ICYMI: Jordan on C-SPAN Newsmakers
Yesterday, C-SPAN aired an interview with Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, conducted by POLITICO’s Rachael Bade, The Washington Post’s Kelsey Snell and C-SPAN’s Susan Swain for C-SPAN’s Newsmakers show. During the interview, Rep. Jordan discussed a number of topics including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress and efforts to impeach Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen. The interview was taped on Thursday last week.
VIDEO of Rep. Jordan’s Newsmakers interview: https://www.c-span.org/video/?415702-1/newsmakers-representative-jim-jordan
On the lame-duck session of Congress:
“I think you gotta be cautious about doing major things in a lame-duck session where Members are no longer accountable to the voters. And on the spending side, we have history to show that bad things happen in lame-duck sessions. Bad things happen on spending right before the holidays. Frankly, we had five years of experience with that. With CRomnibus, omnibus, … tax increases, all those things have happened in a similar context. And so our conservative Freedom Caucus group has been very reluctant to have anything land – any big spending bill – come due in a lame-duck session.”
On funding the government:
“Harry Reid’s up to the same thing he’s been up to for the last five, six years. … If we keep doing the same thing, we’re probably going to wind up, unfortunately, with one big omnibus spending package on December 9th that everything gets thrown into. And our big concern is frankly there’s been a level of spending that was set by Mr. Boehner and Mr. Obama, before the speaker left, a level most Republicans disagreed with – that level was established in their agreement. My concern is when we get to the lame-duck, it won’t just be that level, which we were all opposed to, or most of us were opposed to anyway, it’s going to be something higher. In fact, even this CR, this short-term CR that is supposed to pass next (this) week – it’s going to be slightly higher because they’re putting in money for a flood and they’re putting in some money for Zika, and the Zika money’s not completely offset and the flood money is new money. So it’s going to go higher than the level that was set in that agreement which the vast majority of Republicans opposed.
“It’s frustrating for the American people. We see last week an individual subpoenaed by a congressional committee not even show, and Congress basically does nothing. We saw the Democrats a few months ago throw a temper tantrum on the House floor, and we basically do nothing. We saw the president of the United States last week announce he’s going to up the refugee number 25,000 with no response from Congress.”
On efforts to impeach Koskinen:
“I actually think … if there was a vote in the Committee we’d win. I really do. I hope we can get a vote at some point, sooner rather than later, in the Judiciary Committee. Because if something comes out of the Judiciary Committee and then goes to the floor I think we have a real chance on the floor of the House.
“Americans are so tired of the double standard. Any American being audited by the IRS who has the same fact pattern – they’re being audited, they have missing documents, the back-up tape is destroyed, they wait months to tell the IRS about that – they’re in big trouble. … Any CEO of a company who had the same fact pattern Mr. Koskinen had during his tenure at the IRS would be fired by the board. So we’re not asking to put this guy in jail. All we’re saying is you should not hold public office when you breached every duty you had. … When you have five basic duties and you’ve breached and failed on every one, I think you’ve got to go. And the American people say, ‘Yeah, we would be in big trouble. Why is it a different standard if your name is Lois Lerner or John Koskinen or Hillary Clinton?’ When I’m out and about across our district I hear that more than anything else.”
On the House Freedom Caucus:
“One of our main goals is – and this has always been a focus of our group, in some ways kind of the primary focus – making sure that the process works in a way where people’s ideas can be heard. So changing the rules. And it’s not the most exciting things to talk about. But if the process and rules are structured in the right way and they’re followed we think you get better policy outcomes. So one of the things we’re focused on is making sure the rules change in a way that’s more conducive to getting good ideas actually passed and into law that are going to help the families we represent. … We’ve had the Rules Committee in the past tell us, ‘We can’t make your amendments in order because your amendments might pass.’ Wow. I thought that was the deal. If it’s a good amendment and the majority of the House of Representatives thinks it makes sense, and it’s good for the folks back home who elected them to come here and fight for them, why shouldn’t it be made in order? But that’s the kind of thing that has to change and we’re working on that. So that’s one of our goals.
“Our mission statement’s real simple. We think there are countless number of people who feel like this town has forgotten them. Our job is to remember them. I think we make Congress way too complicated. Our job is to do what we told them we would do. And having the right rules in place, the right process in place, gives us a better chance to do what we told the voters we were going to do when they gave us the privilege to serve.”
On Hillary Clinton:
“I’m willing to work with folks if it’s good policy for America and for the families I get the privilege of serving. I worked with Dennis Kucinich when he was here, and Dennis and I are friends. And there were certain policies – now typically those were civil liberty-related policies or they were going up against the big banks when they were getting the bailout with taxpayer money, and those kinds of things – but I can’t think of one policy Secretary Clinton’s for that I support.”
“The big issue’s Reddit – what happened just this past week, with Combetta on Reddit. And [it’s] interesting the timing ‘cause it was in July when he was asking for advice on this forum. … This forum in July and then also in December. So July of 2014, what happened right before that that would prompt him to suddenly go and say ‘hey, how do I get rid of VIP, super-VIP information?’ What would have prompted that? Oh: the fact that Cheryl Mills was notified by the State department that they wanted Hillary Clinton’s emails. And so what’s Cheryl Mills do? She calls Platte River Networks. … That’s what prompted Mr. Combetta to go on this forum, ‘How do I get rid of VIP information?’ And then what happened in December? Preservation order from the Benghazi Committee. And that gets communicated somehow to Platte River Networks and specifically to Mr. Combetta, and he’s on Reddit saying hey how do I get rid of VIP information? So that’s the, I think, the latest big news in this unfolding saga that we will have to look at. And I’m sure Mr. Chaffetz is planning to do so.
“[W]e need to get to the bottom of what we’ve discovered here in the past few weeks with Mr. Combetta taking the Fifth, Mr. Pagliano failing to show. I always talk about that magic month of March 2015 when the New York Times reports she had this special arrangement, it was her only … email account. And then the preservation order, the subpoena all happened on the second, the third, the fourth. The ninth: Platte River Networks is put on notice that they should preserve everything. The 10th she does her press conference. The 25th of that month is when there’s a conference call with Platte River Networks and Clinton lawyers. And then sometime after the 25th, shazam! BleachBit gets used and destroys emails. How did that happen? … I don’t know of any more compelling timeline than that. And the guys who did it won’t testify. The guys who did it, Mr. Combetta … got an immunity deal from the FBI and the Justice Department. Go figure.”