(TargetLiberty.org) – The FBI has found itself at the center of more than its share of controversy in the last few years. However, its problems appear to be self-inflicted for the most part. The allegations of spying on Donald Trump’s 2015/2016 presidential campaign and former FBI Director James Comey’s issues are well-documented. On top of all that, recent reports indicate the FBI botched a high-profile case that promises to put more egg on the agency’s face in the not-so-distant future.
On July 14, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (IG) released a 119-page report detailing the finds of its review of the FBI’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse by Lawrence Gerard Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics team physician. The long-awaited report showed the FBI mishandled the investigation from start to finish.
The IG Investigation’s Disturbing Findings
Of particular concern is the investigation’s finding that FBI investigators dragged their feet despite the serious and ongoing nature of the allegations lodged against Nassar. According to the IG report, USA Gymnastics officials reported several reported instances of sexual abuse to the FBI after it conducted an internal review of the complaints.
Yet, the FBI only conducted a “limited follow-up” inquiry that summer and didn’t “undertake any investigative activity” regarding the situation for an additional eight months. As a result, Nassar reportedly continued to assault young gymnasts under his care.
The IG report also found the FBI committed several “fundamental errors” during its investigation and violated numerous FBI policies. Additionally, it failed to alert other law enforcement officials of the allegations or take any other actions that may have prevented Nassar’s ongoing abuse.
Special Agent W. Jay Abbott
The IG report cited concerns regarding the actions of former FBI special agent W. Jay Abbott who retired three years ago. According to the IG, Abbott made false statements regarding his handling of the investigation to members of the media and other FBI officials in 2017 and 2018.
He also reportedly violated FBI conflict of interest policies by trying to negotiate future employment with the US Olympic Committee while he investigated the claims made against Nassar.
Nassar, 58, is currently serving a 60-year sentence on child pornography charges at a federal penitentiary located near Orlando, Florida. If he completes that sentence or obtains early release, he has a 175-year sentence and an additional 125-year sentence to serve in prison on state-level convictions in Michigan. A Michigan appeals court upheld the first sentence in a December 2020 ruling.
Sadly, the IG report highlights an ongoing problem in FBI leadership. Hopefully, the completion of the IG investigation leads to some changes.
Copyright 2021, TargetLiberty.org