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Jim Jordan made a name for himself as a Trump ally and face of GOP investigations

By Clare Foran and Jack Forrest, CNN

(CNN) — Rep. Jim Jordan, who is poised to seek the House speakership for a third time on Friday, has been a key figure in House GOP-led investigations and made a name for himself as a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump.

Jordan, who has served in Congress since 2007 and was endorsed by Trump in his bid for the speakership, serves as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. He has a longstanding reputation as a conservative agitator and helped found the hardline House Freedom Caucus.

In addition to chairing the Judiciary Committee, Jordan is also the chair of the select subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government. When McCarthy announced a House GOP impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, he said House Oversight Chairman James Comer would lead the effort in coordination with Jordan as Judiciary chair and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith.

While Republicans say their investigative work is critical to informing the American public and ensuring accountability, Democrats frequently criticize Jordan as a hyper-partisan Trump defender and have accused him of using his perch to shield the former president in the run up to the 2024 presidential election.

As Jordan oversees key House GOP investigations, Democrats also point to the fact that he stonewalled in response to a subpoena for his testimony from the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Jordan as well as Scalise both supported objections to electoral college results when Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win on January 6.

Jordan has downplayed concerns that he may be too conservative for some of the more moderate members of the GOP.

“I think we are a conservative-center-right party. I think I’m the guy who can help unite that. My politics are entirely consistent with where conservatives and Republicans are across the country,” Jordan told CNN’s Manu Raju.

CNN reported in 2020 that six former Ohio State University wrestlers said they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about team doctor Richard Strauss.

Jordan has emphatically denied that he knew anything about Strauss’ abuse during his own years working at OSU, between 1987 and 1995. “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” his congressional office said in 2018.

Fell short in second attempt to win speaker vote

On Wednesday, Jordan received fewer votes than he did in the first round of voting: 22 Republicans opposed him, up from 20 the day before. Some Republicans have floated introducing a measure to empower interim Speaker Patrick McHenry until Jordan can coalesce enough support to win the speakership. All 212 Democrats voted for their party’s leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. The Ohio Republican could still force additional votes, just as McCarthy did in the 15 rounds it took him to be elected speaker in January.

Jordan initially ran against House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and was defeated last week in a closed-door vote by the conference. Scalise went on to become the GOP speaker nominee – but dropped out of the race abruptly after facing a bloc of hardened opposition.

The House GOP conference selected Jordan the next days as its new speaker-designee in a 124-81 vote over GOP Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia, who made a surprise last-minute bid. Jordan gained only 25 supporters compared to the previous vote when Scalise defeated Jordan, 113-99.

Jordan then called a second vote asking members if they would support him on the floor in an effort to see if that could shrink his opposition. That vote, which was cast by secret ballot, was 152-55 and laid out the long road ahead for Jordan’s speakership bid to succeed.

Jordan and his allies made significant headway over the past several days, with the Ohio Republican pitching skeptical lawmakers one on one, but were still left with enough holdouts to threaten his bid for the speakership.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Haley Talbot, Annie Grayer and Curt Devine contributed to this report.

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