WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump plans to award the Medal of Freedom to political ally Rep. Jim Jordan, according to reports.
The Medal of Freedom is one of the highest honors the president can bestow on a civilian. Previous winners of the award include diplomat Ralph Bunche, animation pioneer Walt Disney, poet T.S. Eliot, disability rights advocate Helen Keller, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and others.
Trump plans to give the Medal of Freedom to Jordan and Rep. Devin Nunes of California, two of his most ardent supporters in Congress, according to CNN.
The controversial Jordan cruised to re-election in November, defeating Democrat Shannon Freshour in Ohio’s 4th Congressional District. Jordan has held his congressional seat since 2007.
Over the past year, Jordan has become one of the most recognizable names in the Republican Party, due in part to his ardent support of Trump. The president started name-dropping Jordan with regularity toward the end of 2020 and even appeared with the representative during the first presidential debate.
Since Trump’s election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, Jordan has publicly urged the president to not concede and fight the election results.
Jordan also found himself at the center of a scandal involving former Ohio State University employee Dr. Richard Strauss, who is accused of sexually abusing students. Strauss abused at least 177 students during his 20-year tenure with the school, an independent investigation concluded in 2019. The report said it found a disturbing pattern of abuse at the university. Investigators said university staff knew of complaints and concerns about Strauss in 1979 but failed to look into the accusations.
Jordan has been accused by former wrestlers of knowing about the claims against Strauss and failing to take action. His office has denied the accusations.
Ohio’s 4th District is a winding, gerrymandered district that includes parts of 14 different counties. Jordan is the representative for both Oberlin, one of Ohio’s most liberal cities, and Urbana, one of Ohio’s most rural and conservative areas. Yet Jordan rarely receives less than 66 percent of the vote in his district.
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