether or not he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 and more specifically, when.
Jordan rushed through his answer.
“I spoke with him that day, I think after, I don’t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not, I just don't know, I’d have to go back, I mean, I don't know when—that—those conversations are happening but what I know is I spoke with him all the time,” Jordan said last July.
Then, on Oct. 20, Jordan was no less clear when House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern asked him about the call. McGovern reminded Jordan that he had 84 days since speaking to Fox to check the record and see when he actually spoke to Trump on Jan. 6.
Jordan’s demeanor became defensive and he told McGovern, “Of course, I spoke to the president, I’ve been clear about that, I talk to him all the time. … I don’t recall the number of times, but it’s not about me, I know you want to make it about that.”
McGovern reclaimed his time and asked Jordan, again, when he spoke to Trump.
“I talked to the president after the attack,” Jordan said.
McGovern, again, gave Jordan a chance to clarify, asking, “So not before or during?”
Jordan responded: “Right. And I’ve been clear about that.”
McGovern kept pushing, however, noting that a Politico report that quoted Jordan saying he spoke to Trump during the attack.
“During? No, I did not speak to the president during the attack,” Jordan said on Oct. 20.
Trump Department of Justice officials had already come forward to tell investigators that Jordan’s name came up on a Dec. 27, 2020, phone call with Trump, then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue.
This was the same meeting where Trump told Rosen and Donoghue to “just say the election is corrupt and leave the rest up to me and the R. congressman.”
Donoghue Notes to 1_6 Committee by Daily Kos on Scribd
But last October, when McGovern asked Jordan point-blank whether he discussed a coordinated effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Jordan shook his head, threw up his hands, and laughed.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have no idea, of course not,” he said before immediately trying to change the subject.
“I've got nothing to hide, I’ve been straightforward all along,” Jordan said.
But Jordan told Politico in August, “I definitely spoke to the president that day, I know it was more than once, I just don't recall the times. I'm sure one of the calls took place in the safe room because we were in that room forever.”
“Yeah, after the thing, yeah, that’s what I said,” Jordan told McGovern just a few months later during the rules meeting.
Jordan’s lack of cooperation with the Jan. 6 committee has prompted the body to begin a legal review of its options to formally serve the congressman with a subpoena. Other requests for cooperation have been issued to Trump allies like House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican.
Notably, the committee asked Perry to volunteer information about the role he played in Trump’s push to have the Justice Department involved in election subversion efforts. Perry was responsible for introducing Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a man who later became Trump’s lapdog at the department.
Clark, according to testimony by Rosen and Donoghue, tried to push a scheme that would have the DOJ send a letter to battleground state legislatures stating that the department had uncovered election fraud. When Rosen wouldn’t go along with the plan, Clark effectively threatened him, he said, and told him that Trump aimed to replace him if he would not comply.
Ultimately the letter was never sent. That letter was dated Dec. 28, just one day after Jordan’s name had “come up” on the call where Trump told Rosen and Donoghue just to “leave things up to R. congressman.”
Indeed, it appears Trump often relied on Jordan and his crony congressmen.
Jordan, it was revealed by the committee in December, was also responsible for forwarding a text message to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows just one day before the insurrection. The text propped up the deeply flawed legal argument that then-Vice President Mike Pence had proper authority to overturn the election results, certified for Joe Biden by the Electoral College on Dec. 14, on Jan. 6 when Congress convened to formally count the votes.
The theory came from Joseph Schmitz, a onetime Defense Department watchdog.
Jordan’s spokesman confirmed in December that the text message was sent by the congressman and forwarded to Meadows.
The text read, in its entirety:
“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. 'No legislative act,' wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, 'contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.' The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: 'That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.' 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916). Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all."
UPDATE: Rep. Jim McGovern would like another word with his collueage: