Durbin Delivers Opening Remarks During Hearing on FBI's Dereliction of Duty in Larry Nassar Case

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered his opening statement during a hearing entitled “Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector General’s Report on the FBI’s Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation.”  A recent Department of Justice Inspector General report documented the FBI’s failure to properly investigate reports that Larry Nassar was assaulting young athletes, which enabled the continued abuse of dozens of additional victims.  

Key quotes:

“Cases like these make clear that sexual abuse of young athletes is a persistent problem that teams, leagues, athletic associations, and other institutions are failing to prevent. It shocks the conscience when those failures come from law enforcement itself – and yet that is exactly what happened in the Nassar case.”

“The Inspector General’s findings in his July report paint a shocking picture of FBI dereliction of duty and gross incompetence… The facts revealed by the Inspector General expose apathetic, incompetent, and unethical senior FBI officials. In the 15 month period that FBI officials shirked their responsibilities, Nassar abused at least 70 young athletes. For many of them, this was a continuation [of abuses he had committed before]. For others, they were abused for the first time, while the FBI sat on the case.”

“Some may be tempted to minimize this misconduct as the fault of a few bad apples. Make no mistake – egregious failures like this do not arise out of nowhere. They are enabled by systematic organizational failures of training, supervision, hiring, and promotion.”

“Today, we are fortunate to hear from four outstanding witnesses who survived Larry Nassar’s abuse. They and the hundreds of athletes who also suffered at the hands of Nassar deserved much better from everyone, including the FBI. We will also hear from the Inspector General and the FBI Director, who owe these young women and this Committee an explanation of what the FBI is doing to ensure that this never happens again.”

“The FBI’s handling of the Nassar case is a stain on the Bureau. As Chair of the Judiciary Committee, I am also committed to working to ensure that the failures of the FBI in this case will never be repeated.”  

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.