“We could use a man like Denny Hastert again,” said no one, ever.
We bring up the much-disgraced, longest-serving Republican (former) Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, known child-molester, because there seems to be a similar news story percolating:
Allegations that Rep. Jim Jordan (Gym Jordan?) failed to stop a team doctor from sexually abusing student athletes when the Ohio Republican was a college wrestling coach is complicating his possible bid for Speaker of the House…
…Jordan, 54, the powerful founding chairman of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, has not formally announced a bid for Speaker but has said he plans to be “part of the discussion” in the race to replace retiring Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) after the fall midterm elections.
And of course, Jordan is bravely defending his good name:
In a statement, Jordan, a former Ohio state lawmaker and seven-term congressman, explicitly denied having any knowledge of the alleged abuse while coaching at OSU from 1986 to 1994.
“Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” Jordan spokesman Ian Fury said in a statement. “He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”
…but Jordan himself is refusing to talk to the media on-record.
There are all sorts of speculation from former athletes in Jordan’s program saying that either absolutely knew (because they complained to Jordan about the molesting team doctor) or that Jordan himself complained about the doctor to the athletes.
Of course, this now being a political football, the usual suspects could be planting the story to damage a leading contender to replace ZEGS at the gavel:
“It wouldn’t surprise me if [Jordan rivals] are trying to kill him off early,” one top centrist House GOP lawmaker told The Hill. “This Speaker’s race is going to get ugly, very ugly. … My instincts tell me this is only the beginning.”
I’ve read accounts that the doctor who allegedly molested the athletes worked at the school for 20 years and was involved with at least 14 different teams, and the numbers of alleged victims is growing, which stretches the credibility of Jordan’s denials.