How Jim Jordan’s 2020 Election Denial Affected His Bid for House Speaker

As Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) advanced his fight to become House Speaker, some House Republicans were uneasy about the prospect of a recusant occupying the most powerful legislative seat in the U.S. government heading into a presidential election year.

Jordan, who gave up his bid for speakership on Friday after a third defeat on the House floor, is one of the most eloquent and vocal GOP lawmakers working to convince voters that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. His attempts to subvert the election.

Along with many of his colleagues at the House Republican convention, Jan. 6, 2021, Jordan refused to comply with a subpoena for testimony by the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol. During its investigation, the committee discovered evidence that Jordan had communications with Trump and others regarding activities related to January 6.

Jordan’s role on Jan. 6 and his reelection bid were not a setting or central factor for the roughly two dozen Republicans who voted against his speakership bid. But some Republican lawmakers — even some who supported Jordan’s effort — raised concerns about Joe Biden’s continued refusal to concede a 2020 election victory when colleagues asked him this week.

While midterm performance in 2022 has been disappointing, with disenfranchisement candidates suffering a series of high-profile losses, disenfranchisement remains a potent but buzzing issue in the Republican Party.

Of the many lawmakers who said Friday they would fill the speaker’s vacancy, only Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) voted to certify for the 2020 election. Reps. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Kevin Hearn (R-Fla.), Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) all opposed certification. Some staffers who served on a House Select Committee hearing on Jan. 6 drew parallels between the tactics used to fuel false claims of election fraud in 2020 and the pressure campaign waged this week against defectors from Jordan.

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Republicans who blocked Jim Jordan from becoming Speaker of the House

When Jordan was asked by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) at a conference call Monday evening if he believed Trump had won the 2020 election, he declined to answer the question directly, according to lawmakers behind closed doors. Meeting.

“He answered the question on February 1, 2021,” said one lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the private meeting. The lawmaker added that it was “disappointing to many members” that Jordan could not succinctly answer “a simple question”.

On Friday morning, during his last-minute news conference where he promised to move forward with his new speaker bid, Jordan would not say for sure whether he thought the 2020 re-election was over.

I think there are all kinds of problems with the 2020 election — and I’ve been clear about that,” Jordan said, without citing any evidence. According to a Washington Post analysis, nearly 90 different judges have ruled against Trump and his allies in efforts to challenge or change the 2020 presidential election.

“Jim, at some point, is going to lead this conference during the presidential election cycle, especially when the presidential election year has primaries and caucuses across the country, to say, ‘Donald Trump didn’t do it.’ Win the election,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told reporters on Monday.

The race for House Speaker resumes for Republicans after Jordan’s ouster

Jordan spread unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud before and after the 2020 elections. He also served as one of the main conduits with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.) from the House GOP convention to the White House in an effort to overturn his defeat. Jordan planted baseless claims Election fraud throughout the conservative media encouraged Trump not to concede the election, spoke at “Stop the Steel” rallies, and met with Trump campaign officials before January 6, where they discussed social media strategies and a march on the Capitol.

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The panel’s investigators also obtained White House tapes showing Jordan spoke with Trump for 10 minutes on the morning of the Jan. 6 attack. Jordan never disclosed the content of their call.

Several missteps have emerged at the House GOP conference since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted as speaker earlier this month. To certify that Biden won the 2020 election. But most of them voted to certify Biden’s victory, including Buck and Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). ), John Rutherford (R-Fla.) and others.

These lawmakers have been the target of credible threats of violence and threatening phone calls, which some investigators and prosecutors who served on a House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack see as an extension of some of the tactics employed by rioters who stormed the Capitol. . The threats, which only hardened resistance for Jordan, included harassing calls to employees, spouses and family members. Some members took Additional Safety Precautions, Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), called for the sheriff’s suspension. Her daughter is at school.

Lisa Bianco, Jan. 6 A longtime former House staffer who served on the committee said Jordan’s allies are following the same playbook used during “Stop the Steel” efforts in 2020, and noted that some leading “Stop the Steel.” ” Rally organizers waged a pressure campaign against GOP holdouts.

“These groups are broadcasting messages on social media, asking followers to attend in-person rallies, to fight back and not back down, ultimately culminating in the storming of the Capitol,” Bianco said. “Jim Jordan worked with those groups in 2020, even spoke at rallies, and is now continuing those tactics by denying the validity of the 2020 election.”

Amy Creamer, co-founder of Women for Trump and one of the lead organizers of the January 6 riot pre-riot rally, has been organizing “#JordanForSpeaker” rallies at their district offices targeting members who oppose Jordan. Creamer, who has cultivated deep relationships with members of Congress over the years, has also posted the phone numbers of various lawmakers’ offices on X, formerly known as Twitter, encouraging supporters to call and voice support for Jordan. Creamer Published Numbers for Scalise’s DC and county offices Friday morning urged people to tell Scalise to “call the dogs and get his people to support Jordan.”

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Jordan has condemned threats against Republicans who oppose his bid to become speaker. On Wednesday, Jordan tried to quell the anger by posting on X: “No American should blame another for their beliefs. We condemn all threats against our peers and it is imperative that we unite. Stop. It’s disgusting.”

But Rutherford, who received some of these threats, placed the blame for the toxic pressure campaign squarely on the Ohio lawmaker.

“He’s absolutely responsible for that, look, it doesn’t work – especially against guys like Steven [Womack (R-Ark.)] And others,” Rutherford said. “Nobody wants their arm twisted. Talking about individuals’ wives and that kind of thing? It’s not acceptable.

Jan. 6 Committee chaired by Rep. Benny G. Thompson (D-Miss.), said Jordan’s promotion to speaker was a “sad commentary” on the state of Congress and the Republican Party.

“When you ignore the laws of the land, vote against a legitimate election, without any evidence to the contrary, it’s not good for the country to be speaker right now,” Thompson said this week. “Jordan has been a part of blocking the team’s work and I don’t see him changing his colors.”


An earlier version of this article was written by Representative Penny G. of Mississippi. Thompson’s party misidentified his affiliation. He is a Democrat, not a Republican. The article has been corrected.

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