In the wake of the unprecedented ouster of Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Jim Jordan has taken center stage in the tumultuous quest by House Republicans to elect a new House speaker, renewing scrutiny of his role in the aftermath of the 2020 election and the January 6th Capitol attack.
Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee and remains a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump, secured the party’s nomination after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise withdrew his candidacy last week. However, Jordan still faces a challenging path to gather the necessary 217 votes to win the gavel, with a critical House floor vote looming as early as Tuesday.
Jordan’s remarkable ascent from the founder of the House Freedom Caucus to a national figure has been punctuated by his actions in the lead-up to the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and his support for efforts to challenge the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
House Democrats, who voted to remove McCarthy from his role, have seized upon Jordan’s actions as evidence of his unfitness for the position. Democratic Whip Katherine Clark remarked, “At every single turn, Jim Jordan has prioritized politics, power, fear, division, and hate over the American people,” adding, “Every Republican who casts their vote for him is siding with an insurrectionist against our democracy.”
Former Representative Liz Cheney, the former No. 2 House Republican, also condemned Jordan, alleging his involvement in Trump’s efforts to subvert the election and seize power. She wrote, “If [Republicans] nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They’ll lose the House majority, and they’ll deserve to.”
However, Jordan enjoys support from former President Trump and even former Vice President Mike Pence, who acknowledged differing opinions about January 6th but expressed confidence in Jordan’s ability to “lead with integrity.”
Jordan’s Role in the January 6th Inquiry
Jim Jordan’s name prominently features in the House Jan. 6 Committee’s final report, the culmination of over a year of investigation. The report cites his involvement in “strategies for challenging the election,” particularly claims of election fraud, and his participation in discussions concerning Vice President Mike Pence’s role as early as November 2020.
The committee highlights that four days prior to January 6th, Jordan led a call with Trump and others to explore ways to delay the certification of Electoral College votes in Congress. The conversation also included considerations of social media posts aimed at mobilizing Trump supporters to the Capitol on the fateful day.
On the day before January 6th, Jordan reportedly texted then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, advising Pence to reject any electoral votes he deemed unconstitutional, effectively nullifying them. Jordan also engaged with Trump at least twice on January 6th, although the specifics of these conversations remain disputed. According to ABC News, a 10-minute call between Jordan and Trump took place that morning, just before the Capitol riots unfolded.
Throughout the committee’s investigation, Jordan vigorously criticized its integrity, denouncing it as a partisan witch hunt, and declined to comply with a subpoena. As a consequence, he and several other Republican members of Congress have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for their actions.