“Jim Jordan called me crying, crying, groveling, on the Fourth of July, begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for half an hour,” Adam DiSabato said, according to video of his testimony. “That’s the kind of coverups going on here.”
Jordan’s spokesman said DiSabato’s account was untrue.
“Another lie,” said Ian Fury, Jordan’s communications director. “Congressman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it.”
Jordan, a key congressional ally to President Trump who was recently named the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has denied knowing about the abuse when he was an assistant coach of the Ohio State team, but some wrestlers have accused him of knowing and turning a blind eye to it.
That was DiSabato’s allegation during the legislative hearing on a bill that would allow victims to sue the school in the event of sexual abuse by a university-employed doctor.
“He’s throwing us under the bus, all of us,” DiSabato said. “He’s a coward. He’s not a leader; he’s a coward.”
He also accused Jordan of calling and pressuring other wrestlers to “flip their stories.”
“That’s the kind of person Jim Jordan is,” DiSabato said.
Although Jordan’s name has come up several times since the accounts of rampant abuse and misconduct were revealed, there has been no proof one way or another about what Jordan knew.
An Ohio State independent investigation into the abuse did not make “conclusive determinations” about whether particular employees knew about the abuse by Strauss, but a report issued in May said coaches did know. It said Strauss, who killed himself in 2005, sexually abused at least 177 male students from 1979 to 1996.
In the midst of the Trump impeachment proceedings in the House, which Jordan took an active and high-profile role in, a new lawsuit was filed in which one alleged victim of Strauss’s sexual misconduct said he had reported it to Jordan. Jordan has been named in one other lawsuit as having been told, but he is not named as a defendant in any of them.
Trump referenced Jordan’s wrestling and his physical fitness in a winding speech after the Senate acquitted him of impeachment charges. Trump said that when a championship team from Penn State University came to the White House, the wrestlers ignored him because they only wanted to see Jordan.
“Those wrestlers, they grabbed him, they love Jim Jordan, and we love you, too, because you’re some warrior,” Trump said.