House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed the allegations swirling around Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — that he knew about and ignored widespread sexual abuse on the Ohio State University wrestling team he coached — in a press conference Wednesday, standing behind his “friend,” a man of “honesty” and “integrity.”
“Jim Jordan is a friend of mine,” Ryan said. “We haven’t always agreed with each other over the years, but I’ve always known Jim to be a man of honesty and integrity. I also want to make sure that Ohio State conducts the review of this doctor and what he did — that’s important so campuses are safe. I’m glad Jim is supporting that review.”
Ryan continued, addressing a letter sent Monday by former ethics czar Norm Eisen and president of nonprofit Democracy 21 Fred Wertheimer calling for an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into Jordan’s conduct.
“With respect to ethics, the Ethics Committee here investigates things that members do while they’re here, not things that happened a couple decades ago when they weren’t in Congress,” Ryan said.
Jordan has consistently denied any knowledge of the abuse many former wrestlers say they suffered at the hands of team doctor Richard Strauss. Jordan launched a full-scale PR defense Tuesday to fight back against the, as of Wednesday afternoon, eight accusations leveled by former wrestlers who say that Jordan did know about the abuse and is lying about his ignorance.
Watch Ryan’s press conference here.