House Speaker Paul Ryan is defending Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has been accused of ignoring allegations of abuse while working as a wrestling coach at The Ohio State University.
Ryan called Jordan "a man of honesty, a man of integrity." He also suggested the House Ethics Committee doesn't need to examine the allegations against Jordan, following a request by watchdog groups.
Ryan says that panel isn't supposed to investigate incidents from "a couple of decades ago when they weren't in Congress."
Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University from 1987 to 1995. Some former wrestlers have said Jordan knew about allegations that they were inappropriately groped by longtime sports doctor Richard Strauss, and that Strauss participated in behavior such as showering with athletes from different teams several times a day.
Ohio State is currently investigating the allegations against Strauss, who has been accused of misconduct by athletes in 14 collegiate sports as well as people off-campus. The school said that more than 150 former athletes and witnesses have been interviewed so far, and the school urged anyone with information to contact the law firm Perkins Coie.
Jordan, leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has denied knowing about the accusations. Several former wrestlers and wrestling coaches have stepped forward to defend Jordan as well.
Thank you to the former wrestlers who came out to support me today.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 10, 2018
Ryan said he backs Ohio State's investigation of the allegations. He did not explicitly state whether he believes Jordan's denial.
J0rdan is working with investigators to arrange an interview about Strauss.