“The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts,” the GOP congressman wrote in a long, contentious letter. “This request is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core constitutional principles and would serve to further erode legislative norms.”
Rep Raskin, a Maryland Democrat who sits on the 6 January committee, countered that argument by paraphrasing Mr Jordan himself. In 2015, when the Ohio Republican was grilling former secretary of state Hillary Clinton about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Mr Jordan argued that no one had the right to withhold information from Congress.
“To answer Jim Jordan, I would quote Jim Jordan from the views that he expressed in the final Benghazi report, where he said that all of the truth must come out,” Mr Raskin told MSNBC’s John Heilemann. “Everybody needs to testify, and nobody’s got the right to hide anything from Congress. So, I think he had it right then.”
Mr Raskin said Mr Jordan, whose questioning of Ms Clinton in 2015 was particularly aggressive, should know better than anyone why Congress has the right to interview witnesses.
“Jim Jordan, more than anybody else, knows what a dogged, aggressive investigation is about,” the Maryland Democrat said. “Even when he’s on a wild goose chase, he demands all the information he wants, and we’re not on that. We are on the central investigative mission certainly of this decade, if not this century, to get to the bottom of this terrible political crime that was incited and to a substantial extent organized by Donald Trump.”
On 6 January, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters violently stormed Congress as it was certifying Joe Biden’s election victory. Many of the rioters had just listened to a fiery speech by the former president, who encouraged them to “walk down to the Capitol” to “take back our country”.
The House committee investigating the insurrection, run by seven Democrats and two Republicans, has asked numerous members of Congress and other public figures (including former vice president Mike Pence) to voluntarily answer questions.
Having refused to cooperate voluntarily, it is not yet clear whether Mr Jordan will be subpoenaed – or face other consequences.
“Our committee hasn’t discussed it yet, so I will reserve judgment on the specifics of Mr Jordan’s case,” Mr Raskin said. “But I will say this: Article I of the Constitution gives each house of Congress the right to set the rules of its own proceedings. We also have disciplinary power over members, including the power of censure, admonishment, all the way to expulsion from the body.”
The Independent has reached out to Mr Jordan’s office for comment.
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