Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) clashed with CNN host Dana Bash Sunday morning in a heated exchange over former President Trump’s federal indictment on handling of classified documents.
“This is as political as it gets. And, frankly, Dana, it’s part of a pattern,” Jordan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We have seen it time and time again with the President over the last seven years. They try one thing. Then they try another. They have continued to go after him. And I think anyone with common sense can see that.”
To Bash’s apparent frustration, Jordan repeatedly cited the standard by which, in his view, the case should be judged.
“The standard is clear,” Jordan said, repeating the refrain in assorted iterations throughout the interview.
The standard to which Jordan repeatedly referred was a decision by Justice Harry Blackmun, a Nixon appointee, in Navy v. Egan.
“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,” Jordan said at the beginning of the interview, referring to the Navy v. Egan decision.
Bash, citing the indictment, pointed out that the Secret Service was not aware that boxes of documents were at Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago and questioned whether Trump “actually declassified these documents before he took them.”
Jordan and Bash also clashed over an element of the indictment that describes an audio recording of a conversation in July 2021 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
According to the indictment, Trump showed a “plan of attack” prepared by a senior military official to people who did not possess a security clearance. He reportedly said the plan was “highly confidential” and “secret.” He reportedly also said “as president I could have declassified it,” and, “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”
Bash said that meant the plan Trump allegedly showed was not declassified. Jordan drew a distinction between Trump saying he could declassify it and saying he didn’t declassify it.
“What you’re saying just doesn’t make sense on its face,” Bash said on the distinction Jordan drew.
Bash tried a taking different tack, asking Jordan repeatedly about the alleged obstruction aspect of the indictment.
Jordan clapped back, saying obstruction requires an underlying crime, and there is, in his view, no underlying crime.
The pair went head to head for about 15 minutes, with neither backing down from his or her respective position.
President Trump is scheduled to appear Tuesday in a federal courthouse in Miami for arraignment.
Watch CNN’s “State of the Union” segment below in which host Dana Bash interviews Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on former President Trump’s indictment of the handling of classified documents.