Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) spoke to former President Donald Trump for 10 minutes the morning of the Capitol riot last January, according to a new report from CNN citing records obtained by investigators in the House.
Jordan has acknowledged that he spoke to Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, but repeatedly dodged questions on when he did and what they talked about. He did not offer a clear answer to CNN on Friday, saying he did not remember taking a morning call from Trump.
While the content of their alleged pre-riot discussion remains unknown, it could shed light on Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which is a prime focus of the House select committee probing the attack.
Jordan was a key ally in those efforts. He objected to the formal certification of the election results both before the deadly siege of the Capitol and afterward, when he was joined by 146 other Republicans. He also helped peddle a legal argument that the vice president has the authority to intervene in the election certification process, forwarding a text on the theory to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows the day before the attack.
Asked by CNN reporter Annie Grayer whether Trump called him the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Jordan responded, “I don’t recall.”
“But I know I talked to him after we left the floor,” Jordan went on, revealing a sliver of new information about his actions that day. It was not previously known that he and Trump talked that afternoon after lawmakers hurriedly left the House chamber as rioters interrupted their official business.
Jordan told colleagues in October that he did not remember “the number of times” he and Trump spoke that day.
What, exactly, Trump was doing while his supporters assaulted law enforcement and threatened to murder Vice President Mike Pence for his refusal to overturn the election is of particular interest to the committee and to Americans shocked by the day’s events. Trump is believed to have ignored pleas from his daughter Ivanka to do more to quell the violence.
To help clear things up, the Jan. 6 House committee requested Jordan voluntarily come in for an interview but was rebuffed in a letter from the congressman last month.
“The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts,” Jordan wrote to committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
The committee has yet to issue a subpoena ordering Jordan’s cooperation. Other staunch Trump allies have risked criminal charges by refusing to comply with their subpoenas from the committee, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans.
Federal authorities have arrested more than 700 people in connection with the Capitol riot so far.
Yet despite abundant video evidence showing acts and threats of violence by the rioters, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel attempted to recast the day’s events on Friday, accusing the House committee of “persecut[ing] ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
Pence, meanwhile, appeared to distance himself from Trump’s efforts to overturn the election by declaring them “un-American” in a Friday speech in Orlando, Florida.