Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on June 26, 2018.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Another accuser says Republican rep knew about sexual abuse

Updated

The Rachel Maddow Show, 7/3/18, 9:00 PM ET

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of ignoring sexual abuse of wrestlers

Rachel Maddow shares NBC News reporting that conservative congressman Jim Jordan is accused of knowing about sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State when he was a coach and doing nothing about it, a charge he denies as the number of accusers increases.
For Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), this week’s controversy is far from over. In fact, an NBC News report from yesterday afternoon suggests it’s getting worse.

A fourth former Ohio State University wrestler came forward Thursday to contradict Rep. Jim Jordan’s claim that he had no idea the wrestling team doctor was molesting athletes.

The wrestler, Shawn Dailey, said he was groped half a dozen times by Dr. Richard Strauss in the mid-1990s, when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach. Dailey said he was too embarrassed to report the abuse directly to Jordan at the time, but he said Jordan took part in conversations where Strauss’ abuse of many other team members came up.

The Wall Street Journal pointed to a possible fifth former student athlete: former UFC world champion Mark Coleman also went on the record this week, arguing that the Ohio congressman knew about allegations of sexual misconduct, but didn’t respond to them.

“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” Coleman said of Jordan.

If you’re just learning of the story, Ohio State University has spent the last few months confronting a controversy surrounding the late Dr. Richard Strauss, a former physician for student athletes from the mid-1970s to late 1990s, who’s been accused of molesting students during his tenure.

Jim Jordan, perhaps best known for helping create the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, was a coach at the university during part of Strauss’ tenure, and now stands accused of turning a blind eye to the doctor’s abuses.

The Republican lawmaker insists he didn’t know about the alleged misconduct, though the group of people accusing Jordan of lying continues to grow.

The congressman does, however, have one very high-profile defender.

“I don’t believe them at all,” Donald Trump said yesterday in reference to Jordan’s accusers. “I believe him. Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind. I believe Jim Jordan 100 percent. He’s an outstanding man.”

Trump doesn’t appear to be basing this on much of anything, though Jordan has played an active role in trying to help the White House’s controversies go away, so it appears the president is trying to return the favor.

Regardless of Trump’s motivation, if GOP officials were considering giving up on Jordan, the president’s public vote of confidence may very well make a difference in his political survival.

Looking ahead, the Associated Press reports that the congressman’s office is working with those investigating the Ohio State scandal about setting up a meeting.

Another accuser says Republican rep knew about sexual abuse

Updated