Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, has committed himself to enacting an agenda supported by right-wing media through promises like investigating the FBI and impeaching President Joe Biden once the GOP is in charge of the House.
Now that Republicans have won back control of the House, Jordan — who is the current vice chairperson of the ultra right-wing Freedom Caucus and has influence in both Trump world and the current GOP leadership — is expected to take charge of the House Judiciary Committee in the next term. In the past couple of days, Jordan and his colleagues in the House have appeared on Fox to talk about their plans to investigate the supposed politicization of the Department of Justice and presidential son Hunter Biden’s business dealings. On Thursday morning, Jordan and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) even held a press conference to accuse Biden of being involved in his son’s business affairs.
These developments are not a surprise; over the past year, Jordan has provided many details of what his tenure would look like if the GOP won the midterms. In tandem with his right-wing media allies, who have pushed for similar actions, Jordan spoke of his intentions to pursue investigations into the origins of COVID-19 and former lead member of the COVID-19 task force Anthony Fauci; start impeachment proceedings against Biden, Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland; and go after the FBI for alleged misconduct against conservative activists. Jordan's actions and media statements also suggest he may increase oversight of the administration’s immigration policies.
Right-wing media have regularly amplified misinformation about COVID-19 and downplayed the severity of the pandemic, even as the death toll has continued to rise over the course of almost three years. Jordan has expressed interest in investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, especially pertaining to conspiracy theories perpetuated by right-wing media that Fauci knew more about its origins than he was letting the public know. In the right-wing media sphere, pundits have called for similar investigations, like Fox’s Jesse Watters suggesting an investigation into “how much money Fauci’s making in royalties from vaccines.”
- While appearing on Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures on January 16, Jordan vowed to uncover what Fauci knew about the pandemic’s origins, saying he would “definitely” investigate Fauci and claiming the chief presidential medical adviser knew that the virus was created in a lab but led the public to believe otherwise.
- When appearing on the January 20 episode of The Truth with Lisa Boothe, Jordan asserted that “what Fauci did is the template for how the left operates. Fauci said, ‘I’m going to get these individuals who get government money to write the story I want them to write, we’re then gonna cite that story as the basis for the message we want out there, and we’re going to mislead the American people.’”
Both right-wing media and Jordan have called for the impeachment of Mayorkas, Biden, and Garland. Right-wing media figures have been calling for Biden’s impeachment (since even before he took office) on a variety of issues, including his immigration policies. Fox prime-time hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have given Republicans a platform to call for Mayorkas’ impeachment as well due to the situation at the southern border. Similarly, some right-wing media figures, including Ingraham and Hannity, have suggested that the GOP might want to impeach Garland for his supposed failure to protect Supreme Court justices and crisis pregnancy centers after the court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked earlier this year. Jordan has also pushed similar narratives during his media appearances.
- Jordan told The Washington Times on October 3 that Mayorkas “deserves” impeachment, and that “there’s not a rational person with an ounce of common sense who thinks the border is secure.” Jordan also stated that, when it comes to Mayorkas’ impeachment, it’ll be a decision the House judiciary “make[s] as a committee and one that we make as a conference.”
- On March 25, Jordan said to The Washington Times that the Judiciary Committee would lead an impeachment trial for Biden but the decision to “try to remove” Biden from office would need to be agreed upon by every Republican member of the House of Representatives. Jordan cited what the Times summarized as “failures in office, most notably his administration’s inability to stop a massive influx of illegal immigration through the southern border” as probable impeachment charges.
- Jordan told the Washington Free Beacon on July 11 that impeaching Garland would be “a decision that will be made by the entire conference,” citing Garland's supposed failure to protect clinics and judges and alleged collusion with left-wing groups opposed to parents protesting at school board meetings.
Politicization of the DOJ and the FBI
Right-wing media have promoted false claims that parents protesting so-called critical race theory in schools have been labeled “domestic terrorists” by the FBI. Within a few days in October 2021, Fox News aired over 60 segments discussing a DOJ announcement that it was looking into threats of violence and illegal behavior against school board members from protesters; some of the segments promoted the idea that these protesters were being “muzzled.” Jordan, along with other Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee, published a 1,050-page report in early November alleging FBI misconduct on issues including alleged inflation of domestic violent extremist statistics and investigations into parents who have protested at school board meetings. Jordan has also suggested that the committee intends to start an investigation of the FBI “right away” and he has sought documents from the education secretary as “the first step in our investigation into the Biden Administration’s role in the school boards spying scandal.”
- On Fox News’ America’s Newsroom on November 4, Jordan attempted to justify the purpose of the whistleblower report, saying, “America is not America if you have a Justice Department that treats people differently under the law. It’s supposed to be equal treatment under the law. That’s not happening. And we know it’s not happening because 14 brave FBI agents came to us as whistleblowers and told us what exactly is going on here.”
- On November 9, Jim Jordan made a guest appearance on the Breitbart News Daily podcast to discuss the report, saying, “FBI leadership, and specifically the Washington Field Office, is rotted to its core. So that means you’ve got to have a major overhaul, and the way you do that in Congress is you show exactly how bad it was — that’s our job — and then, you hopefully, by showing it, that pushes them back and gets them to throttle back on all the crazy things they’re doing.”
- On the November 1 edition of Kudlow, Jordan told host Larry Kudlow that Americans “have to have a Justice Department that treats every American the same, equal treatment under the law.” He said that’s “not what we saw” with a pro-life activist in Philadelphia who was arrested by the FBI and with attacks on churches and pro-life centers. Jordan said that the House Judiciary Committee will “hold them [the FBI and Justice Department] accountable” to “stop a Justice Department that’s been focused on politics.”
Increased oversight of the administration's immigration policy
Right-wing media continue to catastrophize actions at the U.S. southern border, which Jordan has claimed is seeing an “unprecedented surge of illegal activity,” and has blamed Biden’s immigration policies for leading to “chaos on the border.” Right-wing media have compared immigration to invasions, pushed racist “great replacement” conspiracy theories against migrants, and frequently attacked the Biden administration for resettling migrant children. Currently, Jordan is pushing for increased oversight of the DOJ due to a perceived lack of leadership when it comes to immigration from the Biden administration.
- On September 20, Jordan lambasted the Biden administration for “ignoring” issues around immigration and refusing to embrace Trump-era immigration policies at the southern border. During his appearance on America Reports, Jordan said that a “full implementation” of Title 42 (meaning “building the wall” and returning to the Remain in Mexico policy) would solve the southern border crisis, but “the White House won’t embrace it because the hard left won’t let them.”
- During his September 12 appearance on Fox Across America, Jordan slammed Vice President Kamala Harris for calling the southern border secure, saying, “Here are millions of people coming across, as we’ve said before, it has to be intentional. It has to be deliberate and premeditated because it can't be that. … That’s a serious concern that I know, as I travel around, lots of Americans have.”
- Jordan and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter to the Department of Justice demanding answers as to why the Biden administration decided to “terminate the employment of multiple immigration judges who were hired during the Trump administration.”