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ROUNDUP: Jordan’s Latest MAGA Weaponization Hearing “Devolved Into Chaos” To Steamroll House Rules & Uplift Discredited Conspiracy Theorists

May 18, 2023

Jim Jordan’s latest hearing on alleged weaponization by the federal government was another embarrassing disaster for the House GOP. Jordan and his MAGA colleagues violated House rules to give a platform to conspiracy theorists, leaving even Fox News correspondents wondering if the hearing was “really worth it.” As always, House Republicans would prefer to push the MAGA agenda over investigating the real issues Americans are facing. But don’t just take our word for it:


Andy McCarthy, Fox News contributor: “It is unusual to have a testimonial transcript generated from that and have the other side both not present and then not give them a copy of what the testimony is. I just wonder whether that was really worth it.” [Fox News, 5/18/23, VIDEO]

Sara Murray, CNN correspondent: “[T]hese are the Jim Jordan so-called whistleblowers. Democrats had already expressed concern about the legitimacy of some of these folks. And we are learning in this FBI letter more about why security clearances were stripped from two of these so-called whistleblowers who are appearing as star witnesses, as you said in this hearing today. I mean, for one of the folks he expresses, he sends an email to colleagues saying you should use discretion, you should proceed carefully about opening any cases regarding January 6th. [CNN, 5/17/23, VIDEO]

Ryan Goodman, professor at New York University School of Law: “Looks like this FBI letter to Congress pulls rug out from under Jim Jordan’s witnesses for Thursday’s weaponization subcommittee hearing […] Reminder that one of Jim Jordan’s witnesses is Steve Friend who was suspended after he objected to SWAT arrest of right-wing Three Percenter militia that attacked Capitol. Suspect posted a video of himself outside [the] Capitol wearing body armor, gas mask and an AR-style rifle.” [Twitter (thread), 5/17/23]


The Guardian: Conspiracy Theorists To Address Us House Subcommittee, Watchdog Warns. “Witnesses set to testify to Congress about the ‘weaponisation’ of the US government on Thursday have links to far-right groups and a history of supporting conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines and the January 6 insurrection, a congressional watchdog has warned. […] On Thursday the judiciary subcommittee, chaired by Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, an ally of former US president Donald Trump, will hold its latest hearing on Capitol Hill. Research by the Congressional Integrity Project, a group that monitors the Republican investigations, suggests that its witnesses will come armed with political grudges.” [The Guardian, 5/17/23]

The Daily Caller: Weaponization Hearing Devolves Into Chaos As Representatives Repeatedly Interrupt Each Other. “A House Weaponization committee hearing devolved into chaos Thursday as representatives repeatedly interrupted each other while arguing about witnesses’ testimonies.” [The Daily Caller, 5/18/23]

Raw Story: Dem Lawmaker Rips Apart Credibility Of Jim Jordan’s ‘Weaponization’ Witness. “[T]hings got off to a bad start when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) pointed out to one of the witnesses, Miami Field Office Agent Steve Friend, had his security clearance revoked for a reason that might make him a less than credible witness. ‘You … claim that your top secret security clearance was improperly revoked,’ said Wasserman Schultz. ‘Yet an independent investigation concluded that you demonstrated a number of security concerns, which included that you refused to execute a court-ordered arrest warrant, and when you downloaded documents from intelligence systems to an unauthorized removable flash drive.’ Wasserman Schultz continued, ‘the cherry on top could be your unauthorized recording of executive management, which, as I’m sure you know, violates Florida law, along with your unsanctioned interviews with Sputnik News, established by the Russian government in 2014 and fully owned by the Kremlin and Putin’s cronies.’ ‘I think it’s clear who is weaponizing government,’ concluded Wasserman Schultz, as Jordan moved to give the floor to a different representative. In addition to all of these allegations, Friend also is accused of promoting conspiracy theories about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Jordan’s other witness, Agent Marcus Allen, also had his security clearance rejected for, among other reasons, refusing to relay information to other agents about January 6 suspects.” [Raw Story, 5/18/23]

Mediaite: ‘These Are Not Whistleblowers!’ House Hearing on FBI Weaponization Plunges Into Chaos Over Rules Fight. “The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the alleged weaponization of federal agencies has gone off the rails early and often as Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) faced accusations of violating committee rules by refusing to share witness testimony with Democratic members. […] Ranking Member Stacey Plaskett and other Democrats raised protests against Jordan by saying they weren’t allowed access to testimony that the witnesses gave before the hearing. The hearing particularly lit up when Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) made a point of inquiry where she said ‘it’s my understanding that the minority in this committee, under the rules, is entitled to the same testimony, information, documents — that the majority is entitled to. I’m not aware that you are able to withhold information from the minority that we would need to use to prepare for [this hearing].’” [Mediaite, 5/18/23]

CNN: Jim Jordan’s FBI Whistleblowers Testifying Before Congress As Questions About Their Legitimacy Remain. “Del. Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the weaponization subcommittee, pressed Jordan during the hearing on whether Democrats can get access to the testimony from Allen’s interview with GOP members of the committee. But much to the dismay of Democrats, Jordan would not budge on providing the interview transcript or video. Jordan said Allen wasn’t comfortable including Democrats in his interview and said Democrats aren’t entitled to all the evidence collected when it comes to whistleblowers. ‘These are not whistleblowers,’ Plaskett shot back. ‘The law has not determined they are whistleblowers. His attorney is just asserting that.’ ‘We can talk about the testimony, but right now you’re not getting the testimony,’ Jordan said. The FBI officially revoked Allen’s security clearance on May 3 and listed a variety of reasons for doing so, including a September 29, 2021, email in which Allen called on FBI officials to exercise ‘extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of’ January 6, according to a copy of the letter.” [CNN, 5/18/23]

The Daily Caller: Dem Rep Accuses FBI Whistleblower Of Using Weaponization Hearing To Promote His New Book: ‘Financial Exploitation’. “Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida accused FBI whistleblower Stephen Friend of ‘financial exploitation’ during a hearing Thursday, citing the impending release of Friend’s book. ‘You’re engaging in the self-promotion of your new book, that’s about to be released and what great timing to be on TV and in Congress right before your book tour starts,’ Wasserman Schutlz said to Friend during the hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, referring to his upcoming book ‘True Blue: My Journey from Beat Cop to Suspended FBI Whistleblower.’” [The Daily Caller, 5/18/23]

Salon: “Very Serious Wrongdoing”: Expert Says FBI Just Pulled The “Rug Out From Under” Jordan’s Witnesses. “The FBI revoked the security clearance of three agents over concerns regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection on Wednesday ahead of two of their scheduled testimonies before the House Judiciary subcommittee investigating what Republicans call the ‘weaponization’ of federal agencies against conservatives, The New York Times reports. In a letter written by a top FBI official to congressional investigators on Wednesday, the bureau said that the agents — Marcus Allen, Stephen Friend and Brett Gloss — participated in the riots on Jan. 6 or expressed views following the attack that called into question their ‘allegiance to the United States.’ The letter, which was sent to subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, came a day before Allen and Friend were set to testify before the panel.” [Salon, 5/18/23]

The New York Times: F.B.I. Revokes Security Clearances of 3 Agents Over Jan. 6 Issues. “Mr. Gloss’s top-secret clearance was revoked two weeks ago after bureau investigators determined that while moving with the pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, he entered a restricted area of the Capitol grounds — a violation of federal law. While he has not been charged with any crimes, Mr. Gloss was found by the F.B.I. to have provided ‘false and/or misleading information’ about what he saw on Jan. 6 and about whether he was in a restricted area that day, according to the letter, which was sent to Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the weaponization subcommittee, by Christopher Dunham, the F.B.I.’s acting assistant director. […] Mr. Allen’s top-secret security clearance was revoked after the bureau found that he had ‘expressed sympathy for persons or organizations that advocate, threaten or use force or violence,’ the letter said. F.B.I. investigators determined that Mr. Allen had sent an email from his bureau account to several colleagues months after the Capitol attack, urging them to ‘exercise extreme caution and discretion in pursuit of any investigative inquiries or leads pertaining to the events of’ Jan. 6, the letter said.” [The New York Times, 5/17/23]

BONUS: Jordan’s So-Called Whistleblowers Admitted To Taking Money From Trump Ally and Jan. 6 Plotter Kash Patel After FBI Suspensions. During the hearing, one of Jim Jordan’s so-called whistleblowers called their FBI suspension “essentially a death sentence” and testified that his family was reliant on “charity” for survival. But those same witnesses—several of whom have deep ties to the Trump MAGA world, including Trump loyalists Kash Patel and Mark Meadows—also admitted that they had received payments from Patel.