Discover more from The Dean's Report by Dean Obeidallah
Jim Jordan must be criminally investigated for both obstructing Trump’s prosecution and his role in Jan 6
Jordan is not above the law
On Tuesday, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg filed a federal lawsuit against one of Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, Rep. Jim Jordan in response to Jordan’s “campaign of intimidation, retaliation, and obstruction" against the DA and his office for prosecuting Trump. Jordan has been demanding documents from Bragg concerning the criminal prosecution of Trump for 34 felonies--and even subpoenaed a former prosecutor in his office.
As the 50-page lawsuit states, "Congress has no power to supervise state criminal prosecution. Nor does Congress have the power to serve subpoenas for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to punish those investigated.” But that is what Jordan has been doing, as he has engaged in an "unprecedentedly brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress," all designed to interfere in the prosecution on behalf of Trump.
In response, the always smug Jordan tweeted: “First, they indict a president for no crime,’ Adding, “Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a Trump appointed federal judge rejected Bragg’s request for a restraining order to block Jordan’s subpoena and instead scheduled a hearing for April 19. But a judge appointed by Trump hearing a case involving Trump’s criminal investigation is outrageous—especially after the debacle we saw in Florida with Trump appointed judge Aileen Cannon protecting Trump to the point her decision to appoint a special master was overturned by Court of Appeals.
But the truth is Jordan should not just be sued to prevent his efforts, he should be criminally investigated and potentially charged for two sets of crimes. First, obstruction of justice—known under New York las as “Obstructing governmental administration”-- for his actions trying to intimidate DA Bragg. Secondly, for his role as a "a significant player in President Trump's efforts" to overturn the 2020 election—as detailed in the Jan 6 committee’s report.
In fact, Rep. Dan Goldman—a former federal prosecutor and former lead counsel in Trump’s first impeachment—made that very point on my SiriusXM show on Monday. I asked Rep. Goldman: “Just so people can understand, where is the line between Congress doing what would be appropriate, let’s say, and you’re actually crossing into potentially criminal obstruction of justice?”
In response the first term member of Congress responded: “Well, it’s a an important line that Jim Jordan has pretty clearly crossed over. And I think for two different reasons.”
Goldman explained, “The first is based on the public reporting. Jim Jordan, and perhaps Kevin McCarthy and others, are essentially colluding with Donald Trump to intervene and interfere in — for Congress to intervene and interfere in an ongoing investigation.” He added, “There is no basis for them to intervene in an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution at the state level. It’s not even a federal matter here. It’s a state level.” Thus, he concluded, this is “a gross abuse of power.” (The clip is below)
Under New York law, a person is guilty of “Obstructing governmental administration” if he or she “attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference.” My friend Glenn Kirschner—a former federal prosecutor—also believes Jordan may have violated this law given his repeated interference in the prosecution of Trump.
Then there are the Jan 6 related crimes. No member of Congress was as active in working with Trump to overturn the 2020 election like Jordan.
As the Jan 6 House committee report tells us, Jordan “participated in numerous post-election meetings in which senior White House officials, Rudolph Giuliani, and others, discussed strategies for challenging the election, chief among them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud.” (As Jordan knew, the election had not been “tainted by fraud” as every court that considered Trump and his allies claims to overturn the results back up.)
The report also documents Jordan’s leadership role in the effort to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory. For example, the report details that, “On January 2, 2021, Representative Jordan led a conference call in which he, President Trump, and other Members of Congress discussed strategies for delaying the January 6th joint session.”
During that very call just days before Jan 6th, they talked not only strategy for the Jan 6 certification process but also stunningly “discussed issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump’s supporters to “march to the Capitol” on the 6th.”
After that conference call, Jordan spoke to Trump for 18 minutes in a one on one conversation. But Jordan was not close to being done with his involvement in the effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power. As the Jan 6 committee report further details, on Jan 5, “Jordan texted Mark Meadows [Trump’s then chief of staff], passing along advice that Vice President Pence should “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
The Jan 6 committee report lays out other interactions between Jordan and Trump in the service of Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election, including speaking to Trump at least twice on Jan 6 via phone. However, as the report highlights--Jordan made “inconsistent public statements about how many times they spoke and what they discussed” on Jan 6.
Those inconsistencies by Jordan made his testimony before the Jan 6 committee even more imperative. As the report explains about Jordan, he “had materially relevant communications with Donald Trump or others in the White House.”
But Jordan refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena seeking his testimony. Given the committee was winding down in December with the new GOP controlled House taking control come Jan 3, the most the committee could do was refer Jordan to the House Ethics committee.
Jordan—like Trump—should be facing criminal charges for his role in the obstruction of an official proceeding (18 U.S.C. Section 1512(c)(2)) and conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. Section 371) . (Those are two of the four crimes the Jan 6 committee referred Trump to DOJ for prosecution.) Jordan appears to be a co-conspirator given his numerous overt acts in furtherance of Trump’s criminal scheme to obstruct Congress and illegally overturn the 2020 election.
Instead, Jordan is now literally interfering in the criminal prosecution of Trump in New York. As Rep. Goldman put it so well on my show Monday: Jordan is “claiming that Democrats have weaponized the federal government when he is 100% weaponizing Congress to intervene in Donald Trump’s criminal prosecution.”
And if Jordan is not at least investigated for this, we can expect Jordan to illegally interfere in the prosecution of Trump in Fulton County, Georgia and the DOJ—if either or both charge Trump.
This is what happens when criminals are not held accountable. Jordan feels embolden to engage in more criminal conduct to serve Trump given we have not even heard a whiff that he’s being investigated by DOJ for his role in Jan 6. This is not what the rule of law looks like.
The Dean's Report by Dean Obeidallah is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.