Ohio congressman Jim Jordan has been revealed as the ‘lawmaker’ who sent a text to Mark Meadows on the eve of the Capitol riot, suggesting a way in which Mike Pence could avoid certifying the November 2020 vote.
Jordan, a staunch ally of Donald Trump, confirmed through his spokesman that on January 5 he texted Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, with advice on overturning the election.
The text was a three-paragraph summary of a longer legal argument, and had been sent to Jordan by attorney Joseph Schmitz.
Jordan then forwarded Schmitz’s argument to Meadows.
Jim Jordan, congressman for Ohio, confirmed on Wednesday that he had forwarded a text to Mark Meadows suggesting an avenue for Mike Pence to overturn the election
Mike Pence is seen on January 6, certifying the results of the November 2020 election – despite pressure from Donald Trump to refuse to do so. Pence told Trump he did not have the authority to overturn the vote
Jim Jordan sent the above text to Mark Meadows on January 5. It was a forwarded message, which had been sent to Jordan by Joseph Schmitz, an attorney. Critics have pointed out that there was a period added at the end, and the full message was far longer.
At the time, Trump was desperately seeking a way to prevent his vice president, Pence, from certifying the results of the November vote in Congress – usually, a routine and uneventful procedure.
Full text of Joseph Schmitz’s message to Jim Jordan, which Jordan forwarded to Mark Meadows
On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all – in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.
‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’
The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).
Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.
The text was read out on Monday by Adam Schiff, a member of the January 6 Committee which is looking into events surrounding the insurrection.
Schiff read: ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’
Schiff said the text was from ‘a lawmaker’ – on Wednesday, Russell Dye, a spokesman for Jordan, told CNN: ‘Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward.’
Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee in addition to being a member of the January 6 Committee, read only part of the three-paragraph message.
His team also added a period at the end of the text, leading The Federalist to say that the text had been ‘doctored’.
Critics of the committee – who argue that it is an anti-Trump witch hunt – seized on the period at the end of the sentence, insisting it was a twisting of Jordan’s message.
‘We shouldn’t be surprised given his actions over the past 5 years and given how my emails magically had their dates changed, but he will continue to do this till someone steps up & says enough!’ said Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s son.
Andy Biggs, an Arizona congressman and avidly pro-Trump Republican, tweeted: ‘Adam Schiff and his staff doctored a text message between @Jim_Jordan and @MarkMeadows.
‘Expect a lot more of this. Schiff and the contemptible Jan6 committee will twist and smear the narrative every chance they get.’
Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night reported that the committee had been ‘doctoring evidence’, and reporter Kevin Corke detailed The Federalist report into the text message.
Jim Jordan is one of the staunchest supporters of Donald Trump. The pair are seen in August 2018 in Ohio
Jordan has not commented on the revelation that he sent Meadows the tweet.
Meadows was on Tuesday night declared in contempt of Congress, for refusing to appear before the January 6 Committee.
The final vote was 222-208, with two Republicans – Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – joining all Democrats.
The matter will now be turned over to the Justice Department.
In October, the House voted that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon be held in contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena.
The Justice Department then charged him with two counts of contempt.
He has pleaded not guilty but faces up to a year in prison on each charge if convicted.
Jordan, before Tuesday’s vote to censure Meadows, tweeted: ‘Mark Meadows is a great American.’
Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, was on Tuesday voted to be in contempt of Congress