When the January 6th Committee recently informed Congressman Jim Jordan that it wanted his cooperation with its investigation, Jordan signaled that he would indeed cooperate. But now Jordan is hitting the panic button, suddenly deciding he won’t cooperate, and digging himself a deeper hole in the process.
Even though we’re about to see a number of doomsday headlines that imply Jordan can simply decide not to cooperate and somehow magically get away with it, that’s not really a thing. Further, Jordan’s decision to cooperate, followed by a sudden flip flop, is not part of some secret evil genius plan; it’s a panic move on the part of someone who doesn’t see any good options available.
This puts the January 6th Committee in an interesting position, of course. It was one thing to ring up a professional criminal like Steve Bannon, or even a corrupt political operative like Mark Meadows, for contempt. But if the committee now subpoenas Jim Jordan, it’ll have to be prepared to ring him up for contempt when he fails to comply.
The committee will have to think about the optics of essentially trying to put a fellow House member like Jordan in prison for his failure to cooperate with a congressional probe. It would certainly hand House Republicans a talking point about “partisanship” for the midterms. That said, if Jim Jordan is breaking the same criminal contempt law that Bannon and Meadows broke, then he should be rung up for it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report