A committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has turned its attention to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
The Select Committee sent a letter to the Urbana Republican on Wednesday requesting a meeting to discuss his conversations with former President Donald Trump that day. Jordan, a close ally of Trump, has come under a microscope in recent weeks as the committee probes who played a role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
“We understand that you had at least one and possibly multiple communications with President Trump on January 6th,” wrote U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the committee. “We would like to discuss each such communication with you in detail.”
Jordan said during a hearing earlier this year that he talked to Trump on Jan. 6 but “did not speak to the president during the attack.” He had previously told Spectrum News 1 he couldn’t remember when the two spoke that day.
“I talk to the president all the time,” Jordan told the House Rules Committee in October. “I talked to him that day. My understanding is, from my memory, I talked to him after the attack happened, and we were moved to the chamber. I may have talked to him before. I don’t know. All I’m saying is I had nothing to do with any of this.”
Since then, CNN has reported that Jordan forwarded a text message on Jan. 5 to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding a legal argument that suggested then-Vice President Mike Pence could block the certification of election results.
The Select Committee aims to discuss any communications Jordan had with White House staff, Trump’s legal team and “others involved in organizing or planning the actions and strategies for January 6th,” Thompson wrote. They also plan to inquire about Jordan’s dealings with Trump and his allies before the attack.
“Public reporting suggests that you may also have information about meetings with White House officials and the then-President in November and December 2020, and early-January 2021, about strategies for overturning the results of the 2020 election,” Thompson wrote. “We would also like to ask you about any discussions involving the possibility of presidential pardons for individuals involved in any aspect of January 6th or the planning for January 6th.”
A spokesman for Jordan did not immediately respond to a reporter’s questions.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had named Jordan to participate on the Jan. 6 panel. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected him and instead appointed Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois as Republicans on the nine-member panel.
The committee is investigating what led to the attack and what happened that day, when about 140 police officers were injured and four people died.
The committee also sought an interview this week with Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, a request Perry has since declined.
Trump and his allies are fighting the committee on several fronts in federal court. Trump opposed a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration for documents from his administration.
The committee urged the Justice Department to prosecute several aides for criminal contempt for defying subpoenas. Political adviser Steve Bannon’s trial is in July. The department hasn’t made a decision about former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. And the House hasn’t voted yet on former department official Jeffrey Clark, who plans to meet again with the panel and refuse to answer questions based on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
More than 300 witnesses have cooperated with the committee and weeks of hearings are expected next year.
Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.