The House Jan. 6 committee wants to interview Jim Jordan Chairman Bennie Thompson's letter to Jordan asks for information and an interview to discuss his conversations with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.

The House Jan. 6 panel wants to talk to Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan

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The House committee investigating Jan. 6 has asked Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan to turn over materials and sit for an interview. Jordan's a longtime ally of former President Trump and the top Republican on the judiciary committee. This is the second time this week the committee has requested voluntary cooperation from a sitting member of Congress. NPR's Deirdre Walsh is covering the story.

Hi, Deirdre.


SHAPIRO: Why do they want to talk to Congressman Jordan specifically?

WALSH: Well, Jordan has said publicly that he spoke to President Trump on Jan. 6. And in the letter that the committee chairman, Bennie Thompson, sent to him today, he notes the two could have had multiple conversations, and they want to ask him about each one in detail. Jordan recently testified back in October, and he was actually pressed about whether he'd be willing to talk to the Jan. 6 committee. Here's his exchange with rules committee chairman Jim McGovern.


JIM MCGOVERN: I guess, are you willing to tell the select committee what you know about events leading up to, during...

JIM JORDAN: I've been clear all along. I've got nothing to hide. I've been straightforward all along.

WALSH: So the committee has asked Jordan to appear on Jan. 3 or 4. They've also offered to send investigators to Ohio to meet with him there if that's easier.

SHAPIRO: Has Jordan responded?

WALSH: He hasn't yet. But yesterday, Congressman Scott Perry from Pennsylvania - he's a Republican that the committee reached out to as sort of the first sitting lawmaker to ask for cooperation - he refused. And Perry called the panel illegitimate. Jordan has also criticized the select committee, said it's partisan. But it's worth noting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy actually wanted Jordan to be one of the five members to serve on the select committee. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objected to that participation, so McCarthy decided to boycott the panel altogether. Pelosi did end up appointing two Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

SHAPIRO: The committee has threatened subpoenas in some instances, but it would be a little different to subpoena the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Could they subpoena Jordan if he doesn't cooperate?

WALSH: I mean, he could be the chairman if they take control. He's the top Republican now. It would be really unusual...


WALSH: ...To subpoena a sitting lawmaker. But, you know, the chairman, Bennie Thompson, has repeatedly not ruled out sending subpoenas to fellow members of Congress. He's been saying all along that the committee is going to do what it has to do to complete its investigation about the events that led up to the insurrection. But if they do issue a subpoena, it could end up in court.

SHAPIRO: So the committee has now asked two current lawmakers to appear. Does that tell us anything about their strategy here?

WALSH: They certainly have a lot of information already. I mean, we know from Liz Cheney they've talked to over 300 witnesses. There are some who are mounting legal challenges to try to get out of appearing, but there are lots of others who are appearing for hours-long, closed-door depositions with investigators. So we know that the committee is amassing a lot of evidence, even before they talk to people like Jim Jordan.

SHAPIRO: That is NPR's Deirdre Walsh.

Thanks a lot.

WALSH: Thanks, Ari.


And Jim Jordan told Fox News just now that he received the letter today and is reviewing it.

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