Durbin, Feinstein, Grassley Press Inspector General, FBI To Act On Larry Nassar Case

In two letters, the Senators push for additional action to ensure accountability for the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse, strengthen the FBI’s approach to child sex abuse cases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law; and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led a bipartisan group of Senators seeking additional scrutiny of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) approach to child sex abuse cases following its dereliction of duty in the Larry Nassar case. The Senators sent letters to the FBI and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Friday following up on OIG’s investigation into 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.


In a letter to FBI Director Wray, the Senators requested information on steps the FBI has taken in response to the Inspector General’s report.


“On September 15, 2021, you testified that you would provide the Committee with full, written explanations of changes in the FBI’s policies following the recommendations from the Inspector General’s Office,” the Senators wrote. “It is imperative that Congress is fully aware of the steps the FBI is taking to ensure that we may provide the Bureau with adequate resources, and ensure that these mistakes are never repeated.”


In a letter to Inspector General Horowitz, the Senators wrote, “Your testimony and recent report painted a shocking picture of the FBI’s dereliction of duty in this case, including its failure to take basic investigative steps or notify state or local law enforcement of the continued threat Nassar posed… This Committee believes, however, that OIG should take additional steps to ensure that the FBI’s approach to child sex abuse cases is thorough, competent, and compassionate, and that its policy and training improvements actually have their intended effect.”


The Senators then went on to request additional OIG audits of the FBI’s work involving sex crimes against children, and that OIG evaluate both the FBI’s national approach and specific field offices as part of a review to evaluate the FBI’s effectiveness in investigating and curtailing abuse.


In addition to Durbin, Feinstein, and Grassley, the letters were co-signed by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Kennedy (R-LA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).


Full text of the letter to FBI Director Wray is available here.


Full text of the letter to Inspector General Horowitz is available here.