As an ongoing sex abuse scandal continues to swirl over GOP congressman and former Ohio State assistant wrestling coach Jim Jordan, a new report claims that the Republican is now privately pressuring the wrestlers to recant their allegations.
According to NBC News, “Retired Ohio State wrestling coach Russ Hellickson reached out to two ex-team members and asked them to support their former assistant coach, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a day after they accused the powerful congressman of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse by the team doctor, according to the wrestlers and text messages they shared with NBC News.”
More from the report:
The former wrestlers said their ex-coach made it clear to them he was under pressure from Jordan to get statements of support from members of the team.
Hellickson’s appeal to help Jordan came after the congressman repeatedly said that he had no idea that team doctor Richard Strauss was allegedly molesting the athletes — contradicting three wrestlers who told NBC News that Jordan must have known since the abuse was frequently discussed in the locker room.
Despite Jordan’s desperate lobbying, the former wrestlers are sticking to their stories. According to NBC News, one of them told the former head coach, “I’m going to contradict you, coach, because I’m telling the truth.”
The scandal continues to escalate even as Jordan announced last week that he plans to put his hat in the ring to be the next Speaker of the House if Republicans retain control of the chamber following the November midterms.
The scandal could cost Jordan his seat
Jordan’s behind-the-scenes effort to force sex abuse witnesses to lie about what they saw speaks volumes about how concerned the congressman is as the midterm elections inch ever closer.
Not only is Jordan running for re-election at a time when Republicans all across the country are fighting for their political lives, but he now appears to be a central figure in covering up sexual abuse.
While Jordan himself isn’t accused of any sexual misconduct, turning a blind eye to such behavior is nearly as bad. And the scandal doesn’t appear to be going away as a growing number of former students claim they were victims of abuse at the hands of the team doctor.
The Ohio representative shouldn’t just be denied a leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives; he should be thrown out of Congress altogether.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.