Jim Jordan tells lawmakers he can’t recall how many times he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6

·3 min read
Jim Jordan tells lawmakers he can’t recall how many times he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6

Rep. Jim Jordan told lawmakers Wednesday at a House Rules Committee hearing that he can’t recall how many times he spoke with then-President Donald Trump on the day of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

This comes after the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 on Tuesday evening voted unanimously to hold Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with their subpoena. The House Rules Committee took up that recommendation on Wednesday ahead of an expected full House vote on Thursday.

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Jordan, an ally of Trump, testified Wednesday at the Rules Committee hearing against holding Bannon in contempt of Congress, arguing Democrats are using the investigation as a distraction from issues facing President Joe Biden.

Jordan was blocked from serving on the Jan. 6 select committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who objected to the Ohio Republican’s unfounded claims of election fraud and lingering questions about his communications with Trump the day of the riot.

In response to questions from Rep. Jim McGovern, Rules Committee chairman, Jordan acknowledged he spoke on the phone with Trump on Jan. 6.

“Of course I talked to the president,” Jordan said. “I talked to him that day. I’ve been clear about that. I don’t recall the number of times, but it’s not about me. I know you want to make it about that.”

In media interviews, Jordan has offered contradictory answers about his communications with Trump the day of the riot: He told Spectrum News in July he didn't know if he spoke with Trump before or after the riot. He told Politico in August that he spoke with Trump more than once on Jan. 6, and “I’m sure” one of those calls took place while members were in a safe room “because we were in that room forever,” seeming to indicate they talked during the riot.

But in Wednesday’s hearing, Jordan did not clarify when or how many times he spoke with Trump that day, telling lawmakers he "did not speak to the president during the attack," but he "may have talked to him before, I don't know."

Jordan’s exchange with McGovern became tense, and at one point, the Massachusetts Democrat told Jordan he was free to go if he did not wish to testify.

Elsewhere in the hearing, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz also testified against holding Bannon in contempt. Rep. Norma Torres alluded to allegations against both Gaetz and Jordan during her remarks.

“This is not about somebody being sexually assaulted or somebody paying to have sex with a young girl, or somebody not, you know, protecting people that are under their jurisdiction,” the California Democrat said. “This is about our democracy.”

Gaetz allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl he met online and paid her to travel with him. Gaetz has denied the allegations. Jordan, a former Ohio State University assistant wrestling coach, was accused by a former team captain of covering up the sexual abuse of athletes in the program. Jordan has denied those accusations, telling media outlets he had no knowledge of abuse and would have reported it.

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Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chairwoman of the select committee, has indicated Jordan could be a "material witness" in the panel’s investigation. Cheney also testified at Wednesday’s hearing, telling lawmakers that holding Bannon in contempt of Congress is an appropriate response to his refusal to comply with a subpoena because that refusal “puts this institution’s authority at significant risk.”

The Rules Committee voted along party lines to send Bannon's criminal contempt referral to the full House for a vote.

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Tags: News, Jim Jordan, Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Liz Cheney, January 6

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Jim Jordan tells lawmakers he can’t recall how many times he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6