Jim Jordan uses weaponization of government committee to weaponize government, persecute prosecutors
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) attends a House Judiciary Committee meeting. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Bullies expect their targets to cower and comply. When the bullied show backbone their intimidators often buckle. That’s how it’s done. Last week it happened to Ohio U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-Urbana). The MAGA Republican got owned by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for his outrageous abuse of power.
She tore into the jacketless joke on the House Judiciary Committee in a scorching missive after Jordan tried to weaponize the federal government against her. In his full-time job as apologist for the criminally indicted ex-president, the diehard fanatic demanded DA Willis spill the beans on her racketeering investigation and indictment of Donald Trump and his many co-conspirators on Georgia (RICO) racketeering charges.
He attempted to strong-arm the state prosecutor for daring to hold Defendant Trump accountable for trying to overturn the will of voters and interfere with the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Jordan fired off a sweeping request for documents from Willis. The day Trump was booked at an Atlanta jail on 13 criminal felony counts and had his mugshot released, the combative committee chair asked the DA to surrender all records relating to the case because “your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated.”
It was the same rote innuendo he levied at DA Alvin Bragg when the Manhattan prosecutor indicted Trump for falsifying business records to cover up an alleged hush money scheme to a porn star in 2016. Never mind Jordan’s political calculus to impede and intimidate officers of the court on behalf of the Dear Leader.
In a letter to Willis on Aug. 24, the partisan attack dog cast aspersions on the DA’s incentive to investigate, indict and even “process the former President as a typical criminal defendant” requiring mug shots and cash bond. The timing of the prosecution was suspect. “Many have speculated that this indictment and prosecution are designed to interfere with the 2024 presidential election,” he wrote.
Jordan claimed, “Congress may probe whether former Presidents are being subjected to politically motivated state investigations and prosecutions due to the policies they advanced as President” (and not for criminally conspiring to steal an election). He suggested state criminal law was being used to “regulate the conduct of federal officers acting in their official capacities” (and not to hold defendants accountable for committing crimes against the state).
He maintained that Willis’ decision to “criminally prosecute federal officers, including the President” conflicted with “the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution” and posed “a threat to the operations of the federal government.” Jordan’s bluster was pure idiocy but it didn’t stop him from directing the DA to produce the requested information under threat of subpoena.
Fani Willis was not cowed. The seasoned prosecutor does not suffer fools gladly and Jordan is a performative fool. She hit back hard against the clueless poll in a withering 9-page tutorial that schooled him in the way things are explained to a five-year-old. “Your letter makes clear that you lack a basic understanding of the law, its practice, and the ethical obligations of attorneys generally and prosecutors specifically.” Willis pulled no punches.
“Your attempt to interfere with and obstruction this office’s prosecution of state criminal cases is unconstitutional.” The DA was steamed. “Investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to ‘punish’ those investigated are indefensible. Your letter offends each and every one of these settled principles. Its obvious purpose is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous partisan misrepresentation.”
Willis noted that “while settled constitutional law clearly permits me to ignore your unjustified and illegal intrusion into an open state criminal prosecution,” she would, “take a moment to voluntarily respond to parts of your letter” — and absolutely shred Jordan’s misguided arguments on state sovereignty, separation of powers, administration of criminal justice and due process.
“The defendants in this case have been charged under state law with committing state crimes. Your job description as a legislator does not include criminal law enforcement, nor does it include supervising a specific criminal trial because you believe that doing so will promote your partisan political objectives.” She lectured Jordan that it’s “time you deal with some basic realities” and grasp the fact that a grand jury found probable cause against the defendants named in the indictment for RICO violations and various other felonies.
Willis noted Jordan’s “total ignorance of Georgia’s racketeering statute and the basics of criminal conspiracy law,” and made the delicious point of encouraging the demagogue, who never passed the bar after attending law school, to learn about Georgia’s RICO law by reading “RICO State-by-State,” a textbook he could purchase “for the non-bar member price of $249.”
“Face this reality, Chairman Jordan: the select group of defendants who you fret over in my jurisdiction are like every other defendant, entitled to no worse or better treatment than any other American citizen.” Her dress down of the MAGA bully ended with a vow to uphold her oath to the United States and Georgia Constitutions and “not allow myself to be bullied and threatened by Members of Congress, local elected officials, or others who believe lady justice should not be blind and that America has different laws for different citizens.”
That’s how it’s done. How it must be done. Bravo, DA Willis.
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