Jim Jordan says actions by House committee on Capitol riot is ‘assault on Americans’ liberty’

The committee has suggested pro-Trump congressman could be called to testify as a material witness

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 21 October 2021 15:55 BST
Jim Jordan says actions by House committee on Capitol riot is 'assault on Americans' liberty'
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Congressman Jim Jordan says the 6 January Committee’s subpoenaing of former Trump aides to testify about events leading up to the Capitol riot is a “complete assault on Americans’ liberty”.

Mr Jordan was responding to the committee formally approving a criminal contempt report to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. The former adviser to Donald Trump, who has refused to comply with the subpoena, could be jailed for up to a year if convicted.

“There’s been subpoenas issued to 11 individuals, 11 American citizens who asked the government permission on an application to hold the Trump rally,” Mr Jordan said. “The government granted it and now the January 6 committee petitions them to ask them questions about exercising their First Amendment right to assemble,” he added.

Mr Jordan’s opposition to the committee’s subpoenas comes after suggestions from Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee, that he “may well be a material” witness over his meetings in the lead-up to 6 January.

He has previously rejected the idea that he should be subpoenaed to testify about his conversations with Mr Trump. In May, he told The Washington Post that the commission is ridiculous.

"And why would they subpoena me? I didn’t do anything wrong — I talked to the president,” Mr Jordan told the Post. “I talk to the president all the time. I just think that’s — you know where I’m at on this commission — this is all about going after President Trump. That seems obvious.”

Records of that phone call could surface as part of the committee’s wide scope in investigating 6 January. Mr Jordan said on Wednesday the committee requesting phone carriers and tech companies preserve all communication records for the past six months was a “direct attack on liberty”.

“And they told these companies that, by the way, don’t let the person we’re telling you preserve information for, don’t let them know, like the law requires, don’t let them know that we’ve asked you to do this,” he said.

“This is scary where they want to go and what they’re doing to Americans’ constitutional rights. And finally, I would ask the fundamental question, how would you expect witnesses to participate when you wouldn’t let Republicans participate in the committee? How can you do that? We know what this is about, it’s plain and simple, this is about they’ve got nothing else to talk about.”

House Minority Kevin McCarthy put forward Mr Jordan to serve on the committee. He was rejected by House speaker Nancy Pelosi in favour of Ms Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who both voted to impeach the former president.

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