ThisThis story contains graphic deions of aggression.
Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Simone Biles tore the FBI apart and the Justice Department during Senate testimony Wednesday about how FBI agents mishandled allegations of abuse against Larry Nassar and then made false claims in the fallout. botched investigation. "They allowed a child molester to free himself for over a year and this inaction directly led to The Nassar Abuses Must Continue, " Maroney told the Senate Judiciary Committee after recounting the startling details which she provided to the agent questioning him about Nassar's abuse. "What's the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents bury this report in a drawer? ", did she havejousted. Maroney, Biles, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman were assaulted by Nassar, the former doctor of the serving US gymnastics team currently serving several decades in prison.
READ: Biles, Opening statements by Maroney, Raisman and Nichols in front of the Congress "It really feels like the FBI has turned a blind eye to us and done everything they can to help protect, " USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee -United, Biles testified pending in tears. Read more "A message should be sent: If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough, "she said. Raisman called for further investigation into how the Nassar investigation was mismanaged and said the FBI pushed her to agree to the case. 'Nassar's plea agreement. "The agent saidundermined the importance of my abuse. It made me feel that my criminal case was not worth pursuing "said Raisman. as captured in a scathing Inspector General of the Department of Justice report released in July. As the federal investigation dragged on, Nassar abused dozens of victims, according to the Inspector General's report. FBI officials "did not respond to Nassar's allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency they deserved and demanded, made many fundamental mistakes when they did. responded, and violated several FBI policies, "the report said. Maroney identified herself as the gymnast described - but not named - in the report that spoke to the FBI about her allegations in September 2015.The agent who took her interview violated key FBI procedures and made false statements in a summary the agent wrote of the interview more than a year later, according to the report. the Inspector General. She and others criticized the Justice Department for its decisions, according to the IG report, not to prosecute the agent also as an FBI supervisor who was also accused of having mismanaged the investigation and then made false statements about it. "After telling my whole story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they finally documented the report 17 months later, they made entirely false statements about what I said, "recalls Maroney. Later in the hearing, the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted that the false information could have compromised the criminal case against Nassar. "The Depa Justice has refused to prosecute these individuals. Why? " Said Maroney, while calling on Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco for her absence from the hearing on Wednesday. "It's the job of the Justice Department to hold them accountable. I'm sick of waiting for people to do the right thing because my abuse was enough and we deserve justice. " "
READ: Justice Department Inspector General report on FBI investigation of Larry Nassar President of the Senate Judiciary , Dick Durbin, noted early in the hearing how sports institutions have failed to protect athletes from abuse. "It shocks the conscience when these failures come from the law enforcement agencies themselves. same, "Durbin said. FBI Director Chris Wray said he felt" heartfelt and furious "once he learned of the extent of the failures of the agency. Nevertheless, he described the botched investigatione as the product of "individuals " who "have betrayed their fundamental duty to protect people, " rather as a reflection of the agency as a whole. "I want to let the public know that the improper conduct reflected in this report is not representative of the work I see from our 37,000 employees every day," Wray said, adding that these actions "discredit " the work of FBI employees doing the job "the right way ".
Wray has vowed to "make sure everyone in the FBI remembers what happened here in heartbreaking detail. " Nassar pleaded guilty in 2018 to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in a case brought by the Attorney General ofMichigan. He was condemned at 40 to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls told court he had sexually assaulted them over the past two decades. In recent weeks, the FBI agent accused in the Inspector General's report of failing to launch a proper investigation was fired by the FBI , Wray confirmed. A supervisor who was also singled out in the IG report for breach of protocol and misrepresentation retired from the FBI in January 2018.
Gymnasts eager to speak out Les Gymnasts testifying on Wednesday have all already spoken publicly about being the victims of Nassar's abuse. Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State University, has touched athletes in such a wayppropriate under the pretext of carrying out medical treatment on them. Biles - winner of seven Olympic medals, as well as several world and national championships - revealed this year that she was motivated to participate in the Tokyo Summer Olympics in part because it would force the sport to face its shortcomings in the protection of its athletes. In her testimony on Wednesday, she said the one-year delay of the Tokyo games meant "living daily among reminders of this story for another 365 days.
United States Left-wing gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman are sworn in to testify in a Senate court hearing on the report of Inspector General on the FBI 's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation. "I am a strong person and will persevere, but I should never have been left alone to suffer Larry Nassar's abuse "said Biles. " And the only reason I did it was because of the failures that lie at the heartof the abuse which you are now invited to investigate. "Raisman, Maroney and Nichols, who competed on the USA squad for the 2015 world championship, all made public statements in the legal proceedings against Nassar. Nichols reported Nassar to USA Gymnastics in 2015, alleging that her inappropriate touching started when she was 15 and he also messaged her on Facebook to compliment her appearance.
She said on Wednesday that important questions remain unanswered about the reasons why the FBI had not properly documented the evidence and on the interest, as captured by the IG report, that the supervisor had to work for USA Gymnastics. "These questions remain unanswered reply, and the survivors of Larry Nassar have a right to know why their well-being has been endangered by those people who have chosen not to do their jobs, "Nichols said. Maroney explained to the Senate committee the graphic details which she shared with the FBI age during her interview about the abuse she suffered. "I told her that the first thing Larry Nassar ever said to I had to change in shorts with no underwear, as it would make it easier for him to work on me, and within minutes he had his fingers in my vagina, "Maroney said. She recalled other specific aspects of the Nassar 's abuse she shared with the FBI, including a case where he gave her a sleeping pill and how he was "naked, completely alone with him on me, molesting me for hours." " J I started to cry in memory over the phone, and there was just dead silence. "Maroney testified. "I was tellshocked at the officer's silence and contempt for my trauma. After that minute of silence, he asked, “Is that all? Those words in themselves were one of the worst moments in this whole process. for me that my abuse would be minimized and ignored by the people who were meant to protect me. "
Bipartisan Anger on Capitol Hill Wray and Horowitz's appearance before the committee will be just the last chance, officials were subjected to intense interrogation on Capitol Hill. During President Donald Trump's administration, Wray - who was confirmed as director in 2017 - repeatedly faced harassment. Republican hostility over FBI investigation into campaign's ties to Russia Most recently Democrats grilled Wray over the FBI's lack of preparedness for the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
L ' Failure of the FBI's Larry Nassar investigation is another oiThe black butter for the agency Anger at Nassar has united lawmakers on both sides, investigating the FBI 's failures to bipartisan support. "The FBI, including this children's unit, also put the and its image ahead of victim protection in this case, " said GOP Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. "Every person in authority who has turned a blind eye to the allegations of these young athletes is complicit in Nassar's crimes, and each of them should be seen as a predator, "said Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Lawmakers also walked down the aisle to support legislation which seeks to hold universities accountable for failing to protect students from sexual abuse. Senators joined gymnasts on Wednesday in questioning why the ministryJustice chose not to prosecute the FBI officials in question.
"It 's not just that the FBI didn ' t do its job, systematically and repeatedly. It 's also the cover-up, the cover-up that has occurred through the more, "said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. referrals were refused without explanation. without any public explanation. If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of sexual assault, there is a organizations that can help you. Please click here for details. This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN's Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.