Jordan’s carnival comes to town: House Judiciary Committee hearing on Manhattan crime was a silly sideshow

The House Judiciary Committee came to Manhattan yesterday on a supposed field hearing about local crime, but sideshow is a far better descriptor for the visit.

All politics has elements of spectacle, and all politicians engage in some showboating, but at least this is often in service to a legitimate policy end. Chair Jim Jordan’s pathetic stunt served no purpose except to try to embarrass a prosecutor on his home turf for trying to do the job that the public has entrusted him with, which in turn is an effort to run cover for a former president facing multiple well-deserved investigations for everything from this alleged falsification of business records to an attempt to overturn an election.

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Whether or not you think Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Donald Trump is strong or worth bringing is beyond the point. It’s obvious that there’s sufficient evidence to make the charges, and whether this results in the first-ever criminal conviction of a former commander-in-chief is up to a jury, not his lackeys in Congress.

Jordan, with his faux-folksy, suit-jacket-hating ways, has contorted himself into one more of Trumpworld’s slate of cartoon characters slavishly hoping to please the boss. Even by his standards, the hearing was an embarrassment. Testimonials gave the committee no new information, as they were not intended to. GOP members didn’t even attempt to contend with the fact — as pointed out by one witness — of New York’s low and dropping rates of violent crime, instead choosing to pretend that the real NYC is an imagined expanse of lawless urban crime returned from many decades ago.

The hearing, for practical purposes, appeared to be closed to the public and the press, with GOP staffers preselecting sympathetic attendees and reporters based on unacknowledged criteria and relegating most reporters to an overflow room equipped with a glitchy feed that was eventually replaced with a cell phone playing the hearing. Clearly, Jordan and his buds didn’t want to risk any new info or context leaking in.


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