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Rep. Jim Jordan Refutes Accusations He Did Nothing About Alleged Sexual Abuse at Ohio State

Rep. Jim Jordan Refutes Accusations He Did Nothing About Alleged Sexual Abuse at Ohio State

“Everyone knew, including Jim.”

It’s kind of weird this story is coming out now when Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s name has become prominent in talks of who should be the next Speaker of the House.

Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1987 to 1995. Now former wrestlers during that time claim Jordan ignored sexual abuse allegations against the team’s physician Dr. Richard Strauss.

Allegations Against Strauss

The university announced in April it opened an investigation into the allegations against Strauss, who died in 2005.

From USA Today:

Jordan, a former college wrestling champion, has said he did not know about Strauss’s alleged behavior until the doctor’s accusers came forward publicly this spring.

But Mike DiSabato, a former Ohio State wrestler, said Strauss’s groping of student athletes was widely known at the university. He claimed Jordan was aware. NBC News first reported the allegations from DiSabato and two other former wrestlers.

“Doc Strauss was a serial groper,” DiSabato told USA TODAY. “Everyone knew, including Jim.”

Two other wrestlers spoke to NBC News and claimed that Jordan knew:

“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” he said. “I’m like, what the f— are you doing? And I went out and told Russ and Jim what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss.”

Yetts said he and his teammates talked to Jordan numerous times about Strauss.

“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him,” Yetts said.

A former teammate of DiSabato’s who asked not to be identified said he never told Jordan directly that Strauss had abused him. But there is no way Jordan could have avoided the rumors “because it was all over the locker room.”

“I love Jimmy to death,” the ex-wrestler said. “It was a head-scratcher to me why he would say he didn’t know anything. Doc used to take showers with the team even though he didn’t do any workouts, and everybody used to snicker about how you go into his office for a sore shoulder and he tells you to take your pants down.”

Jordan’s Response

Jordan stressed he knew nothing to Politico on Tuesday night:

But the co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus said his accusers are lying. Jordan said he would not have hesitated to come forward to report sexual abuse.

“It’s not true,” Jordan said. “I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”

Jordan told The Columbus Dispatch that he never “heard about any type of abuse at all” and no one ever reported abuse to him. Jordan’s office released another statement. From CNN:

Jordan’s office denied that he knew of any such behavior in two separate statements Tuesday.

“Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” the first statement said.

An hour later, his office released an updated statement that said: “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State. He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”

Support for Speaker Role

Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to succeed him in the role, but conservative groups have rallied around Jordan.

National Review reported that at least 10 groups have given their support to Jordan. These groups include: Tea Party Patriots, the American Family Association, Gun Owners of America, and the legendary Richard Viguerie’s FedUp PAC. FreedomWorks also unveiled a Draft Jim Jordan campaign.

Jordon told Breitbart News on June 25 that he planned to be a “part of” the discussion when it comes to the Speaker’s race, but did not come right out and confirmed any plans to run:

“Right now, the most important thing is we do what we said,” Jordan added. “We get the right kind of immigration bill across the finish line, we actually make the tax cuts permanent, we fight for the values we told the American people [we would], we reform welfare. I mean, these are the kind of things we told the American people we were going to do and I think more important than who the Speaker is next year is what we do this year because if we don’t do the right things this year we might not have a race for Speaker. Maybe it would be a race for minority leader so let’s stay focused on what we got to do and everything else will take that step.”

Not everyone has expressed happiness at the prospect of Jordan as speaker. Some have doubts when it comes to his fundraising ability compared to McCarthy. CNBC reported that “the McCarthy Victory Fund has pumped in $3.4 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The NRCC has raised more than $10 million this cycle, records show.”

Jordan has only raised $327,442 for his re-election campaign and the House Freedom Fund, a PAC he founded,”has raised $2.3 million,” which goes to “candidates who support the Freedom Caucus’ cause, which includes strict immigration control and cuts in spending.”

Others also fear that Jordan running for speaker could deepen the divide within the GOP:

Even though McCarthy is seen as the favorite, a Jordan run for speaker could also create divisions within the congressional GOP and actually hurt McCarthy’s chances, according to aides who have been involved with past leadership elections.

Jordan could siphon conservative votes from McCarthy, for instance. That, in turn, could leave the House GOP undecided on who should be the next speaker, raising the possibility that the California Republican could drop out under pressure from the Freedom Caucus.

That could turn into an opening for the House majority whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana. He has said he would not run against McCarthy for speaker but has not publicly ruled out running against another opponent.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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My2centshere | July 4, 2018 at 11:06 am

This sounds like a McConnell attack to disarm Jordan. I know that might sound a little tinfoil hat but we’ve seen these tactics before from Mitch and his minions. Also Mitch controls the money going in and going out.

How can you possibly make any kind of case when the man at the heart of the scandal, the only man who could have actually said what did and didn’t happen, has been dead for 13 years?

    Frank G in reply to Tom Servo. | July 4, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    No facts, but slander by rumors and innuendo. Do any of you remember what you said or did more than 23 years ago? Specific conversations?

    herm2416 in reply to Tom Servo. | July 5, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Ms. Allred is ALWAYS able to make a case for the media. No worries.

Bitterlyclinging | July 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue is very interested in this campaign as well.
Anything to get President DJT.

tarheelkate | July 4, 2018 at 11:47 am

Sounds like this could possibly end up with Speaker Scalise. Is there a problem with that? Sounds okay to me.

    No problem here. At least we’d be done with the persistent idiotic headlines that would read “Speaker Scalise under fire for….”

    Close The Fed in reply to tarheelkate. | July 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Re: Tarheel Kate

    Yes, I have a problem with a speaker Scalise. I of course feel extraordinarily badly that he was shot at the baseball practice, and that the press has basically forgotten that he’s still walking with canes, but he’s always been too GOPe for me. He has whipped what Ryan pushed and Ryan is a serious, serious problem.

    I do not want someone to be speaker who, from a wider perspective, is as center as he is. The center gives in to the left, gives in to the left, gives in to the left, afraid of the press and the left.

    I also do not want someone to be speaker, who like John McCain, we will be admonished for criticizing, because he has suffered so horribly.

    No thank you. Jim Jordan would be far superior.

How convenient that this should come out now.

Once again, timing is everything.

So, allegedly, from 1987 to 1995, Jordan is supposed to have “known” that Dr. Strauss was groping college age male athletes and did nothing about it. However, this was, again apparently, not an issue for Jordan during his campaign for Ohio State rep in 1994, 1996, and 1998, Ohio Senate in 2000 and 2004 or US Congress in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Now, suddenly these accusations surface and people are taking them seriously. What changed? Well, Trump is President and Jordan has a shot at becoming the next Speaker of the House, should the GOP hold a majority in that body.

Have we seen this type of thing happen before, in recent US politics? Well, there was Roy Moore, for one. It is always suspect when decades old charges suddenly arise against people who have been publicly, and politically, prominent for decades themselves.

    RobM in reply to Mac45. | July 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Yep, exactly. And that the press runs with this kind of stuff and uncritically talks about ” new allegations”.. is pathetic. That it worked on Roy Moore is pathetic. This does show, there are many GOP and donors that do not want Jordan and the Freedom Caucus to rise. Nope. Can’t have that.

      Close The Fed in reply to RobM. | July 4, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Re: RobM

      Yep, the GOPe strikes again!

      I still am not over Moore, and moreover, I’m still not over the fact that I heard not one peep about any election contest.

      The man was railroaded if ever there was one. Roy Moore understands federalism and we can’t have that either.

    Edward in reply to Mac45. | July 5, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Apparently even more interesting is the report* that while the Doctor was doctor for all sports at Ohio State, the only allegations of untoward activity come from the wrestling team. Can’t be only the wrestlers are guys, can’t be only the wrestlers are big and strong guys. Could be the doc had a thing for wrestlers, or it could be that Jordan was an Assistant Coach for the Wrestling Team and no other team.

    * Internet caution: I read this report, I do not know whether it is true or not. Given that, the only allegations concern wrestlers and it is unlikely that Ohio State had a team doctor who dealt exclusively with the wrestling team.

Conservative Review Scorecard:
McCarthy – F 36%
Jordan – A 98%
Scalise – F 49%
I’ll go with Jordan.

Still waiting for those who knew about Bill Clintons groping, sexual assault and more to come forward to explain why they never reported it.

    Mac45 in reply to Sky2u. | July 4, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Well, Hillary certainly knew about. And, her obvious knowledge of his actions and her aggressive cover-up of those actions for years didn’t hurt her a bit with liberals, including the liberal feminists. Yet vague, unsupported, stale accusations only seem to gain traction against Republicans and Conservative Republicans in particular.

inspectorudy | July 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm

See what the clintons have done to the political world! When your enemy wants to beat you any way he/she can they dig up the worst kind of dirt they can find and if they can’t find any, they make it up. This is so routine now that any person running for a power office will have to expect a discovery of some form of sexual deviancy in their background. Look at the recent lies and total distortions about ICE and how the “Poor” immigrant children are mistreated. They are actually treated better than millions of American kids on a daily basis. McCarthy is a California Republican and that should be enough to stop him. He is about as conservative as Paul Ryan. All of the RINOs in DC will try to derail Jordan’s attempt to run for the House Speaker. Most Repubs are cowards concerned only with keeping their seats.

The politics of personal destruction is at it again.

Sorry, I am not buying this. I wonder if these groped wrestlers (doesn’t seem like they had to have been much good given an older man was groping them) are Democrats. I think the odds are pretty good.

Juba Doobai! | July 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm

This accusation came from former university wrestling athletes? That means young men who are capable of defending themselves physically and verbally lodging a complaint against the doctor with the administration?

Why did none of the young men do it? Did they need Jordan to hold their hands?

The whole thing is a ridiculous effort to keep Jordan from the Speakership. Scalise and McCarthy would be nothing but another Ryan.

The headline says he refutes the accusations, but I see no refutation in the article but merely a denial. That’s hardly surprising, since refuting such an accusation is nearly impossible; but especially when discussing presumably false claims let’s please not make any of our own.

I am not impressed by claims of the form “Well, everyone knew, therefore he must have known”. First, everyone did not know, everyone heard; hearing a rumor is very far from the same thing as knowing it to be true. Second, in my experience just because you’ve heard something doesn’t mean everyone else has too. There are always people who are not that (or at all) connected to the grapevine, and also people whom nobody told some item of gossip because they assumed someone else had already done so.

Comanche Voter | July 4, 2018 at 3:01 pm

You take a college varsity male wrestler–from any weight class from 140 pounds or so on up, and if the team doctor tries to pull the wrestler’s ying yang, the doc is going to get decked. Unless the wrestler was gay.

inspectorudy | July 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm

I just read an interview with one of the wrestlers from OSU and he said that there 40 kids on the team and that in the locker room they all “Joked” about being groped by the team doctor but NEVER did anyone use the word abuse or sexual abuse. That isn’t the same as someone going to Jordan and making a complaint about being groped or sexually assaulted. When I played football in high school we all joked about our team physician using a square needle to test out testicles for infection! It was a joke we played on the new kids. No one would have ever accused anyone of abuse unless they made a formal complaint. This death by innuendo!

DouglasJBender | July 4, 2018 at 7:44 pm

Frank G: “No facts, but slander by rumors and innuendo. Do any of you remember what you said or did more than 23 years ago? Specific conversations?”

Yes. Quite a few specific conversations, and even more things that I “did”. And from up to 50 years ago. I even remember something specific someone said from when I was somewhere between 18-24 months old (I was still in a crib, so I’m assuming that would be the likely age range).

The Deep State strikes back. It’s no coincidence that this is coming out at all. The DC swamp is letting everyone know that attacking them will result in your political career and life being destroyed. I’m starting to think that Corp Hicks has the only resolution that will work with DC.

All the left does is lie. Don’t listen to a thing they say.

tarheelkate | July 5, 2018 at 9:49 am

The Daily Caller has an article up about the backgrounds of Jordan’s accusers. They don’t appear to be reliable.

buckeyeminuteman | July 5, 2018 at 11:36 am

I certainly hope Roy Moore of Alabama’s accusers are still out there seeking justice for his past sins. Of course we all know they dropped their cases and media contacts the day after the election. Same thing here.

Swamp is just out to tarnish Jordan.