Women and girls deserve so much better than this. We deserve better than to be ruled by rapists and their criminal enablers.
Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary hearing echoed with the devastating testimony of US gymnasts saying that the FBI lied to cover up sexual abuse by now convicted sex offender Larry Nassar.
In 2018, Judge Janice Cunningham told the small Michigan courtroom that they had identified more than 265 girls and young women whom Nassar had sexually assaulted, all over the world. This is what happens when sexual predators are enabled: They continue to damage the innocent. They do not stop on their own.
Maggie Nichols and her family were told to keep silent after they reported the sexual assault. Nichols testified on Wednesday, “The FBI have betrayed me and those abused by Larry Nassar after I reported. It’s well documented in the OIG report. After I reported my abuse, my family and I were told by their former president to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the FBI investigation. We now know there was no real FBI investigation occurring.”
Because this same FBI was in charge of yet another botched investigation into sexual assault allegations, FBI Director Wray could hardly escape the other elephant in the room: The sham investigation into the attempted rape and sexual abused allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh.
Just this July, we learned from Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) that Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation tip line:
received “over 4,500 tips, including phone calls and electronic submissions.” The FBI apparently pursued none of these tips. Instead, by the FBI’s own account, it merely “provided all relevant tips” to Trump’s Office of White House Counsel, the very office that had constrained and directed the limited investigation.”
So, the 4,500 tips about Brett Kavanaugh, credibly accused sexual predator, just got sent to then President Trump Predator, who nominated the Beer King to be a Supreme Court Justice – because, of course. Where did this information go? It was sent to the one place the FBI knew would conceal it – the Trump White House. This is concealing evidence, even if passively by passing the buck.
A club of predators is much more invested in maintaining cover-ups and the status quo than they ever are in using the law to protect women – unless, of course, they can use even the most dubious accusation for political gain against a political opponent.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Senator Whitehouse again pressed FBI Director Wray for the documents he and Senator Coons (D-Del) requested two years ago about the FBI’s “investigation” into Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh.
“It strikes me very strongly as we sit here today and as we heard the powerful testimony earlier this morning that the last time a woman came forward in this committee to testify to her allegations of sexual assault in her childhood. The witness was Christine Blasey Ford.
It appeared to me then, and it appears to me now that her testimony was swept under the rug in a confirmation stampede. It is very possible that the FBI investigation of her allegations was just as flawed, just as constrained, just as inappropriate as the investigation in this case.
The very same FBI that covered up the many crimes of Nassar not only ignored 4,500 tips on a Supreme Court Justice but has also spent the last two years covering up their cover-up by not providing the information the Senators are entitled to. This is obstruction of justice at its most basic.
I can hear you laughing from here because while obstruction of justice used to be a crime, post-Trump it’s more like a special card certain elites have access to. Back in the dark ages when laws mattered, Martha Stewart went to federal prison for lying to investigators.
What happens when the investigators themselves are obstructing justice? Destroying evidence can be obstruction for regular Janes. According to JDSupra it’s all about intent:
“With respect to investigations, 18 U.S.C. § 1503 criminalizes “corruptly” attempting to “influence, intimidate, or impede” an official proceeding.
Prosecutions for obstruction of justice are very fact-specific. Often, they involve behavior that is not otherwise unlawful. For example, it’s not illegal for a company to shred old files (assuming there is no separate legal recordkeeping obligation). But if the company manager engages in that same behavior to destroy documents relevant to an SEC investigation, the shredding is illegal obstruction of justice. The question turns on “intent,” that is what was in the person’s head at the time, and whether the actions were taken to hinder the investigation.”
The FBI has buried the most heinous crimes against girls and women. Rape is a crime. Obstructing investigations into a crime is a crime. None of the people involved in these cover-ups should be in law enforcement, let alone the FBI and sitting on the Supreme Court.
As it stands right now, girls and women in the United States are being ruled over by a criminal cabal of rapists and their enablers. The very concept of law and order is being attacked and undermined until the law enforcers are the criminals.
All of this being brought to us by the party that just made abortion illegal in Texas before women know they’re pregnant, even in the case of rape and incest, is precisely the point and not at all incidental.
Women and girls are supposed to have equal protection under the laws, but that is not happening when it comes to rape and sexual assault. We deserve to have crimes against our person matter. We deserve to have these crimes taken seriously.
We are an ignoble country that serves our daughters up to powerful men and so many years later, the men who were supposed to protect them are still holding all of the power of an FBI agent.
We cannot allow our children to grow up believing that it’s acceptable to be ruled over by men who put more energy into covering up appalling crimes that destroy lives than they do into protecting the innocent.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.