Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan was schooled online by an attorney following an attempt to discredit testimony from a former Trump White House aide as little more than "hearsay."
Jordan—the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee—was criticized after the House Judiciary GOP Twitter account called testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson—former aide to Trump's White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows—"all hearsay evidence" and "a joke."
You can see the tweet below.
Hutchinson testified Trump said he "didn't care" a mob of his supporters—who would later attack the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen— attended the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6, 2021 armed with weapons.
Hutchinson also told the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the attack a Secret Service agent told her Trump had gotten into a physical altercation when he attempted to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine.
By Hutchinson's recollection, the Secret Service agent said Trump had wanted to go to the United States Capitol and see his White nationalist and White supremacist lead supporters.
The House Judiciary GOP tweet soon caught the eye of Popehat, an account for attorney Ken White’s legal-centric blog of the same name.
In legal terms, hearsay is defined as the report of another person's words by a witness, which is usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.
However, there are a host of exceptions in federal rules that allow out-of-court statements.
The three most common exceptions are:
- the present sense, when it describes or explains an event or condition and was made during the event or immediately after it
- if it is an excited utterance in regard to what must have been a startling event, prompting the declarant to make the statement while under the excitement or stress of the event
- statements allowed to provide insight into a state of mind, emotion or physical condition
The account then used the example of sports players reporting sexual assault—a nod to Jordan's own history at Ohio State University—to differentiate between what is hearsay and what is not.
The account's reference to a failure "to report or stop the serial sexual abuse of people under your care" describes Jordan's alleged actions during his tenure as an assistant wrestling coach with Ohio State University's wrestling program.
Jordan, who worked for the university between 1987 and 1995, has been criticized by former wrestlers who said he had been aware of, but did not respond to, allegations of sexual misconduct by former wrestling team physician Richard Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005.
Jordan refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss and described his accusers as "pawns in a political plot" even while facing legal action in response to his denials.
The thread quickly went viral and many applauded White for speaking out while offering further criticisms of Jordan.
Trump has dismissed Hutchinson's testimony describing her as a "total phony" in a post on Truth Social, his struggling social media platform.
He specificacally called her account he attempted to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine "sick and fraudulent, very much like the Unselect Committee itself."
Trump also denied lunging at the unnamed Secret Service agent.
Hutchinson didn't testify she witnessed that event. She stated a Secret Service agent told her about it.
The former White House aide was a firsthand witness to other portions of her testimony.