GOP tries to undermine Jan. 6 hearings before they even begin with claims of "altered evidence"

House Republicans claim the committee is dead-set on ending the Electoral College and preventing another Trump win

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published June 9, 2022 10:32AM (EDT)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The House GOP is already mounting a counter-programming campaign designed to undermine the credibility of the January 6 hearings, even before they've begun. 

On Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, accused the panel investigating the Capitol riot of "altering evidence and lying to the American people about it."

"The goal has been stated," he continued. "Their goal is to end the Electoral College and their goal is to stop President Trump from running in 2024."

Jordan did not explain which evidence has allegedly been tampered with or how such tampering might inform the proceedings.

According to Axios, Rep. Jamie Raksin, D-Md., a member of the committee, has expressed a desire to scrap the Electoral College, deeming it an undemocratic institution that could allow for elections to be subverted, just as former President Donald Trump attempted after the 2020 presidential election. However, it is not apparent that the rest of the committee is on board with this plan. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has pushed back on Democratic proposals, according to the report. 

RELATED: Jan. 6 committee finally takes the spotlight — hey, it's only America's future at stake

House Republicans have also questioned the panel's relationship with former ABC News President James Goldston, a documentarian who, according to Axios, has "joined the committee as an unannounced adviser."

Goldston is reportedly advising the committee on how to compellingly present footage of the Capital insurrection, when thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6 to prevent Congress from certifying Trump's loss over false allegations of voter fraud.

But in a letter on Wednesday, a group of conservative lawmakers claimed that the Committee on House Administration had not been made privy to Goldston's hiring, according to ABC News. 

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

"To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request," they wrote. "Such an arrangement would violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that 'no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money.'"

It remains unclear precisely what exhibits will be shown and what questions will be asked in the first hearing. However, Republicans are already criticizing the committee's first witness, documentarian Nick Quested, who filmed the Proud Boys in the days leading up to the riot, according to CBS News.

"Their first witness is the documentarian," Jordan said this week. "So that sort of tells you how political this thing is."

Perhaps the most shocking attempt at counter-programming this week came from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who suggested that Raskin's judgment is clouded due to the suicide of his son.

"When people encounter trauma, they often associate a lot of the other things around that trauma with it, even if they don't naturally or even rationally associate," Gaetz said on a podcast with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. "And what I worry about for the Congress and for Jamie Raskin, you know, no one would ever want to lose a child, particularly to suicide."

Raskin's son, Thomas, died by suicide just days before the insurrection.

RELATED: Matt Gaetz and MTG say Jamie Raskin unfit due to son's suicide

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik was a former staff writer at Salon.

MORE FROM Jon Skolnik

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Jamie Raskin January 6 Jim Jordan Liz Cheney Politics