National Security

Andrew McCabe says Nassar case represents ‘worst dereliction of duty’ he’s seen at FBI

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Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said Wednesday that the bureau’s handling of an investigation into disgraced physician Larry Nassar was the worst “dereliction of duty that I have ever seen over the course of my 20-plus years with the FBI.”

“It’s just the — and the consequences, my god. The priority of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution and they failed in the most heinous and awful way, in a way that allowed upwards of now the numbers are somewhere in the range of 100 additional people, young women, to get victimized. I — it’s just absolutely head spinning,” McCabe said during an interview on CNN.

The FBI declined to comment on McCabe’s comments.

His remarks came after U.S. gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Their testimony was part of an oversight hearing on the FBI’s “dereliction of duty” following a Department of Justice watchdog report that found that the officials from the FBI did not act quickly enough on sexual abuse accusations made against Nassar.

During her testimony, Biles, who has stated she was abused by Nassar, said that the FBI did not reach out to her family by either the FBI or USA Gymnastics regarding the ongoing investigation while she was competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar — and I also blame an entire system that perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said.

Maroney alleged during her testimony that the FBI inaccurately portrayed events that she had relayed to them during a 2015 interview, when she detailed the abuse she endured by Nassar. 

“After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Maroney said.

McCabe added that those members of the FBI who are assigned to sexual abuse cases are “sick to their stomach over the failure of their colleagues.” 

During the hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to the victims for the way that the agency handled their investigation into Nassar and confirmed that he fired an FBI Indianapolis office supervisory special agent for failing “to carry out even the most basic parts of the job.”

“I want to begin by saying to the brave women who testified this morning … I’m deeply and profoundly sorry to each and every one of you,” Wray said.

“Sorry for what you and your families been through. I’m sorry that so many different people let you down over and over again. And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable,” Wray continued.

He said that report was not representative of the entire agency, but he noted that the agency was committed to doing better. 

“It’s my commitment to you that I and my entire senior leadership team are going to make damn sure everybody at the FBI remembers what happened here in heartbreaking detail,” Wray said.

Nassar was sentenced to over 100 years in prison in 2018 after he was convicted of various charges tied to allegations of sexual abuse. The former doctor has been accused by hundreds of women of sexual mistreatment under the guise of medical necessity.

Updated on Thursday at 3:29 p.m.

Tags Andrew McCabe Andrew McCabe Christopher Wray Christopher Wray FBI Larry Nassar Simone Biles usa gymnastics

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