Jordan, a staunch defender of the president, replaces Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), who temporarily resigned from the panel on Nov. 8, according to House Republicans.
“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement on Nov. 8. “His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process.”
Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, has been present during the closed-door depositions, but has been blocked from asking questions since he hadn’t been a member of the Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
I am appointing @Jim_Jordan to the Intelligence Committee—which has now become the Impeachment Committee—where he will continue fighting for fairness and truth. @RepRickCrawford has been an exemplary member of the committee and will rejoin it when this Democrat charade is over.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 8, 2019
“In Speaker Pelosi’s House, those responsibilities have fallen victim to partisan witch hunts,” McCarthy added. “The typically venerable Intelligence Committee has now become the partisan Impeachment Committee.”
When the inquiry is finished, Crawford will again join the Intelligence Committee, he said.
“Along with millions of Americans across the country who are frustrated with this impeachment-obsessed majority, Rick has offered to step aside for this charade,” McCarthy said. “When it is finished, Rick will rejoin the committee and resume his work to keep our country safe.”
On Nov. 7, Jordan told reporters that Republicans are looking to subpoena the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
The whistleblower filed a complaint over a July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump requested that the Ukrainian leader “look into” the firing of a top prosecutor, in relation to Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In January last year, Joe Biden bragged about forcing the ouster of a prosecutor when he was vice president by withholding $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine. The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma at the time, has said in a sworn statement that pressure from Biden led to his firing because he refused to drop the investigation.
At the time of Shokin’s removal, Hunter Biden held a paid position on the board of directors of Burisma.
Jordan, a ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Republicans have been asked to submit a list of their witnesses. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the senior Republican on the Intelligence Committee, can subpoena a witness with the approval of Schiff, meaning that Jordan’s move to call on the whistleblower to testify may bear little fruit.
“We’ll see if he gives us any of our witnesses,” Jordan told reporters Nov. 7, referring to Schiff.
Jordan was also one of about two-dozen GOP lawmakers who stormed a closed-door deposition last month after blasting the Democrats for holding the impeachment inquiry in secretive closed-door sessions.
Earlier this week, Schiff announced that the first public hearings would begin on Nov. 13.
“Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry,” Schiff wrote on Twitter. “On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, we will hear from William Taylor and George Kent,” he added. “On Friday, November 15, 2019, we will hear from Marie Yovanovitch.”
The first public hearing features Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who has already testified before Congress members behind closed doors. Transcripts of his deposition were released by Democrats earlier this week.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.