Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

FBI fires agent accused of failing to investigate Nassar allegations

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar appears in court for his final sentencing phase in Eaton County Circuit Court on February 5, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan

Larry Nassar appears for sentencing in Eaton County Circuit Court on Feb. 5, 2018, in Charlotte, Michigan. Photo: Rena Laverty/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI has fired an agent accused of failing to properly investigate the sexual assault allegations against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Michael Langeman was fired just days before Wednesday's public hearing into the FBI's handling of the Nassar case — which will feature testimony from gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman.

Driving the news: Langeman's firing comes after a Justice Department inspector general report in July criticized Langeman — at that point unnamed — and his former boss, Jay Abbott, saying the FBI failed to pursue the Nassar case.

  • "Senior officials in the FBI Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and violated multiple FBI policies," per the report.
  • When the report was released this summer, Langeman was no longer acting as an FBI agent, per NBC News.
  • Langeman was a supervisory special agent in the FBI's Indianapolis field office when he interviewed Maroney in 2015 about her allegations of abuse against Nassar.

The big picture: Nassar, the former Olympic Team USA gymnastics doctor, was sentenced to 40–175 years in prison in 2018 after 160 women accused him of sexually abusing them under the pretense of medical treatment.

What to watch: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing about the FBI's handling of the Nassar case.

  • FBI Director Chris Wray and Inspector General Michael Horowitz will also testify on Wednesday, Axios previously reported.

Go deeper: Judge orders Larry Nassar to turn over prison money to his victims

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