On Wednesday, the office of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) confirmed that he was one of the lawmakers who texted Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows regarding a scheme to subvert the January 6 certification of the Electoral College.
The text message was shared by the January 6 commission this week as evidence to justify a House vote to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress. Although the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack has been seeking more information about text messages to and from Meadows – including the message from Jordan – the former chief of staff has so far refused to testify about the messages, even though he was the one who provided the documents to the commission.
Jordan’s office has maintained that the message he sent to Meadows was a forwarded one, saying that Meadows “certainly knew” this was the case. But as NBC News reported, some smartphones don’t indicate if a sent message is a forward.
The text from Jordan to Meadows encouraged him to adopt a plan to invalidate Electoral College votes from states Biden won, saying that he should use false claims of election fraud as a basis for doing so.
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence,” Jordan’s text read. The text then quotes Hamilton’s commentary from Federalist 78, which says that “No legislative act contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.”
“Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all,” the text from Jordan concluded.
There is no evidence that electors for the Electoral College were “unconstitutionally appointed” — and according to rules outlined in the constitution, the vice president of the United States doesn’t have the authority to invalidate electors.
Politico reporters Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu, who were the first to report that Jordan sent the text, said the context of the message was still unclear.
“Why did Jordan forward this analysis to Meadows? Was it something the former chief of staff solicited? Or did Jordan send it unprompted?” the journalists asked.
Jordan’s involvement in the plan to overturn the election results is significant, especially because he was initially nominated by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) to serve on the January 6 commission. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) rejected Jordan’s nomination on the basis that he was untrustworthy.
Days after he was rejected by Pelosi to serve on the commission, Jordan admitted that he had been in contact with Trump on the day a mob of Trump loyalists attacked the Capitol building.
In light of the texts that the commission released this week — and the revelation that Jordan sent one of the messages — journalists are questioning the extent of McCarthy’s knowledge about Jordan’s involvement in the scheme to thwart the will of the American electorate.
“Does anyone still think Jim Jordan should have served on the Jan 6 committee? Did Kevin McCarthy know about Jordan’s activities to overthrow the election when he tried to put him on the committee investigating all this?” asked journalist Elizabeth Vargas.
The stakes have never been higher (and our need for your support has never been greater).
For over two decades, Truthout’s journalists have worked tirelessly to give our readers the news they need to understand and take action in an increasingly complex world. At a time when we should be reaching even more people, big tech has suppressed independent news in their algorithms and drastically reduced our traffic. Less traffic this year has meant a sharp decline in donations.
The fact that you’re reading this message gives us hope for Truthout’s future and the future of democracy. As we cover the news of today and look to the near and distant future we need your help to keep our journalists writing.
Please do what you can today to help us keep working for the coming months and beyond.