Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal lashed out at the Justice Department during a Wednesday press conference, demanding accountability for the FBI’s botched investigation into disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Blumenthal joined several former gymnasts — who had testified at the hearing — and Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to discuss what they believed the next steps should be in holding the right people to account. (RELATED: ‘They Wanted To Cover It Up’: McKayla Maroney Blasts FBI For Concealing Her Detailed Accounts Of Larry Nassar Abuse)
In a statement to the Daily Caller, Grassley called the DOJ’s actions shameful, saying even the athletes called them out.
“The decision to not send a Justice Department official to testify today is shameful. The athletes testifying even called this out. Lack of accountability to victims and the public is a primary issue, dodging hearings makes that problem worse, not better. The department couldn’t do the bare minimum, and will need to face more questions and be more accountable,” Grassley told the Daily Caller.
WATCH (19:00 mark):
HAPPENING NOW: After today’s Judiciary Committee hearing on the FBI’s dereliction of duty in the Larry Nassar case, I join brave survivors & my colleagues to discuss next steps toward accountability. https://t.co/o2pJNQO8Cj
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) September 15, 2021
Blumenthal began the press conference by recapping the hearing and allowing several of the gymnasts a chance to speak, after which he took a few questions — and reiterated several times his promise to continue to demand accountability from the FBI as well as his disappointment that the Justice Department had not sent a representative to the hearing.
“I’m going to be demanding more of the FBI, and even more important, of the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice today was a no-show. The Department of Justice failed to appear,” he said, noting that they had the responsibility for the FBI and they should be the ones to follow up with further investigations and prosecutions.
“Director Wray may have run out of adjectives, but the Department of Justice hasn’t run out of action,” he continued. “And they should be answering many of the questions. And so, I am by no means satisfied by what I heard today.”
Blumenthal later added to that statement, noting that because of the FBI’s failure to act — and the Justice Department’s failure to hold the FBI accountable — over 100 young women were subjected to abuse at the hands of Nassar even after officials were aware of his actions.
.@Aly_Raisman to @SenBlumenthal: “I can’t tell you how horrifying it is to meet young girls who look up to me, who watch me compete in the Olympics and tell me that they went to see Nassar because of me and my teammates.” pic.twitter.com/CE1qbrTtEF
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 15, 2021
“There were 120 young women who laid before Larry Nassar, on his examining table, and he did with them whatever he wanted because the FBI did nothing,” Blumenthal added. “Let’s be very clear: The FBI’s inaction led to victimization.”