Government & Politics

Moran refers former head of U.S. Olympics to prosecutors over suspected false statements

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. AP

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran has referred the former head of the U.S. Olympic Committee to the Department of Justice for potentially false statements to Congress.

Former U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun submitted written testimony to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security. Moran chairs the subcommittee.

Moran’s office says Blackmun’s own statements contradict testimony he gave to the committee. Moran, along with the ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, referred Blackmun to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and the FBI for investigation.

At issue is how Blackmun responded to accusations of abuse against Larry Nassar, the former USA Olympics gymnastics team doctor who was convicted of sexual abuse.

Blackmun made “materially false statements contained in his written testimony to the Subcommittee during the course of the Subcommittee’s investigation,” according to Moran’s subcommittee.

“The Subcommittee takes its oversight role seriously, and it appears that Mr. Blackmun has made false claims and misled our Subcommittee – harming the investigation and our ability to develop policy,” Moran and Blumenthal said in a joint statement. “Just as importantly, survivors of abuse have had to wait longer for the truth and longer for systemic changes to help prevent others from similar injury.”

Contributing: Bryan Lowry of McClatchy DC

Jonathan Shorman covers Kansas politics and the Legislature for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. He’s been covering politics for six years, first in Missouri and now in Kansas. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.