Over the summer, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan struggled a bit when asked about his communications with Donald Trump on Jan. 6. The Ohio congressman seemed ill at ease answering straightforward questions, which generated an evolving set of answers.
But as regular readers know, Jordan said he was unconcerned about the scrutiny. "If they call me, I got nothing to hide," the far-right lawmaker said in July. In October, during a House Rules Committee hearing, the Ohioan echoed the sentiment, insisting, "I've said all along, 'I have nothing to hide.'"
He now appears to have something to hide. The New York Times reported overnight:
Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, announced on Sunday that he was refusing to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, joining a growing list of allies of former President Donald J. Trump who have adopted a hostile stance toward the panel's questions.
It was nearly three weeks ago when the bipartisan panel first reached out to Jordan, not with a subpoena, but with a written request for information. The far-right congressman soon after appeared on Fox News, saying he was unlikely to cooperate. "I got real concerns about any committee that will take a document and alter it and present it to the American people — completely mislead the American people like they did last week," he argued.
In reality, the committee did not actually mislead anyone and Jordan's complaint was difficult to take seriously.
Yesterday, Jordan moved on to a new list of concerns, claiming in a written response that the request from investigators "is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core constitutional principles and would serve to further erode legislative norms."
So much for "if they call me, I got nothing to hide."
In case this isn't obvious, the Republican is in a unique position to help shed light on the events surrounding last year's political violence. The New York Times recently reported, for example, that Jordan attended crisis meetings at Trump campaign headquarters as early as Nov. 9, just two days after Joe Biden became president-elect.
The Times also reported over the summer that the far-right congressman participated in a meeting at the White House two weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, at which he plotted with Trump on how best to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Soon after, on Jan. 5, Jordan forwarded a message to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, describing a scheme in which then-Vice President Mike Pence could help reject election results Republicans didn't like.
Jordan also peddled baseless anti-election conspiracy theories, saying, reality be damned, "I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing." (House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy nevertheless tried to appoint the Ohioan to the committee that now wants to chat with him. Michael Gerson accurately described Jordan's selection as "a malicious choice.")
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican co-chair of the bipartisan panel, warned months ago that Jordan may very well be called to testify before the committee, largely because he was "involved in a number of meetings in the lead-up to what happened on Jan. 6, involved in planning for Jan. 6, certainly for the objections that day."
Given all of this, it hardly came as a surprise that the panel reached out to Jordan — a man who believes he may soon become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee — requesting important information that he could share. As of last night, that request will go unheeded.
All of which leads to a difficult question: What will the select committee do now?
It's entirely possible the Jan. 6 panel could issue a subpoena intended to compel Jordan to cooperate. As Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California told Rachel on a recent show, such a move is absolutely possible.
Watch this space.