The top Democrat on the newly created House subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government accused Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of not acting as “an honest broker” in his position as chairman.
Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) criticized Jordan’s management of the subcommittee in an interview with The Washington Post’s The Early 202 newsletter published on Friday.
“I always saw [Jordan] as an aggressive, very bullish member of Congress, and I don’t have any problems with that,” Plaskett said. “That is his personal style. That’s who he is. I’ve always felt that as a lawyer trained in a courtroom, I can have an argument with you and still be respectful.”
“But the manner in which Jim Jordan has conducted himself in the hearings thus far is a cavalier manner in which he dismisses other members of Congress’s arguments,” she continued. “I do not agree with members mocking loudly each other, laughing at each other, making degrading comments during the hearing.”
Plaskett also pointed to Jordan’s approach to the witnesses that Republicans have described as whistleblowers.
“Because he has also done things such as presenting information about what he calls whistleblowers — who do not fit the term of whistleblowers — to reporters lets me know that he’s not an honest broker,” she added. “I’m going to always have to be prepared for the worst, unfortunately.”
House Judiciary Democrats claimed in a report earlier this month that the three witnesses that Republicans have identified as whistleblowers did not “present actual evidence of any wrongdoing” by the FBI. The group acknowledged the unusual nature of their report, noting that it was not a step they would take “in the ordinary course of business.”
Plaskett also accused Jordan of declining to engage with her on particular issues where she thought they might be able to find some common ground, such as reports of an FBI special agent who colluded with Russia or of the IRS disproportionately auditing working-class people.
“I sent a follow-up letter saying, ‘Look, these are areas I’m interested in. There may be one or two of those that I think that we can work on together, or others that we could work on together that you might suggest,’” Plasket told The Early 202. “No response to that, either.”
Jordan spokesman Russell Dye said in a statement to the newsletter that Republicans “have engaged with Democrats and Delegate Plaskett, followed committee rules and invited Democrats to every transcribed interview and hearing with ample notice.”
“Sadly, Democrats have abandoned all trust by leaking transcripts and subpoenas, slandering and attacking journalists testifying about government abuse, and defaming brave whistleblowers who have come forward to tell their stories about DOJ and FBI abuses,” Dye added.