October 30, 2021

USA: DOJ Not Prosecuting 2 FBI Agents Involved In Gymnastic Abuse Cover-Up. Former U.S. Attorney Representing An FBI Agent Accused Of Mishandling Allegations Against USA Gymnastics Doctor Nassar

Breitbart News
written by Warner Todd Huston
Wednesday September 15, 2021

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney went on the attack Wednesday as she testified about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Maroney had harsh words for the FBI, accusing them of falsifying documents and protecting a pedophile with their failed investigation.

Appearing with fellow gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Maroney took aim at the FBI’s inability to get to the truth and walking away, allowing Dr. Nassar to continue sexually abusing hundreds of young athletes.

In her testimony (See full statement), McKayla Maroney said that she was shocked to discover that the FBI failed to fully investigate so many of the claims of sexual abuse. And she was aghast to learn that the FBI agents that did attend to her accusations made up “entirely false claims” about what she told them.

“After reading the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) report, I was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative they chose to fabricate. They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me, but countless others,” Maroney told the senators before her.

Maroney went on to say that she described the abuse she suffered in minute detail, but when she was done, she felt the FBI investigators acted as if her experience was not that bad, and she felt they dismissed her testimony with a gruff “is that all?”

“Those words in itself was one of the worst moments of this entire process for me. To have my abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me, just to feel like my abuse was not enough.”

Worse, Maroney said she found out that the FBI agents didn’t even bother to write down her statement for a year and a half, and when they finally got around to doing so, they just made it all up and did not report what she actually said.

“What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer,” she added. “They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing.”

“Let’s be honest,” Maroney said accusingly, “by not taking immediate action from my report, they allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year, and this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue.

The FBI eventually fired Indianapolis field office supervisory special agent Michael Langeman who the agency finally determined had utterly mishandled the investigation into the sex abuse allegations. More recently, in July, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz blasted Indianapolis agency chief W. Jay Abbott for his failure to respond to the allegations “with the urgency that the allegations required.”

More than 70 young gymnasts aged 12 to 19 continued to suffer sexual abuse after the FBI’s failed investigation into the allegations.
written by Marisa Kwiatkowski, USA TODAY
Monday August 9, 2021

The former U.S. attorney representing an FBI agent accused of mishandling allegations against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has previous ties to the sex abuse investigation, raising questions about possible ethics violations.

When the Justice Department's inspector general issued its scathing report last month, attorney Josh Minkler announced he was legal counsel for W. Jay Abbott, former FBI special agent in charge.

In the report, Abbott was accused of failing to properly respond to the 2015 allegations, violating FBI policy and making false statements to investigators. Nassar abused at least 100 other young athletes in the year after the FBI received those allegations, according to court records and interviews.

Minkler was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana during the FBI's Nassar investigation. Attorneys in his office evaluated the allegations from gymnasts and decided they should be sent to another office, according to the inspector general's report.

Minkler was still leading that office in 2018, when media outlets reported that years earlier, while discussing the Nassar allegations, Abbott had spoken with then-USA Gymnastics President and CEO Steve Penny about a job with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

And Minkler remained a U.S. attorney while the inspector general's office reviewed the FBI's conduct in the Nassar case.

Both the federal government and state of Indiana have ethical guidelines that restrict what former government officials like Minkler can do after leaving office – rules intended to prevent them from privately benefiting from public service.

USA TODAY asked four government ethics experts to review the case and all said determining whether those rules apply to Minkler would require access to certain information not publicly available. Among the questions left unanswered: Did Minkler participate "personally and substantially" in the Nassar matter? Did he have access to confidential government information about it? Did he represent Abbott before the government relating to the situation?

Attorney John Manly, who represents more than 200 Nassar survivors, said the entire situation "reeks of corruption." He said he was disturbed that Minkler would agree to represent a man who the inspector general determined had lied to investigators and violated federal policies in the Nassar case.

"It sends a clear message to survivors that they never had a chance to get Larry Nassar prosecuted in Indianapolis with Josh Minkler and Jay Abbott at the helm," Manly said. "That was never going to happen."

Accusations against Nassar did not become public until IndyStar – part of the USA TODAY Network – published an investigation in 2016. He later pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in Michigan and is serving more than 100 years in prison.

Abbott retired from the FBI in 2018. Minkler resigned last November and joined business law firm Barnes & Thornburg, where he represents clients in white-collar criminal law matters and government investigations.

From the perspective of Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Minkler being briefed on the Nassar case in 2015 would count as "personal and substantial" because of the decision-making power his position held. She said the situation seemed highly inappropriate.

"Maybe they're trying to rely on some clever interpretation, but this is so close to the line – if it doesn't cross the line. Why would you want to do it?" said Canter, who was ethics counsel to presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and to the Treasury Department. "All you have is your reputation. Why would you risk that?"

The Justice Department and inspector general's office declined to respond to questions about Minkler's role in the Nassar case. Nor would they say whether their offices had looked into the situation or whether they believed he had violated federal rules.

Minkler did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Karen Smith, spokeswoman for his law firm, told USA TODAY, "The duties of confidentiality prevent Josh from being able to answer your questions." Abbott could not be reached for comment.

During their time in federal government in Indianapolis, Minkler and Abbott were frequent partners. When Minkler was sworn in as U.S. attorney in 2015, Abbott said in a news release that it was "a distinct pleasure" to work alongside him. They held joint news conferences, and their names appeared together in more than 60 news releases. They collaborated on many types of cases, including drug trafficking, terrorism and public corruption.

"Public officials are supposed to serve the public, and not the other way around," Minkler said in a news release after one federal sentencing in 2017. "When police officers believe they are above the law they were sworn to uphold, this office will hold them accountable."

Abbott added, "When a law enforcement officer chooses to violate their oath of office and commit crimes, their actions erode public trust and confidence and tarnish the entire community of dedicated public servants."

All four ethics experts interviewed by USA TODAY said the Justice Department should review Minkler's conduct and share its findings with the public.

"I think there needs to be disclosure here," said Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who was chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush. "We shouldn't be left guessing."

William F. Hall, adjunct professor of political science at Webster University in St. Louis, said clarity and openness in this matter could help the Justice Department restore its historic image of objectivity and fairness. That image, he said, was jeopardized by the Trump administration's attempts to use the office as personal legal counsel.

It is crucial, Hall said, for the American people to feel the government is doing its job.

"This is an opportunity to get back to the litmus test in loyalty to its mission to defend and support the Constitution," he said, "not a particular administration or individual."
written by Brian Freeman
Wednesday October 27, 2021

The Justice Department (DOJ) has "new evidence" in its review of the decision not to prosecute two former FBI officials who were accused of botching the probe into former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed the news Wednesday during an oversight hearing before the Senate, CNN reported.

However, after Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said earlier this month that the DOJ had "new information that has come to light" in its review of the matter, Garland did not give the legislators any further details, only providing the Senate Judiciary Committee with a similar statement that "new evidence has come to light and that is cause for review of the matters that you're discussing."

Last month, Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and former NCAA gymnast Maggie Nichols testified before a Senate committee about the FBI's mishandling of the probe into allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar, who is serving a 40-to-174-year state prison sentence after pleading guilty, the Washington Examiner reported.

Biles stated at the Senate testimony that "we suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG, or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed, and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled deserve to be held accountable."

Referring to that testimony last month, Garland on Wednesday told the Senate committee that "heart-wrenching is not even strong enough as a description of what happened to those gymnasts and to the testimony they gave," the Examiner reported.

The FBI had received reports of allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar from both gymnasts and the USA Gymnastics organization in 2015 and 2016, according to CNN.

In 2018, a probe was launched into the FBI's handling of the case, with the Justice Department inspector general report stating that the agents violated the FBI's policies by issuing false statements and failing to document complaints by the accusers in a proper manner.

However, although one agent was fired and the other resigned, there weren no prosecutions against them.

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