GOP Rep. Jim Jordan confirms January 6 panel released text message he sent to Meadows

Mario Tama
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan's office confirmed Wednesday that the Ohio Republican was one of the lawmakers whose text messages to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows were released this week by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The acknowledgement comes two days after the Jan. 6 committee made public numerous documents, including text messages, provided to the panel by Meadows. The House committee revealed several text messages sent to Meadows by GOP lawmakers but did not name any of them.

Jordan's office said Wednesday that the message cited by the panel on Monday was a forwarded text, and that it was truncated by the committee.

“Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward,” Jordan’s spokesman told NBC News on Wednesday.

Some smartphones do not specify that a text message has been forwarded.

Video: House finds Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress

The text message from Jordan to Meadows released by committee on Monday read: "On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”

Jordan's office said the shortened version misrepresented the content of the text with an "inadvertently" placed period.

The Jan. 6 committee acknowledged trimming the text before making it public.

“The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error,” a spokesman told NBC News on Wednesday.

The full text read: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence. 'No legislative act,' wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, 'contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.' The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: 'That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.' 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916). Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.’”

Politico reported on Jordan's text message earlier Wednesday.

Joseph Schmitz, a conservative lawyer and one-time national security adviser on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, sent the legal theory to Jordan who then passed it on to Meadows, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The text reveals another instance of how those in Trump's orbit were pressing the White House to challenge the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6.

Jordan is a close ally of Meadows from their time in Congress and as members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Jordan has been a staunch Trump ally and was one of the Republican lawmakers tapped by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to serve on the Jan. 6 committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected Jordan and another Republican offered by McCarthy, who later pulled his picks. Pelosi later added two GOP lawmakers — Reps. Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, and Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois — to the nine-member committee.

The Jan. 6 committee this week also released texts from three Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr. showing they had urged Meadows to get Trump to call off the rioters during the attack on the Capitol.

The House voted Tuesday night to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for a potential criminal charge over his refusal to answer questions about the Jan. 6 attack. Lawmakers passed the measure largely along party lines in a 222-208 vote. Cheney and Kinzinger were the only Republicans to cross the aisle and vote with Democrats.

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