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AG Dana Nessel requests MSU Trustees to release Nassar documents, Trustees respond

February 25, 2021
<p>The Hannah Administration Building on Sept. 20, 2020.</p>

The Hannah Administration Building on Sept. 20, 2020.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a Thursday press conference that the Attorney General's Office's investigation into Michigan State University's Larry Nassar case remains inconclusive with nearly 6,000 documents not released to investigators by the MSU Board of Trustees.

Nessel's office has no legal options available that would allow for a review of the material. MSU’s Trustees must waive their privilege to the content for the Attorney General’s team to review it and complete its investigation.

On Wednesday, Nessel sent a letter to the MSU Trustees "urging them to focus on what is truly important – providing answers to the people of Michigan and to the survivors of Nassar’s crimes to help them heal."

In her letter to Chairperson Dianne Byrum, Nessel addresses the Trustees that have undertaken their own review of the documents to evaluate the University’s decision to withhold information. She said, "I believe the relevance and materiality of these documents can only be assessed by my investigatory team which has the benefit of having reviewed thousands of other documents and hundreds of witness interviews relevant to this matter."

Nessel said the Trustees wouldn't know where the documents fit into the larger investigation.

"Like a puzzle, it would be very difficult for a trustee to know where an individual piece fits without being privy to what the larger picture looks like," Nessel said.

The Trustees asked for the investigation. "Only a review by your office can resolve the questions in a way that the victims, their families, and the public will deem satisfactory and that will help all those affected by Nassar’s horrible crimes to heal," Nessel wrote. However, the Trustees have not yet consented to the release of the documents. It's been over three years.

If the Trustees continue to refuse to release the documents, the AG's office will close the investigation.

To that end, Nessel said, "I cannot think of a worse conclusion to the investigation—which this Board asked for— than that." She requested a response in writing by March 26, 2021.

Chairperson Byrum said in a statement via email, "the MSU Board of Trustees has received the letter from the attorney general’s office and we plan to discuss the issue further in the coming weeks."

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