Simone Biles and Aly Raisman testify before Senate on Nassar investigation – live updates
Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the FBI’s investigation of USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar has wrapped. Here’s Tom Lutz’s full report on the proceedings.
Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, a former prosector, is pressing Wray on why they have not encouraged a criminal prosecution of Abbott or Langeman.
“I hope you won’t misinterpret any of my questions indicating disrespect for the FBI or for your position in the FBI and your background as a law enforcer, as a professional career prosecutor,” Blumenthal says. “You say you’ve run out of adjectives, but you haven’t run out of that actions. The gymnasts who testified earlier, really, with all due respect to all of us on this committee, they don’t want more adjectives. They want actions. And part of that action is discipline and deterrence. And you and I both know, cause we both prosecute, we look at action by prosecutors as deterrence is changing culture, whether it’s in corporations or other institutions like the FBI.”
Blumenthal confirms with Wray that Langeman (the FBI agent who interviewed Maroney in 2015 and didn’t follow up) was fired “early last week”, then asks why Langeman wasn’t fired any earlier.
Wray’s response: “We waited until we had the inspector general’s report, so we had all the facts, so we understood the totality as independently investigated of his conduct. And then we followed our disciplinary process because one of the things that is in keeping with my insistence that everybody in the FBI do things in the right way, includes making sure that we follow our disciplinary process in the right way. And we did that and he’s been fired.”
Blumenthal than makes a shrewd implication: “Someone perhaps more cynical than I would have perhaps concluded that it was the hearing here staring the FBI in the face that prompted that action, but I’m not going to go there because I think what’s more important than the firing is, in fact, the criminal prosecution. And here, I think there are really fundamental issues of fairness and law enforcement.”
Now Blumenthal arrives at the main point: Why haven’t the now-former FBI agents faced criminal prosecution?
He says: “For someone who has been a federal prosecutor to put into a 302, a false statement, by a potential witness is so blood-curdling that I can well understand your criminal referral. And in fact, as you say, the false statement inserted by that FBI agent could have been used in a false defense by Larry Nassar.”
Blumenthal continues to Horowitz: “And in addition, separately, Jay Abbott lied to you. People get prosecuted for making false statements when they apply to a federally insured bank for a mortgage, and here is a federal agent, the former special agent in charge of the Indianapolis office, making a material, false statement to you in your investigation.
“Now, Director Wray, put aside adjectives. If I were in your shoes, I would be walking across the street to the attorney general of the United States, and I would be saying, ‘You need to prosecute.’ Why aren’t you doing that?”
“I don’t want to get into my discussions with the attorney general,” Wray responds. “I have a lot of respect for him and for the privacy of our conversations. I will say that in this particular instance, the case agents responsible for the investigation, as is appropriate were the inspector general’s offices’ agents.”
Blumenthal doesn’t accept Wray’s passing of the buck, saying: “I’m well aware, but you’re respectful of your role. The FBI doesn’t make decisions about prosecution, you investigate, and then you refer cases. But we both know it very often, even at the lowly level of the US attorney – I’m being somewhat facetious because I was a US attorney – FBI agents compounding on my door and say, we’ve got to go after this guy. He’s dirty. He’s a bad guy.”
Whitehouse invokes Dr Christine Blasey Ford in his questions to Wray.
“It strikes me very strongly as we sit here today, and as we heard the powerful testimony earlier this morning, that the last time a woman came forward in this committee to testify to her allegations of sexual assault in her childhood, the witness was Christine Blasey Ford,” he says. “It appeared to me then, and it appears to me now that her testimony was swept under the rug in a confirmation stampede. It is very possible that the FBI investigation of her allegations was just as flawed, just as constrained, just as inappropriate, as the investigation in this case.”
He notes that repeated requests for answers in the Ford case have been ignored repeatedly for two years until a letter dated yesterday (“Not coincidentally I suspect on the eve of your appearance today,” he notes) that promised the requested information would be forthcoming.
He concludes: “Let’s just make sure there’s wasn’t also a botched handling of another allegation in this committee with regard to Dr Ford.”
“I would be remiss if I didn’t make the point that the work that I saw in this case that’s reflected in what inspector general Horowitz found,” Wray says. “Part of what was so head-jerking to me is how inconsistent it is with what I see from the agents, analysts and professional staff who work these cases every day. I’ve seen them as a prosecutor. I’ve seen them now as FBI director.
“Over the last five years, our folks working with their partners have made 16,000 arrests of people like Mr Nassar. And that by itself should be deeply – that should be deeply troubling and encouraging at the same time, encouraging in the sense that those people have been taken off the streets, but deeply disturbing because it gives you a sense of just the sheer scale of this kind of abuse in this country. Because I have no doubt that for the 16,000 arrests that we made, Lord knows how many other predators there are out there that we didn’t get.”
Wray confirms that Michael Langeman, the FBI agent who interviewed Maroney in 2015 and didn’t follow up, has been terminated by the Bureau. The Washington Post initially reported this news in a story published yesterday.
“It is troubling to me to see that an FBI agent who lied, broke the law, knew he was breaking the law – and nothing happens,” Vermont senator Patrick Leahy says, his voice rising in anger. “I understand the procedure but it bothers me greatly that failures by the FBI field office in Indianapolis delayed the start of the investigation of Larry Nassar’s widespread sexual assaults of over 100 victims. And everybody, I don’t care where they are on the political spectrum or anything else, had to be torn apart listening to the testimony of these victims this morning.”
He adds: “A whole lot of people here should be prosecuted besides Nassar. ... I’m glad he’s in prison, but there’s a hell of a lot more people I’d like to see in prison.”
US Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz said FBI report did not accurately record what McKayla Maroney told them. He says former FBI special agent in charge Abbott gave false information.
Grassley says he has asked the attorney general to reconsider the decision not to file charges against some of the indivduals involved in the case. He also would like Wray to provide the committee with a list off all disciplinary actions that took place with respect to FBI personnel who were involved in the investigation. “I believe that you owe that at the very least to the victims of today’s hearing,” he says.
FBI director Christopher Wray apologizes to the Larry Nassar victims: “I want to be crystal clear: The actions and inaction of the FBI employees detailed in this report are totally unacceptable.”
He continues: “These individuals betrayed the core duty that they have of protecting people. They failed to protect young women and girls from abuse. And the work we do certainly is often complicated and uncertain and we’re never going to be perfect, but the kinds of fundamental errors that were made in this case in 2015 and ‘16 should never have happened, period. And as long as I’m FBI director, I’m committed to doing everything in my power to make sure they never happen again.
“The FBI cannot carry out its vital mission of protecting American people without trust. And in this case, certain FBI agents broke that trust repeatedly and inexcusably and to pretend otherwise would be yet one more insult to the survivors.”
The committee members continue to go through their statements. Durbin notes there’s about 15 more minutes to go on the first panel and asks if the gymnasts would like to take to a break or power through to the end; they opt for the latter.
New Jersey senator Cory Booker then opens with a statement leading into a question taken by Aly Raisman.
“I’m not sure how many people fully realize the burden on survivors in America to come forward and recall what happened to them,” Booker says. “It is in a sense, not just recalling the trauma and the violence and the pain, but it is as you will well know, being forced to relive it. And for that, I’m deeply grateful that you would sit here in a room of strangers, in front of powerful people and again, relive that trauma.
“And I also know you didn’t come here for our kind words or our proudness or our empathy. You came here for justice. You came here for action. You’ve heard words literally for years, and you’re still fighting. You’re fighting against a systemic problem in our country that isn’t just in sports. We’ve seen it from churches institutions to the Boy Scouts. When you talk about pedophilia all the way to sexual assault, we see it in diners, workplaces, factory floors, and you all, as athletes, are doing something in a tradition that is, to me, what has helped to call the conscience of our country forward and expand our moral imagination to stop injustices of other sports, from people who endured outrageous realities like Billie Jean King, who used their platforms not to try to get individual attention, but to try to change this nation and make it more just. And so I’m grateful that we are at a point where we have such bipartisan determination in this town. It’s not often enough, but here we have bi-partisan determination of some of my most respected colleagues to deliver what you really came for, which is action. I say that to tell you also that we all know that the road to change, real change, systemic change, not just in sport but in our culture, that seems to tolerate such a high level of this sort of violence, that that is going to take time.
“And there’s one thing that always rings in my head. The only thing that’s necessary for injustice to continue as for good people to do nothing. And you all have seen that firsthand. And so I’ve heard you before be asked the question by media to even in this institution today: do you have any words for other survivors? It shouldn’t take something directly happening to us to trigger our empathy and our action. Maybe I would like to know if you have any words for Americans amidst a country where this violence happens every single day. Is there something you’d like to say to us who all have to understand that we are playing a part in a culture that allows us to happen?”
Raisman then responds:
I would like to say that I personally don’t think that people realize how much experiencing a type of abuse is not something that one just suffers in the moment, it carries on with them sometimes for the rest of their lives. For example, being here today is taking everything I have. My main concern is I hope I have the energy even to just walk out of here.
I don’t think people realize how much it affects us, how much the PTSD, how much the trauma impacts us. And for every survivor it’s different; healing looks different for every survivor. The aftermath looks very different for me. Just to paint a picture: I used to train some days, seven hours a day when I was training for the Olympics and processing my abuse affected me so much. And it is still something I struggle with that I can remember when I first shared my story publicly for a very, very long time. I didn’t even have the energy to stand up in the shower. I would have to sit on the floor and wash my hair because standing up was too exhausting for me. I couldn’t even go for a 10 minute walk outside, and this is someone I’ve competed in two Olympic Games. There are times where I feel like I forget what I’m saying. I feel like my mind isn’t working. I feel like I have no energy at all. I’m 27 years old and my 80-year-old grandfather has more energy than I do.
I’ve often wondered: am I ever going to feel better? It has affected my health in the last couple of years. I’ve had to be taken in an ambulance because I pass out and I’m so sick from just the trauma and it, it might not even be after a hearing like this, it just hits me out of the blue.
I think it’s important for people to understand how much, you know, even if we’re not crying, how much we are all struggling and how much survivors are suffering because people often say, well, why did you just come forward now? Because it’s terrifying to come forward. The fear of not being believed, but also because it affects us so much. And sometimes it’s impossible just to say the words out loud. And so I just want people to know, and I’m sure for a lot of us, especially myself, like this might take me months to recover.
I just wanted to make that clear because I think it’s important for people to start recognizing you may never know what someone else is going through, but for people who have been through trauma, it’s really hard. And if someone’s watching this, that is feeling really tired, that is a survivor. And doesn’t know why they’re having certain issues that are new. Just know that you’re not alone. And I experienced the same thing and hopefully in time we can feel better.
The committee has gone into a brief recess before going to the second panel.
“Your quest for accountability is 100% justified,” Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse says. “And we thank you for pursuing it and we will endeavor to help you in that pursuit.”
He adds: “It is astonishing and disturbing how many adults have let you down and failed at one of the most basic responsibilities of adulthood, which is to look out for children, take care of them, and behave properly. I guess on behalf of adults everywhere we owe you an apology.”
“Over the past few years, it has become painfully clear how a survivor’s healing is affected by the handling of their abuse,” six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman says. “And it disgusts me that we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later.
She continues: “In 2015, it was known that at least six national team athletes had been abused by Nassar. There was even one of the athletes that was abused on film. Given our abusers unfettered access to children, stopping him should have been a priority. Instead, the following occurred. The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner. It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me, despite my many requests to be interviewed by them. The records established that Steve Penny, FBI agent Jay Abbott, and their subordinates worked to conceal Nassar’s crimes.
“Steve Penny arranged with the FBI to conduct my interview at the Olympic training center, where I was under the control and observation of USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The day of my interview, Steve Penny flew to the Olympic training center and he made sure I was aware he was there. I felt pressured by the FBI to consent to Nassar’s plea deal. The agent diminished the significance of my abuse and made me feel my criminal case wasn’t worth pursuing.
“The special agent in charge of investigating Nassar met Steve Penny for beers to discuss job opportunities in the Olympic movement. Another FBI agent worked with Steve Penny to determine jurisdiction without interviewing the survivors. I’ve watched multiple high ranking officials at USAG, USOPC and FBI resign, or without explanation of how they may have contributed to the problem, some of whom were publicly thanked for their service and rewarded with severance or bonus money. My reports of abuse were not only buried by USAG and USOPC, but they were also mishandled by federal law enforcement officers who failed to follow their most basic duties.”
Maggie Nichols, who says she was known as Athlete A to USA gymnastics and gymnast #2 to the FBI, describes today’s hearing as “one of our last opportunities to get justice”.
“The survivors of Larry Nassar have a right to know why their well-being was placed in jeopardy by these individuals who chose not to do their jobs,” she says. “This didn’t happened to Gymnast #2 or Athlete A, it happened to me, Maggie Nichols.”
I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics over six years ago, and still, my family and I have received few answers, and have even more questions, about how this was allowed to occur and why dozens of other little girls and women at Michigan State had to be abused after I reported. In sacrificing my childhood for the chance to compete for the United States, I am haunted by the fact that even after I reported my abuse, so many women and girls had to needlessly suffer at the hands of Larry Nassar. USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the FBI have all betrayed me and those who were abused by Larry Nassar after I reported.
The cover up of my abuse, and the FBI’s failure to interview me for more than a year after my complaint, are well documented in the OIG report. After I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics, my family and I were told by their former President Steve Penny, to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the FBI investigation. We now know there was no real FBI investigation occurring. While my complaints languished with the FBI, Larry Nassar continued to abuse women and girls. During this time, the FBI issued no search warrants, and made no arrests. From the day I reported my molestation by Nassar, I was treated differently by USAG.
Not only did the FBI fail to conduct a thorough investigation, but they also knew that USAG and the USOPC created a false narrative where Larry Nassar was allowed to “retire” with his reputation intact and return to Michigan State University; thus, allowing dozens of little girls to be molested. As the Inspector General’s Report details, during this same period, FBI agents did not properly document evidence, failed to report to proper authorities, and the Special Agent in charge was seeking to become the new director of security for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee; a job opportunity raised by Steve Penny. Afterwards, FBI agents in charge of the investigation, lied to OIG investigators about what had occurred. This conduct by these FBI agents, including the Special Agent In-Charge, who are held in high regard and expected to protect the public, is unacceptable, disgusting, and shameful.
She adds: “An important question remains perhaps the most important question: Why? Why would the FBI agents lie to OIG investigators? Why would the FBI not properly document evidence that was received? Why would the FBI agent be interested in the USAG presidency? These questions remain unanswered and the survivors of Larry Nassar have a right to know why their wellbeing was placed in the jeopardy by these individuals who chose not to do their jobs.”
“I was molested by the US gymnastics national team and Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar,” McKayla Maroney says. “And in actuality, he turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor. What I’m trying to bring to your attention today is something incredibly disturbing and illegal. After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report, 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said after reading the office of inspector general’s OIG report, I was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative.
“They chose to fabricate. They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me, but countless others. My story is one in which special agent in charge, Jay Abbott and his subordinates did not want you to hear. And it’s time that I tell you. And the summer of 2015, like I said, I was scheduled to speak to the FBI about my abuse with Larry Nassar over the phone. I was too sick to go meet with anyone in person and talking about this abuse would give me PTSD for days, but I chose to speak about it, to try and make a difference and protect others.”
Maroney goes on to detail specific episodes of her abuse in the manner she described them to the FBI.
“What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?” Maroney asks. “They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing.”
Simone Biles is first on the panel to speak.
“My name is Simone Biles and I’m a gymnast who was trained at the levels of the sport as an elite gymnast,” she says. “I’ve had the honor to represent the United States of America in multiple international competitions, including world championships and the Olympic games. Over the course of my gymnastics career, I have won 25 world championship medals and seven Olympic medals for team USA. That record means so much to me, and I’m proud of my representation of this nation through gymnastics.
“I am also a survivor of sexual abuse, and I believe without a doubt, that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to do their jobs. Nelson Mandela once said: ‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.’ It is the power of that statement that compels and empowers me to be here in front of you today.
“I don’t want another young gymnast Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day. In the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse–”
Biles stops momentarily, overcome by emotion. She is invited by Durbin to take a moment to compose herself, then continues.
“–To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. USA Gymnastics and the United States, Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge. In May of 2015, Rhonda Faehn, the former head of USA Gymnastics women’s program was told by my friend and teammate, Maggie Nichols, that she suspected I too was a victim.
“I didn’t understand the magnitude of what all was happening until the Indianapolis Star published its article in the fall of 2016, entitled ‘Former USA gymnastics doctor accused of abuse. Yet, while I was a member of the 2016 US Olympic team, neither USAG, USOPC, nor the FBI ever contacted me or my parents, while others have been informed and investigations were ongoing, I had been left to wonder why I was not told until after the Rio Games. This is the largest case of sexual abuse in the history of American sport and although, there have been a fully independent investigation of the FBI’s handling of the case, neither USAG, nor USOPC, have ever been made the subject of the same level of scrutiny. These are the entities entrusted with the protection of our sport and our athletes. And yet it feels like questions of responsibility and organizational failures remain unanswered. As you pursue the answers to those questions. I ask that your work be guided by the same question that Rachel Denhollander and many others have asked: How much is a little girl worth. I sit before you today to raise my voice to that, so no little girl must endure what I, the athletes at this table and the countless others who needlessly suffered under Nassar’s guise of medical treatment, which we continue to endure today. we suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, USAG or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed and we deserve answers.
“Nassar’s where he belongs. But those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports. In reviewing the OIGs report, it truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to help protect USAG and USOPC a message needs to be set. If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough.
“I will close with one final thought. The scars of this horrific abuse continued to live with all of us as the lone competitor and the recent Tokyo Games who was a survivor of this horror, I can ensure you that the impacts of this man’s abuse are not ever over or forgotten the announcement in the spring of 2020 that the Tokyo games were to be postponed for a year meant that I would be going to the gym to training to therapy, living daily among the reminders of this story for another 365 days, as I have stated in the past one thing that helped me push each and every day was the goal of not allowing this crisis to be ignored.
“I worked incredibly hard to make sure that my presence could maintain a connection between the failures and the competition at Tokyo 2020, that has proven to be exceptionally difficult burden for me to carry particularly when traveled to when required to travel to Tokyo, without the support of any of my family. I am a strong individual and I will persevere, but I never should have been left alone to suffer the abuse of Larry Nassar. And the only reason I did was because of the failures that lie at the heart of the abuse that you are now asked to investigate.”
Durbin explains that each witness will have five minutes to give their testimony followed by one minute of questioning by each sitting committee member. Simone Biles will be first to give her statement.
“Early in our meeting with the survivors, one of them asked the question and it has stuck with me since then since the very beginning of our investigation three and a half years ago, and the question was: Why was there more than one of us?” Kansas senator Jerry Moran says. “I do not know how to answer that question. I do not know a human being that I would not expect to report, if someone told them they were being abused to report to law enforcement, to officials, and yet time and time again, no one accepted that responsibility for these young women.
“Why was there more than one? And most recently we learned even the Federal Bureau of Investigation belongs on the list of those who failed in their responsibility, allowing for there to be more than one. More than dozens.”
“As a woman, we are inclined to listen more closely to believe these stories, because we have seen this type behavior before,” Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn says. “It is really hard to imagine a scandal, however, that comes as close to the depravity of Larry Nassar. The young athletes who are with us today, trusted him. And he abused that trust, not once, but repeatedly. In the years since Larry Nassar’s evil has been outshone by the courage of these young women who have given strength to so many to go after what happened in these crimes. Many of these brave young women should be saluted. Every one of them saluted, for the positions that they have taken to stand up, to tell their stories and to go after justice for themselves and for their fellow athletes.”
Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal lambasts the FBI in his opening statement, saying: “(The survivors’) pain was preventable. It was needless. the FBI’s failure to act had real human consequences. And that will be forever a stain on the FBI’s reputation. but even more so, the cover-up that occurred afterwards, because when those agents came under scrutiny, they actually manufactured statements. They lied about what survivors told them. The ultimate abuse of authority.”
“It should not be a survivor’s burden to continually seek justice and demand an end to their nightmares,” California senator Dianne Feinstein says. “That’s the job of our law enforcement agencies. And the FBI, candidly, must do better.
Texas senator John Cornyn goes on to add: “If allegations raised by well-known, world class athletes are not taken seriously by the FBI, what hope do other victims of sexual assault have? If this monster was able to continue harming these women and girls after his victims first went to the FBI, how many other victims have been able have escaped justice. Again, if they did so little in the investigation involving world class athletes, what hope could an average American have? What faith can they have in the system?”
Cornyn criticizes the FBI for a “failure of ethics, failure of competence and dishonesty”.
Iowa senator Chuck Grassley a Republican, is framing this as an institution-wide failure by entire FBI, not just the two agents directly involved.
“Disturbingly, the abuse occurred at the hands of someone who was entrusted with their medical treatment and wellbeing,” he says. “Brave survivors, now poised young women, are with us today and we welcome your testimony.”
He adds: “This is a serious problem at the heart of the FBI – not a case of a few errant agents.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Illinois senator Dick Durbin, opens with a strongly worded statement describing the FBI’s failures in the Nassar case a “a stain on the bureau” and adding that he is disappointed that the Department of Justice would not testify as to why agents weren’t charged with crimes for their “dereliction of duty”.
Welcome to live updates of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. Here’s some background from Reuters:
Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman will testify on Wednesday about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, as the US Senate examines why the FBI failed to investigate his crimes sooner.
Biles and Raisman will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside their fellow former Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney and former gymnast Maggie Nichols, who was the first victim to report the abuse to USA Gymnastics.
The hearing comes after the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, in July issued a scathing report which blasted the FBI for botching its investigation in a series of errors that allowed the abuse to continue for months.
Horowitz will also testify on Wednesday as will FBI Director Chris Wray, who is expected to face sharp bipartisan questioning about why the agents who botched the probe were never prosecuted for their misconduct.
The FBI’s investigation into Nassar started in July 2015, after USA Gymnastics President and CEO Stephen Penny reported the allegations to the FBI’s Indianapolis field office and provided agents with the names of three victims willing to be interviewed.
That office, then led by Special Agent in Charge, W Jay Abbott, did not formally open an investigation. The FBI only interviewed one witness months later, in September 2015, and failed to formally document that interview in an official report known as a “302” until February 2017 - well after the FBI had arrested Nassar on charges of possessing sexually explicit images of children in December 2016.
When the interview was finally documented in 2017 by an unnamed supervisory special agent, the report was filled with “materially false information and omitted material information,” Horowitz’s report determined.
The office also failed to share the allegations with state or local law enforcement agencies.
“Children suffered needlessly because multiple agents in multiple offices at the FBI neglected to share the Nassar allegations with their law enforcement counterparts at state and local agencies,” ranking Republican Charles Grassley said in prepared remarks.
“Disturbingly, the abuse occurred at the hands of someone who was entrusted with their medical treatment and well-being,” he added.
Horowitz also said that Abbott, who retired from the FBI in 2018, also violated the FBI’s conflict of interest policy by discussing a possible job with the U.S. Olympic Committee while he was involved with the Nassar investigation.
Neither Abbott nor the other unnamed supervisory special agent who botched the Nassar probe were prosecuted for their actions.
The FBI previously called Abbott’s behavior “appalling” and said the supervisory special agent remains with the FBI but is no longer a supervisor and is “not working on any more FBI matters.”
An attorney for Abbott previously said in a statement he is thankful to prosecutors for bringing Nassar to justice.
Nassar, who had been the main doctor for Olympic gymnasts, was sentenced in federal court in 2017 to 60 years in prison on charges of possessing child sex abuse material.
The following year, he was also sentenced up to 175 years and up to 125 years, respectively, in two separate Michigan courts for molesting female gymnasts under his care. Prosecutors have estimated he sexually assaulted hundreds of women.