Rep. Jim Jordan accused of telling OSU wrestler’s brother to deny abuse claims
(CNN) - Republican Ohio congressman Jim Jordan was all smiles at a dinner with President Donald Trump, the day after one of his former wrestling captains slammed him.
“He’s a coward,” said Adam DiSabato, a former Ohio State University wrestler, who provided the latest accusation of a widespread coverup of decades-old sexual abuse of athletes at Ohio State University.
DiSabato is directing much of his anger at Jordan, a former assistant coach of the team for eight years, claiming Jordan knew about the abuse athletes suffered at the hands of a former team doctor and turned a blind eye.
“That’s the kind of that’s coverups going on there,” he said.
It’s not the first time Jordan’s faced criticism connected to the scandal.
In 2018, DiSabato’s brother Mike exposed the alleged abuse he endured at the hands of Dr. Richard Strauss when he was on OSU’s wrestling team in the late 80s.
At the time, Jordan denied knowing: “No abuse, never heard of abuse. If we had, we’d have reported it.”
Fast forward to this week, when Adam DiSabato told a room of Ohio lawmakers that Jordan not only knew, but the congressman took it a step further in 2018, asking him to contradict his brother’s explosive account.
“Jim Jordan called me crying, begging me to go against my brother,” Adam DiSabato said.
At the state hearing for a bill which could give abuse victims the right to sue universities, DiSabato also testified he told Jordan about the alleged abuse and in turn, Jordan said his superiors told him to “keep his mouth shut.”
A spokesperson for Jordan says the new claims are “another lie,” adding “Congressman Jordan would never ask anyone to do anything but tell the truth.”
It’s another black eye for the man who the president saw as a shining star while he served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment inquiry.
On the day after the Senate acquitted Trump, he thanked Jordan by oddly calling attention to his athleticism.
“He’s the NCAA - meaning, a couple of years ago, when he was in college - wrestling champion. That means, in all of college, you’re the champ, you’re the best,” Trump said.
Jordan took part in an independent investigation of the university last year, which concluded university personnel at the highest level had knowledge of complaints about Strauss and failed to act meaningfully. It didn’t mention Jordan.
Strauss died more than a decade before the allegations surfaced.