NBC News: “A video that was created to spur on the internal university investigation into a former Ohio State University wrestling doctor — and last week led to questions about what Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a former coach, knew about the alleged abuse at the time — is an emotional recounting of what one former athlete has called a ‘cesspool of sexual deviance.’”
The House hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok “erupted into a shouting match” after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) directly asked Strzok about his affair with former FBI attorney Lisa Page, CNN reports.
Said Gohmert: “I’ve talked to FBI agents around the country. You’ve embarrassed them. You’ve embarrassed yourself. And I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?”
The comment prompted jeers from others on the committee, including one person who could be heard saying: “This is outrageous.”
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) also responded to Gohmert: “You need your medication.”
“Republicans sparred with FBI agent Peter Strzok from the very first question at a hearing Thursday over politically charged investigations, threatening him with a contempt citation for refusing, at the direction of an FBI lawyer, not to answer questions about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.
“Strzok, who was the lead agent on FBI probes into Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign and is now the subject of an internal misconduct probe, was asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, how many individuals he interviewed in the first week of the Russia probe in the summer of 2016. He declined to answer.”
“Democrats immediately accused Republicans of treating Strzok unfairly and asked that the hearing be adjourned.”
The Fix highlights several key parts of the hearing.
“I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
— FBI agent Peter Strzok, quoted by the New York Times, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and criticizing Republican attacks on him.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “is quietly lining up votes to succeed Paul Ryan as speaker, reaching out to key lawmakers across the Republican Conference and asking whether they will commit to back him as speaker next January,” Politico reports.
“In public, McCarthy says he’s not campaigning for the job, saying it’s more important to focus on saving the Republican majority in the House than a campaign for the top leadership post. Yet running for speaker is precisely what McCarthy is doing.”
Playbook: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy raised $12,120,531 into his four fundraising committees, a sum that insiders believe is the highest quarterly take by a majority leader.”
“McCarthy has raised $40 million this cycle, and has raised and contributed $20 million for other House Republicans in events in D.C. and around the country.”
“Since 2009, the California Republican has been traveling the country, helping raise money and recruit candidates for the GOP. But now, McCarthy is putting together an impressive fundraising resume that will, at some point, make a case for why he thinks he should lead the party. Piling up eight-figure fundraising quarters is a big deal, and usually reserved for the speaker and minority leader. Plus, Republicans will need every last dime of this cash if they want a chance at keeping their majority come this fall.”
Another former Ohio State University wrestler told CNN that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was aware of sexual abuse allegations against the wrestling team doctor when he was a wrestling coach at the school.
The former wrestler said he directly told Jordan about the team doctor’s behavior and that Jordan did nothing: “I remember coming up and saying, ‘Strauss held my balls longer than normal.’ He just snickered.”
“Rep. Tim Ryan is considering taking on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi again in November despite previously ruling the idea out — the latest turn in the caucus-wide chaos unleashed by Rep. Joe Crowley’s shocking primary loss last month,” Politico reports.
Said Ryan: “The Crowley race changed a lot for a lot of us. There was a lot of assumption that he was going to be moving forward in leadership and so losing that election put everybody in a state of mind to reevaluate what was happening.”
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) “released a statement backing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) against accusations that he turned a blind eye to sexual abuse decades ago,” Politico reports.
“The Louisiana Republican is the first member of leadership to publicly back Jordan, who has long been a thorn in GOP leadership’s side as leader of the House Freedom Caucus.”
Said Scalise: “I have always known Jim Jordan to be honest, and I’m confident he would stand up for his athletes, just like he’s always stood up for what’s right, I’m glad that Jim is committed to working with the investigators to see that the full truth comes out and justice is served.”
“They come after me because I’m effective. I’ve made some very powerful, rich enemies.”
— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
A seventh former Ohio State University wrestler said Saturday that he believes Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) knew about inappropriate behavior that allegedly took place in the school’s athletic department three decades ago, the Washington Post reports.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) “is facing the kind of slowly percolating scandal that would bring down other politicians in other times, as new accusers step forward by the day to say the wrestling coach turned politician was aware of sexual misconduct at Ohio State University but did nothing to stop it,” the New York Times reports.
“But like the man Mr. Jordan doggedly supports, President Trump, the Ohio Republican has the kind of stalwart supporters who do not lose faith easily, and they are already defending the conservative powerhouse, saying he is the victim of the same ‘deep state’ conspirators — liberal bureaucrats embedded in the government — who are trying to bring down the President.”
“Five former wrestlers, including former UFC world champion Mark Coleman, said this week that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was aware of, but didn’t respond to, allegations of sexual misconduct by an Ohio State University team doctor when the lawmaker was an assistant wrestling coach there in the 1990s,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Said Coleman: “There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State… I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”
A fourth former Ohio State University wrestler came forward to contradict Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) claim that he had no idea the wrestling team doctor was molesting athletes, NBC News reports.
“The wrestler, Shawn Dailey, said he was groped half a dozen times by Dr. Richard Strauss in the mid-1990s, when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach. Dailey said he was too embarrassed to report the abuse directly to Jordan at the time, but he said Jordan took part in conversations where Strauss’ abuse of many other team members came up.”
Said Dailey: “I participated with Jimmy and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss. We all did. It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down.”
Mike DiSabato told CNN that not only was Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) aware of the alleged sexual abuse on the Ohio State wrestling team, but that he personally witnessed inappropriate behavior in the team shower.
DiSabato described an environment where student-athletes shared a shower with staff and faculty members who “were involved in lewd acts that included public masturbation” and “excessive soaping of their groin area.”
Said DiSabato: “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) “emphatically denied allegations that he intentionally overlooked widespread sexual abuse of wrestlers whom he coached decades ago, telling Politico in a Tuesday night interview that he would have taken action had he known of the alleged behavior.”
Said Jordan: “It’s not true. I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”