Bipartisan Senators Pressure FBI and Inspector General for Changes Following Nassar Case

A bipartisan group of senators is asking the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to implement changes and provide information after the OIG discovered that the FBI office in Indianapolis did not respond to abuse allegations against the USA Gymnastics doctor. Larry Nassar with the “seriousness and urgency” is needed.

The coalition, led by the majority of the Whip Senate Dick durbinDick DurbinSchumer-McConnell Reduced Debt Ceiling Drama Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Senate Criticizes Defense Bill Historic Immigration Reform Included in House-Passed Spending Bill MORE (D-Ill.), Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) And Sen. Chuck grassleyChuck GrassleyMcConnell Seeks A Way Out Of The Debt Ceiling Box Biden Signs Bipartisan Bills That Provide Additional Resources For Police Biden Has Only 33 Percent Approval Rating In Iowa Poll MORE (R-Iowa) pI ate a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday requesting that the office provide information on the changes it has made in the wake of the OIG report, which found that FBI officials did not promptly address the allegations against Nassar, despite the possibility that the alleged abuse continues amid the delays.

“On September 15, 2021, he testified that he would provide the Committee with full and written explanations of the FBI policy changes following the recommendations of the Office of the Inspector General,” the senators wrote.

“It is imperative that Congress be fully aware of the steps the FBI is taking to ensure that we can provide the Office with adequate resources and ensure that these mistakes are never repeated,” they added.

The OIG released its report on the Nassar case in July. It found that the FBI and local authorities took more than a year to initiate their investigation into Nassar due to a series of flaws described in the report.

When the FBI field office finally responded, the OIG said officials made “numerous fundamental mistakes” and “violated multiple FBI policies.”

Senators on Friday specifically requested that Wray provide information on the organizational structure to respond to allegations of sexual abuse, communication between field offices or other government entities, the training that FBI employees undergo to work on crimes. against children and the policies and procedures for conducting telephone interviews with alleged victims of child abuse.

In addition, they requested details regarding changes that have been made to policies regarding the office’s response to allegations of child abuse.

“The Inspector General’s report documented disturbing and disappointing inaction that led to the continued abuse of dozens of young athletes. The FBI has a responsibility to ensure that all alleged child abuse victims with whom the Office interacts are protected from further harm and to hold those who commit these heinous acts accountable, ”the senators wrote.

The group also wrote a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, asking him to “take additional steps to ensure that the FBI’s approach to child sexual abuse cases is comprehensive, competent and compassionate, and that its policies and training enhancements really have the desired effect.”

They specifically asked the OIG to conduct additional audits of the FBI’s work as it pertains to sexual crimes against children, and to take steps to audit and evaluate the FBI’s adherence to its new training and policy changes, as well as the effectiveness of the new regulations to address the flaws described in the Nassar report.

The senators also requested a comprehensive audit of the office’s Crimes Against Children Program, with special emphasis on sexual offenses and trafficking.

“The review should assess the effectiveness of the FBI in investigating and reducing abuse and the FBI’s compliance with internal policies designed to ensure that it is responding quickly and appropriately to allegations of sexual abuse,” the senators wrote.

“We hope that additional audits will identify further areas for improvement for the FBI related to child sex crimes and result in better outcomes for survivors,” they added.

Congress stepped up its oversight of the FBI in the wake of the Nassar case. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the office’s “breach of duty” in September, which occasionally featured emotional testimony from four-star American gymnasts.

Nassar was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in 2018 after being convicted of multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of minors. The former doctor has been accused by hundreds of women of sexual abuse under the guise of medical necessity.

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