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Tell Republicans: Don't make Jim Jordan leader

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"A man accused of covering up sexual assault who blatantly tried to undermine the investigation into 2016 election interference should have no place in leadership. Reject Jim Jordan's bid to be speaker."

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    Tell Republicans: Don't make Jim Jordan leader

    Rep. Jim Jordan is accused by multiple former Ohio State University wrestlers of helping cover up sexual harassment and abuse, but he could still be the next Republican party leader.1

    Shortly after the allegations against Jordan first became public, news broke that he had pressured former wrestlers to recant.2 While at first other conservatives distanced themselves from Jordan, in the months since they have continued colloborating with him, indicating they might support his campaign to replace Speaker Paul Ryan, who is resigning.3

    The fact that Jordan is still in Congress – and running for leadership at that – is testament to the Republican Party's indifference to sexual assault and harassment, but if enough people speak out, we can remind vulnerable Republicans that someone who covered up for harassment should have no place in leadership.

    Tell Republicans in Congress: Oppose Jordan's bid for House leadership.

    As one of Donald Trump's most loyal lapdogs, Jordan has been doing everything in his power to impede Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's Russia ties.4 Jordan, along with other extreme conservatives, introduced articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein, the person overseeing Robert Mueller's investigation – an outrageous and blatant attempt to discredit Mueller's investigation and protect Trump from Mueller's findings.5

    Taking a page out of Trump's playbook, Jordan fueled fringe right-wing conspiracy theories that the OSU allegations are somehow connected to the "deep state" and called the timing – as he launched his run for speaker and tried to initiate Rosenstein's impeachment – suspect.6 In fact, the first wrestler to file a complaint with OSU over repeated abuse by former team doctor Richard Strauss did so in the spring and reportedly reached out to Jordan ahead of time. Jordan instructed him to "leave me out of it."7

    After the initial allegations broke, another former wrestler recalled he told Jordan directly after Strauss sexually assaulted him.8 Then, more than six former wrestlers came forward to say they were routinely harassed in their training facility – one of whom said he saw Jordan "yell at male voyeurs to get out of the sauna."9

    Jordan reportedly pressured two of the wrestlers who named him as complicit in the cover up to recant. After he and his brother Jeff Jordan called the parents of one former wrestler, that wrestler walked back implicating Jordan.10

    With an assaulter-in-chief in the White House, it's not surprising that a Republican candidate for House leadership can so easily dismiss credible allegations that he covered up sexual harassment and abuse. It's also not surprising that Republicans are playing politics instead of standing up for survivors of sexual assault, but with a huge public outcry about Jordan's role in the OSU cover-up, we can ensure they can't sweep this under the rug and elect him as Republican leader.

    Tell Republicans in Congress: Oppose Jordan's bid for House leadership.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Elise Viebeck, "Jim Jordan denies allegations that he ignored sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State," The Washington Post, July 3, 2017.
    2. Felicia Sonmez, "Retired Ohio State coach asked Jim Jordan accusers to recant, report says," The Washington Post, Aug. 1, 2018.
    3. Bob Brigham, "GOP Freedom Caucus Members Refuse to Support Jim Jordan on the Record as More Accusers Come Forward," Alternet, July 7, 2018.
    4. Olivia Beavers, "GOP lawmakers introduce articles of impeachment against Rosenstein," The Hill, July 25, 2018.
    5. Fred Wertheimer and Norman Eisen, "In bid to impeach Rod Rosenstein, House Republicans are abusing power to protect Trump," USA Today, July 19, 2018.
    6. Tina Nguyen, "Jim Jordan says the deep state is engineering his sex-abuse scandal," Vanity Fair, July 11, 2018.
    7. Corky Siemaszko, "Powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach," NBC News, July 3, 2018.
    8. Ibid.
    9. Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan, "‘A cesspool of deviancy’: New claims of voyeurism test Jordan denials," POLITICO, July 6, 2018.
    10. Siemaszko, "Powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach."

    photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images