Rep. Jim Jordan met Monday with investigators who are probing allegations of rampant sexual abuse of former Ohio State University athletes by former athletics department doctor Richard Strauss, his office confirmed.
Before the Ohio Republican and founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus entered politics he was an assistant wrestling coach at OSU from 1986 to 1994.
Eight wrestlers from that time have said Jordan must have known about Strauss’ abuse of team members, but that nothing was done.
One wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, has said he reported the abuse directly to Jordan, an account backed up by another wrestler, Shawn Dailey.
“Congressman Jordan told the investigators the same thing he’s told you folks in the media since the story broke. He never saw any abuse, never heard of any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him,” Ian Fury, a spokesman for Jordan, said in an email.
Jordan has vehemently denied he was ever aware Strauss was sexually abusing any of his players. He and many of his House colleagues have have painted the accusations against him as a politically motivated smear campaign.
“Maybe they’re coming after us so hard because we’re actually getting some things done for the American people,” Jordan said Wednesday on a local Ohio radio station.
“This is how the left operates. This is how people in the establishment, I think, operate, but we’re going to keep fighting,” Jordan said.
“I’m confident he would stand up for his athletes, just like he’s always stood up for what’s right,” Scalise said in a statement last week. “I’m glad that Jim is committed to working with the investigators to see that the full truth comes out and justice is served.”
Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin called Jordan a “man of integrity.”
Former Obama administration ethics czar Norm Eisen filed a request earlier this month with the Office of Congressional Ethics for the House Ethics Committee to launch an inquiry into Jordan.
But Ryan said the request, which deals with events that are alleged to have occurred decades ago and before Jordan was a congressman, are outside the ethics panel’s scope.