Via America’s Lawyer: EPA whistleblowers expose how the agency turns a blind eye to hard science in order to appease big business. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more. Also, Former Olympians including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman made their voices heard on Capitol Hill – after testifying that the FBI did almost nothing to stop Larry Nassar from molesting teen gymnasts. Mike Papantonio is joined by legal journalist Mollye Barrows to discuss how the FBI botched their investigation into the serial sex offender.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Whistleblowers at the EPA have told the Intercept that the agency is completely ignoring science in order to appease big business. Well, let, let me, let me start off with this story. First of all, this is the Intercept and if people aren’t following the Intercept, they’re not getting the news. This is the best news agency in America. It’s not daily news, but it’s, it’s in-depth coverage of really important issues. So pickup the story from here.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, and this one comes from Sharon Lerner, who is just phenomenal with all these corporate issues.

Mike Papantonio:             Brilliant, brilliant.

Farron Cousins:                  But she actually has an ongoing, I guess you’d call it anthology at this point, she has been contacted by whistleblowers at the environmental protection agency. She has gotten her hands on emails, all of these internal documents. And one of the biggest revelations right now is that these EPA scientists at the what’s called the new chemicals division. Now a little clarity there. This is when you have a new chemical out there, you know, is it going to hurt people? What do we do? We have to evaluate it. This is not for things already out there on the market. So scientists have reached out to Lerner and said, listen, we’re telling our supervisors that these chemicals are not safe and they’re coming back to us and saying, well, say that they’re safe anyway. Change the way you do your research so that we can get these things approved and out there in the environment.

Mike Papantonio:             One decimal, one decimal, in a series of ones and zeros changes the analysis, analysis totally. It takes a product like Roundup, which we saw the EPA do, they made Roundup safe by phoning up numbers. The EPA did that. C8, they made C8 PFAS safe by phoning up the decimal marks to come up with a risk benefit analysis. They did that with C8. Paraquat, now these are all things that will kill you. They will kill you and your family. But industry came in and they put so much pressure on these folks that wanted a job. Now, Sharon Lerner did a great job of understanding because most of the time, most on media does not understand this.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             But what happens here is she, she, she just called it out. She said, this is post agency job prospects for these folks, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And she’s not talking about the scientists with post agencies.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  The scientists are the ones who are saying, we’re doing our job. It’s the bureaucrats. The people who don’t even understand the science, but they know how the system works and they know that if they can give, you know, a good little handout, whether it’s to, you know, Monsanto or DuPont or Dow or whoever it is, if we can appease them with this new chemical. If we can just say that, oh, the risks of it are negligible. That’s the word they keep using, negligible. Then maybe they’re going to hire me once I’m no longer here. I can go from making a public servant salary to a couple hundred grand a year.

Mike Papantonio:             You, you go to the market and say, you’re the guy that allowed Paraquat now through the Biden White House to be sprayed in the air all over the place. Even though it causes all kinds of cancers, it causes Parkinson’s disease, they’re all fatal. Three drops of this stuff will kill you. And somehow these, these management bureaucrats took the marching orders from corporate America, got the okay from the White House. And now Biden administration has the EPA permitting spraying Paraquat all over the place from the air. It’s just insane. What you have risk values created by the EPA now they’re just meaningless babble by, by industry pimps. That’s what it is. That’s what the EPA has come to. It’s not the scientists. The scientists are saying, look, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to move that decimal to change the risk benefit analysis. But I’ll do it if I’m ordered to. And some of the folks are just quitting. They’re saying I ain’t going to do it anymore, you know.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. We we’ve seen a lot of scientists leave the agency in recent years.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. They’re calling us, by the way, interesting development you might want to know about.

Mike Papantonio:             A congressional hearing recently shined a spotlight on the FBI for turning a blind eye to one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in the country, Dr. Larry Nassar and his molestation of former Olympic team gymnasts. Legal reporter Mollye Barrows joins me now to talk about how the FBI botched their investigation into sex offensive, offenses that were just so awful.

Mollye Barrows:                So many.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. So, okay. So the predator piggy, I’ve always called Nassar the predator piggy. He absolutely is an awful, awful person.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             So 70 girls, 70 girls molested.

Mollye Barrows:                Three hundred over the course of his career.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Mollye Barrows:                70 in the years time when the FBI failed to do anything.

Mike Papantonio:             Right. That’s, that’s the point. They have 70 complaints and these, these, these FBI types, the, you know, J Edgar Hoover guys.

Mollye Barrows:                That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             Do nothing, right?

Mollye Barrows:                That’s right. That’s a throwback, but yes, you’re exactly right. And you certainly, they were certainly taken to task by the inspector general’s department. And they, you know, had testified before Congress and were basically put their feet to the fire about why they didn’t do more with the information that they were given. And in so many ways, it’s really not just the FBI it’s institutions that failed time after time. It’s the FBI, it’s Michigan State University. It’s certainly USA gymnastics. And it seems like the FBI was just one player in this big institutional push to keep these girls quiet because they were making money off of them. And they were being successful in their efforts, you know, to bring successful Olympians to, to the world stage. But.

Mike Papantonio:             So, so you’ve got, you got, you got Nassar in prison.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             175 years. Still no talk of suicide attempts, which is unusual. So, but, but, here’s what really grabs me about this story. You got 2, 2, 2 FBI agents, Jay Abbott and a guy named Langman.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes, Michael Langman.

Mike Papantonio:             Both of them agents. Abbott, while he supposed to be investigating this whole thing is actually trying to strike a deal with the people he’s investigating.

Mollye Barrows:                That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             So he can get a job as an investigator.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             He wants to come out and have a, have money, which they granted. We’re going to give you money. Now you tell me, why wasn’t Langman and why wasn’t Jay Abbott prosecuted?

Mollye Barrows:                Because they really don’t want to make a change in the system is the way it comes across to me because they’re the ones that are ultimately responsible for the FBI not doing more sooner with the allegations that came forward. It all happened in the spring of 2015. You had a couple of girls that came forward and said, hey, we’ve got a problem with Nassar. Stephen Penny, who was CEO of USA gymnastics did absolutely nothing with it. Three months after the report, first report came in and he told this child that he was gonna report it to the FBI. He met with Abbott at a bar to discuss a possible security job with the Olympic committee.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Now don’t miss, don’t miss, don’t miss this. This was child molesting you understand.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes, absolutely.

Mike Papantonio:             This was, these kids were underage. They were children.

Mollye Barrows:                Their parents were isolated. They were isolated from their families at this ranch in Texas, where they do the, most of their training. Nassar knew it. The FBI knew it. There’s so many failures with these.

Mike Papantonio:             And it, so we’d like to say it was incompetence. And oh, by the way, these are the folks that are protecting US citizens from terrorist attacks. This is the same FBI we’re counting on to protect us from terrorism in this country. Like we saw with, you know, the towers.

Mollye Barrows:                Right.

Mike Papantonio:             When the FBI didn’t do their job and CIA didn’t do there job. So this, this is something the FBI has got to scramble around and the only way to do that, you can’t just let these guys go and say, it’s okay. You got to prosecute these people.

Mollye Barrows:                I know.

Mike Papantonio:             He was trying to work out a job for himself, man.

Mollye Barrows:                Instead, they let him retire before he could face any kind of penalty. And Michael Langman is the field agent who worked under Abbott in that Indianapolis field office. He took one of the reports as well and did nothing with it for a year. And it was during that years time, between June of 2015 and 2016, when basically more reports started to come out. You had the Indianapolis Star do they report. Simultaneously, another girl filed a criminal complaint, um, with the police at MSU. And you want to talk about another institutional failure. That University, everybody knew about this guy.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Mollye Barrows:                And nobody did anything with him. We’ve seen that story time and time again.

Mike Papantonio:             But they weren’t with the FBI. They weren’t with the people that we pay to protect us and protect our children.

Mollye Barrows:                And how insignificant these girls must have been to them to do nothing about it. But they’ll all come out in droves when the cameras are shining.

Mike Papantonio:             Jay, Jay, Jay Abbott, we’re going to show a picture of Jay Abbott, he wanted a job.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s what he wanted. He didn’t give a about the fact that he was going to let this child molester go.

Mollye Barrows:                Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I want to follow up on this. I want to see what, I want to follow the life of this Jay Abbott.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             I want to see what the guy’s up to now. Thank you for joining me. Okay.

Mollye Barrows:                Thanks, Pap.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.