The three dozen members of the House Freedom Caucus expressed unanimous support for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) amid allegations that he ignored claims of sexual abuse while he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State University (OSU).
“Jim Jordan is a man of integrity, and we believe him and stand with him 100 percent. If he had seen or heard something he would have acted,” the caucus said in a statement on Twitter. “We continue to support his work in Congress to fight for everyday Americans.”
Jordan is one of the two chairs of the caucus, which is composed of mostly Republican House lawmakers.
The caucus is the latest group to come to Jordan’s defense. On Monday, six former OSU coaches issued a joint statement supporting Jordan. On Tuesday, 15 former Ohio State wrestlers issued statements refuting the allegations. And on Wednesday House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has often been at odds with Jordan on legislation, told reporters that “Jordan is a man of honesty and a man of integrity.”
At least seven former OSU wrestlers are alleging that Jordan was aware of, but didn’t act on, allegations of sexual misconduct by Richard Strauss, the school’s athletic doctor. Strauss killed himself in 2005.
Jordan denies the allegations and says that he would have acted if he knew.
All of the accusers were adults at the time of the alleged abuse by Strauss. The alleged act occurred more than two decades ago. Ohio State University is investigating the allegations.
Jordan was an NCAA wrestling champion with a career record of 150-1. In 1985, he defeated John Smith, a wrestler who would go on to win to Olympic gold medals and four world wrestling championships.
Jordan moved on to become an assistant wrestling coach at OSU in 1987 and remained at the post until 1995.
The timing of the allegations against Jordan coincides with his push to obtain documents from the Justice Department and the FBI about the surveillance of the Trump campaign.