Powerful Republican Pulled Into Ohio State Molestation Scandal

Jim Jordan R-Ohio on Capitol Hill

Jim Jordan R-Ohio on Capitol Hill

The Fox News host pointed out that multiple wrestlers who praised Jordan, also maintained that he definitely knew about the abuse.

Michael DiSabato has accused the Ohio Republican, a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at the University of Wisconsin and a former Ohio State assistant coach, of turning a blind eye to allegations against Richard Strauss, who died in 2005.

Mark Coleman, who reportedly roomed with Jordan on more than one road trip while they were at the school in the 1990s, said there is "no way" Jordan didn't know what was going on.

"I considered Jim Jordan a friend", Mike DiSabato, one of Strauss's accusers, told NBC.

Doug Andres says the university has "rightfully initiated a full investigation into the matter" and the speaker will "await the findings of that inquiry".

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As ThinkProgress previously noted, Jordan has always been thought to be a top contender to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan, once Ryan steps down in November, and enjoys the full support of several high-profile members of Congress, as well as the president himself.

Wrestlers who were on the team at the time, however, are calling Jordan a liar. Sources tell Fox News that Jordan had previously forwarded the emails to Chief of Staff Kevin Eichinger and Jordan's attorney.

A partner with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur said the investigative team had in fact contacted Jordan about an interview by email and phone.

Ohio State University officials are aware of the video and have seen it, according to Associate Vice President for University Communications Chris Davey.

Fury said the office can't find a record of those requests but remains willing to assist investigators.

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Ohio State has not released details about the claims but said more than 150 former students and witnesses have been interviewed so far. "Jimmy said something to the extent of, 'If he tried that with me, I would kill him'".

The former wrestler claims that Jordan told him to "please leave me out of it" when he told the congressman he planned to go public with the accusations earlier this year.

Besides showing Hellickson being interviewed, the video shows DiSabato and two other former OSU students saying Strauss sexually abused them. But those NBC News spoke with say that just isn't so.

Attempts to reach Yetts were not successful Tuesday.

Dailey told NBC News, "It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your trousers down", and that Jordan was present when this was discussed. A Twitter account that appeared to be DiSabato's retweeted the NBC News story Tuesday.

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The university has urged anyone with relevant information about Strauss to contact the law firm Perkins Coie, which is conducting an independent investigation.

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