The circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s death just keep getting stranger and stranger. Now we know that no less than three entities are seeking answers about the alleged sex trafficker’s purported suicide attempt in July.
According to the Washington Examiner, in court documents released on Wednesday, the former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility revealed that both the Department of Justice and the FBI had begun an investigation into the July 23 incident and what happened in the aftermath.
Lamine N’Diaye, who was removed from his position at the head of the prison at the behest of Attorney General William Barr, said that both of the investigations would cover the circumstances regarding the alleged suicide attempt and why Epstein was taken off suicide watch, the Examiner reported.
In addition to the FBI investigation, Attorney General Barr also ordered an investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying there were “questions that must be answered.”
The revelations came as U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who was presiding over the Epstein case, also questioned N’Diaye over the July 23 incident.
“One open question, among others, is whether the investigations referenced in your letter will include the incident at the MCC involving Mr. Epstein on or about July 23, 2019,” Berman wrote to N’Diaye in a Monday letter, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
“To my knowledge, it has never been definitely explained what the [Bureau of Prisons] concluded about the incident.”
“I cannot divulge any information about the prior investigation at this time,” N’Diaye said.
However, regarding Epstein’s death, he did note “there are no preliminary reports identifying the exact cause of death.” The chief medical examiner in New York City still hasn’t issued an official cause.
N’Diaye was reassigned in the aftermath of Epstein’s suicide.
Meanwhile, in regard to the alleged suicide attempt in July, the New York Post also reported that Epstein’s lawyers claimed they had been told by their client it wasn’t an attempt to take his own life at all.
At the time, Epstein had been sharing a cell with Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer who’s awaiting trial for a quadruple homicide allegedly related to drug trafficking. Epstein’s lawyers said that “the cop roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch.”
That last part is critical, given that Epstein’s removal from suicide watch remains one of the most troubling aspects of the case.
Bruce Barket, Tartaglione’s lawyer, says he was never appraised of this story.
“I spoke to his lawyers and they never hinted at that to me, but he must have said something to get off suicide watch,” Barket said. “I do know that Nick was not brought up on any charges at all in the institution, so they cleared him.”
“It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded,” he added.
The number of strange aberrations in the Epstein case keep adding up. Mandatory checks weren’t done by guards who were allegedly overworked. Furthermore, guards on the overnight shift during which Epstein died were reportedly asleep for three hours and falsified logs to make it look as if they had checked in on the prisoner.
Keep in mind that the MCC is the facility where prisoners like Epstein, Paul Manafort and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán have been kept. Terrorism suspects have been held there. This isn’t the Hazzard County Jail where, if Sheriff Rosco falls asleep and the Duke boys somehow manage to escape, there’s only going to be a hilarious chase scene where a few cop cars flip over and Boss Hogg is going to get himself covered in cow manure.
Because of what appears to be — at least at this early hour — gross negligence of the highest order, the defendant in one of the most consequential sex trafficking cases in American history was allowed off of suicide watch and wasn’t checked on by guards who reportedly falsified records. We don’t know to what extent this negligence played a part in Epstein’s death, but to say that it’s beyond disturbing only scratches the surface here.
“I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and, frankly, angry, to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Attorney General Barr said at a Fraternal Order of Police convention in New Orleans on Monday.
”We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” he continued. “The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are doing just that. We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability.”
There had better be.
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