What to know about Jim Jordan, possible House speaker nominee


With the exit of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) from the speaker’s race, the spotlight is back on Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

House Republicans are huddling behind closed doors Friday as they struggle to find a nominee who can get the 217 GOP votes needed to clinch the speakership.

Jordan, who finished a close second to Scalise for the nomination in a closed-door vote of House Republicans on Wednesday and was endorsed by Trump last week, is still in the hunt, but other candidates could emerge.

Jordan has risen in the ranks of the Republican conference since first being elected to Congress in 2006.

He previously served as chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative House members. He also has been the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee since 2020 — fighting off investigations into former president Donald Trump and launching investigations into President Biden since becoming chair of the committee this year.

Trump, for his part, offered his “Complete & Total Endorsement” of Jordan on his social media platform, Truth Social, early Friday.

“He is STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment,” Trump wrote. “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House.”

Jordan and Scalise have a lot in common. But they also diverge in notable ways. Jordan has a reputation as a political flamethrower — lobbing attacks against Democrats and being unafraid to disagree with his party’s leadership.

Jordan, 59, was one of eight House members who served on Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment trial in the Senate. Before he left office, Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Jordan has had a hand in high-profile investigations of Democrats. As a leader of the House hearings on the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, he questioned then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is now one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry into Biden.

He encountered controversy in 2018 when former Ohio State University wrestlers accused him of knowing about the alleged sexual abuse of wrestlers decades ago and failing to act. Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1987 to 1995, denied knowing about the allegations against Richard Strauss, a former doctor in the school’s athletic department.

Jordan has been considered for House speaker before: In January, hard-right Republicans who opposed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) nominated him.

Jordan, however, maintained that he supported McCarthy for the speakership.

Now, several House Republicans have expressed support for Jordan.

Among the most prominent is Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), who led the push for McCarthy’s removal and recently referred to Jordan as his mentor. Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Byron Donalds (Fla.), Troy E. Nehls (Tex.) and others also expressed support for Jordan.

Jordan initially refused to say he would back Scalise in a House floor vote. A spokesperson later clarified that Jordan would back Scalise and was offering to give a nominating speech on his behalf.


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