WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) amid allegations that Jordan ignored claims of sexual abuse while an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University.
“I’ve always known Jim Jordan to be a man of honesty and integrity. I also want to make sure that Ohio State conducts the review of this doctor and what he did,” Ryan (R-Wis.) said in response to a question at a news conference on Wednesday. “That’s important so that campuses are safe and I’m glad Jim is supporting that review.”
When asked if the House Ethics Committee would investigate the matter, Ryan said it would not.
“The Ethics Committee here investigates things that members do while they’re here, not things that happened a couple decades ago when they weren’t in Congress,” he explained.
Last week NBC News reported that three former university wrestlers accused Jordan of failing to take action after being informed that the team doctor allegedly was molesting students.
Since that time other former students have come forward and accused Jordan of ignoring claims of abuse. However, two former team members told CNN on Wednesday that had Jordan known about the alleged abuse he certainly would have acted.
Jordan, a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, served as the university’s assistant coach from 1986-1994. He has adamantly denied the allegations.
Ohio State announced an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss in April. Strauss served as the wrestling team physician from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s. He died in 2005.
Jordan is co-chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus as well as the founder of the group. He has served in Congress since 2007.