Oct 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ reviewing decision not to charge FBI agents in Nassar investigation

Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Collegiate gymnast Maggie Nichols

Gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department said Tuesday it is reviewing a previous decision not to charge FBI agents accused of mishandling the investigation into disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Why it matters: Less than a month ago, FBI director Christopher Wray formally apologized to the U.S. gymnasts abused by Nassar, noting that the FBI's failure to stop Nassar was "inexcusable."

  • His apology came after four gymnasts — including Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney — testified before the committee and detailed how the FBI mishandled their reports.

What they're saying: The department "is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

  • She added that the review is being conducted with “a sense of urgency and gravity" but noted that she was "constrained" about what else she could say on the matter.
  • "I am deeply sorry that in this case the victims did not receive the response or the protection that they deserved."

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.

  • In July, the FBI's inspector general issued a scathing report highlighting the "numerous and fundamental errors" in how the bureau handled its investigation into Nassar.
  • For the Justice Department to review and consider reopening a case that has been closed without charges is a rare occurrence, notes the Washington Post.
Go deeper