Representative Jim Jordan, Republican congressman from Ohio, is playing a key supporting role during the House Intelligence Committee’s first public and open hearing of President Donald Trump impeachment inquiry which started on Wednesday, November 13. It was a curious move when the GOP first nominated him, as it was one day after a new witness filed a lawsuit against Jordan for overlooking alleged sexual abuse while he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State.
As the impeachment inquiry was broadcast live on every major network, the nickname “Gym Jordan” became a top trending term on Twitter. So where exactly did that nickname come from?
The moniker, which is a close play on Jordan’s actual name, stems from the timing of him being in national spotlight as an extremely vocal defender of Trump, while former wrestlers have come forward with claims that he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse by then doctor Richard Strauss. However, Jordan has vehemently denied having any part in the sexual abuse coverup.
Despite The Growing Case Against ‘Gym Jordan,’ The GOP Representative Still Has Full Support From the Republican Party
A professional referee filed a lawsuit on November 7, about his experiences with the late doctor. In the lawsuit, he claimed that that Strauss, who died in 2005, masturbated in front of him.
The referee, 42, who’s only referred to as John Doe in the lawsuit, went on to detail an exchange about the incident to Jordan. “Yeah, that’s Strauss,” the plaintiff stated that the Ohio representative said at the time. The referee spoke to NBC News about his claims. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers. What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref,” he said.
John Doe is the second person to say he told Jordan directly about either being approached or molested by Strauss, form whom independent investigators from Perkins Coie found to have “sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients” over two decades.
The report stated, “We find that University personnel had knowledge of Strauss’ sexually abusive treatment of male student-patients as early as 1979, but the complaints about Strauss’ conduct were not elevated beyond the Athletics Department of Student Health until 1996.”
Jordan has not spoken out or released on statement on the latest Strauss related accusations.
Other former Ohio State wrestlers have spoke out to say Jordan had to know about Strauss since he shared a locker room with them, however, the first to speak out was Dunyasha Yetts, who said he spoke directly to Jordan about Strauss. Yetts told NBC News, “It’s good that people are starting to come forward and say the truth, which is that Jordan and the other coaches knew what was going on and they blew it off.”
READ NEXT: Steve Castor: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know