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Offbeat GOP lawmaker: Accusations against Jim Jordan come from ‘deep state’

17:03  12 july  2018
17:03  12 july  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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Jim Jordan smiling for the camera © Provided by The Hill

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Wednesday said members of the so-called "deep state" are behind the allegations that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) turned a blind eye to sexual abuse while he was an Ohio State wrestling coach.

"I think there are people that have some loose affiliation with the deep state that are out to get Jim Jordan," Gaetz told Lou Dobbs on his Fox Business show on Wednesday. "This is the way they're manifesting their hatred for a man that is doing everything to fight for the regular folks in this country."

Gaetz added that the timing of the allegations is suspicious, considering they surfaced only shortly after Jordan had questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a hearing about the Department of Justice's conduct in its investigation of President Trump's 2016 campaign.

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[Public relations campaign and House GOP colleagues back Rep. Jim Jordan as he battles Ohio State allegations]. Several fellow coaches and wrestlers have come to Jordan ’s defense in recent days, with the aid of a conservative crisis communications firm.

"If Jim Jordan was not after the Department of Justice and the FBI, he would not be dealing with these allegations," Gaetz said. "They are totally false, I am confident in that to my core."

The comments come as multiple Ohio State wrestlers accuse Jordan, who was an Ohio State wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995, of knowing about accusations that former team doctor Richard Strauss's abused athletes.

Strauss, who died in 2005, has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 1,000 athletes from 15 varsity sports.

Jordan has repeatedly denied the allegations, and has said he would have spoken up had he known. Jordan has also said the accusations' timing is suspect, considering his bid to become the next Speaker.

More than a dozen former Ohio State wrestlers have defended their former wrestling coach. In addition, six former OSU wrestling coaches have gone on record in support of the GOP lawmaker.

Gaetz's comments about Jordan also comes as many Republican lawmakers defend his integrity. The House Freedom Caucus, where Jordan once served as chairman, tweeted on Wednesday that if Jordan knew of the abuse, "he would have acted."

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters on Wednesday that he's always known Jordan to be a man of "honesty" and "integrity."

Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain .
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is managing to weather a storm that threatens his political career. For more than a week, the influential conservative lawmaker has withstood allegations that he failed to protect former wrestlers from sexual abuse by a team doctor when he worked as a coach at Ohio State University (OSU) decades ago.

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