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While the federal investigation languished, Nassar abused scores of victims, the inspector general report said.
FBI officials “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,” the report stated.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Chris Wray will also testify.
“The FBI’s failure in this case led to more athletes being victimized,” Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, said in July.
Gymnasts willing to speak out
The gymnasts testifying Wednesday have all previously spoken publicly about being the victims of Nassar’s abuse. Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State University, touched athletes inappropriately under the guise of performing medical treatments on them.
“I feel like if there weren’t a remaining survivor in the sport, they would’ve just brushed it to the side,” Biles told NBC’s Hoda Kotb. “But since I’m still here, and I have quite a social media presence and platform, they have to do something.”
They will now be speaking to the Senate as lawmakers pressure the Justice Department to take more steps to address the lapses in its Nassar investigation.
Bipartisan anger on Capitol Hill
The appearance by Wray and Horowitz before the committee will be only the latest occasion the officials have been subjected to intense questioning on Capitol Hill. During President Donald Trump’s administration, Wray — who was confirmed as director in 2017 — repeatedly faced hostility from Republicans because of the FBI’s investigation into the campaign’s Russia links.
More recently, Democrats grilled Wray on the FBI’s lack of preparation for the January 6 US Capitol attack.
The anger over Nassar has united lawmakers of both parties, as investigating the FBI’s failings has bipartisan support.
“Every single person in authority who turned a blind eye to these young athletes’ allegations is complicit in Nassar’s crimes, and each one of them should be considered a predator,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican on the Judiciary Committee, will say in an opening statement Wednesday, according to excerpts from her remarks shared with CNN.
Additionally, there is frustration that the Justice Department has declined to prosecute the two FBI officials singled out in the IG report for alleged false statements.
“We believe an explanation is owed to the athletes so grievously harmed and to the American public,” Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Dianne Feinstein of California, both Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, wrote in a recent letter to Justice Department leaders expressing their “deep concern” about the lack of prosecutions.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.
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