Jim Jordan Says Trump’s Years of Blowing Off Subpoenas May Merit Impeachment

In another ploy to get journalists at dick pic-sniffing right wing outlets like JustTheNews and NBC to air false claims, Jim Jordan and James Comer sent the White House a letter demanding any communications the White House had with Hunter Biden or his lawyers about blowing off a subpoena that — the letter itself notes — was issued before the chairmen obtained support of the House to issue impeachment subpoenas.

They base their claim that the President knew his son was going to blow off a subpoena on a misrepresentation of what Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said later that day: that the President was familiar with what his son was going to say.

Look, as you know, Hunter Biden is a private citizen, and so I certainly would refer you to his representatives. Look, the President was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say, and I think what you saw was from the heart from his son. And you’ve heard me say this, you’ve heard the president say this, when it comes to the president and the first lady, they’re proud of him continuing to rebuild his life. They are proud of their son.

Perhaps Jean-Pierre was suggesting Joe Biden knew Hunter would say things like, “James Comer, Jim Jordan, Jason Smith, and their colleagues have distorted the facts,” a true statement similar to comments Joe himself has made. Perhaps Jean-Pierre’s comment meant that Joe Biden knew his son would say that Jordan and Comer, along with Jason Smith, “ridiculed my struggle with addiction [and] belittled my recovery,” something consistent with her own focus on his recovery. Given Jean-Pierre’s observation that “what you saw was from the heart,” perhaps she was referring to Hunter’s tribute to his parents’ love:

During my battle with addiction, my parents were there for me. They literally saved my life. They helped me in ways that I will never be able to repay. And of course they would never expect me to. In the depths of my addiction, I was extremely irresponsible with my finances. But to suggest that is grounds for an impeachment inquiry is beyond the absurd. It’s shameless. There’s no evidence to support the allegations that my father was financially involved in my business because it did not happen.


They have taken the light of my Dad’s love — the light of my Dad’s love for me and presented it as darkness.

There is nothing in her statement that confirms foreknowledge that Hunter would blow off the subpoena, something conceded in the letter that her statement only, “suggests that the President had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two congressional subpoenas” [my emphasis].

Nevertheless, serial liar Comer and subpoena scofflaw Jordan use Jean-Pierre’s statement to insinuate that Joe Biden has committed what they themselves call a potentially impeachable offense of dissuading a subpoena recipient from complying with it.

Later on December 13, when asked whether President Biden had watched Mr. Biden’s statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that President Biden was “certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”11 Ms. Jean-Pierre declined, however, to provide any further details about the President’s actions or whether the President approved of his son defying congressional subpoenas.12 Nonetheless, Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement suggests that the President had some amount of advanced knowledge that Mr. Biden would choose to defy two congressional subpoenas.

Under the relevant section of the criminal code, it is unlawful to “corruptly . . . endeavor[] to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any investigation or inquiry is being had by . . . any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress[.]”13 Likewise, any person who “aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures” the commission of a crime is punishable as a principal of the crime.14

In light of Ms. Jean-Pierre’s statement, we are compelled to examine the involvement of the President in his son’s scheme to defy the Committees’ subpoenas.


[T]he fact that the President had advanced awareness that Mr. Biden would defy the Committees’ subpoenas raises a troubling new question that we must examine: whether the President corruptly sought to influence or obstruct the Committees’ proceeding by preventing, discouraging, or dissuading his son from complying with the Committees’ subpoenas. Such conduct could constitute an impeachable offense.

11 Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby. White House Briefing Room (Dec. 13, 2023).

12 Id. 13 18 U.S.C. § 1505 (Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees).

14 18 U.S.C. § 2(a).

Once you wade through all the bad faith and misrepresentation, this is a breathtaking development: Donald Trump’s most vigorous defender in Congress, Jim Jordan, someone who himself defied a subpoena to cover up Trump’s actions, has accused Donald Trump of committing an impeachable offense.

There are a slew of ways that Donald Trump, “prevent[ed], discourag[ed], or dissuad[ed]” witnesses from complying with subpoenas, during both his impeachments, the January 6 Committee, and elsewhere. Most famously, during the first impeachment, for example, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow got Trump to permit Trump attorney John Dowd to represent Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. In a response to a subpoena that was very similar to the pre-impeachment vote subpoena sent to Hunter Biden, Dowd made a bunch of claims about attorney-client relationships that, with the exception of the tie to Dmitry Firtash, have since been disproven, all in an attempt to deprive Congress of their testimony. While Parnas eventually cooperated with impeachment, neither Fruman nor Rudy did. Indeed, Trump’s entire Administration blew off the inquiry.

Trump did the same with the January 6 inquiry. Trump attempted to pressure Cassidy Hutchinson about her testimony. Even better documented, Robert Costello described that Trump’s lawyer instructed him to withhold materials about a meeting involving a bunch of lawyers but also Mike Flynn based on an attorney-client privilege claim. On Jordan’s logic, Trump should join Bannon in his 4-month contempt sentence for that intervention.

In short, while Comer and Jordan manufactured the claim that President Biden knew Hunter was going to blow off a subpoena, the evidence that Trump has ordered everyone in his orbit to do the same for years is overwhelming.

Once you argue that instructing people to blow off subpoenas merits impeachment, you’ve made the case for a third Trump impeachment.

Comer and Jordan have already surfaced far more evidence supporting an impeachment of Donald Trump than Joe Biden. Three major examples are:

  • Ties between DOJ access and dirt on Hunter Biden: In response to Comer’s allegations about Hunter and Joe Biden, Lev Parnas has renewed allegations he made in the past, much of which are backed by known communications and the recently released warrants from SDNY. Of particular note, he described that Rudy floated access with Trump’s DOJ in exchange for dirt on the Bidens with both Yuriy Lutsenko and Dmitry Firtash. Parnas also claimed that when he attempted to fly to Vienna on October 9, 2019, he believed he would retrieve content stolen from a Hunter Biden laptop.
  • Efforts to funnel Rudy Giuliani’s dirt to the investigation into Hunter Biden: Chuck Grassley revealed that during his first impeachment, when Trump was emphasizing the import of investigating Burisma corruption, his own DOJ shut down a 3.5-year old investigation into Mykola Zlochevsky. Testimony from Scott Brady enhanced what we already know about the dedicated channel Bill Barr set up days later for dirt Rudy had obtained, including from known Russian agents. Of particular import, Brady revealed that he mined the recently closed Zlochevsky investigation to obtain informant testimony about how Zlochevsky changed his story about Joe Biden during the course of impeachment. Brady and Gary Shapley both provided new details of how that information got shared with the Hunter Biden investigative team, with Brady submitting interrogatories about what they were investigative and getting David Weiss’ intervention to brief the information they obtained. Ultimately, after Trump yelled at Bill Barr about the Hunter Biden investigation, Richard Donoghue ordered the Delaware investigators to accept the FD-1023 memorializing Zlochevsky’s changed story about Biden; Bill Barr confessed that he was involved in this process. In short, Jordan and Comer, with an assist from Grassley, have confirmed many of the suspicions that drove the first impeachment.
  • Trump’s involvement in Tony Bobulinski’s inconsistent FBI testimony: The disgruntled IRS agents released Tony Bobulinski’s draft interview report (from the same day as the briefing about Zlochevsky’s changed Biden claims), key claims in which are not backed by previously unreleased communications. The disclosure of testimony that Hunter Biden alleges to be false comes even as Cassidy Hutchinson’s book describes a secret meeting Mark Meadows had weeks after that FBI interview, at which Trump’s chief of staff handed Bobulinski something that could be an envelope.

Thanks to Comer and Jordan — with an important assist from Grassley — Republicans have exposed that Trump has been corruptly involved in the Hunter Biden investigation — the Hunter Biden investigation they’re using to impeach Joe Biden — from the start.

But this letter is different.

Comer and Jordan never admitted that all the rest — all the evidence that Trump corruptly ginned up an investigation into Joe Biden’s kid — merited impeachment. They have claimed the opposite, even in the face of Grassley’s stunning claim that Trump’s DOJ shut down an investigation into Zlochevsky opened when Biden was Vice President.

But here, at long last, they’re admitting that Trump’s years-long efforts to stonewall Congress may merit impeachment.

Mind you, the outlets that believed this letter was newsworthy didn’t mention that fact. Instead, they treated Jordan’s stunning hypocrisy as if it were a good faith intervention. They didn’t even mention that Jordan himself blew off a subpoena to protect Trump!

We know why John Solomon — implicated himself in all these events — pretended this was all good faith. Solomon doesn’t pretend to be anything but a pro-Trump propagandist.

But NBC has no excuse. Either it is too stupid to recognize that this Jordan letter is the height of bad faith … or it is too addicted to dick pic-sniffing clicks to explain all that to their readers.

At some point, Jim Jordan’s confession that Donald Trump really did deserve impeachment becomes the story.

Update: I should have included Luke Broadwater — the NYT scribe who can’t do basic things like test the provenance of documents — in the right wing outlets that simply parroted Jordan’s garbage.

41 replies
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  2. boloboffin says:

    Are the Republicans in charge completely unable to accuse their political opponents of anything that they have not already committed themselves? Is it some weird requirement they have in their conference that at least one of the GOP in front of the cameras must have committed the crimes they are accusing others of committing?

    It’s the strangest GD thing about all this.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, so long as so-called straight news outlets like NBC don’t call them on it, why not keep it up?

      Until they are held accountable for doing so, they will keep doing it.

      • Terduken says:

        Straight news is suffering from the same creative rot as “Hollywood”. Endless plagiarism of someone else’s plagiarism. Now we have rebooted scams, scandals, corruption to fuel rebounding conspiracy theories so the grifters can grift and regrift all the willing.

        To all here at Emptywheel, Thank you for being not (neural)typical news!

      • Upisdown says:

        It amazes me that people like Steve Bannon, Peter Schweizer, and John Solomon are still allowed to appear in news searches without the word “DISGRACED” blazing prominently in their by-lines. But in this era of David Pecker, Rupert Murdoch, and the Falun Gong, why should I be surprised by it?

    • TimothyB says:

      It is straight-up signal jamming. By taking everything they do and making that an accusation against opponents, MAGAs make keeping track of who is in favor of what, who does what, etc. extremely demanding cognitively. Journalists less hardworking than emptywheel fail constantly at those demands. Ordinary citizens are left able to choose their preferred reality, as any effort to connect to genuine reality is just too much work.

      • HikaakiH says:

        That’s it exactly. The sheer quantity of BS they pump out has a ‘quality’ all of its own. It’s all about getting people to give up on any attempt at objective truth – whatever that may be – and go with their atavistic feelings. Not a good place for a polity to find itself.

        • Matt___B says:

          “atavistic”? I suppose so. More like an attempt to force fantasy to become reality. Which can’t be done, actually. The best they can achieve is a noisy echo chamber where other people are doing the same, i.e. the ol’ Steve Bannon strategy of “flooding the zone”. Aside from his just-in-time pardon, while he waits for the appeal on his contempt of Congress federal charge, he continues to lead that charge from the relative obscurity of his podcast. It’s how propaganda “works”. (If only Big Pharma could come up with an effective “propaganda vaccine”)…

  3. Rugger_9 says:

    Aside from the still-true dictum that every accusation by the GOP is an admission of guilt, this episode makes it clear if it wasn’t already that there are two legal standards, one for the GOP (IOKIYAR) and another for the hoi polloi / DFHs and other riff-raff. What’s different this time IMHO is the outright demonization by the RWNM of the non-GOP into subhuman status which would then justify any action to protect the ‘betters’ in their view. We saw it in the reporting about PDX (where a summary execution was covered up) and Kenosha.

    There will not be a third impeachment of Defendant-1 unless the House flips. However, it would be nice if some of the courtier press would stand up to their executives and point out noisily what this post highlights. However, that would interfere with the horse race mahogany row wants to pump up the attention and profits.

  4. Peterr says:

    When Hunter eventually shows up for a deposition, every answer needs to include some form of “Unlike Chairman Jordan, I have shown up in response to a lawfully issued subpoena. With respect to this question . . . ” He can plead the fifth or answer the question asked, but putting Jordan’s experience with subpoenas front and center is critical.

    And if he really wants to twist the knife, mentioning Jordan’s refusal to participate in the Ohio State University investigation into sexual abuse of their wrestling program would be a nice touch.

    • emptywheel says:

      I assume in response to the next (this time authorized by vote of Congress) subpoena, he’ll sue to reverse it.

  5. Matt Foley says:

    How to avoid raising the Jimmys’ suspicions:
    Get your daddy-in-law POTUS to pick you as Middle East adviser (no experience necessary!). Parlay this position into a $2 billion deal with a Saudi prince who murdered an American journalist.

    Obviously Hunter kept his deal small ($5 million) to fly under the radar but the Jimmys are too smart to be fooled.

  6. Bears7485 says:

    Gym, you had the chance to do the right thing twice. You don’t get credit for pretending you want to do the right thing now you feckless fucking coward.

    • Knowatall says:

      What is the ‘normal’ process of taking a congressional deposition? Who would/could be in attendance, and would a private deposition allow for public testimony at the request of the minority?

      • Rugger_9 says:

        The problem is that closed-door depositions can be ‘selectively edited’ to support the Comer/Jordan fairy tale. It’s an old GOP trick.

    • lastoneawake says:

      Also, the wit-free soundbite is usually somewhere in the article:

      ” . . .while Comer and Jordan manufactured the claim that President Biden knew Hunter was going to blow off a subpoena, the evidence that Trump has ordered everyone in his orbit to do the same for years is overwhelming.”

  7. Upisdown says:

    “Here I am, Mr. Chairman, taking up your offer when you said we can bring these people in for depositions or committee hearings, whichever they choose. Well, I’ve chosen. I’m here to testify in a public hearing today to answer any of the committee’s legitimate questions,” Hunter Biden said at a press conference near the Capitol.

    “Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics. … What are they afraid of? I’m here. I’m ready,” he added.

    However, Jordan and Comer are demanding to learn what Joe Biden and KJP knew about this and when did they know it.

  8. BobBobCon says:

    Based on Sarah Fitzpatrick’s list of stories for NBC, it’s obvious that she was assigned to a singular beat of covering accusations against Hunter Biden.

    Not a beat about covering corruption in DC, or the influence of lobbyists, or anything broader. Just a laser focus on Hunter Biden.

    That’s a recipe for disastrous journalism, guaranteed to turn out biased, out of context stories. When a beat is defined that way, it inevitably drives reporters to seek out a narrow set of sources from just one side, and at best look to a few other people after the story is written for the purpose of plugging in a quote or two for purely formal reasons.

    Reporters like her inevitably fail because of their broken source networks, but the bigger fault is with their editors for deciding what counts as a story first and then backfilling the reporting much later. And it inevitably screws up their opportunities to pivot to new stories — when reporters are locked into such narrow source networks, they’re operating blind when they get reassigned to genuinely important breaking news.

    • emptywheel says:

      Aw cmon. I cover Hunter Biden A LOT.

      The difference between she and I, though, is she ONLY vomits up what Comer and Jordan feed her. I’ve read the documents, including transcripts she surely could get if she tried, the exhibits provided by Ziegler and Shapley, and the historic documents.

      If it’s going to be a beat, cover it.

  9. wa_rickf says:

    Jim Jordan is not known to have stellar thinking or reasoning skills, as evident by the poor results of his analysis and hypotheses.

  10. MsJennyMD says:

    House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Hunter Biden defying a congressional subpoena: “When Congress asks you to come, you’re supposed to come and testify.” December 14, 2023

  11. JVOJVOJVO says:

    For some reason this story gave me a desire for some Billy Beer and peanuts!
    So, I go to my fridge only to find a Billy-gate preventing me from my desire. ffs
    One would think the press wouldn’t fall for this repeated stupidity.
    Maybe it’s my frame of reference-the wife and I recently watched The Last Thing That He Wanted while convalescing from the most recent respiratory virus hitting the household.

    • HanTran1 says:

      Slightly OT. There is no Walter Cronkite anymore. They may not even be any mass media site that 60 to 75% of Americans listen to. Consequently no one is really held accountable at least not to a majority of the country. We thought the internet was going to be wonderful, turns out not so much.

  12. morganism says:

    Maine Secretary of State Decision in Challenge to Trump Presidential Primary Petitions

    Secretary of State Shenna Bellows issued the attached decision regarding three challenges brought by Maine voters to the nomination petition of Donald J. Trump, for the Republican primary for the President of the United States.

    The Secretary of State’s Office received three challenges to the nomination of Mr. Trump, each filed under 21-A M.R.S. � � 336 and 337.

    In the first challenge, Mary Ann Royal of Winterport alleged that Mr. Trump violated his oath of office because he engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or has given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. In the second challenge, Paul Gordon of Portland argued that because Mr. Trump has expressly stated that he won the 2020 election, he is barred from office under the Twenty-Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which sets a two-term limit on Presidents. In the third challenge, Kimberly Rosen a former Republican State Senator from Bucksport, Thomas Saviello, a former Republican State Senator from Wilton and Ethan Strimling, a former Democratic State Senator from Portland collectively contend that Mr. Trump is barred from office because he engaged in insurrection as defined by Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    A consolidated hearing was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 15 in Augusta. The hearing was livestreamed to the Department’s YouTube and is still available to view online.

    As detailed in the decision, Secretary Bellows concluded that Mr. Trump’s primary petition is invalid. Specifically, the Secretary ruled that the declaration on his candidate consent form is false because he is not qualified to hold the office of the President under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    In the decision, Secretary Bellows said,

    “I conclude… that the record establishes that Mr. Trump, over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power. I likewise conclude that Mr. Trump was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.

    “Mr. Trump’s occasional requests that rioters be peaceful and support law enforcement do not immunize his actions. A brief call to obey the law does not erase conduct over the course of months, culminating in his speech on the Ellipse. The weight of the evidence makes clear that Mr. Trump was aware of the tinder laid by his multi-month effort to delegitimize a democratic election, and then chose to light a match.”

    On the Gordon challenge, Secretary Bellows said, “There appears to be no dispute between any of the parties that President Biden prevailed over Mr. Trump. Therefore, given Mr. Trump has only won a single election for President, he is not barred from being elected to the same office again under the Twenty-Second Amendment.”

    Secretary Bellows concludes the decision saying:

    “I do not reach this conclusion lightly. Democracy is sacred… I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection. The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.

    “The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic. They were an attack not only upon the Capitol and government officials, but also an attack on the rule of law. The evidence here demonstrates that they occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and Section 336 requires me to act in response.”

    The challenger or candidate may appeal this decision by commencing an action in the Superior Court within five days of this date, pursuant to 21-A MRSA section 337, subsection 2, paragraph D.

    Given the compressed timeframe, the novel constitutional questions involved, the importance of this case, and impending ballot preparation deadlines, Secretary Bellows has suspended the effect of her decision until the Superior Court rules on any appeal, or the time to appeal has expired.

    A copy of the decision is here.



  13. morganism says:

    (wow, forgot that Biden will not be on the Dem Primary ballot in NH, due to a decision by a Sec of State.)

    CNN —

    President Joe Biden will not file for New Hampshire’s Democratic primary because he is “obligated” to comply with the Democratic National Committee’s delegate selection rules, his campaign manager informed the state party in a letter obtained by CNN.

    Under a Biden-backed plan approved by the DNC earlier this year, South Carolina – and not New Hampshire – will be the first state to hold an approved Democratic primary.

    Even though New Hampshire’s primary date has not yet been set, Secretary of State David Scanlan has already said his state will hold the first-in-the-nation primary. That will make it non-compliant with the new DNC calendar, which could cost New Hampshire Democrats party delegates to the national convention next summer.

    The president would like to participate in the Granite State primary, campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote to New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley, but he must comply with national party rules.

    It would be a violation for Biden to campaign in such an early contest in New Hampshire or to even have his name on the ballot, although voters could write him in.


  14. Zinsky123 says:

    So many modern Republicans are unable to see or understand hypocrisy. A man who is currently in de facto contempt of a Congressional subpoena [Jordan], insinuating the sitting president of the United States was aware of a likely defiance of a Congressional subpoena or suborned non-compliance with the subpoena. The Republican Party has been reduced to a sniveling bunch of Pee Wee Herman impersonators with their “I know you are, but what am I?” defense. Sad.

    • JVOJVOJVO says:

      Pee Wee (Paul Ruebens) actually had integrity when he said it. The GOP have zero integrity and Rep Jordan has proven he’s morally bankrupt.

    • CaptainCondorcet says:

      Oh they understand it very well. Hypocrite was a favorite insult by Jesus in the red text they’ve all read.

      They’re just trapped. They have spent so long fueling a toxic narrative to a toxic base that “real men” (gender of politician irrelevant, machoism is part of the game) don’t cave and don’t back down and don’t use the 5th. It would be an almost fatal exposure of weakness to “play along” with the “villains”. But to their fortune, the most rabid part of that base is both paranoid and poorly educated, increasing chance of deflection working.

      People long joked about the instability of the Democrats “large tent”. Maybe, but the new GOP is showing worse strains. When that wretched cult of personality finally becomes impossible, expect a brief internal war or even collapse. Because if the speaker feuds did anything good, it would be exposing the deep deep rifts there.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Republican hypocrisy is knowing and intentional. They’ve come to think, like Trump, that they are simply immune to its consequences, as Trump thinks he’s immune to reality.

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