Politics Jim Jordan assigned to Intel Committee ahead of Trump impeachment hearings
Wrestling referee warned Rep. Jim Jordan about Ohio State doctor's sex misconduct, new lawsuit says
A college wrestling referee said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that he told Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that he found Dr. Richard Strauss masturbating in the shower in front of him. But Jordan, who at the time was an assistant Ohio State wrestling coach - and then OSU head coach Russ Hellickson who was also told about the incident - just shrugged off the shocking claim about Dr. Richard Strauss, the suit says.Jordan and Hellickson responded "Yeah, that's Strauss," according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Columbus, Ohio.
House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan has been assigned by Republican leadership to serve on the House Intelligence Committee so he can participate in questioning in the open Trumphearings starting next week.
R-Ohio, replaces Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., who temporarily resigned from his post on the panel Friday.
House GOP eyes committee shake-up ahead of Trump impeachment hearings
Trump wants Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in particular “more involved” in his defense on Capitol Hill, according to a senior Trump administration official.Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a veteran combatant in highly charged Capitol Hill investigations, has taken the leading role in closed-door depositions of key witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. But he is not a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which Democrats last week voted to give the sole power to conduct public hearings.
“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth. His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process," House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement on Friday.
Under current terms, Jordan, as the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, has been in the room for most closed-door depositions. Because he is not a member of the Intelligence Committee, though, the Ohio Republican cannot ask questions.
"In Speaker Pelosi’s House, those responsibilities have fallen victim to partisan witch hunts," McCarthy said. "The typically venerable Intelligence Committee has now become the partisan Impeachment Committee."
McCarthy said Crawford will rejoin the committee after the inquiry is complete.
Schiff signals he will reject GOP 'sham' witness requests
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff rejected the GOP’s request that the panel summon Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to testify at public impeachment hearings next week. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.The California Democrat also signaled he will not agree to some of the other witnesses Republicans requested Saturday, including Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who Republicans said worked with the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., “to try to get political dirt on then-candidate Trump’s campaign.
"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."
A senior House Democratic aide tells Fox that Democrats allowed the personnel shift because “it is customary that whoever the minority proposes is accepted.”
Jordan, who has been a staunch defender of the president, in his current role, would not have been on the dais during open hearings next week to counterpunch. Republican leadership, all week, had been weighing the Jordan move, also considering adding Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., as well. But in order to position Jordan on the panel, Republican leadership is required to remove one of the current Republicans on the panel. Removing three, to also include Meadows and Zeldin, would be somewhat of a feat.
Republicans slam Dems as committee readies impeachment resolution for floor vote
"It's really nothing more than a fishing expedition," one GOP lawmaker said of some of the committees involved.Republican members introduced a barrage of dead-on-arrival amendments during the committee markup of the measure, each one failing along party lines. The proposed changes attempted in part to restrict the potential scope of the impeachment inquiry as Democrats move toward the public-facing phase of the probe. The committee is comprised of nine Democrats and four Republicans.
"Politically, there's no way for us to pull this off," a Republican source told Fox News.
The assignment comes just days before the first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry.
On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced that the first public hearings as part of the inquiry would be held next Wednesday and Friday, featuring current and former officials with knowledge of the Ukraine controversy.
“Next week, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry,” Schiff tweeted.
“On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, we will hear from William Taylor and George Kent,” he continued. “On Friday, November 15, 2019, we will hear from Marie Yovanovitch.”
“More to come,” he added.
The first public hearing will feature Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who already testified behind closed doors before congressional investigators that the president pushed Ukraine to investigate election interference, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and their Ukrainian dealings — and that he was told U.S. military aid and a White House meeting were used as leverage to get a public announcement from Kiev that the probes were underway.
The moment of truth for Democrats arrives Wednesday
A crucial phase of the impeachment investigation begins with public hearings Wednesday. House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee are preparing to review with the public some of the damning findings that they have gathered over the course of their closed hearings with committee Republicans. © Susan Walsh/AP House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., followed by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., walks out to talk to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, about the House impeachment inquiry.
Kent, the deputy assistant Secretary of State, also will appear with Taylor. Kent testified behind closed doors last month, and told the committees that he had concerns about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings, in 2015, but was rebuffed by the former vice president’s staff, which said the office was preoccupied with Beau Biden’s cancer battle.
Meanwhile, next Friday, Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, will appear in a public setting. She testified last month behind closed doors as well, telling lawmakers that Ukraine told her about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s campaign to oust her from her post in the administration. Yovanovitch was pushed out of her job in May on Trump’s orders.
Yovanovitch said she learned from Ukrainian officials last November or December that Giuliani was in touch with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, “and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me.”
“Basically, it was people in the Ukrainian government who said that Mr. Lutsenko, the former prosecutor general, was in communication with Mayor Giuliani,” she testified.
In her testimony, Yovanovitch also told investigators that she was not disloyal to the president.
Most Republicans on impeachment committees aren’t showing up, transcripts reveal
Republicans have for weeks blasted the closed-door impeachment process, but transcripts released this week of private depositions show most GOP lawmakers on the three panels at the center of the probe have simply not shown up. The low attendance for most committee Republicans paints a very different picture of a party that recently stormed the secure room where the depositions have been conducted, demanding to participate in the process. Republican questioning during these private interviews have been driven by a handful of President Donald Trump’s allies and GOP staff.
"I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told our embassy team to ignore the president's orders since he was going to be impeached," she said. "That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing to my embassy colleagues or anyone else."
"We move forward with the open phase," Schiff told reporters on the Hill on Wednesday, adding that the committee still has "remaining depositions," which they "will be conducting over the next couple of days."
The impeachment inquiry was opened after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump, during a July phone call, pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as military aid to the country was being withheld.
A transcript released by the White House shows Trump making that request, but he and his allies deny that military aid was clearly linked to the request or that there was any quid pro quo. Some witnesses coming before House committees as part of the impeachment proceedings have challenged that assertion.
The White House, though, has maintained the president did nothing wrong.
The House of Representatives, last week, passed alargely along party lines, formalizing the process and setting “ground rules” for the impeachment inquiry, including for public witness testimony.
While Republicans opposed the resolution and complained the rules were unfair, they still gave minority Republicans the ability to subpoena witnesses, with the concurrence of Democratic committee chairs. If the chair does not consent, the minority can appeal to the full committee.
"We're glad to see that Chairman Schiff has decided to move his impeachment proceedings out of his top-secret bunker and into the public eye," a GOP aide told Fox News Wednesday. "We're confident that the American people will see that there was no quid pro quo and no pressure on the Ukrainian government -- for anything."
The GOP aide added: "Unlike Chairman Schiff, we have never had anything to hide and look forward to the opportunity to present the facts of the case."
Meanwhile, U.S. diplomat David Hale appeared before the committees leading the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday behind closed doors. Hale is expected to tell lawmakers that political considerations were behind the State Department's decision to withhold U.S. military aid from Ukraine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
House set to vote on Trump impeachment procedures .
The resolution opens to door to the next phase in Democrats' probe of the president — public hearings.Debate on the procedures — which include beginning public hearings and the release of some of the information gathered in the ongoing inquiry over the last few weeks — is expected to begin around 9 am, ET.
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