Sunday, July 14, 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Jim Jordan Weighs In on House Resolution Nullifying Bannon, Navarro Charges

'Even if we pass it, I don't think it would have an impact...'

(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) A newly drafted resolution in House of Representatives would declare former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked Jan. 6 Committee illegitimate and invalidate the contempt of Congress charges that the J6 committee filed against four top advisers—one of whom has spent the past three months in prison, with another expected to report to jail at the end of June.

According to journalist Julie Kelly, the House resolution is being sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., and backed by several GOP heavy-hitters, including Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Banks of Indiana and Anna Paulina Luna of Florida.

However, it also faces at least one powerful skeptic: Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

In an exclusive interview with Headline USA on June 7, Jordan said that even though he supported the principle of it, he didn’t see it being constructive from a practical standpoint, including helping ex-Trump adviser and well-known right-wing pundit Steve Bannon avoid his sentence.

“I think both of those contempt [charges] were ridiculous,” Jordan said, in reference to Bannon and Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, during a June 7 fundraiser for congressional candidate Mark Harris in Monroe, N.C.

“I opposed them on the House floor when they happened—both Navarro and Bannon—I spoke against them, as well as when they did it to our friend and North Carolina former representative Mark Meadows, when they did to him, spoke against all that,” Jordan added. “But I don’t think that would change—you could have that vote, but I don’t think it’ll change anything relative to what the courts have said and what happens to Bannon. … Even if we pass it, I don’t think it would have an impact.”

The proposal first picked up steam earlier this month after Massie raised it to Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. and found many prominent supporters in the Twittersphere.

This course of action is not only justified but necessary to restore fairness and balance in our government,” wrote blogger and influencer Alexander Muse. 

“Rescinding these subpoenas and repudiating the January 6th Committee would send a clear message that politically motivated persecutions have no place in our Republic,” he added. “It would also be a significant step towards protecting the integrity of executive privilege and ensuring that partisan politics do not undermine our democratic institutions.”

Massie, through his communications director, declined to comment, citing the libertarian lawmaker’s a busy schedule.

It’s possible, however, that Jordan, a longtime friend and ally of Meadows, sees the prospect of unintended consequences arising from efforts to right the past grievance legislatively, now that Washington, D.C., courts have already ruled on the matter.

It is highly likely, for example, that Democrats might use a similar tactic in the future to invalidate other committees whose work is legitimate.

Moreover, giving Bannon a get-out-of-jail-free card would have troubling implications for Meadows—who opted to cooperate with the J6 committee—and Navarro, whose four month sentence will soon be completed.

The resolution might also derail plans that Jordan and Johnson already have in mind for holding Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable—either legally or otherwise—after he gave himself a free pass last week for the exact same alleged crime: refusing a congressional subpoena on the basis of executive privilege.

Following Garland’s defiance, Johnson announced that he would be certifying the contempt report with U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves and asking a federal court to enforce it.

While Graves is unlikely to act, the move may help to extend its shelf life in the hopes that a future Trump administration could pursue it.

“It is sadly predictable that the Biden Administration’s Justice Department will not prosecute Garland for defying congressional subpoenas even though the department aggressively prosecuted Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro for the same thing,” Johnson said in a statement. “This is yet another example of the two-tiered system of justice brought to us by the Biden Administration.”

It is also the latest procedural effort, however, for a GOP majority that often has been derided for its ham-fisted toothlessness relative to Pelosi’s iron-fisted ruthlessness in undermining the prior Trump administration.

Despite having a laptop teeming with incontrovertible evidence that has now been acknowledged by the FBI as authentic in a court of law, Republicans have been unable to press their impeachment case in any impactful way—and, to some extent, the presence of a two-tiered justice system is a problem of their own making.

In a fiery speech ahead of last Wednesday’s contempt vote for Garland, Jordan offered a sharp rebuke of President Joe Biden’s top wingman and attack dog in the Justice Department.

“It’s simple—Attorney General Garland holds information vital to the committee’s legislative oversight and the House impeachment’s inquiry. … The department has a legal obligation to turn over the requested material,” Jordan said.

“Attorney General Garland’s willful refusal consitutes contempt of Congress,” he continued.  ” … Our oversight and and impeachment responsibilities are too important to allow the attorney general to willfully disregard this.”

The contempt charge came following Garland’s refusal to turn over the audio recording of Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur in the classified documents probe, which Hur cited as evidence that Biden was too senile to stand trial and that no reasonable jury would convict him due to his failing memory and lack of lucidity.

The public release of the tapes would likely show that Biden either perjured himself by putting on a bogus act for a probe that has already determined to let him off the hook—or, perhaps more damningly, that the heavily scripted and choreographed Biden presented to the public conceals a commander-in-chief who is genuinely non compos mentis, despite seeking another four-year term.

In addition to the House committees undertaking an impeachment inquiry, several mainstream media outlets have sued to obtain the recordings under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yet, the contempt vote against Garland resonated for Republicans on another level after Garland’s overtly political decision to follow through on prosecuting Bannon and Navarro.

The true objective of the Jan. 6 committee—to push a false, one-sided narrative onto the public that pinned all the blame on President Donald Trump and his supporters—has become ever more apparent as additional information begins to surface.

Indeed, it amassed several terrabytes worth of data from its Star Chamber proceedings, which it then refused to hand over to Republicans upon ceding power and even attempted illegally to delete.

Following bombshell footage last week that showed Pelosi admitting responsibility for the security failures at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., denounced the committee as “biased,” according to Just the News.

“[I]t was a political hack job, and the American people and the history books should not take this as any factual account of what happened that day,” he said in an appearance on Real America’s Voice.

Because they had no direct role in anything related to the Jan. 6 uprising at the Capitol, Bannon and Navarro, along with Meadows and Trump Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, suspected a fishing expedition was afoot to gather testimony that the committee could then use selectively for its own ulterior objectives.

But despite citing “executive privilege” as their reason for refusing the subpoenas—arguing that their private conversations with Trump were exempt from oversight—Garland’s DOJ pushed House Democrats’ contempt charges via corrupt, anti-Trump D.C. district judges such as Tanya Chutkan, who declared that Trump had no constitutional right to shield himself from bloodthirsty Democrats’ congressional tribunal.

Pending a Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity that is expected to drop Thursday morning, Chutkan is now overseeing another case against Trump—special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution charging Trump with efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

That case was likely based heavily on the criminal referral supplied by the Jan. 6 committee, emblematic of the sort of mini-ecosystem through which congressional Democrats, corrupt DOJ prosecutors and D.C. federal judges have colluded in order to leapfrog from one political attack on Trump and his allies to the next by agreeing to validate each other.

“Everyone knows it’s wrong, everyone knows this lawfare has gotten out of control,” Jordan noted in his interview with Headline USA.

He pointed to efforts that the House was undertaking to derail those efforts, such as a measure to defund any special counsel not approved by the Senate. (Smith is the only one who has not been.)

Nonetheless, thoze efforts seemed to be mostly symbolic, an exercise in performative outrage.

Only time may tell if Burlinson’s resolution can succeed in breaking that cycle.

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.

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