It sometimes seems Republicans are intent on testing the differences between irony, satire, and plain old hypocrisy. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan provided a prime example on Wednesday morning when he sent a letter demanding that Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis turn over a long list of documents because “we recently learned that your office also coordinated its investigative actions with the partisan Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.”
Not only does Jordan declare the House’s Jan. 6 select committee to be a partisan organization, but two back-to-back sentences in the opening paragraph of his letter do an amazing job of explaining just where Republicans are right now.
“The Committee on the Judiciary continues to conduct oversight of politically motivated prosecutions by state and local officials,” Jordan writes. “Although we were aware that your office had coordinated its politically motivated prosecutions with the Office of Special Counsel Jack Smith, we recently learned that your office also coordinated its investigative actions with the partisan Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.”
Get that? Republicans get to declare Smith’s investigations into Trump, the indictments already filed in Fulton County, and the House’s entire Jan. 6 investigation are all “politically motivated.” Evidence? They don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.
Nearly every time the Jan. 6 select committee appears in the letter, Jordan includes the word “partisan” as if it were part of the committee’s name. It’s not hard to determine why he does this.
In 2022, Jordan refused to appear before the select committee to answer questions about his involvement in the insurrection plot. In response to a subpoena, Jordan argued that both the committee and the subpoena were “unconstitutional.” That declaration didn’t have the support of any court, but Jordan held fast to it and refused to provide either requested documents or testimony.
Jordan had the opportunity to vote for a wholly bipartisan committee to investigate events leading up to Jan. 6, with Democrats offering to split the committee evenly with Republicans. Jordan voted against that option. That might be because—as evidence surfaced by the select committee showed—Jordan was deeply involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election.
“Jim Jordan knew more about what Donald Trump had planned for Jan. 6 than any other member of the House of Representatives,” said former Rep. Liz Cheney, who was vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee. “Somebody needs to ask Jim Jordan, ‘Why didn't you report to the Capitol Police what you knew Donald Trump had planned?’”
It’s still a good question, and one that Jordan never intends to answer. Or at least not until he can brag about his actions after the dictatorship has begun.
In Jordan World, the Jan. 6 select committee was partisan, so he didn’t have to honor its subpoena. But his committee is pure as the driven snow, so Willis does have to do what he demands, even if what Jordan demands would directly interfere with a prosecution in progress. It’s the pure essence of “whatever we do is right, whatever they do is wrong” thinking.
Trump faces multiple counts in a felony racketeering indictment in Georgia. Jordan believes he can single-handedly declare that this indictment is politically motivated, and require Willis to hand over all communications related to her investigation. Willis has already made it clear that Jordan is going to be disappointed.
In a scathing response to Jordan’s previous attempts to obtain these documents, Willis begins with this absolutely outstanding statement:
A charitable explanation of your correspondence is that you are ignorant of the United States and Georgia Constitutions and codes. A more troubling explanation is that you are abusing your authority as Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary to attempt to obstruct and interfere with a Georgia criminal prosecution.
She is not going to provide Jordan with what he wants. If Jordan intends to do more than write letters, Republicans will have to go before a judge and insist they have the right to force a district attorney to surrender documents related to an ongoing prosecution. That judge is likely to lay down a statement that makes Willis’ letter seem kind.
The stench of rank hypocrisy from Jordan’s letter isn’t helped by what he describes as Willis’ “coordination” with the Jan. 6 select committee. That coordination consists entirely of a letter from Willis’ office to the committee requesting access to congressional records that might be relevant to the Georgia investigation. Willis also offered to send staff members to meet with investigators to see what they had learned.
Everything Jordan presents in his letter is a strictly one-way transaction, with Willis seeking any information the select committee had found that could be relevant to a Georgia investigation already underway. That’s not “coordination” with a partisan committee. It’s a district attorney doing her job of collecting evidence.
Jordan’s letter is ridiculous, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Willis simply ignored it. But should she choose to reply, it’s bound to be a great read.