Senate Judiciary Committee members want details on FBI's handling of Nassar investigation

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee members has implored the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide additional details about how it handled the investigation into the Larry Nassar sexual abuse cases.

In a Friday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Dick Durbin, D-Illinois and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and other senators on the committee said that while they were pleased that more training would be done to help victims, all of their questions were not answered by the bureau.

"The failures in the Nassar case were a stain on the Bureau," the letter stated. "We are encouraged that the FBI appears to have responded to these failures and implemented the recommendations of the Inspector General. It is our collective duty to ensure that victims of sex abuse can feel confident that law enforcement, particularly the FBI, will assess and investigate allegations of abuse professionally and in a timely matter. We look forward to our continued partnership on this important goal."

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar

Nassar, a sports doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, was convicted of sexually harassing hundreds of women and girls during doctor visits and is serving a decades-long prison sentence.

The case resulted in a historic $500 million settlement in 2018 that involved more than 500 women. The exact amount for each victim was confidential and varied. But the first wave of women, 332, divided $425 million, for an average of $1.28 million each. 

In November, the senators sent letters to the FBI and Office of the Inspector General following the OIG’s investigation into the FBI’s failure to properly investigate reports that Nassar was assaulting young athletes.

The senators said they wanted to better understand the "full scope of these reforms and evaluate their sufficiency" and asked the FBI to "please produce the underlying documents and materials for these trainings and policies, which are encompassed in our November 17 request."