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

Dismissing scandal, GOP leaders circle the wagons, defend Jim Jordan

As of earlier this week, seven former Ohio State University student athletes alleged Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), during his tenure as a coach at the school, knew about a team physician’s sexual misconduct, but he turned a blind eye. On Tuesday, CNN ran another report, quoting an unnamed former OSU wrestler, who said, “Jim Jordan knew. He didn’t do anything about it.”

Given the number of witnesses, one might assume the far-right congressman would face real political peril right now. However, as this NBC News report makes clear, Jordan’s support among his Republican colleagues appears to be resilient.

Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday joined a unified GOP front supporting Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio in the face of allegations from some former wrestlers at Ohio State University that Jordan turned a blind eye to sexual abuse by the team’s doctor.

“Jim Jordan is a friend of mine,” Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters. “We haven’t always agreed with each other over the years. … I’ve also known Jim Jordan to be a man of honesty and a man of integrity.”

The House Speaker added that the House Ethics Committee will not review the case, and as of yesterday, every member of the House GOP leadership has expressed his or her support for Jordan against the allegations, as has Donald Trump.

The Washington Post  reports that Jordan is also being backed by a conservative crisis communications firm, “known for representing conservative figures,” which has circulated testimonials from students defending the congressman. The article added, “It is unclear who is paying for the effort.”

For his part, Jordan complained yesterday about CNN contacting his former staffers, calling the move “desperate,” and adding, “How can you ever trust such fake news?”

For what it’s worth, when news organizations contact former aides to a congressman embroiled in a controversy, that’s not “fake news,” it’s “journalism.” If it were “fake news,” reporters would just make stuff up without reaching out to potential sources.