One of Trump's top defenders is still pushing lies about the election as he demands a conciliatory tone from Democrats.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Tuesday refused to say President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won the 2020 election fair and square, and instead continued to push lies about how the contest had been unfair, despite calling for unity in the same breath.
Jordan's refusal to admit the obvious came during a hearing on a House Democratic bill that calls on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office for his part in inciting the violent mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
"What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is as wrong as wrong can be. ...All political violence should be condemned all the time," Jordan said early in the meeting.
However, he insisted, "Congress needs to stop" trying to remove Trump from office, "one week before he is set to leave."
"Continued calls to impeach the president or remove him from office using the 25th Amendment I don't think are healthy for our nation," he said. "Rushing this resolution to the floor will do nothing to unify or heal the country."
Jordan's Democratic colleagues balked at that suggestion.
"I'm asking you to make a statement that the election was not stolen, that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won fair and square, that's the question," Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the chair of the House Rules Committee, told Jordan, following the Ohio congressman's comments.
Jordan refused to do that, admitting that Biden would be president, but rejecting that idea that he had won fairly.
Jordan went on to demand investigations into the election results, despite the fact that the Justice Department itself has said there was no widespread fraud, as Trump and many Republicans have suggested. Nearly 60 judges have ruled against lawsuits filed by Trump and his GOP allies that alleged such fraud, typically without any evidence.
Jordan's stubbornness stands in contrast with his calls for "unity" and demands that Democrats drop the effort to impeach Trump a second time.
McGovern, who was just steps away from the area of the Capitol where police shot and killed a pro-Trump rioter seeking to break into the House chamber, pointed to Jordan's calls for "unity" on Tuesday, calling them hypocritical.
"People came here, Mr. Jordan, because they believed the lie that the president, and many people in this chamber, perpetrated: that this election was not run in a fair and square fashion," McGovern said. "We want to talk about healing? The people who came here thought the president was telling the truth, thought many of you, who are backing him up, were telling the truth. And it ended up in this terrible ordeal which five people lost their lives."
Jordan, for his part, has been one of the biggest Trump defenders on Capitol Hill. He has lied repeatedly about imagined widespread voter fraud, speaking at "stop the steal" rallies that sought to overturn the results and hand Trump a second term.
Jordan also accepted the Medal of Freedom from Trump on Monday in a private ceremony, even as Trump is under pressure to resign for his role in inciting the insurrection last week.
Other Democratic members at the Rules Committee hearing sharply criticized Jordan for continuing to push Trump's lies, even after last week's attack.
"Mr. Jordan takes us to task for railing against the lawless behavior of the president since he came into office, and I supposed I feel an analogous disappointment that he will go to the ends of the earth defending the lawless misconduct of this president," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said at the hearing. "Is there anything the president could do that would cause Mr. Jordan to not defend him?"
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.