In Light of New Documents, Sens. Johnson and Blumenthal Press the Coast Guard for Answers on The Academy’s Mishandling Of Sexual Assault Investigations

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) Ranking Member Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chairman Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Linda Fagan seeking additional information regarding the Coast Guard Academy’s mishandling of sexual assault investigations after the Subcommittee obtained new documents from the Coast Guard related to Operation Fouled Anchor. 

“These documents are troubling and raise new questions about the reasons for the Coast Guard’s fall of 2018 decision not to brief Congress about Operation Fouled Anchor,” wrote Sens. Johnson and Blumenthal to Commandment Linda Fagan. “According to the enclosed documents, the Coast Guard was concerned that, should Operation Fouled Anchor be made public, it would ‘risk the initiation of comprehensive Congressional investigations, hearings, and media interest’ and that ‘[t]he rates of sexual assault reporting have not appreciably changed, calling into question impact of Coast Guard actions taken over the past decade to change CGA climate/etc.’”

In September 2023, PSI opened a bipartisan inquiry into the Coast Guard Academy’s mishandling of sexual assault investigations and its failure to reveal Operation Fouled Anchor, and its associated report, to Congress or the public. The full text of the senators’ original letter to the Coast Guard can be found here.  

PSI held a hearing as part of the inquiry in December 2023, during which survivors of sexual assault and harassment at the Coast Guard Academy shared their stories. Following the hearing, the senators sent an additional letter to the Coast Guard demanding compliance with the Subcommittee’s inquiry.

The full text of the February 14, 2024 letter can be found here.