Freedom Caucus says it's behind Jordan '100 percent'

Freedom Caucus says it's behind Jordan '100 percent'
© Greg Nash

The House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday announced its full support of Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHillicon Valley: Trump cyber strategy lets US go on offense | AT&T urges court to let Time Warner merger stand | Conservatives want wife of DOJ official to testify | Facebook, nonprofits team up to fight fake news | DC camera hacker pleads guilty FBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment Republicans threaten to subpoena Nellie Ohr MORE (R-Ohio), who is being accused by several former Ohio State University (OSU) wrestlers of turning a blind eye to sexual assault allegations while he was a coach there.

“Jim Jordan is a man of integrity, and we believe him and stand with him 100 percent,” the Freedom Caucus tweeted. “If he had seen or heard something he would have acted.”

Jordan is one of the founding members of the conservative Freedom Caucus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Multiple former wrestlers have gone on the record in the past week with allegations that Jordan knew former OSU team doctor Richard Strauss acted inappropriately with young athletes. The wrestlers say Jordan talked about Strauss’s behavior and even said “If he tried that with me, I would kill him,” yet did nothing to stop it.

Jordan has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying he would have spoken up if he knew about Strauss’s behavior.

Fourteen former OSU wrestlers have gone on the record in defense of Jordan, as well as six former OSU wrestling coaches.

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

High-ranking members of the GOP have emerged in recent days in support of Jordan, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' MORE (R-La.).

Jordan himself is a powerful GOP representative who many have floated as a possible replacement for current Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.), who will not be seeking another term in Congress.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRepublicans threaten to subpoena Nellie Ohr Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Graham to renew call for second special counsel MORE (R-N.C.) told reporters on Tuesday night that every member of the conservative group agreed to back Jordan.

“Jim Jordan is a man of integrity and honor who always fights for the underdog,” Meadows said. "Any story that would suggest that he is someone who is not willing to fight for those who have been disadvantaged is just not accurate based on the man I've come to know and admire.”

Meadows confirmed the group took an official position to support Jordan.

While many of the wrestlers who claim Jordan knew about Strauss have stipulated they believe Jordan is a “good guy” and “friend,” most of them have said Strauss’s behavior was an open secret that Jordan couldn’t have ignored.

Former OSU wrestler Mike DiSabato, who made the original allegations against Strauss, told NBC he considered Jordan a “friend.”

“But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on,” DiSabato said.

Jordan said he has not ruled out a bid for Speaker.

— Juliegrace Brufke contributed to this report, which was updated on July 11 at 5:37 a.m.