House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) explained on Sunday why it was important for the House to vote on formalizing an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Just three days later, and after Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy flip-flopped on his vow to hold a vote before launching the probe, Jordan, one of the three co-chairs of the impeachment inquiry, pulled his own 180 by telling Fox & Friends, “We don’t need that to move forward” because McCarthy’s pronouncement “gives added weight to it.”
Despite having no concrete evidence to support Republican allegations that the president was involved in any wrongdoing as it relates to his family’s business dealings, McCarthy capitulated to MAGA hardliners on Tuesday and announced he was unilaterally opening an impeachment inquiry.
Eleven days earlier, though, McCarthy said the inquiry would only “occur through a vote on the floor of the People's House and not through a declaration by one person,” adding that it was a “serious matter” and the GOP “would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes.” With it clear that he didn’t have the votes from his own caucus, despite previously claiming he did, McCarthy instead decided to move forward on his own.
Jordan, a Trump acolyte and key architect of the GOP’s push to impeach Biden, insisted during a Fox News appearance on Sunday night that it was imperative that the House vote before formally launching the probe since it would allow the committees to obtain more information.
Jim Jordan this past Sunday night, on how important an impeachment inquiry vote is: “When you actually have a resolution that the House votes on … the courts understand the House is engaged in a fundamental constitutional activity, the impeachment power.”
(cc: Kevin McCarthy.) pic.twitter.com/Y9VKyPOida
— Eric Kleefeld (becoming a parody of myself) (@EricKleefeld) September 12, 2023
“When you actually have a resolution that the House votes on… the majority of the House supports, the courts understand that when you’re in this inevitable conflict with the executive branch to get documents and to depose certain witnesses, the courts understand the House is engaged in a fundamental constitutional activity, the impeachment power,” he told Fox News host Mark Levin. “So that’s why the impeachment inquiry resolution is important for us to be able to get the information.”
Jordan, however, was singing a far different tune the morning after McCarthy officially launched the inquiry without holding a promised vote.
“If it comes to a vote, if that’s what the speaker wants, I think he’ll get the votes, but we don’t need that to move forward,” Jordan said Wednesday morning on Fox & Friends.
Asked whether this inquiry announcement had given him any additional power in his Biden investigation, Jordan again shrugged off the need to hold a vote to formalize the impeachment probe.
“If the Speaker of the House, the second in line to the president, says we’re in an impeachment inquiry phase, I think that means something,” he said. “I think it will certainly mean something to courts when we get into the inevitable game that’s going to play out here.”
Jordan added: “When we want certain documents, we want certain witnesses to be deposed and the administration says no, no, no, they’re going to drag their feet on that. So when that happens, I think that gives added weight to it. And then if we go to a vote, which we’re not precluding from happening at all, the Speaker has not said that, if we go to a vote, I think that gives even more weight to that.”
Notably, back in 2019, Jordan felt that the House voting on an impeachment inquiry after the speaker had already launched it didn’t legitimize the process at all, specifically after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a House vote on opening up the first Trump impeachment probe.
“Pelosi announces they’ll finally vote to open the impeachment inquiry. Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a sham process,” he tweeted.