In an eventful House Speaker race, Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, a prominent Republican from Ohio, faced a setback on Tuesday as he lost the first round of voting. The vote saw 20 Republicans joining ranks with all Democrats to deny him the speakership.
According to reports from Fox News, seven Republicans voted in favor of Majority Leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana, who had previously been the speaker-designate but withdrew due to mounting opposition.
Six GOP lawmakers voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from California, who was ousted from the role. Additionally, three moderate New York Republicans voted for former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin.
The voting didn’t end there, as additional votes were split among various candidates, including House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole from Oklahoma, Majority Whip Tom Emmer from Minnesota, Rep. Mike Garcia from California, and Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky.
However, it appears that this setback may not be the end of Jim Jordan’s bid for the speaker’s gavel. His allies have indicated a willingness to continue through multiple rounds of voting until a majority is secured.
“It might take a few votes, it might not be done on the first ballot, but I think he’s okay with that,” remarked one GOP lawmaker after a closed-door House Republican meeting, according to reports.
Jordan initially emerged as the House GOP’s candidate for speaker in an anonymous vote the previous week. However, it quickly became evident that securing the support of moderates and wary establishment Republicans would be an uphill battle for him. Some Republicans who objected to Jordan’s speakership turned to either Kevin McCarthy or Steve Scalise.
The House GOP’s original speaker-designate had been Steve Scalise after McCarthy’s removal two weeks ago. But strong opposition, particularly from Jordan’s allies who remained committed to voting for the Ohio Republican, compelled Scalise to withdraw from the race just one day later.
On Tuesday morning, when asked about the number of voting rounds he was willing to go through, Jordan declined to specify, emphasizing the need to get a speaker in place as soon as possible.
The House Speaker race continues to be a focal point of interest, with the outcome of subsequent votes and the ultimate victor yet to be determined in this dynamic political landscape.
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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