The hearing comes days after the FBI fired an agent who originally worked on the case investigating Nassar, the former national gymnastics doctor who ended up under the guise of physical abuse of numerous gymnasts, including Olympians Investigations was convicted.
And it comes two months after the Inspector General of the Department of Justice published a report harshly criticizing the FBI for making critical mistakes on the matter. These mistakes allowed Nassar to treat patients for eight months at Michigan State University, where he practiced, and in and around Lansing, Michigan, including a local gymnastics center and high school.
Nassar, who is serving a life sentence for sexual misconduct, has molested more than 70 girls and women while the FBI failed to respond, the inspector general’s report said.
At the start of the hearing, Illinois Democrat Senator Richard J. Durbin berated the FBI for its “negligence,” “systematic organizational failure,” and “gross failure” in the case, saying that lawmakers would like the FBI to like and why these mistakes happened and why it chose not to bring charges against its agents who made devastating mistakes in the case.
“It shocks the conscience when the mistakes come from the prosecution themselves, but that is exactly what happened in the Nassar case,” said Durbin.
Two FBI agents originally assigned to the case no longer work for the agency. Michael Langeman, an oversight specialty agent in the FBI’s Indianapolis office, was released in the days leading up to Wednesday’s hearing, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. These people didn’t want their names published because they didn’t have the authority to speak on the case. The Washington Post was the first to publish news of Langeman’s dismissal.
Langeman, who was not immediately available for comment, was not mentioned in the Inspector General’s report, but his actions as a special inspector and his numerous key missteps were detailed. The report said Langeman should have known Nassar’s abuse was likely to be widespread, but he did not investigate the case urgently.