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GOP Congressman Jim Jordan says he won't cooperate with January 6 committee

Reflecting on the Jan. 6 riot one year later
Reflecting on the Jan. 6 riot one year later 03:15

Washington — Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio is refusing to cooperate with the House committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, he announced Sunday, joining the ranks of allies of former President Donald Trump who are bucking the panel's requests for information.

The select committee asked Jordan last month to voluntarily meet with the committee about the events surrounding the January 6 riot, including his communication with Trump on the day of the attack. But in a letter to panel Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, posted to Twitter on Sunday, Jordan said the committee's request is an "unprecedented and inappropriate demand."

"Your attempt to pry into the deliberative process informing a member about legislative matters before the House is an outrageous abuse of the select committee's inquiry," the Ohio Republican said. "This unprecedented action serves no legitimate legislative purpose and would set a dangerous precedent for future Congresses."

Jordan said he does not have relevant information that would help the committee "in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose" and criticized the request as "far outside the bounds of any legislative inquiry."

"If the select committee can so readily violate American civil liberties and mislead Americans about the information it possesses — including information relating to me — I have no confidence that the select committee will fairly or accurately represent any information I could provide," the GOP congressman told Thompson. "And make no mistake, any such information would be directly related to my deliberations and objections pursuant to a statutorily prescribed procedure."

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn Closed Door Interview With House Judiciary Committee
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks to the press in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington on Friday, June 4, 2021.  Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A select committee spokesperson said that Jordan is a "material witness," as he admitted to speaking with Trump on January 6, and his letter "fails to address the principal bases" for the panel's meeting request. 

"Mr. Jordan has previously said that he would cooperate with the committee's investigation, but it now appears that the Trump team has persuaded him to try to hide the facts and circumstances of January 6th," the spokesperson said. "The select committee will respond to this letter in more detail in the coming days and will consider appropriate next steps."

In addition to Jordan's contact with Trump on January 6, the select committee told Jordan it is seeking information about communication he had the day before and day of the Capitol assault with Trump's legal team, White House staff, people in a so-called "war room" at the Willard hotel and others involved in planning strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 6.

Committee members also wanted to ask the conservative lawmaker about the discussions of presidential pardons for those involved in the planning or events of January 6, Thompson said in his December 22 request to Jordan.

More than one year after the Capitol insurrection, the select committee investigating the events has issued more than 50 subpoenas to Trump's allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. 

It has also sought voluntary cooperation from Jordan, Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Fox News host Sean Hannity. Perry, like Jordan, rejected the committee's request for an interview and information.

Two people subpoenaed by the committee, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, were held in criminal contempt of Congress after declining to comply with lawmakers' request.

Nikole Killion contributed to this report.

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