Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asks questions to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, during a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
In 1994, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was the assistant coach of Ohio State University’s wrestling team. After a match, Jordan and the head coach, Russ Hellickson, were approached by a referee who reported that the team’s doctor, Richard Strauss, had masturbated in the shower in front of him. The referee said Jordan and Hellickson responded with “shrugs,” basically saying, “Yeah, that’s Strauss.”
The referee filed a lawsuit on Thursday in the state’s federal court. He is referred to as John Doe 42 in the suit and is the second person to say he told Jordan directly about either being approached or molested by Strauss.
Naturally John Doe 42 spoke to NBC and told them, “It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is. 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.”
The first team member to allegedly tell Jordan about Strauss was Dunyasha Yetts. Yetts told NBC that “he went to see Strauss for a thumb injury, and when the doctor tried to pull down his pants, he stormed out and complained to Jordan and Hellickson.” Yetts added that, “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.”
According to NBC:
The lawsuit was filed by 43 survivors against Ohio State, claiming the university’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled Strauss to sexually abuse former students and athletes from a half-dozen other sports.
It cites instances of Strauss “drugging and raping athletes” and said Strauss preyed on underage boys who participated in athletic events on the campus.
One of the underage victims, identified as John Doe 49, said in the court papers he was 14 or 15 years old and participating in an OSU wrestling camp lead by Hellickson when he went to see Strauss for an ingrown toenail. He claims Strauss had him drop his pants, threatened him with a scalpel and was sexually abused after he fainted in fear.
John Doe 49 said Hellickson questioned him after he found out what Strauss allegedly did to him from other camp participants.
“OK, I’ll take care of it,” Hellickson said, according to the court papers. “Get back to your mat.”
It will come as no surprise to any Republican that the Perkins Coie law firm conducted an investigation for the university. The following is an excerpt from a previous NBC article about this story (emphasis mine).
Investigators from Perkins Coie, the law firm that was picked to conduct the independent investigation, reported that “Strauss sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients.”
“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,” the report states.
Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Coie, was the general counsel for both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and for the DNC. Elias is best known for commissioning Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to produce the Steele Dossier.
Another development that will come as no surprise is the timing of these allegations against Jordan. He is scheduled to be appointed to the House Intelligence Committee which is overseeing the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, in the next few days. Jordan is a loyal and effective Trump defender and the timing of this lawsuit was clearly meant to inflict maximum damage upon his credibility.
Update: Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports that Democrats have “allowed” the personnel change.
A senior House Democratic aid tells Fox that Democrats allowed the personnel shift – moving Jordan to Intel Cmte for next wk's hearings – because “it is customary that whoever the minority proposes is accepted.”
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 8, 2019