A subpoena issued to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan demanding documents from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has put the Ohio Republican —who is scrambling to find ways to avoid testifying under oath about his role in the deadly insurrection that day— against the wall.
Jordan, one of the House’s most combative members, has sent a letter berating the committee before asking it to turn over all the information they have on him, and seemingly opening the door for negotiations over whether he may actually appear.
“I ask that you provide all documents, videos, or other material in the possession of the Select Committee that you potentially anticipate using, introducing, or relying on during questioning,” Jordan wrote to the committee on Wednesday, adding “so that I may adequately further respond to your subpoena.”
As noted by The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch, however, the move is part of “a strategy” aimed at draining out the committee time.
“The strategy is obvious: cooperate, take the contempt, or file a lawsuit. There seems to be room for negotiation if the January 6th Committee will engage. But we really are in uncharted territory in many ways,” a Republican official with knowledge of the situation told The Hill.
But there’s a problem. Jordan appears to be stuck between a rock and a hard place: offering cooperation and risking contempt.
“With staggering deadlines to comply with subpoenas by the end of the month, some appear to be rethinking that calculus in the face of possible prosecution and jail time,” The Hill states.
“Straight cooperation would give leverage to a committee the GOP has otherwise lambasted as purely political and improperly constructed,” “But bucking them entirely and risking contempt — the panel and full House have already referred charges for four others who defied their subpoenas — carries up to two years of jail time and $200,000 in fines.”
Moreover, “a suit to challenge the committee’s authority to issue the subpoenas would be a lengthy and expensive proposition. There’s no guarantee for success, and it could solidify the rights of a panel to subpoena their lawmakers.”
Meanwhile, the House Select Committee has said that “The refusal of these members to cooperate is a continued assault on the rule of law.”
Jan 6 panel’s spokesman Tim Mulvey said their refusal “sets a dangerous new precedent that could hamper the House’s ability to conduct oversight in the future,” before adding that both Jordan and McCarthy are “hiding behind debunked arguments and baseless requests for special treatment.”