The FBI failed Olympic gymnasts

We are often horribly reminded how our most trusted institutions are staffed and controlled by corrupt people, who are at the very least unethical. This was demonstrated again with the release of the Department of Justice’s inspector general’s damning report about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case of former USA Gymnastics doctor, the infamous Larry Nassar. His sexual abuse of girls training to become our gymnastic Olympians continued for years, even after the FBI was informed of the crimes.  

What the FBI didn’t do after being informed of the serial sexual abuse of little girls should shock the conscience of everyone. The report reveals our premier federal law enforcement agency pushed aside and ignored a massive operation involving serial sexual assault of dozens of girls. The details are straightforward:  

The IG report notes that, as reported by The New York Times, “senior F.B.I. officials in the Indianapolis field office failed to respond to the allegations ‘with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required’ and the investigation did not proceed until after” Indianapolis newspaper coverage.  

Even then, the agents in charge did not notify local law enforcement about the allegations, nor did they take steps to stop Nassar from continuing his sexual assault of the children in his care as the team doctor. Even more telling is the attitude and agenda of the agent in charge, a W. Jay Abbott, who was soliciting the head of USA Gymnastics for a job with the US Olympic Committee during the co-called investigation into Nassar.  

Apparently, it wasn’t enough to ignore the threat Nassar posed as a serial sexual abuser of children. Mr. Abbott then lied to the inspector general’s investigators about his actions and the nature of the investigation itself.  

The strange willingness to do nothing about the menace of Nassar wasn’t limited to the FBI’s Indianapolis field office. The Los Angeles Times reports, “While the inspector general was especially critical of agents in Indianapolis for failing to take the allegations seriously, he also found that agents in Los Angeles had neglected to take actions that would have mitigated ‘the ongoing danger that Nassar posed.’” 

During the past several years, we’ve watched as the FBI was exposed as a partisan weaponized agency, using its considerable power in an attempt to smear and remove a duly-elected president. Behaving as a partisan gang, the FBI did all it could to interfere with an election for president because they didn’t like the outcome.  

Yet, during this time of FBI obsession with destroying candidate, then President-elect, then President Donald Trump, the FBI did nothing between 2015 and the fall of 2016 to stop Nassar’s sexual abuse of little girls. According to the IG report, in those ensuing 14 months, at least 70 more girls had been assaulted by Nassar.  

John Manly, a lawyer for many of Nassar’s victims, said the report might be “the most damning thing [he had] ever read about a law enforcement agency. An entire office of the FBI concealed Nassar’s sexual abuse of athletes,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “Manly said his clients want the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor ‘because there has been a cover-up.’” 

But there’s more than one kind of cover-up. Almost without exception, the media’s headlines about the shocking report seek the minimize what happened. This scathing report revealing lies and a cover-up of ignoring crimes against children is described in headlines as “errors” or a “botched” investigation. Many headlines and stories describe a “mishandled” investigation.  

Tripping over a log is an error. Misspelling your wife’s name is a “botch.” And you can only “mishandle” an investigation when you’ve actually started one. This diminishing of one of the most serious crimes in society reveals how our establishment bureaucracy still does not take the sexual abuse of women and girls seriously. 

We are supposed to take solace in that “this will never happen again,” according to the FBI. They’re making changes, they say. Oh, so they have somehow figured out how to infuse their people with ethics and a conscience?  

In the meantime, in 2018, the DOJ decided not to prosecute Mr. Abbott or another agent involved in the debacle. Mr. Abbott retired that same year. 

As Rachael Denhollander, a lawyer and the first gymnast to publicly accuse Nassar years ago, asks in an opinion piece about this atrocity: “Beyond my own pain are other haunting questions: If law enforcement could do this to Olympians, and hide the gross negligence and corruption for years amid an international news story with hundreds of victims, what is happening to lower-profile survivors? What about the girls and women who don’t have our network of support systems or resources?”  

Americans once again must question the culture in our government and its trickle-down effect on society. One thing we know: New rules and regulations aren’t going to solve this problem.

• Tammy Bruce, the author, host at Fox Nation, and contributor at Fox News, is a radio talk-show host.  

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