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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Parkland parents create anti-gun violence Valentine’s Day candies: ‘Don’t shoot,’ ‘he’s gone’ House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday said members of the so-called deep state are behind the allegations that Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Rod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power 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 RosensteinMcCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on From border to Mueller, Barr faces challenges as attorney general Senate Dem: 25th Amendment talks don't reflect 'some deep state conspiracy' MORE during a hearing about the Department of Justice's conduct in its investigation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Wednesday that he's always known Jordan to be a man of "honesty" and "integrity."