A day after House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan confirmed to Fox News that he may soon be moved to the Intelligence Committee so that he can monitor committee chairman Adam Schiff’s scurrilous behavior, the top-ranking Republican was named in a federal lawsuit filed against Ohio State University.
And on the very same day, Thursday, that the lawsuit was filed, Democrat Party officials began fundraising off of it:
Breaking: Referee says he told Jim Jordan that Ohio State doctor performed sex act in shower https://t.co/vjsGgjlBk8
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 8, 2019
For those that want to chip in to Gym Jordan’s Democratic challenger @ShannonFreshour directly and our efforts to elect her and defeat this asshole once and for all please chip in here: https://t.co/fsfn3dVym9
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 8, 2019
Jordan, who worked as an OSU assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995, was accused last year of having ignored the sexual misconduct of the wrestling team’s physician, Richard Strauss, who committed suicide 14 years ago.
“Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, is accused of sexually abusing members of the university’s wrestling team, as well as athletes in 14 other sports and students visiting Student Health Services during his 20 years at OSU,” Newsweek reported at the time.
“He is alleged to have used medical examinations as a guise for assaulting male student-athletes. … Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who is a former OSU assistant wrestling coach, was accused of knowing about Strauss’s abuse and doing nothing about it. Jordan vehemently denied the allegations.”
Watch him denying the allegations below:
Now fast-forward to Thursday, when 43 of Strauss’s alleged victims filed a federal lawsuit against Ohio State reportedly claiming that the school’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled the former physician’s abusive behavior.
Thursday was also the same day that Jordan announced plans to subpoena the partisan whistleblower to testify before Congress.
Included in the suit were allegations by a former OSU referee identified only as “John Doe 42” accusing Jordan of having ignored his concerns by allegedly shrugging in indifference when he told him that Strauss had masturbated in front of him in a shower.
“Yeah, that’s Strauss. … Yeah, yeah, we know,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson allegedly dismissively replied when the referee told them of the encounter.
“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing so the attitude was it is what it is,” the former OSU rep said in a statement to NBC News.
“I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing, because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers. What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.”
As of Friday morning, Jordan had neither responded to requests for comment from NBC News nor tweeted about the matter. Were he to address it, however, he’d likely echo the rhetoric of his colleague Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
After the first round of allegations emerged last year, Gaetz claimed the allegations were part of a plot to reign in Jordan’s work on the House Oversight Committee.
“Jim Jordan is a man of integrity and these attacks against him are a direct consequence of the outstanding oversight work that Jim Jordan is doing,” he said at the time to Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs.
“If Jim Jordan was not after the Department of Justice and the FBI, he would not be dealing with these allegations,” he added, referring to Jordan’s efforts to root out the pernicious Obama-era corruption that still haunts the DOJ.
“They are totally false, I am confident in that to my core. And look, Lou, how is Jim Jordan supposed to prove that he didn’t know something 30 years ago when he was a 21-year-old assistant coach? It is an impossible position to be in and it’s outrageous and we have to confront it for what it is.”
(Source: Fox Business Network)
He wasn’t saying that he didn’t believe the victims’ allegations against Strauss but rather that he didn’t believe the select few victims who’d claimed without evidence that Jordan knew about the physician’s behavior but chose to ignore it.
The evidence suggests Gaetz’s veritable “deep state” theory may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. A month after one of the victims claimed unequivocally that Jordan “knew” about Strauss’s behavior, he recanted.
“At no time did I ever say or have any direct knowledge that Jim Jordan knew of Dr. Richard Strauss’s inappropriate behavior,” former OSU wrestler Mark Coleman said in a statement issued in August of 2018. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Jordan as I have known him for more than 30 years and know him to be of impeccable character.”
Another victim, Mike DiSabato, never recanted but was arrested two months later for intimidating and bullying the widow of a Marine who was killed in combat in Iraq over a memorial fund set up in her husband’s name.
And yet another victim, Dunyasha Yetts, served time in prison for reportedly bilking his own victims of $1.8 million.
Meanwhile, a slew of Jordan’s former colleagues at OSU have spoken out in his defense.
Coalition of fmr OSU assistant wrestling coaches & head coach Russ Hellickson: What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong..None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers..if we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 9, 2018
“What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong,” a joint statement written by former OSU head coach Hellickson and five assistant coaches read.
“We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers. The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”