Rep. Louie Gohmert on Monday defended his Republican colleague, Jim Jordan of Ohio, arguing the former wrestlers who say Jordan knew about abuse allegations and did nothing about it were adults when the alleged abuse happened to them and that the accusers have not said that they specifically reported abuse to Jordan at the time.
“Unlike the Olympians who were minor children at the time they were abused, these former wrestlers were adults at the time they claim they were sexually abused by the Ohio State team doctor,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “Note that they do not claim they reported specific abuse to Jim Jordan or to anyone else. To the contrary, they specifically state they did not tell Jordan but instead say he should have known because there was talk around the locker room.”
Jordan’s fellow members in the conservative House Freedom Caucus were urged to stand by him amid allegations that he knew about, but did not report, the alleged sexual abuse of wrestlers he coached at Ohio State University in the early 1990s.
In his statement defending Jordan, Gohmert also criticizes Perkins Cole, a firm that is not legally representing the accusers and was hired by Ohio State University to perform an independent investigation. Gohmert said the accusers found “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,” he said in the statement. “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.”
He also argued that the man in question, the doctor who allegedly abused the wrestlers, is dead, “so this isn’t even about prosecuting him,” he said.
He ended the statement by reaffirming his support for Jordan.
“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,” he said. “I personally vouch for the integrity of Jim Jordan.”
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect that the firm Perkins Coie is conducting an independent investigation hired by Ohio State University and to reflect that the firm does not legally represent the former Ohio State University students accusing the team’s then-doctor of abuse.
CNN’s Sarah Westwood, Ashley Killough, Elizabeth Landers and Sunlen Serfaty contributed to this report.