Ex-Ohio State wrestler's emails to Rep. Jim Jordan allege cover-up of 'vile' sex abuse
High-profile Republican congressman accused of ignoring allegations while coaching wrestling at the university; correspondent Ellison Barber reports on what both sides are saying.
A former Ohio State University wrestler told Fox News Thursday that he sent a series of emails to Rep. Jim Jordan about alleged sexual abuse by a team doctor in an effort "to help him realize he needed to step forward and lead [and] cut through the BS at Ohio State."
Michael DiSabato has accused the Ohio Republican, a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at the University of Wisconsin and a former Ohio State assistant coach, of turning a blind eye to allegations against Richard Strauss, who died in 2005.
Earlier this week, Jordan's office denied knowing about any allegations against Strauss. Jordan did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
"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," spokesman Ian Fury told Fox News.
DiSabato told Fox News that Jordan's response to his claims has been "disappointing. The position he took was staggering at best. He chose to double down. Triple down."
U.S. Capitol Police are reviewing emails sent to Jordan by DiSabato, some of which date back to March. Sources tell Fox News that Jordan had previously forwarded the emails to Chief of Staff Kevin Eichinger and Jordan's attorney. However, an email sent from DiSabato at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday was "the last straw" and prompted Jordan to alert Capitol Police.
Fox News has obtained two of the emails sent to Jordan, most of which are hard to decipher and peppered with emojis. Both messages -- dated May 6 and June 15 and bearing the subject line "WINTER IS HERE" -- appear to be directed to Ohio State football legend Archie Griffin and former NCAA official Oliver Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
"I BCC over 250 of my VO BROTHERS WHO WERE RAPED and/or sexual prayed [sic] upon daily under the Buckeye banner which you wanna tie your brand ..." reads the May 6 email, which closes with the phrase: "#RapeCoverUpAWayOfLife."
"VO" appears to refer to Varsity O, an alumni organization for former Ohio State athletes.
The June 15 email reads in part: "Please Jesus look down on us and save us from the international news outlets who are going to be setting up shop in columbus [sic] and Urbana Ohio this fall to provide daily updates on the most vile sex abuse and abuse of power scandal in modern American history of higher education and organized sport!"
The email refers to Jordan as "Reverend James – the 'squeaky clean' US Congressman from Urbana, who does not recall systemic sex abuse and has never heard agent orange tell a lie and wants to be speaker of the house despite his apparent lack of knowledge of the systemic sex abuse…."
Male athletes from 14 sports at Ohio State have reported alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss, who was on the faculty and medical staff and published a variety of research.
Ohio State has not released details about the claims but said more than 150 former students and witnesses have been interviewed so far. The school has urged anyone with information about Strauss to contact the independent investigators from Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.