Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement after the Justice Department’s announcement that, after a re-review of the record, it would not bring criminal charges against two former FBI special agents whose mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation allowed for the abuse of more victims.
“Accountability in government is fundamental to public trust. This is just the latest in a string of failures by our nation’s premier law enforcement agencies to hold themselves accountable. Young women paid the price for these failures. A sexual predator continued to abuse them while the FBI essentially helped cover it up. I’d like to take heart in Director Wray’s promises that it can’t and won’t happen again. But without anyone being held responsible now, it’s just hard to see that things will change.
“I urged the department to reexamine the FBI’s failures in this case, and appreciate that it took a second look. The public’s trust is shaken, and Justice Department leadership ought to consider what accountability can look like so some of that trust can be restored.”
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, Grassley convened the first congressional hearing on protecting young athletes from sexual abuse, and co-authored legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations to report instances of sexual abuse. He also conducted oversight into the U.S. Olympic Committee’s response following the scandal involving disgraced Olympic physician Larry Nassar, and crafted legislation to improve safeguards for young athletes and ensure proper use of funds designed to investigate allegations of abuse. Grassley’s efforts were included in a package that later became law.