Jul 14 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – authors of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athlete Act – released the following statement in response to a report released today by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (OIG DOJ) detailing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) failure to act on reports it received about Larry Nassar’s abuse of athletes. Today’s report revealed significant misconduct by at least two FBI agents in the Indianapolis field office who knew of Nassar’s abuse, failed to act and made false and misleading statements in documenting the case and describing their conduct to DOJ IG investigators. The DOJ IG made criminal referrals for these actions, which the Department of Justice declined to act on. Sens. Blumenthal and Moran were personally briefed on the report earlier today by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“We are appalled by the FBI’s gross mishandling of the specific warnings its agents received about Larry Nassar’s horrific abuse years before he was finally arrested,” said Sens. Moran and Blumenthal. “How many athletes would have been spared unimaginable pain if the FBI had done its job? The Department of Justice now needs to decide if it is going to be yet another institution that fails survivors or if it is going to enforce some measure of accountability for these crimes.”
“We would like to see Inspector General Horowitz, FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Garland appear before the Senate to discuss this report’s findings and explain what steps are being taken to ensure that this never happens again,” the senators continued.
Sens. Moran and Blumenthal repeatedly pressed the DOJ IG to investigate and report on the FBI’s handling of the Nassar case after uncovering evidence of misconduct during their eighteen-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement. The joint investigation was launched the day after Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison and included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with Olympic athletes and survivors and the retrieval of over 70,000 pages of documents.
Last year, Congress approved Sens. Moran and Blumenthal’s sweeping Olympic reform legislation to reform the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in the wake of abuse allegations that touched nearly all corners of Olympic sport.
In 2018, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Sen. Moran questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray on if the FBI received reports of sexual abuse within USA Gymnastics.
In 2019, Sen. Moran secured FBI Director Christopher Wray’s commitment in an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that the agency would prioritize and take the OIG recommendation seriously.
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