Attorney General William Barr has opened an investigation into the alleged suicide of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was found dead in his prison cell on Saturday morning as he was awaiting charges for federal sex trafficking and abusing young girls.
In a statement released on Saturday, Barr said he was “appalled” by the death and said he tasked Department of Justice’s inspector general to look into the details of the death.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said via Fox News. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
AG Barr statement on death of Jeffrey Epstein pic.twitter.com/DAZHFOkNXb
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) August 10, 2019
And, from the report:
Epstein, who is accused of sex trafficking minors, was found unresponsive inside his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City around 6:30 a.m. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. He was transported to New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital and was dead on arrival, officials said.
The New York City medical examiner’s office told Fox News that an autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death. But the death comes two weeks after the 66-year-old was placed on suicide watch after being found injured in his cell. Epstein was in his own cell at the time of his death and was no longer on suicide watch, according to the Associated Press.
Several members of Congress agreed with the investigation, including Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who tweeted: “We need answers. Lots of them.”
“I agree @AOC,” Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz said.
“Chairman @RepJerryNadler should prioritize a Judiciary investigation into how Jeffrey Epstein died in federal custody (in Nadler’s own neighborhood!) over the Kavanaugh confirmation (which already happened), and the Russia hoax (which never happened),” the Republican added.
Fox News reports Nadler responded to the death, saying he was “deeply disturbed” by it but was “pleased” with Barr’s call for an investigation.
“There are many questions that need to be answered in this case,” the Democratic chairman said.
And, from Fox News:
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said that it was “inexcusable” that Epstein was not under constant suicide watch: “These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court,” he said.
In a separate letter to Barr, Sasse demanded a Justice Department investigation of Epstein’s death.
“The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,” Sasse wrote. “Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him. Given Epstein’s previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance. Obviously, heads must roll.”
Sasse demanded the DOJ answer if Epstein was placed on suicide watch following a previous suicide attempt and if investigations are being ordered into the Bureau of Prisons alleged mismanagement of his incarceration and whether any criminal activity surrounded his imprisonment.