- Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday pushed Rep. Jim Jordan to explicitly say that President-elect Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 race, but he refused to do so without repeating baseless voter fraud claims peddled by President Donald Trump.
- "I'm asking you to make a statement that the election was not stolen," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern said.
- "[Biden's] going to be the president," Jordan said. "That is not the question I asked," McGovern replied.
- Jordan is a staunch ally of the president who has elevated his unfounded election allegations in the lead-up to Wednesday's deadly riot at the US Capitol.
- Now, Democrats are calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. If Pence doesn't do so, lawmakers intend to go ahead with impeachment proceedings against the president, charging him with incitement of insurrection.
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Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday repeatedly urged Rep. Jim Jordan to "say the five words: the election was not stolen," but the Ohio Republican continued to elevate baseless claims about the 2020 presidential race.
"Our job as elected officials is to tell the truth," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said. "So my question for you is: Will you admit that Joe Biden won fair and square, and the election was not rigged or stolen?"
"At 4 a.m. on Thursday, January 7, when we concluded our business on the floor, Vice President Biden became President-elect Biden," Jordan replied, referring to Congress' certification of the election results last week. "That's how the process plays out. Those of us who spoke against the unconstitutional ways several states conducted their election were following the process."
"But I'm not asking about the process. I'm asking you to make a statement that the election was not stolen," McGovern pushed back, saying that Jordan "could do the country a great service" if he said "the five words."
The two escalated into an intense back-and-forth, with McGovern eventually stating: "You refuse to answer the question."
"I did not refuse. He's going to be the president," Jordan said.
"That is not the question I asked," McGovern responded.
Jordan, a staunch defender of President Donald Trump, elevated the president's baseless allegations of a stolen and rigged election in the weeks leading up to the finalization of Biden's win. He was also among the 100-plus Republican lawmakers, including eight senators, who objected to the election results last Wednesday despite rioters breaching the US Capitol and forcing Congress to evacuate.
On Tuesday, Jordan argued that he had been raising voters' concerns about election integrity, not contradicting the election results. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 elections.
The heated exchange occurred during a virtual House Rules Committee debate over a measure, proposed by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, that urges Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office after Wednesday's siege.
Jordan condemned the violence, but came out against the resolution, arguing it "would do nothing to unify or heal the country."
"With all due respect," McGovern replied, "I'm glad that all it took for you to call for unity and healing was for our freedom and for our democracy to be attacked."
Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday told Jordan that the misinformation around the election results had motivated the pro-Trump mob to storm the Capitol grounds.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado also cornered Jordan, asking: "Isn't it true Joe Biden won the election, yes or no?"
"Yes, he won," Jordan said. "But there are serious problems with this election that deserve an investigation and that's what I've called for," adding that he's "never said that this election was stolen."
"Please, we're trying to bring this nation back together, Jim, jeez," Perlmutter said.
Raskin echoed his Democratic colleagues and slammed Jordan for pushing what he described as the "same lies and deceptions about the election that got us into this nightmare in the first place."
"Is there anything the president could do that would cause Mr. Jordan not to defend him?" Raskin asked.
The 25th Amendment requires Pence, along with a majority of Cabinet members, to conclude that the president is unfit to hold office. Insider previously reported that Pence has opposed the effort.
Raskin on Tuesday warned of looming violence in Washington, DC, if Trump remains in power. The president has eight days left in his term.
"This is not just a crisis and an emergency — it is a continuing crisis and emergency," Raskin said, calling on Pence to "move to restore order back to the United States of America."
The House expects to pass the resolution on Tuesday evening. If Pence doesn't act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled that Democrats will move forward with impeachment proceedings against the president, charging him with incitement of insurrection, as early as Wednesday.
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