Is Someone Trying to Set Up Jim Jordan?

LAW FIRM INVOLVED IN PROCURING OBAMA “LONG-FORM” BIRTH CERTIFICATE INVESTIGATING MISCONDUCT CLAIMS ORIGINATING DECADES AGO

by Sharon Rondeau

Rep. Jim Jordan (official congressional photo)

(Jul. 6, 2018) — On April 5, 2018, Ohio State University announced the opening of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against a deceased sports physician and professor, Dr. Richard Strauss, it employed “between the mid-1970s and the late 1990s,” according to the press release.

Dr. Strauss reportedly worked at the university from the mid-1970s, retired in 1998 and passed away in 2005.  How the allegations will be proved or disproved without the accused is unclear, a question which none in the media appears to be asking.

In the April 5 press release, media representative Chris Davey claimed that the employment dates and types of services Strauss provided during his tenure were “not precisely known at this time.”  The release begins with a correction to an earlier statement that Strauss’s function at the university was “former wrestling trainer” rather than “wrestling team physician.”

As do many media outlets when employing the adjective “under way,” it appears as one word in the press release rather than two.

The announcement states, in part:

At the request of the university, the attorney general also appointed an outside, independent investigator, Bricker & Eckler LLP. The firm is charged with conducting a comprehensive investigation of each and every allegation. The allegations include incidents of sexual misconduct from the mid-1970s through the late 1990s regarding Dr. Strauss’ behavior with student-athletes and other acts of sexual misconduct.

The probe immediately gained national attention in sports media outlets and now embroils an outspoken Republican member of Congress who is seeking to become Speaker of the House after Paul Ryan leaves Congress in early January.  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) was an assistant wrestling coach at OSU between 1986 and 1994 and is accused of knowing about the alleged abuse but failing to take action.

A star wrestler in college, Jordan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, a Master’s in Education, and a law degree, according to the bio on his congressional website.  In recent weeks, Jordan has been highly critical of the U.S. Justice Department and FBI for failing to turn over congressionally-subpoenaed documents related to several ongoing investigations including alleged FISA abuse, Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and possible political bias within the agencies during the 2016 presidential election.

No media outlet appears to have asked the accusers whether or not they filed a police report against Strauss at the time and if not, why not, as all would presumably have been 18 years of age or older.

On Thursday, Fox News reported that one of Strauss’s accusers has been sending Jordan “strange” emails for several months which are now under investigation by the Capitol Police.

On May 3, OSU media representative Chris Davey provided an update on the probe which stated, in part:

Since the April 5 announcement of the allegations and investigation, the university has learned that during his time at Ohio State, Dr. Strauss treated student-athletes from several sports, worked at the medical center, and the student health center. To date, the investigative team has received confidential reports from former Ohio State varsity men student-athletes affiliated with cheerleading, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, volleyball and wrestling. We are sharing this information to encourage our community past and present to come forward…

The university originally communicated that Bricker & Eckler LLP would be leading the investigation, but a legal conflict precluded its involvement. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university, and in turn, Porter Wright engaged Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an independent investigation of the matter. Its work is in progress. The investigative team at Perkins Coie is led by two partners in its White Collar & Investigations practice with extensive relevant experience: Markus Funk, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, and Caryn Trombino, a former federal government ethics attorney.

An article in the Dayton Daily News updated on July 3, 2018 reports allegations made not only against Strauss, but also of a “deviant training environment to which we were exposed on a daily basis,” according to one of the accusers.

Following the Independence Day holiday, media outlets began reporting en masse that multiple accusers say that Jordan was made aware of the allegations about Strauss and has “lied about it.”

Jordan has denied having any knowledge of the alleged abuse.  Jordan’s former OSU fellow coach, Russ Hellickson, claimed that he addressed Strauss’s inappropriate behavior directly with the doctor. The same NBC News article quotes a second former OSU wrestler as having claimed to have informed Jordan of the abuse, after which Jordan and Hellickson reportedly “went in and talked to Strauss.”

The Dayton Daily News quoted Hellickson as having said that he “caught” multiple parties behaving inappropriately within the sports complex.  “Certainly, all of my administrators recognized that it was an issue for me. I’m sure that I talked to all of them on numerous occasions about my discontent with the environment,” Hellickson reportedly told DDN. Additionally, a “private video” in which several accusers reportedly make accusations was provided to “investigators” by the university, the paper reported.

One of the accusers, Dunyasha Yetts, has a criminal history, multiple outlets said.

Also reported Thursday was that an attorney from the Porter Wright law firm attempted to contact Jordan’s House office by telephone and email but used an incorrect email address.  Apparently without making an attempt to follow up more formally, Attorney Kathleen Trafford appeared to accuse Jordan of failing to cooperate with the investigation when his office did not respond to her emails and a phone call.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, accuser Mike DiSabato has been sued by a former business partner and accused of “email harassment” by a former fellow OSU wrestler.

The Dispatch’s article originally contained the following url:  http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180705/investigators-for-ohio-state-used-wrong-email-address-trying-to-contact-congressman-jim-jordan and has been rewritten and assigned a new url:  http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180705/trump-says-he-doesnt-believe-allegations-against-jim-jordan-new-victim-emerges

The update appears to have been made after The Post & Email contacted both writers at 6:25 p.m. EDT Thursday to ask:

In the last paragraph of your article here:

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180705/investigators-for-ohio-state-used-wrong-email-address-trying-to-contact-congressman-jim-jordan

you say that “a former OSU football player, Matt Finkes, filed a report with the Columbus Police Department also complaining of harassment by DiSabato.”

Does that mean that Finkes has named DiSabato as having committed sexual misconduct at OSU years ago?  If so, when was the police report filed?

Why did the attorneys and The Dispatch take a guess at the email address rather than calling Jordan’s office to obtain it? I’ve done that many times with members of Congress.

Thank you.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
www.thepostemail.com

Co-author Jessica Wehrman responded in two emails:

Email harassment

and

I didn’t take a guess at his email. I got from Jordan’s office that that was the email that investigators used. They were the ones who alerted me that the attorneys had sent it to the wrong address (and I cannot guess at why).

Thanks!

On Thursday, The Post & Email contacted the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to ask what role, if any, it has assumed in the investigation and why a law firm, rather than law enforcement, is conducting an investigation into the allegations. Later that afternoon, we received a return call from spokesman Dan Tierney, who explained that “under Ohio law, we are the legal representative in court for any state agency, including the state universities.  So any attorney that represents a state agency or who the state agency intends to hire outside the AG’s office, we have to appoint them to make it legal under Ohio law.”

He added that OSU opened an “administrative” investigation as opposed to a “criminal investigation.”  However, Tierney said, OSU also sent the information it had to the Franklin County prosecuting attorney and Columbus Division of Police, both of whom we contacted prior to receiving Tierney’s return call.

Tierney was unable to say why the Porter Wright law firm contracted with Perkins Coie to complete the investigation.  He offered no comment after we brought to his attention the fact that Perkins Coie has deep “political” connections as demonstrated by its representation of the DNC and payment, on behalf of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, to Fusion GPS to procure the now-infamous Trump-Russia “dossier” reportedly used to obtain surveillance warrants over then-Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page.

Some outlets reported that OSU “hired” Perkins Coie, while others made the distinction that Porter Wright reportedly contracted with Perkins Coie.

Our final question to Tierney was how an investigation is conducted when the accused “is dead,” to which he said he could not comment and referred us back to OSU.

Perkins Coie’s Funk and Trombino did not respond to our email inquiries.  The Columbus Division of Police’s Media Relations Unit did not respond to a phone message by press time, nor did the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to her bio, Trombino, based in Chicago, “regularly conducts confidential internal investigations in anticipation of potential government scrutiny or other legal exposure, and frequently counsels clients in connection with whistleblower allegations, transactional due diligence and legal/compliance risk assessments.”  Funk is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Illinois, and the District of Columbia, is a former Justice Department prosecutor, and currently holds the position of chairman of the White Collar & Investigations Practice division of Perkins Coie.

On Thursday The Washington Post reported that Jordan’s office had agreed to make the congressman available for an interview with investigators after the inaccurate email address issue was resolved.

An email sent by The Post & Email to Davey on Thursday with specific questions received a lengthy, generic response, apparently prepared in advance, without responding to anything specific.  We asked:

Regarding Ohio State University’s retention of Perkins Coie to conduct an “investigation” into sexual-misconduct allegations against the late Dr. Richard Strauss, why was a law firm retained? Is this not a job for local police and their detectives? Why a law firm based in Washington State when the university is located in Ohio?

Is the university aware that Perkins Coie is deeply involved in Democratic Party politics? Is it concerned that the choice of this particular law firm might appear to lend bias to the outcome considering that a Republican Ohio congressman will reportedly be questioned?

As stated in the initial press release of April 5, 2018, why were Dr. Strauss’s employment records not immediately available?

Why is there any question that a “criminal” investigation might be required? Is alleged sexual misconduct a “white collar crime?”

Thank you very much.

The response reads:

Hello. The university recognizes and appreciates the courage and assistance of those in our community who have come forward and contacted the independent investigators about former university physician Dr. Richard Strauss, who was employed at the university from 1978-98 and died in 2005. We are deeply concerned for everyone who may have been affected by his actions.

The investigation announced April 5 began in response to a report by a former student who came forward in late March of this year with allegations of sexual misconduct experienced by him and multiple other individuals. These allegations prompted immediate action by the university.

Our efforts will continue to be focused on uncovering what may have happened during this era, what university leaders at the time may have known, and whether any response at the time was appropriate. Once the independent investigation has been completed, we will be in a position to consider what further action may be appropriate.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university and, in turn, Porter Wright engaged Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an independent investigation of the matter. Its work is in progress. The investigative team at Perkins Coie is led by two partners in its White Collar & Investigations practice with extensive relevant experience: Markus Funk, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, and Caryn Trombino, a former federal government ethics attorney. Because it is an ongoing, independent investigation, we are unable to discuss details such as who has been interviewed.

At the outset of the investigation, the university reached out to the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for any potential criminal investigation. The attorney general has committed the resources of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist in any criminal investigation, if requested.

Perkins Coie now has received confidential reports of sexual misconduct committed by Strauss from former varsity men student-athletes in 14 sports and from former patients of Student Health Services within the Office of Student Life. The sports include baseball, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling. The Perkins team is also investigating whether, and to what extent, Dr. Strauss may have examined high school-aged students during his time at the university.

To date, Perkins Coie has interviewed more than 150 former students and witnesses and is engaged in further investigative efforts. Ohio State has shared all additional information that has come to the attention of the university with the independent investigators whose work is ongoing.

At the outset of the investigation, the university reached out to the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for any potential criminal investigation. The attorney general has committed the resources of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist in any criminal investigation, if requested.

We remain steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth. We encourage anyone with information about incidents relating to Dr. Strauss and his time at Ohio State to please come forward and contact the independent investigators at osu@perkinscoie.com. More information, resources and documents related to the ongoing independent investigation are available at http://www.osu.edu.

Chris Davey
Associate Vice President
University Communications
111 Bricker Hall, 190 North Oval Mall , Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-5962 Office / 614-886-8658 Mobile
davey.8@osu.edu osu.edu TWITTER: @ChrisDavey

A point no media outlet appears to have raised is that Perkins Coie was also deeply involved in the purported procuring, through a special “waiver,” of the “long-form” birth certificate of Barack Hussein Obama. On April 27, 2011, an image alleged to represent a certified copy of Obama’s long-form birth record was published at whitehouse.gov but almost immediately deemed a forgery by several experts.

Just prior to the release of the image, then-White House Counsel Robert Bauer provided a purported explanation in a closed press conference as to how the alleged birth certificate was obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) by then-Perkins Coie attorney Judith Corley.  At the time, Bauer was a former Perkins Coie partner who returned to his previous position at Perkins approximately six weeks after the image was made public.

Corley was acting as Obama’s personal attorney when she reportedly flew to Honolulu on or around April 23, 2011 to pay for two certified copies of her client’s long-form birth certificate to provide to the White House.  She has since retired.

Bauer “left” Perkins Coie in May, and his biographical sketch posted at the firm’s website now yields an error message.

Experts’ expressed opinions that the image is a poorly-crafted forgery eventually prompted the opening of a criminal investigation under the authority of the Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Expected to last just days or weeks, lead investigator Mike Zullo was forced to inform then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio in August 2011 that the image could not be cleared as genuine.

The investigation continued through December 2016, when Zullo revealed that two highly-acclaimed forensic document analysts had each examined the image, without knowledge of the other’s work, and arrived at similar conclusions to his own:  that the “long-form” birth certificate image cannot be considered authentic.

In a December 2017 interview with this publication, Zullo told us that Perkins Coie “shifted the burden of the birth certificate to Corley so they could circumvent the document archiving procedures of the White House.  That document was never provided to the federal government.”

A number of news outlets, particularly those which lean to the political left, have described Jordan as “powerful.”  “A news report on Tuesday accusing Representative Jim Jordan of ignoring accusations of sexual abuse as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University has left a cloud over the powerful congressman as conservative activists put him forward as potentially the next speaker of the House,” wrote The New York Times on Tuesday, referring to NBC’s article.

In its re-written article, The Columbus Dispatch quoted a source familiar with laws surrounding the reporting of sexual abuse over the years who stated that during the time in which Jordan was an assistant coach, it is possible that neither he nor any other faculty member hearing the allegations was required to take any action.

2 Responses to "Is Someone Trying to Set Up Jim Jordan?"

  1. Thomas Arnold lll   Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 11:25 PM

    I have always greatly admired Jim Jordan. One of the very few in our Congress. However, his interview the other day (was it Thursday or Friday?) by Bret Baier on Fox News’ Special Report was UNCONVINCING to say the least.
    As for Perkins Coie, they’re definitely a bunch of crooks!

  2. Oscar Piper   Friday, July 6, 2018 at 7:02 PM

    “Bauer “left” Perkins Coie in May, and his biographical sketch posted at the firm’s website now yields an error message.”

    Is that because he is no longer with the firm?

    It was still there as to a couple of weeks ago.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180615073843/https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/professionals/robert-bauer.html

    His stated reasons for leacing.

    https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-insights/bob-bauer-leaving-perkins-coie-after-more-than-35-years.html

    The Plot Thickens

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