Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was assigned to the House Intelligence Committee ahead of public hearings related to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Jordan, a staunch defender of President Trump, replaces Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), who resigned from the panel Friday, according to House Republicans.
“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth. His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement on Friday.
Jordan is the top Republican member of the House Oversight Committee. He’s been present on the closed-door depositions, but he couldn’t ask questions as he wasn’t a member of the Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
I am appointing @Jim_Jordan to the Intelligence Committee—which has now become the Impeachment Committee—where he will continue fighting for fairness and truth. @RepRickCrawford has been an exemplary member of the committee and will rejoin it when this Democrat charade is over.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 8, 2019
“In Speaker Pelosi’s House, those responsibilities have fallen victim to partisan witch hunts,” McCarthy added. “The typically venerable Intelligence Committee has now become the partisan Impeachment Committee.”
When the inquiry is finished, Crawford will again join the Intelligence Committee, he said.
“Along with millions of Americans across the country who are frustrated with this impeachment-obsessed majority, Rick has offered to step aside for this charade,” McCarthy said. “When it is finished, Rick will rejoin the committee and resume his work to keep our country safe.”
On Thursday, Jordan told reporters that Republicans are looking to subpoena the whistleblower at the focus of the impeachment inquiry.
Jordan, a ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Republicans have been asked to submit a list of their witnesses. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the senior Republican on the Intelligence Committee, can subpoena a witness with the approval of Schiff, meaning that Jordan’s move to call on the whistleblower to testify may bear little fruit.
“We’ll see if he gives us any of our witnesses,” Jordan told reporters on Thursday, referring to Schiff.
Jordan was also one of about two-dozen GOP lawmakers who stormed a closed-door deposition last month after blasted the Democrats for holding the impeachment inquiry in a secretive manner.
The whistleblower filed a complaint over the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, where he expressed a desire to have Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, his son. Trump has denied wrongdoing.
Earlier this week, Schiff announced that the first public hearings would take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
“Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry,” Schiff tweeted. “On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, we will hear from William Taylor and George Kent,” he added. “On Friday, November 15, 2019, we will hear from Marie Yovanovitch.”
The first public hearing features Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who already testified to congress members in closed-door meetings. Transcripts of his deposition were released by Democrats earlier this week.