The House committee investigating the Capitol attack asked Ohio Representative Jim Jordan on Wednesday to sit down for an interview with its investigators, in the committee’s latest move to examine the role members of Congress played in trying to undermine the 2020 election.
The committee’s letter to Mr. Jordan, an ally of former President Donald J. Trump, says investigators want to question him about his communications relating to the lead-up to the Capitol riots. These include Mr. Jordan’s messages with Mr. Trump, his legal team and others involved in planning the January 6 rallies and congressional objections to the confirmation of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
“We understand that you had at least one, and possibly multiple, contacts with President Trump on January 6,” Representative Benny Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat and chair of the committee, wrote in the letter. “We would like to discuss each of these communications with you in detail.”
Mr. Jordan, a Republican, has been deeply involved in Mr. Trump’s efforts to fight the election results. He has been involved in planning meetings with senior White House officials, including a November 2020 meeting at Trump campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and a meeting at the White House last December, where Republican lawmakers discussed plans with a team Chief to use the joint joint. Congress session on January 6 to challenge the election result.
On January 5, Jordan sent Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, a text message he had received from a lawyer and former Pentagon inspector general outlining a legal strategy to cancel the election.
Understand the riots in the US Capitol
On January 6, 2021, a pro-Trump gang stormed the Capitol.
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, shall call all electoral votes he believes to be unconstitutional because there are no electoral votes whatsoever—in accordance with Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s direction and judicial precedence.” Read the text.
Mr. Jordan acknowledged speaking with Mr. Trump on January 6, though he said he couldn’t remember how many times they talked that day or when the calls happened.
Mr. Thompson said the committee was particularly interested in what Mr. Trump was doing during the riots, noting that it had already received Testimony “indicating that the president was watching television coverage of the attack from his private dining room” before his legal team resumed efforts to “delay or impede the electoral counting process.”
Mr. Thompson also said that the committee wanted to ask Mr. Jordan about any discussions regarding the possibility of a presidential pardon for persons involved in any aspect of 6 January.
Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and vice chair of the committee, said Mr. Jordan is a “material witness” to the events of January 6. The requests, though he also described the commission as “spurious.”
Mr. Thompson noted that Mr. Jordan told the rules committee in November, “I have nothing to hide.”
Despite claiming on the House floor on January 6 that “Americans instinctively know something is wrong with this election,” Mr. Jordan has since said he has never called the election stolen.
A spokesperson for Jordan did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the congressman referred to the letter in an appearance on Fox News Wednesday night.
“We just got the message today,” Mr. Jordan said. “We will review the letter.” He added that he had “real concerns” about the commission, claiming that it had altered documents in a misleading manner when presenting evidence to the public.
Key figures in the investigation January 6
The committee requested a January interview with Mr. Jordan and offered to travel to Ohio for it.
The letter to Jordan came a day after Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican and confidant of Jordan, refused a voluntary meeting with the committee, calling the committee “illegal.”
“I reject this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical left that desperately seeks a distraction from its blundering failures to crush inflation, the humiliating capitulation in Afghanistan, and the terrible crisis they have created on our borders,” Mr. Perry, the incoming chair of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote on twitter Wednesday.
The committee has been reluctant to issue subpoenas to sitting members of Congress, citing the deference and respect that the chamber’s legislators are supposed to show. But Mr. Thompson has vowed to take that step if necessary.
Committee aides said the committee preferred to collect evidence from members of Congress through a voluntary process, but would consider stronger action if they refused.