Jim Jordan, zealous in subpoenaing Democrats, refuses to comply with Jan. 6 probe


Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) repeatedly voted to impeach or hold Obama administration officials in contempt for refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said Sunday that he will refuse to cooperate with the House investigation into the January 2021 Capitol insurrection. But when Republicans were in control of the House, he was one of the leading voices pushing to punish Obama administration officials he deemed insufficiently cooperative with congressional oversight efforts.

In a letter to committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Jordan claimed that a request from the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol that he sit for an interview about his conversations on Jan. 6, 2021, with then-President Donald Trump was "far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core constitutional principles and would serve to further erode legislative norms."

The Ohio Republican wrote, "The American people are tired of the Democrats' nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts. ... As you well know, I have no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose."

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

But when it comes to investigating Democratic administrations, Jordan has often presented himself as a zealous advocate for congressional oversight. His official House bio notes that he is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and describes him as "an advocate of the taxpayer, looking for waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government." The first words on his campaign page are "Jim Jordan is leading the fight to hold Washington accountable."

Under President Barack Obama, he frequently sought to punish people for not complying with GOP committee investigations.

In June 2012, Jordan backed a contempt of Congress citation for then-Attorney General Eric Holder "for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform" related to a failed gun-running sting operation known as "Fast and Furious."

"We simply want the facts," Jordan said. "Because Attorney General Eric Holder will not provide what the law requires he provide, we are left with no other option except to vote to hold him in contempt."

In May 2014, Jordan voted to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for the same reason.

When the Justice Department declined to prosecute Lerner, he said in a press release that it had given her "cover for her failure to account for her actions at the IRS. This is wrong, and a great example of why so many Americans distrust their government. The American people deserve justice."

In October 2015, Jordan signed on as a co-sponsor of a resolution to impeach then-IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on a charge of failing "in his duty to respond to lawfully issued congressional subpoenas" relating to Lerner's communications and on a charge of failure "to act with competence and forthrightness in overseeing the investigation into Internal Revenue Service targeting of Americans because of their political affiliations."

The Internal Revenue Service "scandal" turned out to be much ado about nothing. Despite repeated assertions by Jordan and other Republicans that the agency improperly targeted conservatives, a 2017 inspector general's report found that progressives had been similarly scrutinized.

The House voted last June to create the Jan. 6 panel to "investigate and report upon the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex," those "relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power," and "the influencing factors that fomented such an attack on American representative democracy while engaged in a constitutional process."

"Mr. Jordan has admitted that he spoke directly to President Trump on January 6th and is thus a material witness," a panel spokesperson told Politico on Sunday. "Mr. Jordan's letter to the committee fails to address these facts."

Last July, Jordan said in an interview that he spoke with Trump the day of the deadly Jan. 6 attack. In October, he told the House Rules Committee that the conversation came after the violent pro-Trump mob illegally entered the Capitol in its attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The Jan. 6 attacks halted the joint session of Congress as it met to certify the Electoral College vote. Police officers were assaulted, including Brian Sicknick, who died a day later; federal officials' lives were threatened; and damage done to the Capitol Building has been assessed at $1.5 million.

In December, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said he would not cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee's investigation. The panel has not yet decided on whether to formally subpoena the GOP lawmakers.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.