Republican leadership have assigned Rep. Jim Jordan to serve on the House Intelligence Committee during the open impeachment hearings against President Trump next week.
The Ohio congressman is currently the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee and has attended most of the closed-door impeachment hearings so far, but as a member of the Intelligence Committee he will be able to question witnesses.
Jordan will temporarily replace Rep. Rick Crawford, (R., Ark) on the intelligence panel. Crawford will return to the committee after the impeachment probe is concluded.
“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,” read a Friday statement from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.
“In Speaker Pelosi’s House, those responsibilities have fallen victim to partisan witch hunts,” the California Republican added. “The typically venerable Intelligence Committee has now become the partisan Impeachment Committee.”
Jordan has fiercely defended Trump from his critics, especially the Democrats in charge of the impeachment probe, which he has called a “ridiculous charade.”
“You can understand why the president is frustrated,” Jordan said last month.
The first impeachment hearings in the “open phase” of the inquiry are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday of next week, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said. Lawmakers will hear testimony from acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and deputy assistant Secretary of State George Kent on Wednesday and will hear from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday.
Their testimony follows the release the transcripts of several other witnesses who testified for the probe last month, including Taylor, who described an “informal” channel of communication between U.S. officials regarding Ukraine policy, which focused heavily on how to get Ukraine to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
During Trump’s controversial July 25th phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Biden and the former vice president’s son’s connections to a Ukrainian gas company. Much-needed U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being held up at the time, prompting speculation of a quid pro quo and sparking the impeachment investigation.