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Trump ally Jim Jordan gets a seat on House Intel Committee for public impeachment hearings

Key Points
  • Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who has been a fervent defender of President Trump, has been added to the House Intelligence Committee as the impeachment fight enters the public phase.
  • He will likely be at odds with Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff, who is leading the public impeachment inquiry and has drawn the ire of conservatives in government and media, including Trump.
  • Jordan will replace Rep. Rick Crawford on the committee, who has previously been critical of President Trump and is retiring at the end of his term.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on June 26, 2018. 
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

President Donald Trump will get another vocal defender in the ongoing impeachment probe as it enters the public stage.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who has been a fervent ally of Trump, has been assigned to the House Intelligence Committee to fight for "fairness and truth" as the impeachment proceedings enter the public phase, according to a statement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Jordan joins the ranks of the president's most ardent defenders already on the panel, including Reps. Devin Nunes of California and John Ratcliffe of Texas.

The assignment comes soon after another man said Jordan, when he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the early 1990s, ignored his claim that he had been the subject of sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss. Independent investigators have ruled that Strauss, who died in 2005, sexually abused 177 male students over about 20 years.

A Jordan spokesman did not return CNBC's request for comment on the latest Strauss-related accusation.

In the impeachment hearings, Jordan will likely be at odds with Intel committee chairman Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is leading the public inquiry and has drawn the ire of conservatives pundits and politicians, including Trump.

Jordan was part of a failed effort to censure Schiff in October over Schiff's recounting of Trump's controversial July 25th call with Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky during a September 27 hearing. A partial transcript of that call was made public after a whisteblower complaint exposed it.

On the call, Trump appears to ask Zelensky to dig up dirt on his political rivals in exchange for the release of military aid that the administration had held up. The question of whether there was a quid pro quo is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan currently serves as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but will be temporarily placed on the Intel committee as well while the panel conducts public hearings.

The Oversight committee is also involved in the impeachment process, but the Intel Committee is the only body with the ability to conduct public hearings on impeachment.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who has been a staunch advocate of Trump, tweeted on Nov. 5th that if Jordan was not added to the panel, House Republicans would be "failing" President Trump.

Jordan has also pushed for the public disclosure of the whistleblower's identity, whose complaint to the inspector general sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Jordan's appointment comes at the expense of Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford, who stated his hope that the Intel Committee would "hear the full truth" during the course of the impeachment hearings.

CNBC's Yelena Dzhanova contributed to this report.

source: CNBC

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