Rep. Jim Jordan was officially moved onto the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, where he is expected to lead Republicans’ defense of President Donald Trump when impeachment inquiry hearings go public next week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Friday afternoon announced the appointment on Twitter, coming after speculation that Jordan, R-Ohio, a strong Trump defender, would be moved to the Intelligence Committee, which is heading the inquiry procedures, reports Axios.
Jordan himself earlier this week confirmed the temporary move was being considered.
McCarthy said in the announcement that Jordan will replace Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., on the committee temporarily, adding that Crawford “has been an exemplary member of the committee and will rejoin it when this Democrat charade is over.”
Jordan was previously the ranking Republican on the powerful House Oversight Committee.
McCarthy says he may also move other Trump defenders, like Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., onto the Intelligence Committee while the impeachment inquiry continues, reports Axios.
House Republicans have said they think Jordan was shifted because he acts as a stronger defender for Trump and the party than current Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., according to sources.
According to transcripts from a series of closed-door depositions that have already been held in the probe, Jordan, unlike Nunes, has been present at every deposition and has participated in questioning witnesses. He’s also been among the first to appear before cameras when the committee members leave the hearings.
The committee is expected to hear Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent next Wednesday when the first day of public hearings opens.
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