Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
US Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to members of the media at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 4, 2023.
CNN  — 

In the months leading up to and following the 2020 presidential election, potential House speaker and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan prolifically pushed false stolen election rhetoric.

After then-President Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, Jordan urged Trump not to concede, spread conspiracy theories, supported lawsuits attempting to disqualify the legitimate results and discussed plans to object to the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021.

He would later be applauded by Trump in his speech to supporters on January 6, 2021, calling the Ohio Republican one of the “great ones” for his efforts.

Though Trump lost, Jordan urged people to “get to the bottom of what actually happened on election day.”

He would later claim in May 2021, “I’ve never said this election was stolen, all I’ve said is, ‘Let’s check it out.’”

But a CNN KFile review of his public comments and his frequent media appearances show Jordan repeatedly suggested just that. One hundred forty-seven Republicans objected to the election results on January 6, 2021, but Jordan, with his constant television and radio appearances, was among the most vocal.

Time and again, Jordan suggested Trump could not have lost because Republicans picked up seats in the House of Representatives that cycle and Trump got more votes than in 2016.

“Something doesn’t feel right here,” Jordan said in one appearance on Hannity, repeating a frequent remark of his. “Our president got 9 million more votes this time than he did four years ago, and yet he comes up short,” Jordan said.

In the lead up to the election, Jordan baselessly suggested numerous times that Democrats were orchestrating a plan to steal the election – implying that Covid-19 rule changes for voting in states were part of a Democratic plot.

“Democrats are trying to steal the election, after the election,” Jordan wrote in one October 2020 tweet, criticizing a decision from the Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day in Pennsylvania to be counted.

Following Trump’s loss, Jordan, as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the committee’s chairperson demanding a hearing into alleged fraud in the 2020 election.

“We urge you to immediately convene hearings to examine the integrity of the 2020 election amid troubling reports of irregularities and improprieties,” Jordan wrote in a November 18 letter.

“Jim Jordan was deeply involved in Donald Trump’s antidemocratic efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” Thomas Joscelyn, one of the authors of the final report from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack at the US Capitol told CNN. “Jordan also helped organize congressional opposition to counting Biden’s certified electoral votes. None of Jordan’s efforts were rooted in legitimate objections. He simply sought to keep Donald Trump in power, contrary to the will of the American people.”

Reached by CNN for comment, Russell Dye, a spokesman for Jordan, said the congressman was doing normal oversight.

“Mr. Jordan was doing his constitutional duty by conducting oversight of the 2020 election and objected to certain states much like the Democrats did when President Trump’s electoral votes were being counted.”

A handful of Democrats objected to the counting of electoral votes in 2017, but the effort was quickly shot down.

Support for state level lawsuits

In early December 2020, Jordan voiced support for a Pennsylvania lawsuit to block the results in that state. The lawsuit was rejected by the Supreme Court.

“I hope it does get to the Supreme Court,” Jordan said. “I hope we can get to the answer to this.”

He later voiced support for a Texas lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton to invalidate results in swing states won by Biden – which would have effectively thrown the election to Trump. The lawsuit was rejected by the Supreme Court.

“Yeah, regarding a number of states, I think that’s great,” Jordan said on Newsmax. “I think, you know, some, uh, uh, trending on Twitter was God bless Texas.”

‘He should not concede’

In media appearances, Jordan suggested Trump could not have lost the 2020 election.

“I don’t know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn’t actually win this thing based on all the things you see,” Jordan said during an appearance on Fox News radio on December 9, 2020.

On the same program, he also made the argument that because some Americans believe the election was rigged “we should do everything we can to get to the bottom of” their allegations.

Just a day earlier, speaking on Newsmax, Jordan said Trump should not concede the election.

“He should not concede. Everyone knows instinctively, everyone knows there are problems with this election,” Jordan said.

In the run-up to the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January, Jordan was asked by a radio host how they could beat Democratic attempts to “steal” the election with early and mail in voting. Jordan said Republicans would need to out vote it overwhelming.

“Sometimes you gotta beat the referee,” Jordan said on December 14. “We’re gonna have to run a great election. We’re gonna have to have even more people there when they’re counting votes, overseeing what they’re doing. Not let ‘em kick you out of the room, not let ‘em do certain things that they did in some of these key states around the country a month and a half ago.”

Frequent false, debunked claims of Republican poll watchers being obstructed circulated after the 2020 election among Republicans on social media.

Later, on January 5, 2021, Jordan forwarded a text message to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows outlining a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to stand in the way of the certification of the 2020 election.

Jordan would frequently call for a “debate” on January 6, 2021, on the House floor in comments reviewed by Just Security, a website focusing on reporting and analysis of national security law and policy.

“Jordan’s appearances on right-wing and far right-wing news outlets and his social media account were a near constant drumbeat of disinformation up until January 6th,” said Ryan Goodman, the editor of Just Security and a law professor at New York University in a message to CNN. On the 6th, Jordan again baselessly suggested that Trump won the election in a speech on the House floor just before rioting would break in the Capitol, adjourning the session.

“Got 11 million more votes than he did in 2016 and House Republicans won 27 of 27 toss-up races, but somehow the guy who never left his house wins the election?” Jordan said.

Though Trump did win 11 million more votes than in 2016, Biden won 81 million votes – 15 million more votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.

Spread conspiracies

On numerous occasions, Jordan also shared conspiracies that were debunked about fraud in the 2020 election.

In early December 2020, Jordan suggested on Newsmax that a video showed election workers in Georgia committing fraud.

“And now we have this video. Now we have this. So why not get to the bottom of all this?,” Jordan said.

In fact, the video did not show fraud and suggestions of it were condemned by Republican officials in the state who did an investigation.

On November 9, 2020, Jordan tweeted a false claim that Democrats excluded poll watchers.

“Why did Pennsylvania Democrats exclude poll watchers during the vote count?” he wrote, when even Trump’s own attorneys later admitted this was not true.

In one appearance on Fox News, Jordan claimed dead people were registering to vote and that it warranted further investigation.

“There are some states where that, that they not only voted while they were dead,” Jordan said. “They registered, they asked for an absentee ballot while they were dead, and they registered while they were dead.”

“Now, it’s not a big enough number to overturn the results, but it happened,” he added. “And it’s, it’s sort of like where you see some, some problems. Might there be more. It’s certainly worth investigating when you’re talking about the integrity of the American election.”

Claims of dead people voting have been repeatedly debunked.