Updated Jan 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jim Jordan won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

 Rep. Jim Jordan  gives an opening statement before U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Rep. Jim Jordan at the U.S. Capitol in October. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Sunday he will not cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Both members of Congress the committee has sought out for information are declining to turn over documents or be interviewed voluntarily, forcing its nine members to decide whether they will attempt to subpoena their colleagues.

  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) last month called the committee "illegitimate" after they requested documents and an interview about his communications with the White House and his role in installing former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.
  • The panel has already subpoenaed dozens of former Trump administration officials, Jan. 6 rally organizers and others connected to the riot, but subpoenas for sitting members of Congress are murkier legal territory.
  • A spokesperson for the committee said in an emailed statement Sunday that Jordan had previously told the panel he would cooperate with its investigation, "but it now appears that the Trump team has persuaded him to try to hide the facts and circumstances of January 6th."

What to watch: The spokesperson said the panel would respond to Jordan's letter in more detail "in the coming days and will consider appropriate next steps."

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee's chair, told NBC's "Meet The Press" last week that the panel is exploring whether it has the legal authority to subpoena members.
  • If they can, "there'll be no reluctance on our part," he added.

What they're saying: Jordan outlined several arguments for his non-cooperation in a letter to Thompson.

  • He called the request "unprecedented and inappropriate" because he was performing his "official duties" as a member of Congress when he communicated with the White House in the run-up to Jan. 6.
  • "Your attempt to pry into the deliberative process informing a Member of about legislative matters before the House is an outrageous abuse," he wrote.
  • Jordan also said he has "no confidence that the Select Committee will fairly or accurately represent any information" he provides, accusing them of being "partisan" and noting only Republican lawmakers have been sought out so far.

The big picture: The panel wrote to Jordan last month, asking him for an interview about his communications with former President Trump regarding the insurrection.

  • Thompson said he would like to discuss phone calls Jordan has said he had with Trump during the attack, as well as meetings with White House officials in December and January about "overturning the results of the 2020 election."
  • Thompson said the committee is also interested in "discussions involving the possibility of presidential pardons for individuals involved in any aspect of January 6th or the planning for January 6th."

Read the letter in full, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper... Kinzinger: Jan. 6 panel has gathered "powerful and substantive narrative"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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