WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) dereliction of duty in the Larry Nassar case, which enabled the continued abuse of dozens of victims.
“The FBI’s failure in this case led to more athletes being victimized. This Committee has the responsibility of oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation—and will hold a hearing to examine this injustice and to prevent future, similar tragedies,” Durbin said.
“Since revelations surfaced of Larry Nassar’s exploitation of young athletes in 2017 and the FBI’s failures to properly investigate, I’ve aggressively worked to uncover how these crimes were allowed to happen for so long, and strengthen protections for young athletes to prevent terrible crimes from occurring in the future. The IG report confirms my fears that the FBI dropped the ball, allowing abuses to continue for months. The Judiciary Committee’s upcoming hearing is a continuation of our oversight to get to the bottom of this. The FBI owes the American people an accounting for its failure to protect these children, and explanation for how it plans to do better in the future,” Grassley said.
“The FBI’s failure to investigate Larry Nassar allowed at least 70 young women to be assaulted by him. No one should have to endure the horrors these young women suffered through,” said Feinstein. “I want thank the inspector general for his review and hope this hearing will provide the survivors with more answers and ensure that claims of assault and demands for help won’t be ignored in the future.”
“The FBI’s gross mishandling of the reports of Nasser’s abuse led to more athletes suffering unimaginable pain. There must be accountability for this chilling failure to properly investigate—and false statements potentially intended to cover-up that failure,” said Blumenthal. “Director Wray must answer to the Judiciary Committee and the American people for the findings of this report, immediately terminate the agent involved, and explain in detail what steps are being taken to guarantee this never happens again.”
After news of the abuse broke in 2017, the Judiciary Committee under then-Chair Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein convened the first congressional hearing and advanced legislation to protect young athletes from sexual abuse. In a 2018 letter, Committee leaders pressed the FBI for details on its handling of the Nassar investigation.