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Republican congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio on Thursday lashed out at the House Select Committee that is investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol after he was issued a subpoena.
"Trump-Hating Democrats witch hunt against me is getting out of hand," Jordan wrote in the fundraising email, according to Politico's Burgess Everett. "I, along with four other GOP lawmakers were subpoenaed by the partisan House Committee - created by Nancy Pelosi in an effort to use the events of January 6 as a political hit-job."
Earlier this week, Jordan refused to state whether he planned to comply with the subpoena.
"We're taking a look at the subpoena, we just got it yesterday," the congressman told Spectrum News reporter Taylor Popielarz. "And we've already found that [the Jan. 6 committee] has altered evidence and lied to the country ... So I think anyone would have reservations about going in front of a committee that's already doctored evidence and lied to the country about it."
The subpoenas were issued to Jordan and four other Republicans in the House of Representatives – Kevin McCarthy, Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks -- after they declined to voluntarily appear before the special committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack.
"The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the attack on January 6 and the events leading up to it," said committee chairman Bennie Thompson.
According to the committee, "Jordan was in communication with President Trump on January 6th and participated in meetings and discussions throughout late 2020 and early 2021 about strategies for overturning the 2020 election."
The panel is probing whether Trump, his staff and advisors knowingly encouraged or helped organize the uprising at the seat of Congress by hundreds of the former president's supporters seeking to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden as winner of the November 2020 election.
Claiming without evidence that Biden won through massive fraud, Trump had urged his supporters to block the certification on January 6, a formal process that was being led by then-vice president Mike Pence.
Five deaths were linked with the violence and scores of police were injured. The mayhem sent Pence into hiding and succeeded in halting the joint session of Congress and delaying certification for several hours until peace was restored.
The committee, which is controlled by Democrats, said McCarthy was in contact with Trump before, during and after the attack, which has been branded an insurrection and an "attempted coup."
The other four also allegedly had involvement with Trump and the events running up to January 6 and the false claims that Trump won the election, according to the committee.
The panel plans to hold public hearings on its findings beginning next month.
"We urge our colleagues to comply with the law, do their patriotic duty, and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done," Thompson said.
With additional reporting by AFP
Kellyanne Conway's forthcoming memoir accuses her husband, George, of having an affair with a social media site, People Magazine reported on Thursday.
While some couples might feel their partner spends too much time on the internet, Conway went to the extreme.
"Heading into the school year in the fall of 2018, all four Conway children were thriving," the senior Trump adviser wrote in the book. "They were with me full-time in D.C. My mom had moved in with us to help with my Core Four. George was spending chunks of time in New York at the firm, where he voluntarily went from partner to an of-counsel role, spending his nights alone at our house in Alpine, New Jersey, 240 miles away from D.C. The numbers don't lie. During this time, the frequency and ferocity of his tweets accelerated. Clearly, he was cheating by tweeting. I was having a hard time competing with his new fling."
Instead of blaming Conway for being 240 miles away from her and the family, she says that his public disagreements with the president is what appears to have damaged their marriage.
"Don't assume that the things he says and does are part of a rational plan or strategy, because they seldom are," Mr. Conway wrote of Trump in 2019. "Consider them as a product of his pathologies, and they make perfect sense."
Mrs. Conway refused to address it when asked by the media, but the president was eager to do so on her behalf.
"George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife's success & angry that I, with her help, didn't give him the job he so desperately wanted," Trump responded, threatening Mr. Conway's manliness by calling him Mr. Kellyanne Conway. "I barely know him."
"I had already said publicly what I'd said privately to George," wrote Mrs. Conway in the book. "That his daily deluge of insults-by-tweet against my boss—or, as he put it sometimes, 'the people in the White House'—violated our marriage vows to 'love, honor, and cherish' each other. Those vows, of course, do not mean we must agree about politics or policies or even the president. In our democracy, as in our marriage, George was free to disagree, even if it meant a complete 180 from his active support for Trump-Pence–My Wife–2016 and a whiplash change in character from privately brilliant to publicly bombastic."
She implies that something significant happened in 2018 to change her husband's attitude so much toward the president that it was enough he switch sides.
"Whoop-de-do, George!" Mrs. Conway told him. "You are one of millions of people who don't like the president. Congrats."
"If I had a nickel for everybody in Washington who disagreed with their spouse about something that happens in this town, I wouldn't be on this podcast. I'd be probably on a beach somewhere," Mr. Conway said about his regular disagreements with the president in an extended Skullduggery podcast in 2018. "I don't think she likes it. But I've told her, I don't like the administration. So it's even."
Critics of Mr. Conway harken back to his desperation for a job with the Trump administration. But he has said that top Justice Department gig wasn't something he wanted after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.
"If I get this door prize, I'm going to be in the middle of a department he's at war with," Conway recalled thinking at the time. "Why would anybody want to do this?"
He went on to brag about his wife and that she was the one who got Trump elected. Prior to her, "he was in the crapper."
By the end of 2018, Conway said he was so disgusted with the Republican Party that he was quitting.
"I don't feel comfortable being a Republican anymore," he said. "I think the Republican Party has become something of a personality cult."
All of it circulated around Trump's treatment of the Justice Department and the justice system. Mr. Conway said he was "appalled" when Trump tried to go after federal prosecutors for indicting GOP members of Congress before an election.
"To criticize the attorney general for permitting justice to be done without regard to political party is very disturbing," he said.
Thus began the internal marriage war of the Conways.
Appealing to Trump (and his base) might have worked in Pennsylvania primaries – but it won’t play so well in the midterms
The Pennsylvania primaries of May 17, 2022, proved a good night for Donald Trump, a better one for “Trumpism” and a problem for moderates hoping for a candidate primed to capture the center in the upcoming midterms.
Trump’s officially endorsed Senate candidate, Mehmet Oz, is currently in a tight race with main GOP rival David McCormick – with the balloting set for a recount.
Both ran their primary campaign as Trumpist candidates and vied for the former president’s nod. Meanwhile, third place in the GOP race went to Kathy Barnette, a Fox News commentator who touts herself as more MAGA than Trump.
The fact that all three leading GOP candidates had the DNA of Trumpism in them suggests a couple of things. First, it indicates that echoing the policies, rhetorical style and personality of the former president can be an effective tool for Republican candidates seeking to appeal to the party base. And this is especially important in a closed-primary state such as Pennsylvania, in which only party members have a say in who gets to run for Senate.
And second, it raises a question about the tried-and-tested plan of candidates’ appealing to the party base in the primary before pivoting closer to the center in the general election: Will that post-primary transformation be possible for Republicans in Pennsylvania – and elsewhere – in 2022?
All local politics is national
The Pennsylvania primary proved that the adage that “all politics is local” has to some degree been inverted: Local and state elections are now run on national issues and are influenced by national figures.
But whereas a Trump endorsement in the recent Ohio primary resulted in an immediate surge for his anointed candidate, J.D. Vance, Pennsylvania didn’t quite play out the same way.
Oz’s chance of winning was certainly not harmed by getting Trump’s stamp of approval. But he didn’t seem to take many votes off McCormick or Barnette in the process. In fact, some see Barnette faring better than expected because Trump supporters decided to vote for her as “the more Trump” candidate, over Oz as the “official” Trump candidate.
Meanwhile, Trump’s endorsement actually meant very little for Doug Mastriano, who won the state’s GOP primary for governor. Mastriano – an avidly Trumpian candidate who repeats the former president’s election conspiracy theories – was already pulling ahead by the time Trump made a late nod of approval in his favor.
The point is, whether these Republican candidates are seen as being faithful to Trump’s signature MAGA cause is what matters when it comes to winning in these primaries.
But here’s the rub for Republicans. That may work well enough in firing up the base during primary season, but it complicates the pivot to running against Democrats – and appealing to more moderate voters – in the midterm election. A candidate like Mastriano will have to defend positions like a total ban on abortion, reversal of support for mail-in voting and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
Pennsylvania is seen as a toss-up state when it comes to the Senate vote. In such circumstances, appealing to the center becomes more important – party faithful tend to be locked in; swing voters are up for grabs.
Any GOP candidate who hitches his or her wagon to Trumpian policies and rhetoric may find it harder to appeal to centrists – and may actually alienate some moderate Republicans.
Circling back to the center
A similar dynamic played out in Pennsylvania in the Democratic primary race for Senate, but with success found by positioning policies to the left of the center. One of the more progressive candidates, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, prevailed against the moderate Rep. Conor Lamb.
But even so, Fetterman has, I believe, more room to maneuver come the general election. Fetterman has experience running for – and winning – a statewide office before. Moreover, he has carefully cultivated an “everyman” image, which could play well against either Oz or hedge fund CEO McCormick. Even so, he will have to defend more progressive positions that could also turn off moderate Republicans.
Success in the Pennsylvania primaries came to those candidates able to position themselves away from the center and more in line with the party’s ideological extreme. But it is the Republican candidate, in vying against others for Trump’s blessing as well as his base, who might find it more difficult to circle back to the center during the midterms.