In what proved to be gripping testimony before a Senate hearing earlier this week, four top American gymnasts recounted the horrific abuse inflicted on them by former sports physician Larry Nassar, but perhaps even more scandalous was the manner in which they claimed the FBI mischaracterized, downplayed, and even ignored their claims, as NPR reports.
Olympic standout Simone Biles offered particularly compelling recollections of what she endured over the course of years spent as an integral part of USA gymnastics, declaring to the assembled lawmakers that “the scars of this horrific abuse continue” and that “the impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.”
Accusing the FBI as well as USA gymnastics powers-that-be of having turned a “blind eye” to what has happening to her as well as countless other young female athletes, Biles insisted that “enough is enough,” and that while she blames Nassar, she also wants accountability from “an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” according to the Associated Press.
Former star McKayla Maroney also took to the microphone to describe the sense of betrayal she felt, not just by Nassar, but also by the FBI she believed was supposed to help bring her abuser to justice.
Maroney talked about a telephone conversation she had with FBI officials back in 2015 in which she provided information about “all of my molestations in extreme detail,” including those that occurred prior to her gold-medal-winning effort at the 2012 Olympics, adding, “I cried, and there was just silence” from the agent on the other end of the line.
Assailing the treatment she received – or rather did not receive – from federal law enforcement, Maroney accused the FBI of falsifying her statement about what she suffered and blasted Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco for her absence from the gymnasts’ testimony, NPR noted.
As the AP further reported, an internal probe by the Department of Justice that was made public back in July acknowledged that the FBI did indeed commit serious mistakes in investigating claims against Nassar and failed to treat the allegations with the “utmost seriousness” when they first emerged in 2015.
In an embarrassing display of what like felt to these women like made-for-tv contrition, FBI Director Chirstopher Wray said at the hearing that the “kinds of fundamental errors that were made in this case in 2015 and 2016 should have never happened, period,” adding that he was “deeply and profoundly sorry that so many people let you down over and over again.”
As Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media aptly put it, “that the FBI couldn’t be bothered to investigate a serial predator who was attacking the most vulnerable among is is reason enough to start casting a wide net for people within the Bureau who need to be locked up.” But at least those undaunted agents made sure to leave no stone unturned when it came to Donald Trump’s non-existent collusion with Russia, right?