Jan. 6 Commission Subpoena Is ‘Political Vendetta' Disregarding House Rules: Rep. Jim Jordan

Jan. 6 Commission Subpoena Is ‘Political Vendetta' Disregarding House Rules: Rep. Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 10, 2020. (Michael Reynolds/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) responded to a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach by characterizing it as “political vendetta,” pointing to the committee's doctoring and misrepresentation of nonpublic information and listing some of his demands in return.

Jordan contested the validity and constitutionality of the congressional subpoena and reiterated that he carries no “relevant information that would advance any legitimate legislative purpose,” in the six-page May 25 letter (pdf) addressed to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the committee.
Jordan is one of the five Republican members subpoenaed by the House committee on May 12. The subpoena notes that Jordan was in communication with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, and participated in strategy discussions for overturning the 2020 election.

“I had no responsibility for the security of the Capitol Complex on January 6,” Jordan said in his letter. “I had no role in or advance knowledge that violence would occur that day,” and “I publicly condemned the violence and encouraged support for the U.S. Capitol Police.”

Jordan said that the Select Committee violated House rules by “selectively targeting” political adversaries, disregarding civil liberties of witnesses, and noted how Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “misrepresented” nonpublic information through “doctoring” a text message forwarded by Jordan to former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

The committee was forced to admit the alteration but had failed to provide explanations or apologies.

Besides this, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) falsely attributed a second text message—suggesting that Vice President Mike Pence could reject the election results—to a lawmaker when it was not sent by any member of Congress.

Jordan said that in light of such “misleading” activities, he did not have confidence that the committee would “accurately represent any information I could provide.”

The committee went against the rules of the House when it failed to consult with the ranking minority member while ordering a deposition, according to Jordan.

Furthermore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not appoint committee members in agreement with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which resulted in a violation of rules.

Jordan said the committee mischaracterized his “constitutional oversight activities concerning election integrity,” which he had been expressing “well before the 2020 election,” and claimed that the subpoenas were leaked to the press before being publicly announced or properly served.

Due to the “unprecedented use of a committee’s compulsory authority,” Jordan requested some material before responding to the subpoena.

This includes all documents, videos, and other materials in the committee’s possession that can be used during questioning. Jordan requested this owing to the committee withholding specific information which he says goes against the official Democratic narrative about Jan. 6.

He also requested all material with his name to be presented because the committee had earlier altered and publicly misrepresented information regarding Jordan.

Finally, Jordan challenged the authority of the committee to issue such a subpoena and asked them to submit legal analyses “pertaining to the constitutionality of a non-ethics congressional subpoena to a Member of Congress.”

Since there is little historical precedent for Congress to issue a subpoena against its own members, the issue will likely face the courts before the congressmen, including McCarthy and Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) are required to comply.

“I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives,” Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said in a Twitter thread, regarding an earlier request for voluntary cooperation.