House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan swatted away suggestions by a CNN host on Sunday that the indictment of former President Donald Trump last week isn’t political.
In an interview with Dana Bash, Jordan, an Ohio Republican, reminded her that the Justice Department has been going after Trump ahead of every election since 2016.
Here’s a partial transcript with the video below:
REP. JIM JORDAN: They’re indicting President Trump on Tuesday for having material that he declassified that was protected by the Secret Service. And the people who are doing it is the administration, the Justice Department from his opponent in the upcoming presidential election.
This is as political as it gets. And, frankly, Dana, it’s part of a pattern. We have seen it time and time again with the president over the last seven years. They try one thing. Then they try another. They have continued to go after him. And I think anyone with common sense can see that.
Jack Smith can write whatever he wants. But this is a — this is so political. In 2016 — I mean, every election, we have now seen this, Dana. 2016, it was a dossier that they used. They knew it was false. They used it to go get a warrant to spy on his campaign. 2018, it was the Mueller investigation.
BASH: OK, let me just — let me just — let me just stop you.
JORDAN: 2020, they suppressed the Biden laptop story with the 51 former intel officials. 2022, they raided his home 91 days before an election.
BASH: Let me stop you right there, sir. First of all, I want to go back to just one of the things that you.
JORDAN: And now they’re indicting him before the 2024 presidential race. Every single election, they have done something.
BASH: On July 21, a recording of a conversation that he had said — quote — “As president, I could have declassified it,” talking about a document he was holding. “Now I can’t.”
That means it wasn’t declassified.
But I want to move on to what’s in this indictment. I’m sure you have seen the photos from the indictment.
JORDAN: Saying he could is not the same — saying he could is not the same as saying he didn’t.
BASH: I’m sure you have seen the photos from the indictment.
There are classified documents in a bathroom, in a ballroom stage, and classified information that he — that — we’re talking about information that the United States shares with its allies, critical information, strewn on the floor. Does that look secure to you?
JORDAN: Again, Dana, the standard is the standard.
The president of the United States, he can classify and he can control access to national security information however he wants. That’s the standard. That’s the Constitution. That’s what the court said in Navy v. Egan in a 1988 case. I don’t know how many more times I can say it.
BASH: But he — OK, but…
JORDAN: So, if he wants to store — if he wants to store material in a box in a bathroom, if he wants to store it in a box on a stage, he can do that.
That is the — that is just what the law and the standard is.
BASH: That’s not…
JORDAN: So, again, I think this just underscores how political this whole thing is.
ack Smith — do you know how political is when they selected Jack Smith as a special counsel? I actually said in a deposition with Jack Smith — we deposed him on May 29, 2014, because he was looking to prosecute people who were targeted by Obama’s IRS, people Lois Lerner was going after.
BASH: Sir, you can keep talking about this.
JORDAN: We actually had to depose Jack Smith. And that’s the guy Garland picks.