Jordan tears into DOJ officials for hostility to Meadows' election fraud inquiries

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Republican Rep. Jim Jordan excoriated a top Justice Department official on Tuesday for spurning attempts by then-President Donald Trump’s chief of staff to get officials to investigate several election fraud claims as his presidency was coming to a close.

“That is a problem,” Jordan said. “When the chief of staff to the president of the United States asks someone in the executive branch to do something, and they basically give him the finger, I think that’s the problem we should be looking into.”

Jordan (R-Ohio) also accused former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen of insubordination and defended Meadows’ actions.

Jordan expressed that he was particularly perturbed by one message in which Rosen told a deputy he would blow off Meadows after the chief of staff urged him to have Civil Division chief Jeffrey Clark explore “allegations of signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Ga.

“Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to message below,” Rosen wrote then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue.

Jordan’s attack came at a House Oversight committee hearing hours after it released emails documenting the Justice Department’s response to the Trump White House’s effort to pursue election fraud claims as the outgoing president refused to accept the legitimacy of his defeat to Joe Biden.

Included in the records are emails showing Meadows urging investigators to look at a YouTube video of a former intelligence officer who alleged that people in Italy were surreptitiously altering votes in United States elections via satellites.

“Pure insanity,” Donoghue wrote in response to an email Meadows sent on New Year’s Day pertaining to the Italy theory, one of several emails Jordan cited.

Other emails released by the Oversight committee showed Rosen was not alone in his skepticism of the claims being pushed by Trump’s allies and that the acting attorney general forcefully rebuffed efforts to engage the Justice Department in them.

One of the former president’s most vocal allies, Jordan said that Meadows’ entreaties were no different than those routinely taken by government aides.

“Every chief of staff, I bet, for for every one of us sends the same kinds of letters and emails every day,” Jordan said.

Jordan seemingly dismissed the notion that Meadows’ efforts were inappropriate.

“Mark Meadows putting a lot of pressure on people, asking ‘can you look into this allegation,’” Jordan said.

“Wow. Lot of pressure there,” he said at another point.

While Jordan sharply criticized the response from Rosen and other Justice Department aides, the Ohio Republican did not address longstanding White House policies that limit contacts between White House officials like Meadows and Justice Department officials about specific investigations.

Trump’s first White House counsel, Don McGahn, issued a memo in January 2017 that said: “The President, Vice President, Counsel to the President, and Deputy Counsel to the President are the only White House individuals who may initiate a conversation with DOJ about a specific case or investigation.”

The memo says other officials may be involved in such contacts after getting approval from the counsel’s office.

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.