Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) confirmed on Wednesday that he was the GOP lawmaker who texted then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that Vice President Mike Pence “should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all” on Jan. 6.
On Wednesday night, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) said the news that Jordan sent the text is further proof that the staunch Trump loyalist is a “traitor to the Constitution of the United States” who is helping lead a “slow-moving coup.”
After the Jan. 6 House select committee earlier this week unveiled a bevy of bombshell texts sent to Meadows from prominent conservatives, Jordan ran to right-wing media to claim that the committee had “doctored” his message and presented an incomplete version of it, outing himself as the sender.
The graphic of the text that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) shared during the committee hearing read: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
This was only a portion of the entire text that Jordan had forwarded to Meadows on Jan. 5. The entire message outlined a dubious legal theory, sent to Jordan by D.C. lawyer Joseph Schmitz, arguing that Pence had the ability to throw out electoral votes and refuse to certify the 2020 election. “Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward,” Jordan spokesperson Russell Dye said in a statement.
The Ohio lawmaker’s claim that the text was altered stems from a period that was inadvertently added to the end of the sentence in the portion shared by the committee. “The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error,” a committee spokesperson said to NBC News.
During an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Gallego was asked by host Lawrence O’Donnell about the “unsurprising revelation” that it was Jordan “urging an illegal act by the vice president.”
“Yeah, I feel like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca right now,” Gallego quipped. “Absolutely not a surprise.”
Having dispensed with the pop-culture references, the Arizona Democrat proceeded to tear into Jordan, one of the dozens of House Republicans who voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.
“Jim Jordan is a traitor,” Gallego exclaimed. “He’s a traitor to the Constitution of the United States, he has been a traitor to the Constitution of the United States for quite a while. And now we have it in text. But we shouldn’t be surprised, and why is anybody surprised?”
Gallego continued: “We saw it on the floor when they were calling out, you know, Arizona, for example, the place that I represent, and saying that there were fraudulent votes, and they made up lies on the House floor. So how are we surprised right now? How is anybody surprised by any of this, right?”
He went on to say his “biggest issue” wasn’t with Jordan but rather with “the fact that there are a lot of people who are not taking this serious,” adding that there’s “a slow-moving coup that is happening right now all over this country that [is] led by the Jim Jordans, and you know, other people.”
Gallego also expressed concern that instead of “storming the Capitol,” a number of election denialists are now trying to win state and county legislative seats “so they could actually overturn the future election.”
“So the coup is ongoing. The traitors are still there, and they’re going to continue to try to destroy our Constitution every opportunity they have,” the Democratic lawmaker sighed.