Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has some disturbing skeletons from his past coming to light thanks to former Ohio State University wrestlers who are claiming that Jordan deliberately ignored sexual assault allegations while coaching the team.
Back in April, the university announced it was opening an investigation into “allegations of sexual misconduct” that have recently come forward regarding a former wrestling team physician, Dr. Richard Strauss, USA Today reports.
Strauss has been deceased since 2005; however, he served as the team’s physician from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Within that timeframe, Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach at the school from 1987 to 1995.
As part of the investigation, university officials looked into whether anyone at the university was aware of the allegations that should have come forward with them.
“These are deeply troubling allegations, and we are committed to get to the bottom of this,” Ohio State University President Michael Drake said during a meeting.
Amid the probe, it was revealed that Jordan allegedly knew about Strauss’ inappropriate conduct with students and ignored it.
According to NBC News: "Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse."
Former wrestler Mike DiSabato even blatantly called Jordan a “liar” for denying he knew of the abuse.
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato said. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
DiSabato also claimed that when he told Jordan he would be going public with his allegations earlier this year, the ex-coach begged him to “please leave me out of it.”
A spokesman for Jordan, Ian Fury, spoke out in the congressman’s defense.
“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," Fury said in an email to USA TODAY. “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.”
Jordan is known to be one of the most outspoken and instrumental Republicans in the House, and he’s reportedly considering running for speaker of the House to succeed Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) who is retiring. He would be up against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) for that top spot.
However, this new revelation may deliver a huge blow to his chances at earning enough votes to beat out McCarthy, especially if proof comes out that he did, indeed, know about Strauss’ abuse for all those years.
If Jordan turned a blind eye to the assault, it would be disgraceful but not shocking. After all, integrity has not proven to be one of the Republican Party's top qualities.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Gage Skidmore