Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of President Donald Trump’s most stalwart supporters, will be one of the Republicans grilling witnesses next week when the much-anticipated impeachment hearings get underway.
Jordan was tapped by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Friday to temporarily take the spot of Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., on the Intelligence Committee.
A former Ohio State University wrestling coach, Jordan is famous for his combative questioning of witnesses and for avoiding suit jackets.
“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth,” McCarthy said in a statement. “His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process.”
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The announcement came a day after NBC News reported that a professional wrestling referee claimed in a lawsuit that Jordan shrugged off his complaint when he reported back in 1994 that disgraced doctor Richard Strauss had masturbated in front of him in the shower after a match at Ohio State. The suit does not list Jordan as a defendant.
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and another wrestling coach allegedly replied, according to the complaint.
The referee is identified as John Doe 42 in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by 43 survivors against Ohio State which claims the university’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled Strauss to prey on males athletes and students.
John Doe 42 is the second person to say he told Jordan directly about sexual misconduct by Strauss, who was found by independent investigators to have sexually abused 177 male students over two decades.
Jordan has repeatedly denied knowing anything about what Strauss did to the wrestlers he helped coach from 1986 to 1994. He has said the allegations against him are politically motivated.
Jordan has yet to comment on the allegations leveled by John Doe 42, who is a respected member of the Ohio wrestling community.
Strauss died in 2005.
Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said Thursday that the university "has led the effort to investigate and expose the misdeeds of Richard Strauss and the systemic failures to respond, and the university is committed to a fair resolution.
"The university is actively participating in good faith in the mediation process directed by the federal court," Johnson continued. "In addition, since February, Ohio State has been covering the cost of professionally certified counseling services and treatment for anyone affected, as well as reimbursing costs for counseling already received."
Corky Siemaszko is a senior writer at NBC News Digital.