In the wake of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, there are plenty of people who are demanding answers. One of them is the nation’s top lawman — and he’s wasting no time in doing so.
In a statement Saturday after Epstein’s death in a Manhattan jail cell, Attorney General William Barr described himself as “appalled” by the fact that the financier and accused sex trafficker had been allowed to take his own life.
Epstein had been on suicide watch after what was described as an attempt to take his own life last month, but he had been taken off the watch at some time before his Saturday death.
According to Fox News, the FBI has already opened an investigation, but the attorney general is going further.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement.
“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.”
The investigation, one assumes, will address some of the numerous curiosities regarding Epstein’s death.
Just two weeks ago, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell after suffering injuries consistent with a suicide attempt. There was speculation at the time that the financier had either faked a suicide attempt to get transferred out of the notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan or that he was assaulted by another prisoner.
Either way, Epstein was placed on suicide watch after the incident. However, he was subsequently taken off of suicide watch, an odd decision given the circumstances.
The Associated Press reported Barr was “livid” that Epstein had the ability to take his own life.
Meanwhile, his death came just days after a trove of documents in a defamation case involving Epstein’s alleged procurer, former partner Ghislaine Maxwell, were unsealed.
In those documents, according to Fox News, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a woman who claims she was sexually trafficked by Epstein, identified powerful men she was forced to have sex with.
The biggest names alleged to be involved in Giuffre’s 2016 deposition were two prominent former U.S. politicians: Maine Sen. George Mitchell and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Both men denied the allegations.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who called Epstein’s death “disturbing,” assured accusers that the investigation would continue, as well.
“To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing,” Berman said.
The obvious question — once one cuts through the interminable conspiracy theories about what happened to Epstein, almost all evidence-free at this point — is whether all of his secrets left the world as his lifeless corpse was whisked out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
It’s a rare outrage that unites politicians as disparate as Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse and New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,” Sasse wrote in a letter to Barr, according to Fox.
“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.”
Ocasio-Cortez was more succinct, but (for once) just as correct: “We need answers. Lots of them.”
We need answers. Lots of them.https://t.co/4DMckiZnVB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 10, 2019
Heads do need to roll. Answers do need to be given. This is an important first step by Barr and the Department of Justice. It must be a prelude to something much, much bigger. Questions, indeed, must be answered.
If Epstein had co-conspirators or was shielding powerful individuals, their secrets cannot leave this world along with his cold, dead body.
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