Editorial: The non-case against Jim Jordan


The Lima News



The words of Nancy Pelosi on Thursday reaffirmed what many have already concluded concerning the allegations against Jim Jordan — for Democrats, it is more about squashing the political flame of the fiery Republican than it is about getting the truth.

Jordan, a leading House conservative who represents Allen County, is accused of ignoring the claims by eight Ohio State wrestlers he coached 30 years ago. They say they were inappropriately groped during medical exams by team doctor Richard Strauss, that Jordan knew about it, and did nothing. One of them said he thought Jordan was part of a conversation joking about it.

The accusations, however, came at a suspect time — just days after Jordan’s blistering questioning of deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the abuses of power at the FBI, and at a time when Jordan’s name continues to be raised as a possibility for Speaker of the House should Republicans maintain control of the legislative body in the November election. Jordan is also a co-founder and leader of the powerful conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Pelosi needled Jordan on Thursday, noting that as a lawmaker, Jordan has frequently said, “So and so should have known this, should have known that.” Pelosi added, “Many people say he (Jordan) did know, and by his own standard, he should have known.”

It’s almost as if Pelosi ended her comments with a “ha, ha.”

The accusations are bizarre at best.

Not only are they being dug up from 1986 to 1994 — the years that a 20-something-year-old Jordan was an assistant coach — but they also are based on men’s locker-room chatter, which has an accuracy rate close to that of a women’s hair salon.

Then there’s the so-called independent investigation being done by the law firm of Perkins Coie. It accused Jordan of not responding to their questions. As it turns out, the firm sent a message to an old email address of Jordan’s that is no longer used. It was unable to find the active email address for a sitting congressman, something that can be done with a simple Google search.

There also wasn’t a mandatory reporting requirement 20 years ago, and if there were, it wouldn’t affect college-age students, who are adults, not boys.

One of Jordan’s chief accusers, former wrestler Dunyaha Yetts, served 18 months in prison for bilking investors out of $2 million. In that regard, the Jordan we know has earned a reputation of being an honest straight-shooter. Whether you like or disagree with his politics, you always know where he stands. He doesn’t waver. He visits his constituents often, listens to their concerns and answers their questions.

That hasn’t changed since the allegations first came out in an NBC News report on July 3.

To his credit, Jordan has been freely answering questions posed to him about the allegations. He’s pledged full cooperation with the ongoing Ohio State investigation. He has denied knowledge of the problem, and is supported by 14 other wrestlers and six coaches, each who said they didn’t know about the doctor and didn’t suspect Jordan knew either.

Others who have vouched for Jordan’s integrity are former Ohio State President Gordon Gee and the House’s top three Republican leaders: House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Like Jordan, McCarthy and Scalise are potential successors to Ryan, who retires in January.

You have to wonder why these accusations are coming out now, especially since Ohio State has been investigating Strauss’s behavior since April.

Could it be that Democrats see the chance to pull the plug on one of their biggest thorns?

Let’s wait and see what the OSU investigation finds out.

For now, this isn’t Wrestler-gate.

It’s Overblown-gate.

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