Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks next to Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., left, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during a news conference with House members, where they called for a second prosecutor to investigate the Dept. of Justice and FBI, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
At some point, the impeachment “inquiry” will emerge from the Double Secret Probation phase and even Republicans will be allowed to participate (in theory.) Obviously, from a tactical standpoint, it makes sense to have the most dogged questioners on the case but doing so will require a shuffling of committee assignments, since the proceedings will be conducted via the Intelligence Committee. There’s been some talk of Jim Jordan (R-OH) being temporarily reassigned from the House Oversight Committee for that purpose:
Washington — As theenters its public phase, top Republicans in the House are weighing whether to temporarily assign Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the panel that will conduct the initial public hearings. Discussions about adding Jordan to the committee are “active and serious,” a senior Republican involved in the process told CBS News.Jordan, currently the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and an outspoken defender of President Trump, has essentially led Republican efforts in the closed-door impeachment proceedings thus far, where three committees have been able to participate. His top investigator, Steve Castor, has conducted the bulk of witness questioning.
If Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were to temporarily assign Jordan to the Intelligence Committee, he would have to make room for him by removing a current member. The move would also undermine Devin Nunes, the committee’s top Republican. McCarthy has sole discretion over Intelligence Committee assignments.
I’m not aware of any bad blood or disagreement between Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), but Gaetz certainly seems to favor the shift:
.@GOPLeader has full discretion to put our most effective questioners on intel for this matter.
If @Jim_Jordan @RepMarkMeadows & @RepLeeZeldin aren’t moved on in favor of Republicans who have skipped a majority of the testimony, then shame on us for failing @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/yp4nQoMhdv
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 5, 2019
Whether that’s intended as a dig at Nunes (or other current committee members) or not, Gaetz also champions the inclusion of Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) as inquisitors:
.@ has full discretion to put our most effective questioners on intel for this matter. If @ @ & @ aren’t moved on in favor of Republicans who have skipped a majority of the testimony, then shame on us for failing @.
As Gaetz notes, this is a discretionary call for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and it will be interesting to see what moves the GOP makes to gear up for the public proceedings. Stay tuned!