Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that he interviewed with lawyers from the firm that is investigating alleged sexual abuse in the athletic department at Ohio State University three decades ago.
Jordan said on an Ohio radio program that he told the lawyers that he knew nothing about any misconduct affecting wrestlers when he was the team’s assistant coach.
“No one reported anything to us,” he told “The Bob Frantz Authority” on AM 1420. “If they had, if we’d have known, knew about, seen, heard, had reported to us, we’d have dealt with it. But nobody did.”
Multiple former wrestlers have said that Jordan had to have known about alleged misconduct by then-team doctor Richard Strauss because they discussed it in the locker room while Jordan was present. One former wrestler said he told Jordan that Strauss had touched him inappropriately during appointments.
Jordan, who served as assistant coach from 1987 to 1995, has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the alleged misconduct. House Republican leaders, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), have expressed support for the embattled congressman, whom conservative groups have pressured to launch a bid for speaker.
As the controversy grew two weeks ago, Jordan criticized Perkins Coie, the law firm hired to investigate Strauss’s behavior. Strauss killed himself in 2005.
Jordan declined to criticize the firm in Wednesday’s radio interview. He said Perkins Coie had contacted his office last month about scheduling a meeting, walking back a previous denial.
“They, in fact, did reach out to us,” Jordan said. “They had called our office. I just didn’t get the message. They had the wrong email address, but they did get through to our office one time.”
In the radio interview, the Ohio Republican blamed the left for the allegations against him.
“Maybe they’re coming after us so hard because we’re actually getting some things done for the American people,” Jordan said. “This is how the left operates. This is how people in the establishment, I think, operate, but we’re going to keep fighting.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine appointed the law firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur to oversee an investigation into the abuse allegations at Ohio State. That firm hired Perkins Coie, which is specifically looking into Strauss.
Jordan said the lawyer he spoke with at Perkins Coie handled his interview “the proper way.” Jordan spokesman Ian Fury confirmed that the interview took place on Monday but did not respond to an email with further questions about it.