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Jim Jordan pretends his ‘weaponization’ committee still has merit

Jim Jordan's "weaponization" committee appears to be unraveling, but the Ohio Republican is apparently pretending not to notice.


As the new Congress got underway, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan appeared on “Meet the Press” for an interview that shed light on the Ohio Republican’s perspective. In fact, it was one of the more illuminating interviews with a GOP official that I’ve seen in a while.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd came prepared and challenged many of Jordan’s baseless claims with factual details. The congressman — who appeared on the “Meet the Press” set, seated just a few feet away from the host — heard what the host had to say, but simply ignored the accurate information that Todd presented. It was as if Jordan saw the facts as inconvenient, so he simply filtered the truth in such a way as to disregard information he apparently didn’t want to know.

Five weeks later, it’s happening again.

The new House Republican majority created something called the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which Jordan leads, and which is tasked with identifying instances in which nefarious insiders have used the levers of federal power to mistreat conservative victims.

The panel’s first hearing was embarrassing: Republicans whined about old grievances without presenting new information and invited witnesses who weren’t in a position to shed light on the issue at hand. “Clearly there is room to grow and improve before [more] public hearings,” a Republican insider told Rolling Stone soon after.

For the GOP members behind the “weaponization” panel, things went from bad to worse on Thursday night: The New York Times reported that the FBI whistleblowers whom Jordan had spent months touting had spoken privately to the committee — and they were literally unbelievable:

[T]he first three witnesses to testify privately before the new Republican-led House committee investigating the “weaponization” of the federal government have offered little firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing or violation of the law, according to Democrats on the panel who have listened to their accounts. Instead, the trio appears to be a group of aggrieved former F.B.I. officials who have trafficked in right-wing conspiracy theories, including about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol, and received financial support from a top ally of former President Donald J. Trump.

As we discussed last week, the Times’ reporting was based on a 316-page report from the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, which includes extensive documentation about the GOP’s witnesses. The Times’ report added that the report helps prove that Jordan’s “whistleblowers” are not actual whistleblowers, and more importantly, they’ve “engaged in partisan conduct that calls into question their credibility.”

All of this reached the public in Friday morning’s edition of the newspaper. Other news organizations ran a series of related reports. And yet, on Friday night, there was Jordan chatting with Fox News’ Sean Hannity as if nothing had happened.

“People don’t say this enough, but we appreciate what you do, every single night bringing the truth to the American people,” the Judiciary Committee chairman said, ignoring both the unraveling of his “weaponization” gambit and the host’s own scandal.

On Sunday, Jordan returned to Fox News, sitting down with Maria Bartiromo — who’s also caught up in her network’s controversy — where he pointed to the testimony of “whistleblowers” who aren’t whistleblowers, and whose credibility has already been called into question.

Naturally, the Ohio Republican didn’t face any questions about last week’s revelations, but just as importantly, he wasn’t the slightest bit chastened. It’s not as if Jordan conducted these interviews with a degree of humility, cognizant of the fact that his entire partisan crusade is unraveling into a pitiful joke. He simply pretended that everything is fine; there have been no humiliating revelations; the claims from his “whistleblowers” have merit; and the “weaponization” panel is right on track.

It can’t be easy to simply choose to reject reality this way, but Jordan seems quite comfortable with his indifference.