Louie Gohmert: Sexual Misconduct Claims Are a ‘Drive-By Character Assassination’ of Jim Jordan

UNITED STATES - JUNE 7: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for the House Republicans' caucus meeting in the Capitol on immigration reforms on Thursday morning, June 7, 2018.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Monday said the accusation that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) ignored sexual misconduct while a coach at Ohio State University (OSU) amounts to a “drive-by character assassination.”

Former students at OSU accused Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, of knowledge that team physician Dr. Richard Strauss allegedly abused students on the team. Rep. Jordan vehemently denied any knowledge of the alleged abuse and some politicians have wondered about the political timing of the accusations as well.

Breitbart News reported that numerous former colleagues defended Jordan against the accusations brought against him. On Monday six former OSU wrestling coaches defended Jordan’s character in a statement.

“What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong,” the OSU coaches said. “We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers. The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”

Rep. Gohmert vigorously defended Congressman Jordan in a statement on Monday, saying, “Jim Jordan is a fine and decent person who has a lifetime history of being honorable and honest, unlike his accusers whose extremely troubled backgrounds and ongoing legal and financial troubles place the veracity of their allegations into the realm of ridiculous.”

The Texas conservative then continued suggesting that the former wrestlers did “not claim they reported specific abuse to Jim Jordan or anyone else.” Instead, Gohmert said that the wrestlers “specifically did not tell Jordan but instead say he should have known because there was talk around the locker room.”

Breitbart News reported last week that Perkins Coie, the law firm obtained by OSU to investigate sexual assault allegations against their team doctor, paid Fusion GPS to produce the discredited anti-Trump dossier that sparked claims that alleged that President Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia.

Congressman Gohmert said:

They waited over 20 years to make these allegations with the willing and very expensive assistance of Perkins Coie, a Washington, DC-based dirty tricks law firm. Perkins Coie boasts a client roster that includes the DNC, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and several Democrat Members of Congress. They were recently paid by Hillary Clinton and the DNC as a pass-through entity to hire Fusion GPS to concoct the salacious and unverified Russian dossier at the heart of the Clinton team’s attempted take-down of President Trump.

“That doesn’t pass the smell test, but there’s even more. The doctor they are accusing of these acts committed suicide 13 years ago, so this isn’t even about prosecuting him,” the Texas conservative added. “It is not about ‘preventing others from being abused’ by this dead man.”

Rep. Gohmert then described this accusation as a “drive-by character assassination of beloved conservative Republican Jim Jordan.”

Gohmert charged:

This has every appearance of greed trying to gain twice from the same smear.  First, trying to finally have a successful lawsuit against Ohio State University after failed previous claims. Second, whatever payments were received for trying to destroy President Trump may be available to destroy other high-achieving Republicans, like Jim Jordan.

Gohmert emphasized, “Given the inclusion of Perkins Coie in the mix, the likelihood increases that money has already changed hands to purchase a drive-by character assassination of beloved conservative Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.”

Congressman Jordan told reporters last week that the timing of the accusation makes one wonder about potential motivations.

“It’s interesting that the timing is what it is, in light of things that are going on in Washington,” Rep. Jordan said.

Chairman Meadows last week also said that there “were other motivations to impugn the reputation of Jim Jordan.”

Rep. Jordan has signaled that he plans to run to replace Speaker Paul Ryan after the 2018 midterm elections. Jordan has also grilled Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Rep. Jordan and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) spearheaded a resolution, which passed through the House in June, demanding that Rosenstein turn over all Justice Department and FBI documents requested by Congress. House Republicans have threatened to impeach or hold Rosenstein in contempt if he does not turn over the documents.

One high-ranking moderate House Republican alleged last week that either House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) or House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-CA) might be behind the accusations facing Jordan.

The moderate Republican said, “It wouldn’t surprise me if [Jordan rivals] are trying to kill him off early. This Speaker’s race is going to get ugly, very ugly… My instincts tell me this is only the beginning.”

Rep. Gohmert concluded, “I personally vouch for the integrity of Jim Jordan. There seems to be an absence of people vouching for the upstanding character of his accusers.”

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