WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan, an aggressive supporter of President Trump, was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee Friday in advance of the public impeachment hearings.
A more junior member of the committee, Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, will step aside from the panel during impeachment proceedings to make room for Jordan, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy announced.
“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth,” McCarthy said. “His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process.”
The public phase of impeachment kicks off with the first open hearing on Wednesday. Jordan (R-Ohio) is the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and is known for hostile questioning of witnesses and garnering media attention.
The appointment comes as some Republicans have privately questioned whether Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, was prepared to mount a solid defense for Trump on the committee, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Other Republicans viewed the appointment as not a snub to Nunes, but a move to put the best team forward for Trump.
McCarthy said Crawford would return to the Intelligence Committee after the impeachment proceedings are done.
“Along with millions of Americans across the country who are frustrated with this impeachment-obsessed majority, Rick has offered to step aside for this charade,” McCarthy said. “When it is finished, Rick will rejoin the committee and resume his work to keep our country safe.”
The closed-door depositions in the impeachment inquiry were handled by three panels — Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Relations committees. While Rep. Adam Schiff became the public face for the Democrats in impeachment as chair of the Intelligence Committee, Republicans relied on Jordan, Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Lee Zeldin to attend each of the depositions and push back on the witnesses.
Jordan and Meadows sit on the Oversight Committee, while New York’s Zeldin serves on the Foreign Relations Committee. None of the three would have been in the public impeachment hearings on the Intelligence Committee if Crawford hadn’t stepped aside.
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