Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Friday that he felt vindicated by an investigative report that cited no evidence that he knew about alleged sexual abuse three decades ago at Ohio State University when he worked as an assistant wrestling coach.
“I think the report speaks for itself,” Jordan told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It confirmed everything I have said all along.”
The report found that Richard Strauss, a former Ohio State team doctor, sexually abused at least 177 male students from 1979 to 1996, including many athletes from at least 16 school sports teams.
After allegations of abuse came to light, several former Ohio State wrestlers claimed last year that Jordan knew or must have known about the inappropriate behavior allegedly taking place in the athletic department between 1987 and 1995 when he worked as a coach.
Jordan steadfastly denied any knowledge of misconduct or abuse.
The report released Friday makes no mention of Jordan by name. It says that with one exception, investigators could not make “conclusive determinations” about whether coaches were aware of complaints regarding Strauss’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Asked if the report provided closure, Jordan said, “I thought it was closed for me a long time ago.”
“You guys know me,” he told reporters. “If I thought one of our athletes was being harmed . . . I’d have done something. But, yeah, we’re glad that the report’s done and that people who need counseling and want counseling, the university’s going to pay for that.”
Jordan cited clashes he’s had with the FBI, CIA and former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) as evidence of his willingness to speak out.
The report was the result of a year-long investigation by the law firm Perkins Coie and involved interviews with more than 500 former students and university employees.
Jordan and several Republican allies had earlier criticized the choice of Perkins Coie to conduct the investigation.
The firm represented the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election. It also hired Fusion GPS, the company that produced the now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia using research from Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer.
Defending Jordan in a statement in the summer, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) dismissed Perkins Coie as a “Washington, DC-based dirty tricks law firm” with powerful Democrats among its clients.
“Whatever payments were received for trying to destroy President Trump may be available to destroy other high-achieving Republicans,” Gohmert said. “Given the inclusion of Perkins Coie in the mix, the likelihood increases that money has already changed hands to purchase a drive-by character assassination of beloved conservative Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.”
Rick Maese and Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.