|Ranking Member of the |
House Judiciary Committee
|Assumed office |
March 12, 2020
|Preceded by||Doug Collins|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Ohio's 4th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Mike Oxley|
|Ranking Member of the |
House Oversight Committee
March 31, 2020 – June 29, 2020
|Preceded by||Mark Meadows|
|Succeeded by||James Comer|
January 3, 2019 – March 12, 2020
|Preceded by||Elijah Cummings|
|Succeeded by||Mark Meadows|
|Member of the Ohio Senate|
from the 12th district
January 3, 2001 – December 31, 2006
|Preceded by||Robert R. Cupp|
|Succeeded by||Keith Faber|
|Member of the Ohio House of Representatives|
from the 85th district
January 3, 1995 – December 31, 2000
|Preceded by||Jim Davis|
|Succeeded by||Derrick Seaver|
James Daniel Jordan
February 17, 1964
Urbana, Ohio, U.S.
|Education||University of Wisconsin–Madison (BS)|
Ohio State University (MA)
Capital University (JD)
James Daniel Jordan (born February 17, 1964) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Ohio's 4th congressional district since 2007. His district stretches from Lake Erie to just below Urbana in the north-central and western portions of the state and includes Lima, Marion, Tiffin and Elyria. A member of the Republican Party, Jordan is a former collegiate wrestler and college wrestling coach.
Jordan was the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee from January 2019 to March 2020. He vacated that position to become the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. A close ally of President Donald Trump, Jordan is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and chaired the Caucus from its establishment in 2015 until 2017.
Early life, education and early career
Jordan was born and raised in Champaign County, Ohio. He attended and wrestled for Graham High School, graduating in 1982. He won state championships all four years he was in high school and compiled a 156–1 win-loss record. He then enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he became a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion. Jordan won the 1985 and 1986 NCAA championship matches in the 134-pound weight class. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1986. He lost the 57–62 kg featherweight semi-final match at the 1988 US Olympic wrestling trials and did not make the Olympic team.
Jordan earned a master's degree in education from Ohio State University in Columbus and obtained a J.D. degree from Ohio's Capital University Law School in 2001. In a 2018 interview, Jordan stated that he had never taken the bar examination.
Ohio General Assembly
In 2000, Jordan defeated independent candidate Jack Kaffenberger to win a seat in the Ohio Senate with 88% of the vote. In 2004, Jordan defeated Kaffenberger again, this time with 79% of the vote.
U.S. House of Representatives
Jordan represents Ohio's 4th congressional district. He won the Republican primary for the 4th district in 2006 after 26-year incumbent Mike Oxley announced his retirement. Jordan defeated Democrat Rick Siferd in the general election with 60 percent of the votes.
Jordan was reelected in 2008, defeating Democrat Mike Carroll with 65% of the vote. In 2010, he was again re-elected; he defeated Democrat Doug Litt and Libertarian Donald Kissick with 71% of the vote. Subsequently, Jordan was re-elected in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Jordan chaired the Republican Study Committee during the 112th Congress while turning down a position on the Appropriations Committee. During the U.S. government shutdown of 2013, he was considered[by whom?] the most powerful member of the committee. That group was the primary proponent and executor of the Republican Congressional strategy to force a government shutdown, in order to force changes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Jordan received a vote for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in the 113th Congress from a fellow right-wing conservative, Tea Party Caucus chairman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. Jordan received two votes for Speaker during the 114th Congress. On July 26, 2018, Jordan announced his bid for Speaker following resignation of Paul Ryan, but lost to Kevin McCarthy. His campaign ended when Democrats took the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Subsequently, Jordan campaigned for House minority leader. Former Ohio state representative Capri Cafar said that Jordan "is someone who has built a reputation as an attack dog, someone who is media savvy, someone who is a stalwart supporter of the president and who has the skill necessary to take the lead for the GOP." He lost his bid to California Republican McCarthy in a 159–43 vote.
Jordan was the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee from 2019 to 2020. In February 2020, he left his position on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and replaced Doug Collins on the United States House Committee on the Judiciary. Collins was required to step down from the committee post after launching his bid in the 2020 United States Senate special election in Georgia. Jordan was replaced on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by Mark Meadows.
Jordan's district has been redrawn over time to minimize urban area and increase the rural area; it is now gerrymandered to avoid having Toledo, Columbus or Cleveland (or their respective suburbs) in the district which stretches from Lake Erie nearly to Dayton. A three-judge federal panel unanimously ruled in May 2019 that Ohio's congressional district map is unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering and ordered the state to create a new map in time for the 2020 election. As of May 2019, the issue remained unresolved.
During the 114th Congress, Jordan and eight other members of Congress founded the House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of conservatives working "to advance an agenda of limited constitutional government" in Congress. He served as the group's first chairman. The caucus was ultimately credited with pushing Speaker John Boehner into retirement.
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (ranking member)
- House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi
- Committee on Intelligence (Temporary)
- Freedom Caucus
- Congressional Constitution Caucus
- Congressional Western Caucus
- U.S.-Japan Caucus
On May 2, 2014, Jordan introduced House Resolution 565 entitled "Calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service" that passed on May 7, 2014.
In March 2017, Jordan criticized the newly introduced American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement bill for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, calling it an unacceptable form of "Obamacare Lite." On May 4, 2017, he voted to pass a revised version of the legislation.
On June 13, 2018, Jordan and Mark Meadows (R-NC) filed a resolution to compel the Department of Justice to provide certain documents to Congress relating to the ongoing congressional investigations of interference by Russia in the 2016 election. The resolution asserted that the DOJ was stonewalling congressional oversight and sought to give the DOJ seven days from its enactment to turn over documents related to both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller as well as various decisions made by the FBI during the 2016 presidential election. Jordan issued a press release that stated:
This resolution gives the DOJ seven days to turn over the documents that they owe Congress. Rod Rosenstein threatened congressional staff. When the bully picks on your little brother, you have to respond. It's time for House Leadership to stand up and pass this resolution.
On July 25, 2018, Jordan and Mark Meadows introduced Articles of Impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who they accused of "intentionally withholding embarrassing documents and information, knowingly hiding material investigative information from Congress, various abuses of the FISA process, and failure to comply with congressional subpoenas, among others. Jordan stated that impeachment was necessary because:
Jordan and Warren Davidson (R., Ohio) were the only members of the Ohio congressional delegation and two of 60 members of congress, that voted in October 2019 against a bipartisan resolution that passed the House 354–60 condemning President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Syria.
In Congress, Jordan is among the most conservative Republicans, earning a perfect score from the American Conservative Union. He has voted consistently for anti-abortion legislation and was endorsed by Ohio Right to Life in 2012. During the 112th Congress, he was one of 40 "staunch" members of the Republican Study Committee who frequently voted against Republican party leadership and vocally expressed displeasure with House bills.
Asked by Anderson Cooper in April 2018 whether he had ever heard President Trump tell a lie, Jordan said "I have not" and "nothing comes to mind." He also said, "I don't know that [Mr. Trump has ever] said something wrong that he needs to apologize for."
Jordan has been a stalwart supporter and close ally of President Donald Trump. In December 2017, Jordan sought to discredit the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Jordan questioned the impartiality of Mueller, and called on Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to use his authority to disband the Mueller investigation or create a second special counsel to simultaneously investigate Mueller himself. Rosenstein rejected the request, saying that he could not appoint another special counsel as there was not any credible allegation of any potential crime. The New York Times noted that Republicans increasingly criticised Mueller's investigation after it "delivered a series of indictments to high-profile associates of the president and evidence that at least two of them are cooperating with the inquiry". In July 2018, Jordan led efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as a way to shut down the special counsel's investigation. During a hearing on July 12, 2018, Jordan repeatedly interrupted FBI agent Peter Strzok while Strzok tried to explain that he couldn't answer specific questions in order to preserve the confidentiality of an ongoing investigation. Jordan's behavior caused committee Democrats to protest his tactics and to allow Strzok to respond. They also objected to Jordan's exceeding his allowed time for questioning. House Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte, admonished Jordan for his repeated interruptions of the witness.
In July 2018, Jordan, along with Mark Meadows called on the Department of Justice to "review allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena phone records and documents from a House Intelligence Committee staffer". In their written request, the two wrote that in his use of investigative powers, Rosenstein had retaliated "against rank-and-file (congressional) staff members", therefore abusing his authority. Talking to John Catsimatidis on WNYM, Jordan said he would force a vote on the impeachment of Rosenstein if the DOJ does not deliver documents Congress requested.
In March 2019, Jordan was criticized by House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler on the grounds that he allegedly used anti-Semitic messaging by spelling 2020 Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer's name with a "$" in place of an "S" on Twitter while urging Nadler to resist calls for presidential impeachment.
During Robert Mueller's testimony to two congressional committees on July 24, 2019, Jordan asked Mueller why he never charged Joseph Mifsud with lying to the FBI while George Papadopoulos was charged for lying about Mifsud. Jordan said: "Mifsud is the guy who told Papadopoulos [about Russian dirt], he was the guy who started it all, yet when the FBI interviews him, he lies three times. You don't charge him." Mueller responded: "Well I can't get into it and it's obvious, I think, that we can't get into charging decisions."
On October 23, 2019, Jordan and two dozen other Republicans staged a protest that delayed a Trump impeachment inquiry hearing. The coordinated action disrupted the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where Republican and Democratic congressional members planned to take testimony from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper. The group staged a sit-in outside the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) hearing room. Curiously, some of the Republicans who participated already had access to the hearings since the members of the House Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs Committees were welcomed to attend and ask questions (which many did).
In describing the "stand-in", Jordan said: "the members have just had it, and they want to be able to see and represent their constituents and find out what's going on." The next day, Jordan appeared on Fox News and said that "Adam Schiff is doing this unfair, partisan process in secret and our members finally said, 'Enough'...We're sooo frustrated. They reached a boiling point and these guys marched in and said 'we want to know what's going on.'"
House Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson wrote to the House sergeant-at-arms about Jordan, Alabama representative Bradley Byrne, and others, requesting that he take action regarding their "unprecedented breach of security." South Carolina Republican senator Lindsey Graham admonished his House colleagues for their tactic, calling them "nuts" for having made a "run on the SCIF."
As the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, during a July 2020 hearing with attorney general Bill Barr, Jordan presented a video montage that took statements by CNN reporters out of context to create a false impression they were characterizing violent protests as peaceful.
In Congress, Jordan voted to open the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. He voted against enforcing limits on carbon dioxide (CO
2) global warming pollution, tax credits for renewable electricity, tax incentives for renewable energy and energy conservation, and curtailing subsidies for oil and gas company exploration.
Jordan is against Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care in the United States and globally, and supports ending Medicaid reimbursements to the organization.
While serving in the Ohio Senate, Jordan supported the Tax and Expenditure Limitation Amendment, a state constitutional amendment that would require a vote of the people to raise taxes or increase spending over certain limits.
Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal
Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach with the Ohio State University's (OSU) wrestling program from 1987 to 1995. Ohio State University began an independent investigation in April 2018 into allegations of sexual misconduct by former wrestling team physician Richard Strauss; Strauss was the team physician during Jordan's tenure as assistant coach. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.
In early June 2018, at least eight former wrestlers said that Jordan had been aware of, but did not respond to, allegations of sexual misconduct by Strauss. Jordan's locker was next to Strauss's, and Jordan spent so much time in the locker room that he created and awarded a "King of the Sauna" certificate to the member of the team who spent the most time in the sauna "talking smack".
In July 2018, Jordan's congressional spokesman Ian Fury released a statement in which Ohio State wrestling coach Russ Hellickson reportedly said: "At no time while Jim Jordan was a coach with me at Ohio State did either of us ignore abuse of our wrestlers. This is not the kind of man Jim is, and it is not the kind of coach that I was."
Former wrestling team members David Range, Mike DiSabato and Dunyasha Yetts asserted that Jordan knew of Strauss's misconduct. Yetts said "For God's sake, Strauss's locker was right next to Jordan's and Jordan even said he'd kill him if he tried anything with him". No wrestlers have accused Jordan of sexual misconduct; however, Jordan was named as a defendant in a lawsuit against the university by four former wrestlers. Several former wrestlers, including ex-UFC fighter Mark Coleman, allege that Hellickson contacted two witnesses in an attempt to pressure them to support Jordan the day after they accused the congressman of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse.
Jordan has refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss. Jordan described his accusers as "pawns in a political plot" and stated that he did not even hear any locker room talk about Strauss or sexual abuse at OSU. In response to Jordan's denials, Mike DiSabato said: "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."
In May 2019, DiSabato filed a Title IX lawsuit against OSU. In one count of the court papers, DiSabato claimed that a second cousin of Jordan's attempted to "intimidate and retaliate" against DiSabato. In 2019, DiSabato shared text messages with NBC News that were corroborated by another former wrestler indicating that Jim Jordan, Russ Hellickson, and high school wrestling coach Jeff Jordan (Jim Jordan's younger brother) conspired to engage in witness tampering and intimidation when they called Coleman and Coleman's parents to pressure Coleman to recant his earlier accusation that Jordan was aware of the abuse.
In November 2019, a retired wrestling referee filed a lawsuit alleging that he had warned Jordan and Hellickson about Strauss' misconduct. Jordan promptly dismissed the referee as "another person making a false statement".
In February 2020, Adam DiSabato—the brother of Mike DiSabato—testified before the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee that "Jim Jordan called me crying, crying. Groveling. On the 4th of July, begging me to go against my brother. Begging me. Crying for a half hour. That's the kind of cover-up that's going on there".
Jordan and his wife Polly live near Urbana in central Champaign County. They were introduced by her brothers. Jim Jordan explained in an interview with the Washington Examiner in 2014 that he competed in wrestling with Polly's brothers. He told the newspaper, “I decided it would be a lot more fun wrestling with Polly than her brothers." They started dating when he was 13 and she was 14. They have four children and two grandchildren. Jordan's son-in-law by his daughter Jessie, Jarrod Uthoff, is a professional basketball player.
U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio 4th District
2008 - defeated Mike Carroll.
2010 - defeated Doug Litt (D) and Donald Kissick (L).
2012 - defeated Jim Slone (D) and Chris Kalla (L).
2014 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).
2016 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).
2018 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).
|Election results of Jim Jordan|
|1998||Ohio House of Representatives||General||R||23,763||68.36%||Robert Burns||D||10,999||31.64%|
|2000||Ohio Senate||General||R||99,803||76.94%||Jack Kaffenberger Sr.||D||15,545||11.98%||Debra Mitchell||NL||14,373||11.08%|
|2004||Ohio Senate||General||R||118,193||79.27%||Jack Kaffenberger Sr.||I||30,902||20.73%|
|2006||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||129,958||59.99%||Richard E. Siferd||D||86,678||40.01%|
|2008||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||186,154||65.17%||Mike Carroll||D||99,499||34.83%|
|2010||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||146,029||71.49%||Doug Litt||D||50,533||24.74%||Donald Kissick||L||7,708||3.77%|
|2012||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||182,643||58.35%||Jim Slone||D||114,214||36.49%||Chris Kalla||L||16,141||5.16%|
|2014||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||125,907||67.67%||Janet Garrett||D||60,165||32.33%|
|2016||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||210,227||67.99%||Janet Garrett||D||98,981||32.01%|
|2018||U.S. House of Representatives||General||R||164,640||65.41%||Janet Garrett||D||87,061||34.59%|
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Career History: ... Assistant wrestling coach at The Ohio State University (OSU) (1987–1995) ... After graduating in 1986, Jordan returned to his home state to work as an assistant wrestling coach at OSU for nine years.
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Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato has led a campaign to publicize Dr. Strauss's alleged wrongdoings for months and only recently began to criticize Mr. Jordan for allegedly ignoring athletes' concerns.
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David Range ... said Jordan had to have known about alleged sexual misconduct by Richard Strauss ... because it happened regularly to team members and people talked about it.
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- Crowley, James (February 12, 2020). "Former wrestler alleges GOP Rep. Jim Jordan called him "crying, groveling," wanted help covering up OSU abuse scandal". Newsweek. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
- "No more denials. Jim Jordan must acknowledge what he knew: editorial". The Plain-Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio: Advance Publications. July 13, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Rabinowitz, Bill. "Man who first spoke up about Ohio State doc's sex abuse a complicated figure". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Eaton, Sabrina (July 5, 2018). "Rep. Jim Jordan again disputes allegations he knew Ohio State wrestlers were sexually abused (videos)". Cleveland.com. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Siemaszko, Corky (August 9, 2018). "Former OSU wrestler who accused Rep. Jim Jordan of ignoring abuse changes story". NBC News. New York City: NBCUniversal. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
- Pendleton, Marc (September 13, 2018). "End of an era: Jordan retires as Graham wrestling coach". Dayton Daily News. Dayton, Ohio: Cox Enterprises. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Dzhanova, Yelena (November 8, 2019). "Wrestling referee warned Rep. Jim Jordan about Ohio State doctor's sex misconduct, new lawsuit says". CNBC. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
- Young, Ryan (November 8, 2019). "Referee files lawsuit, claims Rep. Jim Jordan ignored abuse allegations against Ohio State doctor". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
- Ellerbrock, Josh (November 12, 2019). "Jim Jordan: Referee's claim 'ridiculous'". Lima News. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
- Behrmann, Savannah. "Ex-OSU wrestler: Rep. Jordan called 'crying, groveling, begging' to deny sexual abuse claims". USA Today. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
- "Former OSU Wrestler: Jim Jordan 'Called Me Crying' After Strauss Abuse Allegation". NBC News. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
- Laviola, Erin (January 25, 2019). "Polly Jordan, Jim Jordan's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Eaton, Sabrina (June 5, 2011). "U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio gains power among House conservatives". Cleveland.com. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Leistikow, Chad. "Jarrod Uthoff on faith, love, basketball and his Iowa legacy". Hawk Central. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
- "Election Results". Ohio Secretary of State. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
- Congressman Jim Jordan official U.S. House website
- Jim Jordan for Congress
- Jim Jordan at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress