Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) drew widespread ridicule online Wednesday after proclaiming that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was innocent of any allegations involving underage sex trafficking.
Jordan, who has long been one of Gaetz’s staunchest congressional allies, told CNN’s Ryan Nobles that “I believe Matt Gaetz” is innocent after it was revealed on Tuesday night that he’s being investigated by the Department of Justice for potentially having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old.
The Ohio representative and former Ohio State University wrestling coach was accused last year by a former team captain of aiding and abetting in the university’s cover-up of sexual abuse within the program, during testimony before Ohio state legislator.
“Jim Jordan called me crying, groveling, begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for a half-hour,” DiSabato said Wednesday. “That’s the kind of cover-up that’s going on there.”
Adam DiSabato, captain of the team during the early 1990s, told members of the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee that Jordan and other officials ignored former Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss’s sexual abuse of wrestlers from 1979 to 1997. DiSabato said that Jordan and other team officials knew about open-shower facilities that facilitated sexual harassment and abuse of team wrestlers. Jordan has previously denied the allegation.
A university study found that Strauss abused at least 177 people during his tenure as the wrestling team’s doctor. Strauss was never charged and died by suicide in 2005.
A former Ohio State wrestler told the university’s lawyers in 2018 that, “Based on testimony from victim athletes from each of the aforementioned varsity sports, we estimate that Strauss sexually assaulted and/or raped a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU.”
Jordan’s statement declaring Gaetz’s innocence drew instant ridicule online, with many calling on
Also Jim Jordon:
"I believe the man who molested the wrestling students in my care."
"I believe Donald Trump when he said he won the election in a landslide."
"I believe anything people who watch FoxNews want me to believe."
"I believe that gravity is an anti-Christian lie."
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) March 31, 2021
John, you may have to remind your readers that Jim Jordan has a long history covering up and lying about child sex assault https://t.co/TzFND0usWy
— Erik Halvorsen (@erikhalvorsen18) March 31, 2021
Just the guy you want to vouch for your credibility, said no Ohio State wrestlers.
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) March 31, 2021
The guy that let dozens get molested and raped is backing up Matt? Well, I'm convinced.
— Todd Poirier (@todd_poirier) March 31, 2021
When given a choice between supporting a sexual predator or the victims, we already know what Jim Jordan will choose.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them. https://t.co/w2Zg4xLhrL
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) March 31, 2021
A half-dozen Ohio State wrestlers and a former referee have reported Jim Jordan knew young men were being subjected to sexual abuse by a team doctor. He took no action.
Another testified Jordan asked him to help discredit his own brother when he blew the whistle.
— Jeff Sites for Congress (@Sites4Congress) March 31, 2021