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FACT SHEET: Lies and Misinformation Are Routine For Jim Jordan and MAGA Republicans

Feb 5, 2024

This week, MAGA House Republicans are holding a hearing on artificial intelligence in their select subcommittee investigating the so-called weaponization of the federal government. But committee chair Jim Jordan has a big problem: his hearings entirely lack substance or direction, delivering nothing but clips for Fox News. Worse still, he has built a reputation for spreading lies, misinformation, and hyping evidence-free claims. Jordan was a key figure in Donald Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has continued to spread lies and misinformation about the attack on our Capitol on January 6th. His work on the Benghazi hearings in 2016 turned up nothing, as did his investigation of the supposed weaponization of the IRS in 2017, and his investigations into the FBI and CIA this past year. Jordan’s baseless, extreme, and harmful charades threaten our country’s democratic norms and show that he’s more interested in playing politics rather than solving real problems. His partisan stunts are leading nowhere and House Republicans know they are all but doomed to fail.

TIMELINE: Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan Has A Long Record of Lies. Journalists have long questioned whether anything Jordan says can be taken at face value:

  • October 2023: Reporters Called Out Jordan For His Lies. As the Washington Post noted in October 2023, “It’s worth quickly noting how time has only further undercut the impeachment probe that Jordan so energetically champions. The first hearing was Sept. 28, at which legislators heard from witnesses who admitted they had no factual claims about wrongdoing to present. There have been no further hearings over the following 20 days and none scheduled.”
  • May 2023: Jordan Blatantly Misrepresented So-Called FBI Whistleblowers Involved In His Investigation. In May 2023, Jordan claimed one of his whistleblowers was suspended from the supposedly weaponized FBI, allegedly despite performing his job dutifully, including conducting case related research. But according to the FBI, Jordan’s so-called whistleblower refused to actually do his job by refusing to conduct open-source research into a Jan. 6 suspect’s potential engagement with criminal activity or terrorism
  • March 2023: Jordan’s Own Staffers Expressed Doubt About A Lack of Evidence. Just months into his investigations, Jordan’s own investigators and former staffers expressed concerns about flimsy documentation. Some have claimed investigations are “doomed to fail” and others believe Jordan simply “isn’t delivering.” 
  • February 2023: Fact Checkers Debunked The Premise Behind Jordan’s First Hearing Into the So-Called Weaponization of the Federal Government Months Prior. Jordan’s first hearing as chair of the select subcommittee on the so-called weaponization of the federal government accused the FBI of targeting conservative parents who spoke up at school board meetings. Yet the entire premise of the hearing was always based on a falsehood – as early as April 2022, fact checkers flagged that the Attorney General never labeled school board attendees “domestic terrorists.” Other fact checkers also noted that there was no evidence that a 2021 Justice Department memo directing federal law enforcement to hold meetings about criminal threats against school officials mentioned parents at all, pointing out that the memo merely created a “threat tag” to track threats of violence, labeling Republican claims “false.”
  • 2020 – Present: Jordan Was A Key Figure in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn the 2020 Election and Continues to Spread Lies and Disinformation To This Day. Rep. Jim Jordan was a key figure in Donald Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Along with his partners in the Trump administration, Jordan helped create the conditions that led to the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6 by spreading lies and misinformation about the election and accusing Democrats of cheating and trying to “steal” the election. He immediately began casting doubt on the results when the votes were counted, and used his position as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee to further promote false claims about voter fraud and collaborated with the Trump administration on a scheme to have Vice President Pence reject electors on January 6 and block Joe Biden’s victory.  He was an ubiquitous presence in conservative media in the weeks after the election heightening tensions by emphasizing the idea that January 6 was the “ultimate date of significance” for the future of the country. On January 6, Jordan was in close contact with the White House and with Trump himself both before and after the attack on the Capitol and continued to lead the effort to oppose certification of electors even as rioters were attacking.  After January 6, Jordan has continued to promote lies about the election and deflect blame for the violence that day. He has resisted and undermined every effort to investigate the attack or hold those responsible accountable, and even refused to comply with a subpoena from the committee for information about his role in the criminal conspiracy.
  • 2017: Jordan Investigated The IRS Years Ago, Crying Wolf About Agency Targeting Conservatives. While serving as Oversight Committee chair in 2017, Jordan launched a bogus investigation into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), making many of the same claims he’s made in hearings this Congress about the so-called weaponization of the federal government against conservatives. After an extensive investigation that served as a lengthy publicity stunt, Jordan’s committee released an “exhaustive” report finding no evidence of bias after reviewing nine years worth of audits and reviews showing that the IRS’ deep scrutiny was bipartisan, focusing on both liberal and conservative groups.
  • 2016: Jordan Used the Benghazi Hearings To Prolong A Politically Motivated Probe Into Former Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, Despite Finding No New Evidence to Report. While serving as Oversight Chair, Jordan presided over the House Select Committee on Benghazi. He used the probe to relentlessly target former Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during an election year. Even though the committee published its findings in June 2016, they continued to remain in place and hold hearings despite having no new evidence to present until after the 2016 presidential election, releasing a final report in December 2016. As the ranking member of the committee, former Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07) stated, “History will view the Benghazi Select Committee as a prime example of how not to conduct a congressional investigation as it goes down as one of the longest, least productive, and most partisan taxpayer-funded investigations in history.”
  • In His Final Benghazi Report Costing Taxpayers $7 Million, Jim Jordan & His Allies Found No New Evidence of Clinton Wrongdoing. “Neither of the dueling reports from the Democrats or Republicans had new revelations about Clinton’s culpability, but they’ll re-inject the issue into the 2016 campaign. After spending more than two years and an estimated $7 million in taxpayer money, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report on the terrorist attack in Libya in 2012 that left four Americans dead — and found no new evidence that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at fault. Republicans on the committee raced to put out their 800-plus-page report a day after Democrats on the committee preempted it with their own 339-page version and weeks ahead of both parties’ conventions, ensuring that the political back-and-forth over the Benghazi attack and Clinton’s role in it would stay a fixture in the 2016 presidential campaign.” [Foreign Policy, 6/28/16]