Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio indicated he doesn’t plan to cooperate with a request to meet to meet with the House select committee investigating January 6, according to a defiant letter he sent to committee Chair Bennie Thompson on Sunday.
While Jordan – a top congressional ally of former President Donald Trump – did not explicitly say he will not cooperate with the committee, his four-page letter outlines his grievances with the panel and its request. The Ohio Republican wrote that he has “no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose.”
Jordan, one of Trump’s top congressional allies, did not explicitly say he will not cooperate with the committee, his four-page letter outlines his grievances with the committee. Jordan wrote that he has “no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose.”
Jordan does, however, appear to have relevant information for the committee’s probe into the insurrection. He has been identified as one of the lawmakers who sent a text message to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, in the leadup to the US Capitol attack, which the committee has in its possession. The message that Jordan forwarded to Meadows on January 5 outlined a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to stand in the way of the certification of the 2020 election.
A January 6 select committee spokesperson said in response to Jordan’s letter that because Jordan spoke with Trump on January 6, 2021, he does have information the committee is seeking and is a “material witness.”
“Mr. Jordan’s letter fails to address the principal bases for the Select Committee’s request for a meeting, including that he worked directly with President Trump and the Trump legal team to attempt to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Jordan has admitted that he spoke directly to President Trump on January 6th and is thus a material witness. Mr. Jordan’s letter to the committee fails to address these facts,” the spokesperson said.
Although the committee doesn’t mention a subpoena in its response, it also doesn’t rule it out.
“The Select Committee will respond to this letter in more detail in the coming days and will consider appropriate next steps,” the spokesperson said.
The committee also suggested, without evidence, that Trump and his team are the reason Jordan is not cooperating.
“Mr. Jordan has previously said that he would cooperate with the committee’s investigation, but it now appears that the Trump team has persuaded him to try to hide the facts and circumstances of January 6th,” the committee’s spokesperson said.
CNN has reached out to Trump for comment regarding the allegation.
Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, had requested Jordan’s cooperation, asking him for a voluntary meeting in a December letter as the panel zeroed in on Republican lawmakers who may have significant knowledge of events leading up to the Capitol attack.
“We understand that you had at least one and possibly multiple communications with President Trump on January 6th. We would like to discuss each such communication with you in detail,” Thompson wrote.
“And we also wish to inquire about any communications you had on January 5th or 6th with those in the Willard War Room, the Trump legal team, White House personnel or others involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th,” the letter states, referencing in part an election-related “command center” for Trump allies at the Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, DC, around January 6.
Jordan previously warned the committee that targeting GOP lawmakers in any capacity would be met with political retribution if Republicans win the House in November’s midterm elections. He was originally selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be one of five GOP members serving on the committee back in July, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s selection of Jordan, along with GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, because she said their appointments could impact the “integrity of the investigation.” Pelosi’s decision led McCarthy to pull all five of his members, which further soured the willingness between the two parties to work together, and led Pelosi to select GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to serve on the panel.
In his Sunday letter, Jordan said the committee’s request was “far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core Constitutional principles, and would serve to further erode legislative norms.” He did not mention any communications with Trump.
The committee had asked to meet with Jordan on January 3 or 4 or the week of January 10, when the House is back in session. The committee also offered to meet with Jordan in his home district.
“Even if I had information to share with the Select Committee, the actions and statements of Democrats in the House of Representatives show that you are not conducting a fair-minded and objective inquiry,” Jordan wrote.
In December, Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania declined the committee’s request to speak with him. Perry, the incoming chair of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, was the first known lawmaker to whom the panel had reached out to talk for its investigation.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.