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Jordan seeks Jan. 6 panel evidence as condition to comply with committee

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 19. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg News)
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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has stopped short of refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, telling the panel that he would do so only if it met certain conditions, including sharing all the evidence the committee had on him ahead of time.

The bipartisan House panel is investigating the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob trying to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s electoral college win, an attack that left five people dead and injured 140 members of law enforcement.

Jordan was among five sitting Republican members of Congress the committee subpoenaed this month in efforts to obtain information related to the lawmakers’ communications with then-President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before, during and after the attack.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 5 House Republicans, including minority leader

In a letter sent to the committee late Wednesday, Jordan accused the panel of violating the Constitution and pursuing “political vendettas” against Trump and the former president’s allies. Jordan referenced a letter he had sent to the committee on Jan. 9 in which he explained “why the Select Committee’s conduct up to that point led me to believe it was not operating fairly or in good faith.”

“Even before your subpoena, as I articulated to you in January, I had serious doubts about the Select Committee’s commitment to fundamental fairness and due process,” Jordan wrote. “Your failure to respond added to my concerns, and your unprecedented actions over the past thirteen days have exacerbated them.”

Jordan requested that the committee provide him with “all documents, videos, or other material … that you potentially anticipate using, introducing, or relying on during questioning,” as well as all material in which his name appeared or was referenced and legal analyses of the committee’s power to issue a non-ethics subpoena to a member of Congress.

Only then could he “adequately further respond to [the] subpoena,” Jordan wrote. “I expect that you will provide the entirety of this material without delay.”

The committee has not yet publicly responded to Jordan’s letter.

Jordan has given conflicting answers about his communications with Trump. He previously said that he could not recall how many times he had spoken with Trump on Jan. 6 but that they spoke at least once. The panel has also sought details of any communications Jordan had with Trump’s legal team, White House staffers and any others involved in planning related to Jan. 6.

If Republicans win the House majority in the midterm elections in November, Jordan is poised to become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Attack: Before, during and after

Other GOP members of Congress who were subpoenaed were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Scott Perry (Pa.). All five declined to voluntarily provide information to the committee.

Jordan had been scheduled to testify on May 27. Depositions of Biggs and Perry were scheduled for Thursday, and letters to McCarthy and Brooks sought to compel the two Republicans to appear for depositions on May 31.

The lawmakers are staunch supporters of Trump and have tried to downplay the severity of the Capitol attack. In the days after the insurrection, Jordan said that “what happened at the Capitol … was as wrong as wrong can be” but also refused to acknowledge that the 2020 election was not rigged or stolen, as Trump has baselessly alleged.

Jordan’s letter is also the latest instance of GOP defiance of the committee’s investigation. In August, McCarthy originally appointed Jordan and four other Republicans to join the Jan. 6 committee, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blocked two of McCarthy’s picks, including Jordan. McCarthy responded by pulling all five of his choices for the committee, and partisan acrimony over the committee has only intensified since.

The Jan. 6 committee has ramped up its investigation in recent months, seeking voluntary cooperation from — and issuing subpoenas to — several high-profile members of Trump’s orbit, including members of his former legal team, Fox News host Sean Hannity and Ivanka Trump, the former president’s elder daughter and White House adviser.

The committee has also backed contempt charges for those who have defied its subpoenas, including against former trade and manufacturing policy director Peter Navarro and former Trump communications chief Daniel Scavino Jr.

Public hearings for the committee are scheduled to begin next month.

Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.

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