The FBI has fired an agent who was accused of failing to properly investigate USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar — and then allegedly lying when confronted about his inaction.
Michael Langeman, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Indianapolis office who interviewed Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney in 2015, was let go two weeks ago ahead of Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where more of the country’s top female gymnasts accused the bureau of failing them.
FBI director Christopher Wray testified during the hearing that Langeman had been fired in the wake of an internal probe by the Justice Department that found the FBI made fundamental errors in the Nassar investigation.
Langeman and his former boss, special agent in charge Jay Abbott, were both criticized in the DOJ’s July report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz for their handling of the case.
They were both accused of lying to inspector general investigators when confronted about their inaction in the probe.
The FBI director told the hearing that Abbott retired some time before the report was handed down. When questioned by lawmakers, Wray confirmed Abbott’s resignation was not forced and said he was “frustrated” he hadn’t been able to discipline him.
Wray testified that he was unable to answer why the Justice Department hadn’t criminally prosecuted the two agents.
The hearing is part of a congressional effort to hold the FBI accountable after the DOJ report found the FBI’s Indianapolis field office mishandled the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar from the very beginning.
The report found the FBI office didn’t respond with the “utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required.”
At least 40 girls and women said they were molested by Nassar after the FBI had been made aware of the problem.
Langeman was the agent who interviewed Maroney back in 2015 when she first reported being sexually abused by Nassar.
Maroney and fellow gymnasts Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman all testified, sometimes tearfully, earlier Wednesday as they accused the FBI of turning a blind eye to Nassar’s sexual abuse.
Maroney said the FBI “minimized and disregarded” her after she reported Nassar, adding that the agency delayed the investigation as other gymnasts were abused.
Meanwhile, Biles — who publicly came out in 2018 to say she was among those abused by Nassar — told the hearing that she blamed the FBI, as well as USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for covering up the USA Gymnastics team doctor’s abuse.
“It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to help protect USAG and USOPC,” Biles said.
“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG or USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” she said. “I don’t want another young gymnast or Olympic athlete to experience the horror I and hundreds of others have endured.”
“How much is a little girl worth?” she asked.