Aly Raisman hopeful senators will investigate FBI, USOPC after 'draining' emotional testimony

·3 min read

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman made the morning show rounds on Thursday to expand on her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Raisman was joined by Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols to testify on Wednesday in front of Congress about failures of the FBI's investigation into Larry Nassar, the former Team USA doctor who sexually abused hundreds of girls and women. Raisman, who captained the 2012 and 2016 USA gymnastic teams, has spoken about the abuse publicly before as have her friends and teammates. 

She told the Today Show it doesn't get easier to relive the abuse, but this time felt a little different afterward. 

"It's hard. It's hard to do that. It's hard to go out there and share so much," Raisman, 27, told NBC's Hoda Kotb and Savanah Guthrie. "I will share though, I felt a little bit more hopeful with how supportive the senators were, and I'm really hoping that they're going to be able to help us."

Raisman further explained how much time she put into her testimony in a conversation with "CBS Mornings." She said the weeks prior were draining and exhausting in a way that impacted her physically with migraines and body soreness. 

Raisman keeps up calls for independent investigation

Aly Raisman
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the investigation of Larry Nassar's abuse. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The gymnasts are calling for an independent investigation into the "interplay" between the FBI, US Gymnastics and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). The gymnasts gave testimony of being failed, ignored, unsupported and brushed aside by the institutions when they reported their abuse. 

"The agent just kept diminishing my abuse and telling me that he didn't feel like it was that big of a deal and maybe I should drop the case," she told "Today." 

"It was just not a good experience, and listening to McKayla Maroney's testimony was just gut-wrenching to hear her experience as well. It's devastating."

The independent investigation has been an ask years in the making, and Raisman hopes the senators, who all praised the gymnasts, will finally act on their requests. 

"The senators seemed to be very validating and very supportive of us, which we are very grateful for, and my question to them is if they can help us and if they can get those investigations rolling for us because we've been asking for them for years," she told 'Today.' "Why did this person get to retire? What did they do that the FBI felt was not OK that they had to let them go? Why did they get to slip out the back door like so many others have?"

FBI director Chris Wray, who took over the department in 2017 after the case came to light, told the Senate committee that the two agents who lied to investigators to cover up errors in the Nassar investigation are now gone. One retired and one was fired two weeks ago, he said, months after the DOJ report into the FBI's handling of the case was released in July. 

Raisman: We need answers to keep children safe

Raisman told "CBS Mornings" that answers, rather than speculation as to why those agents left, were critical in terms of keeping the future safe for athletes. 

"When we're talking about children being safe and children being spared the abuse that I and so many others endured, we want answers. And so I do want to understand what they're doing. In order for me to believe in a safer future, we need to be looking at the FBI, USA Gymnastics and USOPC." 

The two agents have not been charged for lying, and Raisman noted the Department of Justice officials who refused to charge them did not attend Wednesday's hearing. 

"I'm very disappointed that nobody from the Department of Justice came," she told "Today." "It just to me sends the message that they didn't think it was worth their time, which is really concerning."

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