Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Demands Swift Response to Inquiry into Sexual Assault & Harassment at the Coast Guard Academy

WASHINGTON  Today, U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) Ranking Member Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chairman Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to Admiral Linda Fagan, United States Coast Guard Academy Commandant, demanding the Coast Guard immediately provide all records responsive to PSI’s probe into sexual assault and harassment at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. This follows PSI’s hearing last week with current and former Coast Guard Academy cadets, who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or retaliation at the Academy and in the Coast Guard.

“It is clear from this testimony, and the Subcommittee’s inquiry to date, that the Coast Guard’s culture of cover-up has allowed sexual assault and sexual harassment to persist for decades, both at the Academy and in the Coast Guard,” wrote Sens. Johnson and Blumenthal in a letter to Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan. “It is equally apparent that accountability and systematic change at both the Coast Guard and the Academy are necessary to address past failures and to ensure that future cadets are protected.  Full compliance with the Subcommittee’s inquiry is a necessary component of these actions.”

“You have expressed a commitment to investigate reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, hold perpetrators accountable, support victims, and be fully transparent with Congress and the American people. It is imperative that you live up to that commitment and ensure that the Coast Guard provides all requested documents and information to the Subcommittee without further delay,” the senators continued. “Should the Coast Guard continue to withhold or redact requested records, PSI will have no choice but to utilize other means to ensure compliance with congressional oversight.”

In September 2023, PSI opened a bipartisan inquiry into the Coast Guard Academy’s mishandling of sexual assault investigations and its failure to disclose the results of its sexual assault investigation to Congress or the public.  

The full text of today’s letter can be found here.