CNN

Jim Jordan, the face of key GOP investigations, seeks the speaker’s gavel – again

Oct 14, 2023, 7:11 PM

Rep. Jim Jordan is known as a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and serves as chairman ...

Rep. Jim Jordan is known as a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and serves as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. Photo credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/FILE

(CNN) — Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a key figure in House GOP-led investigations, is again seeking the speaker’s gavel as Republicans face a deepening leadership crisis and the chamber remains paralyzed without a speaker.

Jordan has made a name for himself as a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and was endorsed by Trump in his bid for the speakership. The Ohio Republican serves as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

Jordan has a longstanding reputation as a conservative agitator and helped found the hardline House Freedom Caucus. He has served in Congress since 2007.

Jordan initially ran against House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and was defeated in a closed-door vote by the conference. Scalise went on to become the GOP speaker nominee – but dropped out of the race abruptly Thursday evening after facing a bloc of hardened opposition.

Jim Jordan was selected by GOP conference on Friday

The House GOP conference selected Jordan on Friday as its latest speaker-designee in a 124-81 vote over GOP Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia – who made a surprise last-minute bid. Jordan gained only 25 supporters compared to Wednesday’s vote when Scalise defeated Jordan, 113-99.

Jordan then called a second vote asking members if they would support him on the floor, in an effort to see if that could shrink his opposition. That vote, which was cast by secret ballot, was 152-55 – laying out the long road ahead for Jordan’s speakership bid to succeed.

In addition to chairing the Judiciary Committee, Jordan is also the chair of the select subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government. When McCarthy announced a House GOP impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, he said House Oversight Chairman James Comer would lead the effort in coordination with Jordan as Judiciary chair and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith.

While Republicans say their investigative work is critical to informing the American public and ensuring accountability, Democrats frequently criticize Jordan as a hyper-partisan Trump defender and have accused him of using his perch to shield the former president in the run up to the 2024 presidential election.

As Jordan oversees key House GOP investigations, Democrats also point to the fact that he stonewalled in response to a subpoena for his testimony from the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Jordan as well as Scalise both supported objections to electoral college results when Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win on January 6, 2021, the same day a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol seeking to overturn the election.

Concerns downplayed

Jordan has downplayed concerns that he may be too conservative for some of the more moderate members of the GOP.

“I think we are a conservative-center-right party. I think I’m the guy who can help unite that. My politics are entirely consistent with where conservatives and Republicans are across the country,” Jordan told CNN’s Manu Raju.

CNN reported in 2020 that six former Ohio State University wrestlers said they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about team doctor Richard Strauss.

Jordan has emphatically denied that he knew anything about Strauss’ abuse during his own years working at OSU, between 1987 and 1995. “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” his congressional office said in 2018.

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Jim Jordan, the face of key GOP investigations, seeks the speaker’s gavel – again