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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzCongressional antitrust report rips tech firms for stifling competition Loeffler tweets edited video showing Trump taking down coronavirus in wrestling match Why is Florida screaming about the pay-to-vote system it created? MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday said members of the so-called deep state are behind the allegations that Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments McCarthy: 'I would think I already have the votes' to remain as House GOP leader 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 RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE during a hearing about the Department of Justice's conduct in its investigation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 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 RyanMcCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Wednesday that he's always known Jordan to be a man of "honesty" and "integrity."