Statement Analysis®

Is Rep. Jim Jordan Lying?

This month, Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio was accused of ignoring alleged sexual abuse while he was an assistant wrestling coach at The Ohio State University from 1986 - 1994. The allegations come from more a half-dozen wrestlers who insist that Jordan knew the team doctor, Dr. Strauss, had been sexually abusing some of the athletes. Dr. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.

On July 3, 2018, Fox News reported, "Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Tuesday denied reports that he 'turned a blind eye' to alleged sexual abuse."

"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," Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Jordan, told Fox News.

Well, Jordan didn't make any denials. His spokesperson did.

The following day at a Fourth of July event in Fremont, Ohio, a reporter asked Jordan about the allegations that he did nothing about the alleged sexual abuse. Here are some excerpts as to what Jordan had to say.

"The stuff that was said yesterday, that's just not accurate. I mean it's just, it's just not true."
"Things he said are just not true."
"Things they said about me were just flat out not true."
"That's just not accurate to say those things that we knew of it and didn't report it. It's just not true."

In a good denial, the person will deny the act itself. Jordan is accused of ignoring sexual abuse committed by the team doctor. If Jordan did not know of the abuse, he should have said, "I didn't know of any abuse." "I didn't see any abuse." "I wasn't told of any abuse." Instead, Jordan denies the allegations, that he knew of the abuses, are not true. There is a chance that something was said about Jordan that was not true. This allows Jordan to say, "Things they said about me were just flat out not true."

In the last denial, Jordan used the pronoun "we" to include other coaches he worked with. He will also use the pronoun "we" in some other statements. Pronouns give us responsibility. When a person uses the pronoun "I," he is taking full responsibility for his actions. By using the pronoun "we," Jordan is spreading those responsibilities.

There is one word Jordan likes to use repeatedly. It is the word "just." In Statement Analysis, the shortest sentence is the best sentence. You don't need the word "just" in any of Jordan's denials. You could remove the word "just" and his denials will still make sense; "Things they said about me were just flat out not true." So, why did Jordan use the word "just?"

The word "just" can be used in many ways. However, it almost always indicates a person is minimizing something. Walk into a restaurant by yourself and there is a very good chance the host will say to you, "Just one?" The host is minimizing how many people are in your party. (Any good manager will tell their host not to use the word "just." It sounds a bit condescending.)

In the statement, "He just went to McDonalds" the person could be minimizing time. It was a few minutes ago when he went to McDonalds. He could be minimizing the person's actions. All he did was go to McDonalds.

In the phrase, "That's just the ticket" the word "just" is used like the word "exactly." It is expressing that this is exactly what is needed. However, the word "just" in this sentence is still minimizing things. The person is also saying that is all that is needed. We see the same thing in the statement, "You look just like your father." While it says you look exactly like your father it is also minimizing the possibilities of whom you look like.

"That's just the information I need to understand the situation." While the word "just" indicates it's the correct information that is needed, it also implies it is the only information that is needed.

"I had just enough time to talk to her before I left." Here the word "just" is used to indicate a small amount of time. In other words, it is minimizing the amount of time.

I think you get the picture. The word "just" is usually used to minimize things. Jordan uses the word "just" to add emphasis to his denial; "Things he said are just not true." However, he is also minimizing the falseness or accuracy of the things being said about him.

At this same Fourth of July event, Jordan was asked if he knew Dr. Strauss. He gave the following answer.

"Ah, I, I, I did know Doctor Strauss. He was, ah, you know, he, was there when we got to Ohio state, um, and was continued to work at Ohio State once, once I left. Ah, so, yeah, you know, knew, knew ah, the doctor. Um, but there's no truth to the fact that, that I knew of any abuse."

Twelve times, Jordan used an interjection or repeated a word. This indicates he is pausing for time to think about what to say. Why does he have to think about what to say? He could have said, "Yes, I knew him. He seemed like an okay doctor. I didn't see him do anything inappropriate." When a story is coming from memory, it should flow smoothly. When people have something to hide, they think about what to say and are more careful of their words.

In Statement Analysis, we believe what people tell us. Jordan referred to these allegaions against him as being a fact: "There's no truth to the fact that, that I knew of any abuse." I believe it is a fact that he knew of these abuses. He should have said, there is "no truth to the allegations that I knew of any abuse."

Another telling thing is what Mike DiSabato, one of Jordan's accusers, told NBC. 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." DiSabato called Jordan a liar. There is a very good chance you will not hear Jordan refer to his accusers as liars.

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