Real Time host Bill Maher used his opening monologue on Friday’s show to blast Ohio Representative Jim Jordan for allegations that he did nothing about now-deceased physician Richard Strauss and his reported sexual abuse of young boys while he was the Ohio State University (OSU) wrestling team’s physician.
“Jim Jordan, he’s a former wrestling coach, who the players say knew that the team doctor was sexually abusing a lot of the players — and he did nothing about it,” Maher said, per Newsweek.”Now to be fair to Jim Jordan, he is not accused of abusing any of the players himself, he just stood by and did nothing while horrible things happened: so good practice for the hearing.”
Maher compared the accusations to the 2016 conviction of former Yorkville, Illinois wrestling coach Dennis Hastert, who was convicted in 2016 of trying to pay off boys he later admitted to sexually abusing.
“Jim Jordan is the second wrestling coach turned Republican congressman who has had a sex scandal having to do with the wrestling children. Dennis Hastert anybody?…He was also a creepy wrestling coach. What are the odds?”
A federal lawsuit involving hundreds of plaintiffs claims that OSU officials, including Jordan, turned a blind eye to Strauss’ sexual abuse. One victim claims to have told Jordan and then-OSU wrestling head coach, Russ Hellickson, that Strauss masturbated on him in the shower following a match and claims the pair did nothing.
A report by Seattle, Washington-based law firm Perkins Coie found that Strauss committed at least 177 instances of sexual assault. In another report from Ohio newspaper The Columbus Dispatch, Strauss is accused of drugging and raping an OSU student-athlete.
Per The Guardian, Jordan has taken on the role of “attack dog” in the impeachment probe into Donald Trump. The president is accused of pressuring Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Democratic rival Joe Biden, and Jordan has taken it on himself to block, deflect, and argue against evidence in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
Back in April, Jordan claimed that he had never heard Trump lie — a showcase of his unwavering loyalty to the president.
Jordan’s role as Trump’s defender is a change from his previous approach to politics. The 55-year-old co-founder of the Freedom Caucus used to defend oversight, congressional authority, and whistleblower protections — opposite to the values he now appears to fight for.
As noted by political commentator Kurt Bardella, Jordan also understandings that the impeachment hearings must play for television and tailors his behavior accordingly.