Rep. Jim Jordan, a vocal ally of former President Donald Trump, took to the House floor Tuesday to deliver a passionate defense of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who was on the verge of being held in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee.

Across roughly seven minutes of remarks, Jordan argued that Democrats were "destroying" an executive privilege precedent that has been around since George Washington was president while waging yet another politically motivated campaign against Trump as part of a long-standing vendetta, this one centered on the inquiry examining the former president's role in the Capitol riot.


"They think this is good politics," the Ohio Republican said, adding that they "used to care about executive privilege" when former President Barack Obama was in office and Republicans controlled Congress.

In making the case that there is a double standard for respecting confidentiality, Jordan also referred to the Trump years, offering up as an example closed-door hearings and the lengths they went to protect the identity of a government whistleblower in the Ukraine-focused impeachment of Trump, which ended in acquittal in the GOP-led Senate.

"We weren't allowed to know who the ... so-called anonymous whistleblower was when they [impeached] Donald Trump, but Democrats can destroy executive privilege? The country wasn't allowed to know what took place in that bunker, in the basement of the Capitol during impeachment, but they get to know anything and everything they want with conversations between the president and his top adviser. This is so wrong," Jordan said.

Trump has told several former aides, including Meadows, that they should defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee seeking materials he claims are protected by executive privilege and other privileges. However, President Joe Biden has repeatedly waived Trump's executive privilege claims, and the former president so far is losing his fight in court.

Meadows did provide thousands of pages of documents to the panel not protected by privilege, but last week, he stopped cooperating ahead of a deposition and filed his own lawsuit claiming to be in the "untenable position" of choosing to defy subpoenas at the risk of criminal prosecution or defy Trump's bid to assert privilege.

The Jan. 6 committee, which has two Republican members in Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, voted unanimously on Monday to advance contempt proceedings against Meadows. Still, with the full Democratic-controlled House poised to vote on the resolution Tuesday that would also make a criminal referral to the Justice Department, Jordan cast the effort to punish Meadows, whom he called a "good man," as a toxic Democratic bid to put his former colleague in prison.

Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who is vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 committee, shot back at Jordan, asserting that the issue of contempt derives from his refusal to show up to a deposition to talk about nonprivileged materials.


"So my colleague from Ohio can talk as much as he'd like about executive privilege, and about George Washington, and about the extent to which it's crucial for the survival of the Republic — with which I agree — but we are talking here about testimony about nonprivileged materials," she said.

Cheney also noted, "We all on this side of the aisle used to be in agreement about what had happened on Jan. 6."

Jordan is one of two Republicans House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred from joining the Jan. 6 panel.

The Ohio Republican implored his fellow House members, unsuccessfully, to reconsider voting to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress. He claimed his peers know it is the wrong course of action.

"Mark Meadows is our former colleague. He is a good man. And he's my friend. And ... this is as wrong as it gets," Jordan said Tuesday. "And I think deep down, everyone knows it. I think they know it as well. They know this is wrong. We've all served with this guy. He's done more work with Democrats than probably any Republican. We all know what a good man he is. And this is as wrong as it gets. You all know it. But your lust for power, your lust to get your opponents, is so intense, you don't care."