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Press Release Published: Jun 11, 2024

Oversight Leaders Press Coast Guard Over Failure to Cooperate with Committee’s Investigation of Misconduct & Possible Coverup

WASHINGTON— House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) are continuing to investigate the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) mishandling of serious misconduct and possible ensuing coverup. In a letter to U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan, the lawmakers renew requests for documents and information related to the Committee’s investigation that the USCG is refusing to turn over.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability continues to investigate the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) mishandling of serious misconduct, including racism, hazing, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the failure to disclose internal investigations into those issues from the wider Coast Guard community, Congress, and the public,” wrote the lawmakers. “As of today, USCG has provided five document productions containing a total of 8,338 pages of documents to the Committee. In a March 25, 2024, letter to Chairman Comer, USCG indicated it has in its possession ‘1.8 million pages of potentially responsive material.’ We are concerned about USCG’s decision to produce only 8,338 pages of the 1.8 million potentially responsive pages it has identified since the investigation began nearly one year ago.” 

On June 30, 2023, CNN published an investigative report exposing USCG’s multi-year probe into sexual abuse at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (CGA), called Operation Fouled Anchor. CNN reported that Operation Fouled Anchor was launched in 2014 and involved the review of the USCG’s handling of sexual assault at CGA from the late 1980s until 2006. The investigation was closed approximately five years later. Operation Fouled Anchor “found that school leaders routinely failed to report serious allegations to law enforcement, intentionally avoiding the criminal justice system.

“Since sending these requests, the Committee has heard from whistleblowers, who have bravely come forward to recount traumatizing experiences and who have revealed additional cultural deficiencies and alleged incompetence and misconduct by current and former leaders within USCG. Specifically, whistleblowers allege that USCG personnel, including some current and former senior leaders within USCG, may have willfully concealed evidence relevant to criminal investigations,” continued the lawmakers. “To further the Committee’s inquiry, we write to reiterate our request for a timely and fulsome response to our July 13, 2023 and December 8, 2023 requests and for specific information regarding USCG’s plans for future productions.”

Read the full letter to USCG Commandant Fagan here.

Read More: Comer & Grothman Probe U.S. Coast Guard’s Mishandling of Serious Misconduct