Jordan demands docs from Jan. 6 panel in face of subpoena

·3 min read

Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), one of five Republican members subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, is asking the panel to turn over the bulk of the information it has collected on him as he weighs how to respond to the compulsory request for his testimony.

In a six-page letter, Jordan berates the committee on a number of points before asking that it “provide all documents, videos, or other material in the possession of the Select Committee that you potentially anticipate using, introducing, or relying on during questioning.”

Jordan was subpoenaed earlier this month alongside four other members who, like the Ohio congressman, had previously been asked to voluntarily sit with the committee’s investigators.

The subpoena notes that Jordan was in contact with former President Trump on Jan. 6 and participated in several calls discussing strategy for the day.

The lengthy letter repeats a number of talking points the GOP has long relied on in attacking the committee: that it was not properly composed, doesn’t have a valid legislative purpose and is overtly political. Jordan also accuses the panel of having “misrepresented” his actions.

He also expressed frustration that the panel failed to respond to a Jan. 9 letter in which he followed up on the committee’s request to voluntarily speak with him.

“As I detailed in my January 9 letter to you, I have no relevant information that would advance any legitimate legislative purpose. I had no responsibility for the security of the Capitol Complex on January 6, and I cannot explain why a concern about ‘optics’ contributed to the limited security posture,” Jordan writes.

Jordan was one of the Republican members initially assigned to serve on the committee before Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected most of the GOP’s picks, leading the party to largely boycott the panel.

Jordan has made frequent appearances in its work. Depositions released by the committee in court cases indicate he attended numerous meetings with White House staff to discuss plans for Jan. 6, including Congress’s role in certifying the election results.

He was also revealed to be the sender of a text to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows promoting the theory that Vice President Mike Pence could reject the election results — something Jordan later said was a text forwarded by a constituent.

“Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward,” Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Jordan, said at the time.

The letter likewise asks for “all documents, communications, testimony, and other material in the possession of the Select Committee in which my name appears or in which I am referenced.”

He also asks that they “provide all legal authorities and legal analyses … pertaining to the constitutionality of a non-ethics congressional subpoena to a Member of Congress.”

The Jan. 6 committee did not immediately respond to request for comment.

While Congress’s ethics committees have subpoenaed members before, the demand for testimony from the five members was a remarkable step.

The committee has continually asserted that it plans to introduce legislation to prevent anything like Jan. 6 from happening again — something that could include limitations on its own branch. It’s a detail key to its argument that it does have the authority to issue subpoenas to fellow members.

While members of Congress can be protected from subpoena by the “speech and debate clause,” experts have previously said there is no reason members of Congress can’t face subpoena for actions taken outside of their official duties.

“There’s no reason on God’s green earth, it seems to me, that a congressional committee investigating the circumstances surrounding insurrection aren’t entitled to get information from any source,” Jeff Robbins, an attorney now in private practice who has served as both a federal prosecutor and a Senate investigative counsel, previously told The Hill.

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