A Yelling Jim Jordan Contradicts Trump While Defending Him

Rep. Jim Jordan didn’t let pesky facts get in the way of defending Donald Trump against allegations made in the indictment charging him last week on 37 federal felony counts, the majority of which relate directly to “willful retention of national defense information.”

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Jordan repeatedly ignored an admission by Trump that he did not as alleged in the indictment.

“The indictment does say, as I mentioned, the documents included U.S. defense, nuclear capabilities, potential U.S. vulnerabilities to a military attack,” host Dana Bash said. “They were kept in unsecure areas, like a bathroom, a ballroom, a bedroom. And the indictment says that Donald Trump lied to lawyers, his own lawyers, which resulted in false statements to the FBI, so that he could keep those documents. Is all of that, any of that acceptable to you?”

“Dana, the standard is clear,” Jordan answered. “The standard is Navy v. Egan, a 1988 case, unanimous decision from the courts, from the court. Justice Blackmun wrote the opinion. And it said the president’s ability to classify and control access to national security information flows from the Constitution. He decides. He alone decides. He said he declassified this material. He can put it wherever he wants. He can handle it however he wants. That’s the law.”

Bash pushed back, pointing out that Trump on tape admitted in at least one instance that he did not declassify certain documents he took to Mar-a-Lago. “In this indictment, he states on at least one occasion that he did not declassify the information. When he’s showing a document to somebody who doesn’t have a security clearance, I might add, he says explicitly that it is classified. He didn’t declassify it.”

On the audio recording, according to the indictment, Trump said of at least one document that he claimed was “secret information” prepared for him by the military, “As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t.”

But Jordan chose to contradict Trump’s own words as they appeared in the indictment, choosing instead to believe Trump when he said he declassified everything he took with him. “Dana, he has said time and time again he’s declassified all this material,” Jordan said. “This is the most political thing I have ever seen. They have been out to get [the former] president. They’re indicting President Trump on Tuesday for having material that he declassified that was protected by the Secret Service.”

Again, Bash confronted Jordan with facts. “Number one, the Secret Service, they are charged with protecting the president. They didn’t even know, according to the indictment, that those documents were there. So, that wasn’t their job. Number two, do you have evidence that the president, when he was president, now former president, actually declassified these documents before he took them?”

Jordan, lacking any actual evidence, then claimed that he believes Donald Trump, a proven serial liar, at his word. “I go on the president’s word, and he said he did,” Jordan said. “And the Supreme Court said that’s what counts. So, we can have all the things [Special Counsel] Jack Smith wants to say, but everyone sees this for the political operation it is. The standard is the standard. I didn’t set the standard. The Constitution and Supreme Court did. And they did it in a unanimous fashion, and it was an opinion written by Justice Blackmun.”

Jordan then tried to argue that this prosecution is somehow politically motivated, running down a list of conspiracy theories Trump has perpetuated as well as actions the government has taken. “This is so political,” he said. “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. 2020, they suppressed the Biden laptop story with the 51 former intel officials. 2022, they raided his home 91 days before an election. And now they’re indicting him before the 2024 presidential race. Every single election, they have done something.”

Bash tried again to get Jordan to acknowledge that, per the indictment, even Trump admitted he did not declassify at least one document. “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.”

“Saying he could is not the same as saying he didn’t,” Jordan claimed.

Bash then moved on to the topic of how Trump was storing the documents. “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 — 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?”

“Again, Dana, the standard is the standard,” Jordan said. “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. 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.”

After a heated back-and-forth with Bash over whether Trump declassified the documents he took to Mar-a-Lago, Jordan attempted to deflect by focusing the conversation on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her email server, calling the fact that she wasn’t prosecuted and Trump has been “an affront to consistent application of the law.”

“You had Secretary Clinton, who had classified material on a server,” Jordan continued. “She was not president of the United States. She was Secretary Clinton. You have that happen. Nothing happens to her. When you have two people who do the same thing, and one has the standard that I have talked about, but the only one who gets indicted is the Republican, the only one who gets indicted is the one who was actually president, who did it the right way, oh, my goodness. That is what the American people see.”

When Bash pointed out that Trump had four years in office during which he could have prosecuted Clinton if she had in fact committed a crime, Jordan gave this wholly laughable response: “Because President Trump is not like President Biden. President Trump doesn’t go after his political enemies. He knew what it would do to the country.”


Trump doesn’t go after political enemies? I think the people who were in the Capitol on Jan. 6 would like a word.