Chabot, who is also running against Republicans Doug Collins of Georgia and Tom Merino of Pennsylvania for the slot, said he heard rumors months ago that Jordan might be interested.
“It doesn’t have any impact on my decision-making process or what I’m going to do going forward,” he said. “I like all of these people. I consider them all my friends.” Jordan, meanwhile, said he hasn’t decided to pursue the spot yet, and called Chabot “a wonderful colleague.”
The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over federal courts, administrative bodies, the Constitution and law enforcement agencies. Chabot has been on the committee — along with House Foreign Relations and Small Business, which he chaired — virtually since he came to Congress. On Judiciary, he served under five Judiciary Committee chairman, and “he’s seen what works and what doesn’t work.”
“I clearly have the experience and temperament for this position,” he said, adding, “I tend to be a steady hand and not a bomb thrower.”
Still, he said, he knows Democrats will be “urged and encouraged” by their base to impeach everything from cabinet officials to the president, and he’s ready to fight.
He also has worked with the man presumed to be the incoming chairman — Democrat Jerry Nadler of New York — for years. The two worked together on the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, which Chabot chaired for six years.
“If he were to be chair, which I’m sure he’ll be, and I were ranking member, obviously we’ll have different roles and we’ll be battling it out a lot, but I think one of the advantages I have is that I already know him very well. I know how he operates. I know his strengths and weaknesses.”
He’ll go before the House Steering Committee, which decides chairmanships, sometime after Thanksgiving.
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