WASHINGTON, D.C. — A terse exchange between Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has created a growing backlash against Jordan’s aggressive tactics from both sides of the political aisle.
During the interview, Jordan accused Rosenstein of hiding information from the House Judiciary Committee by failing to release a database of sensitive documents concerning investigations into the 2016 presidential election.
“I want to know why you won’t give us what we asked for,” Jordan said.
“Sir, I certainly hope that your colleagues are not under that impression,” Rosenstein said. “That is not accurate, sir, and…”
“It is accurate,” Jordan interrupted. “We have caught you hiding information, Mr. Rosenstein.”
The seven-minute video taken of Jordan’s portion of Rosenstein’s hearing has had some conservative pundits commenting negatively on Jordan’s aggressive stance. Conservative pundit Brit Hume called Jordan’s attacks “bullying”, and Bill Kristol labeled Jordan a “reckless demagogue.”
Meanwhile, Jordan’s opponent in the upcoming November election, Janet Garrett, pulled in $40,000 within 24 hours of the hearing, or roughly the amount she raised in the last four months.
Garrett has ran against Jordan twice before without much success. This time around, she has hired a professional staff to run her campaign and recruited the help of Joe Trippi, the campaign consultant who helped Doug Jones grab a hotly-contested Alabama Senate.
Garrett said Trippi joined the campaign after determining the 4th Congressional District, which includes Lima, has similar demographic characteristics as Alabama.
Since Jordan’s election to Congress in 2006, Lima’s representative has yet to fight a close general election race. Some state Democrats claim the district, often called the “duck” because of its shape, was gerrymandered to stay red.
During the hearing, Jordan asked Rosenstein why certain documents had redactions.
“I’m the deputy attorney general of United States. Okay? I’m not the one doing the redacting. I’m responsible for responding to your concerns, which I have,” Rosenstein said.
At the video’s four-minute mark, Jordan relied on an unconfirmed news article from Fox News which claimed Rosenstein threatened staffers on the House Intelligence committee with subpoenaing their phone calls.
“Did you threaten to subpoena their calls and emails?” Jordan said.
“No, sir, and there’s no way to subpoena phone calls,” Rosenstein responded. His remark resulted in audible laughter from the audience.
Jordan, as a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has been more active on the national stage in recent years. He played a major part in the House’s initiative on immigration reform, which failed, and he often appears on national news outlets expanding upon potential corruption in the Department of Justice.
Hours after Rosenstein’s grilling on Thursday, Jordan and the other conservatives members of the House passed a resolution demanding that the Department of Justice hand over the documents.
“Enough is enough,” Jordan said on the House floor. “Give us the documents we are entitled to have. Let’s have the full weight of the House behind a resolution saying you’ve got seven days to get your act together.”
Jordan could not be reached for comment.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.