Jim Jordan ripped for making House Judiciary a hotbed of 'conspiracy theories'
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

When conservative Republican John Boehner was House speaker during the Barack Obama years, he had nothing but disdain for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Boehner, in fact, has used the words “legislative terrorist” to describe the far-right congressman.

But Jordan went from being someone Boehner regarded as the U.S. House of Representatives’ lunatic fringe to chairing the House Judiciary Committee in 2023 under Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Liberal Washington Post opinion columnist Greg Sargent examines Jordan’s recent activities in his February 7 column, warning that the Ohio Republican is turning that committee into a bastion of conspiracy theories.

“Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has subpoenaed top Justice Department officials, supposedly to investigate the Department’s suppression of information about the persecution of conservative parents,” Sargent explains. “Republicans have long alleged that federal jackboots have terrorized parents for protesting at school board meetings about COVID-19 restrictions and teachings about race and sex.”

The columnist adds, “Democrats will no doubt respond by noting that this claim has been decisively debunked. But Democrats should use these hearings not just defensively, but also, affirmatively, to show that GOP rhetoric, much of it degenerate nonsense, has helped fuel a toxic atmosphere of threats and violence toward educators that has no business anywhere near your child’s school.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat known for his work on the House Judiciary Committee, discussed Jordan’s activities with Sargent.

The congressman said of House Judiciary Republicans, “They don’t want the FBI to investigate people on their side who they’ve spun up over, frankly, b******t claims. You have a right to say just about anything you want, but you don’t have a right to threaten violence.”

Democrats, according to Sargent, need to use House Judiciary hearings to show that Republicans are promoting an environment that is dangerous for educators.

“If Republicans think they can prove FBI harassment of conservatives, let’s air this out,” Sargent argues. “But Democrats can’t function just as fact-checkers, accusing Republicans of ‘conspiracy theories’ and complaining they are ‘stoking the culture wars.’ That could make Democrats seem defensive and responsive, which isn’t sufficient in an environment that’s increasingly shaped by full-blown information warfare.”

Sargent adds, “Instead, Democrats should make these hearings about what Republicans did. This entails using spectacle to show what happened to educators as a result of Republicans systematically smearing them with hateful propaganda. Why not try to bring in educators to testify emotionally about the threats and harassment they’ve faced?”