FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized Wednesday for the bureau’s “totally unacceptable” failures in the Larry Nassar case, telling senators he had fired an agent who was involved in the case.
“I’m sorry that so many people let you down again and again,” Wray said to the victims while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am especially sorry that there were people at the F.B.I. who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”
Wray’s testimony comes two months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”
After reading the report, Wray said he wasted no time firing Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent in the Indianapolis Field Office.
“When I received the inspector general’s report and saw that the supervisory special agent in Indianapolis had failed to carry out even the most basic parts of the job, I immediately made sure he was no longer performing the functions of a special agent,” Wray said. “And I can now tell you that individual no longer works for the FBI in any capacity.”
Star Olympic gymnast Simone Biles testified at the hearing and criticized the bureau for turning a “blind eye” to the sexual abuse that she and hundreds of other young athletes had endured at the hands of Nassar, the former national team doctor.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, but I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles, 24, said.
Wray said the bureau has strengthened polices and training for agents to properly handle abuse cases and pledged to ensure it never happened again.
“On no planet is what happened in this case acceptable,” Wray said.