Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) vehemently denied allegations on Monday from a college wrestling referee that he was aware of and did not act on sexual misconduct by a team doctor at Ohio State University, The Lima News reported. At the time of the alleged misconduct, Jordan was an assistant coach at the university.
“I’ve stood up against the IRS, stood up against the FBI, stood up against Adam Schiff, fought the Justice Department when the whole Trump-Russia thing — what they had done. … The idea I’m not going to defend our athletes when I think they’re being harmed is ridiculous,” Jordan said Monday. “This is just, this is someone making a false statement.”
A referee claimed in a lawsuit, which does not name Jordan as a defendant, that when he reported Dr. Richard Strauss had masturbated in front of him in a shower, Jordan and the head wrestling coach simply replied, “Yeah, that’s Strauss.”
The unnamed referee is the second person to claim he told Jordan directly about the allegations against Strauss, who investigators have said abused nearly 180 athletes over two decades. Strauss took his own life in 2005.
Jordan has previously denied any knowledge of Strauss’s conduct, telling Politico last year, “I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it.”
The Ohio congressman, one of President Trump’s most vocal defenders in Congress, has temporarily been placed on the House Intelligence Committee during the upcoming public phase of impeachment hearings in the House. In his denial of the initial allegations last July, Jordan implied the claims were coming forward “in light of things that are going on in Washington.”