As part of its effort to examine the role that former President Donald Trump and his allies played in the insurgency, the committee has already interviewed more than 300 witnesses, but its interview requests to Jordan and other Other major allies of former President Donald Trump represent an important step in the investigation.
When asked on Monday, Jordan declined to say explicitly that he would not cooperate with the committee, but stressed that “the letter speaks for itself. You read the letter. We put the reasons there. , we put in there statements that we made because we felt it was important to say so.”
Here are the facts surrounding some of the statements and claims in Jordan’s four-page letter.
Jordan said he did not plan to cooperate with the committee’s request because he had “no relevant information that would assist the select committee.”
The facts first: While Jordan may not believe he has relevant information, what matters is that the select committee does. Committee chairman Bennie Thompson asked for Jordan’s cooperation on the base that he “had at least one and possibly several communications with President Trump on January 6”. A spokesperson for the January 6 select committee noted in response to Jordan’s letter stating that because of these communications he has the information the committee is seeking and that he is an “important witness”.
It should be noted that Jordan is a longtime Trump ally who opposed certification of the November 2020 House elections on January 6. In December 2020, Jordan attended meetings at the White House with Trump, then Vice President Mike Pence, and a handful of other congressional Republicans to discuss how to overturn the election results. In the end, Jordan voted to nullify the results in the two states where Republican objections were voted on – Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Attempts to create a bipartisan committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack have been plagued by partisan conflict from the start. Even after the two sides agreed on a structure for the panel, tensions arose over who should sit on it.
Jordan claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “did not consult with Leader McCarthy about the nomination of the Republican members,” violating a requirement set out in the resolution establishing the select committee.
The facts first: It is misleading. McCarthy initially selected five GOP members to serve on the committee. Pelosi rejected two, Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, but accepted the other three. However, McCarthy drawn all five members in response to Pelosi’s rejection. Pelosi then selected Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to represent the GOP on the panel.
This is not a new line of attack from the Republicans against the committee. In response to lawsuits seeking to argue that the committee’s subpoenas are invalid because of the way members were chosen, Charles Tiefer, a professor of legislation at the University of Baltimore Law School and a former attorney deputy general of the House, said in December 2021 that, “As regards as a resolution establishing the committee, it only promised ‘consultation’ with the minority. It did not promise the minority particular membership.
Texts at Meadows
In December 2021, the House Select Committee released new text messages obtained from Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, sent to it in the days leading up to the insurgency and while the Capitol was besieged.
During a meeting to determine whether to hold Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress, committee member Rep. Adam Schiff read a graphic that included part of a text sent to Meadows by an “anonymous lawmaker “.
According to Jordan, Schiff “tampered” with a text message that Jordan had “forwarded” to Meadows who was among those released.
The facts first: It is misleading for Jordan to suggest that Schiff “tampered” with the text. Although the text read by Schiff is not the entirety of what Jordan sent to Meadows, every word he said was included in Jordan’s message. A committee source told CNN an assistant inadvertently placed a period before the end of a sentence in the graphic that was not in the original text. The rest of the text, which was not read aloud by Schiff or shown at the meeting, outlined a legal rationale for why Pence might block the 2020 election certification that was originally sent to Jordan. by Joseph Schmitz, a former Department of Defense inspector. general.
A few days after the part of the text was shared by Schiff, a spokesperson for Jordan confirmed that the congressman had sent it to Meadows on January 5 but that it was part of a message longer than Jordan. had passed on from Schmitz.
“Mr. Jordan passed the text to Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was an attacker,” Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Jordan, confirmed to CNN.
The text as shown on the graphic read: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call all electoral votes that he deems unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
Three sources told CNN the full message reads: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as Speaker of the Senate, should call all electoral votes that he deems unconstitutional because no electoral votes from the everything – in accordance with the directives of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.”No legislative act”, wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, “unconstitutional, can be valid”.The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: “That an unconstitutional law is no law at all is no longer an open proposition for discussion. 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 US 654 (1916). Following this reasoning, an unconstitutionally appointed voter, such as an unconstitutionally enacted law, is not a voter at all.
The House Select Committee asked telephone companies for records that included subscriber information and call logs, but not the contents of individual communications.
In his letter, Jordan claimed that the committee “abused basic civil liberties” by “seeking to impose gag orders on telecommunications and email companies to prevent them from informing their customers that the select committee has demanded their data”.
The facts first: It’s misleading at best. It is possible that Jordan’s assertion is based on the fact that the committee at some point request Verizon to contact them if the company could not respond to requests without alerting the specific subscriber or account. However, after the committee issued its latest set of telephone subpoenas, Verizon made inform his clients they would have to file in court by Jan. 5 if they wanted to try to block the panel from getting the records, according to some of the filings.
Jordan said the committee “falsely accused former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik of attending a meeting in Washington on January 5, 2021, when Kerik was actually in New York.”
The facts first: Jordan correctly points out that the committee incorrectly suggested that Kerik attended the January 5 meeting. In an email to CNN Thursday evening, Kerik’s attorney said that during Thursday’s interview with Kerik with the committee on Jan. 6, he confirmed to the committee that he did not attend the meeting. of January 5, whether in person or remotely.
CNN’s initial fact-check on this Jordan claim, published Jan. 11, said it was unclear whether Kerik was physically present at the Jan. 5 meeting in Washington, but noted that he had played a role in the organization of the command center linked to the elections. for Trump advisers in DC before Jan. 6.
That assessment was made based on the committee’s November subpoena to Kerik, who said he “would have attended” a Jan. 5 meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington in which advisers of Trump discussed options to overturn the election results.
After this fact-check was published, Kerik’s attorney told CNN that the committee changed its position on Kerik’s attendance at the Jan. 5 meeting at the Willard.
The committee then referred CNN to its updated press release announcing the subpoena. The updated press release detailing Kerik’s subpoena removed mention of a specific January 5 meeting and stated more broadly that “Kerik was allegedly involved in meetings at the Willard Hotel in Washington.” It is not known when the press release was updated.
The wording of the November subpoena to Kerik remains unchanged and still mentions his attendance at the January 5 meeting.
Even if Kerik was absent for this particular meeting, that does not absolve him of the committee’s broader claims that he played a role in organizing the election-related command center for Trump advisers in DC prior to Jan. 6. .
In its request to Kerik, the committee cited public records that show Kerik “paid for rooms and suites in Washington, D.C. hotels that served as election-related command centers” and cited a Washington article. Post appointing Kerik as an investigator for the effort to reinstate Trump.
Although the article did not specify whether Kerik attended the Jan. 5 meeting, Kerik confirmed to CNN that most of the Post’s story was accurate.
Kerik also told CNN that he and other members of the legal team were focused on the voter fraud investigation starting Nov. 5, and that’s what they were doing at the Willard.
“Moving to the Willard has nothing to do with January 6,” Kerik said.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the assessment of Jordan’s claim and to reflect additional information from Kerik’s attorney.
Zachary Cohen contributed reporting.