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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzSacha Baron Cohen mulls arming toddlers with guns in inaugural episode Who to watch for in Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming show GOP lawmaker thinks he was duped by Sacha Baron Cohen MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday said members of the so-called deep state are behind the allegations that Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report MORE (R-Ohio) turned a blind eye to sexual abuse while he was an Ohio State University 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 Network 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."

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Gaetz added that the timing of the allegations is suspicious, considering they surfaced only shortly after Jordan had questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinCarl Bernstein: Recent indictments show Mueller probe is 'not a witch hunt' Gowdy rules out Rosenstein impeachment Five things to watch for in Trump-Putin summit MORE during a hearing about the Department of Justice's conduct in its investigation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE's 2016 campaign.

“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 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 accusation's 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 RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Wednesday that he's always known Jordan to be a man of "honesty" and "integrity."