Jim Jordan Walks Out Of Hearing Dedicated To Topic Of Sexual Harassment
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse during his assistant coaching days at Ohio State University, made an early exit from a House hearing on sexual harassment on Thursday, according to Law & Crime.
In a scene that the publication described as “almost too on the nose,” Jordan left as the House Judiciary Committee was hearing testimony related to sexual misconduct and other types of workplace discrimination experienced by women in the federal court system.
Courthouse News reporter Megan Mineiro tweeted that the congressman was present for the hearing but opted to leave once women began sharing their stories, which Law & Crime suggested could mean the subject matter “hit too close to home” for the former assistant wrestling coach.
Olivia Warren, who had clerked for now-deceased Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, was the first to share her experience, beginning with an offensive drawing that Reinhardt left on her desk on her first day of work.
“The judge himself asked me whether or not the drawing was quote ‘accurate,’ with a look that indicated whether or not it resembled my own breasts,” Warren said.
She described the “juxtaposition” of anger, grief and shame she felt when the judge passed away in 2018, noting that was the point when “The harassment had ceased.”
Warren also described her fear of coming forward while Reinhardt was alive and said her ability to speak now is only because the judge is gone: “My fear of retaliation is lessened because Judge Reinhardt is no longer on the bench. My courage is bolstered by the brave women who have come before me.”
The former clerk concluded with a message of hope and encouragement for other women suffering sexual harassment within the judicial system, saying: [K]now that what you are going through is not your fault. Know that your feelings of powerlessness are not irrational. And know that if the system feels stacked against you, it is because right now it is.”
But Jordan apparently was not interested in hearing from any brave women on Thursday.
That the Republican turned a deaf ear to the women testifying before the House comes as little shock, considering he accused of doing exactly that while working with OSU’s wrestling team.
The former OSU men’s wrestling team doctor Robert Strauss spent two decades sexually assaulting over 150 college athletes. During eight of those years, from 1986 to 1994, Jordan served as an assistant coach—but has consistently pleaded that he was completely unaware of the doctor’s crimes.
Whistleblowers and others say that’s not true.