Updated: Sep 7, 2019
Attorney General William Barr blasted corrections officials on Monday for what he described as “serious irregularities” at the New York federal prison where financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead. He vowed a full investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department inspector general.
Barr, speaking during a conference for the Fraternal Order of Police in New Orleans, also assured that the sex-trafficking case will continue against anyone who conspired with Epstein, and said victims will see justice in the end.
“This sex trafficking case was very important to the Department of Justice, and to me, personally," Barr said. "It was important to the dedicated prosecutors at the Southern District of New York and to our FBI agents who investigated the case, and were preparing it for trial,” he added.
“Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward, and deserve the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom,” he continued. “Let me assure you this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice, and they will get it.”
Epstein, who was accused of sex trafficking with minors, was found unresponsive inside his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by staff. He was then transported to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival, officials said.
His death was described by officials as an apparent suicide, but investigations are underway into how the wealthy financier could have been able to kill himself while in a high-security facility just two weeks after being placed on suicide watch.
“I was appalled, and indeed, the whole department was – and frankly, angry – to learn of MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said Monday. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”
He added: “The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General are doing just that. We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”Barr's mention of "irregularities" refers to several emerging details surrounding Epstein's detention.
A source familiar with the matter told Fox News on Monday that Epstein's suicide watch had been lifted recently. Fox News also has learned that according to normal MCC operations, Epstein should have been checked on, physically, every 30 minutes, but apparently was not checked on for “several hours” leading up to his death. A source also told Fox News that Epstein did not have a cellmate on the night of his death.
Epstein’s death also came hours after more than 2,000 documents were unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The papers included affidavits and depositions of key witnesses in a lawsuit the now-33-year-old woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed against Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015. Giuffre accused the duo of keeping her as a “sex slave” in the early 2000s when she was underage.
In the documents, Giuffre claimed to have been forced to have sex with and provide erotic massages to powerful politicians, foreign leaders and businessmen. Giuffre alleged she was forced to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Britain’s Prince Andrew; the late American scientist Marvin Minsky; hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin; “another prince;” “a large hotel chain owner;” Stephen Kauffman, and model scout Jean Luc Brunell.
Giuffre also revealed that she was “trafficked” to former Democratic Sen. George Mitchell, who represented Maine from 1980-95, served as Senate majority leader, and was later named special envoy to the Middle East by then-President Barack Obama.
Mitchell, Richardson and Dubin denied the allegations in statements to Fox News on Friday. Prince Andrew has also vehemently denied the allegations.
Giuffre also has long claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. In the newly revealed documents, Giuffre, who was at the time labeled as “Jane Doe #3,” claimed that Epstein required her to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on numerous occasions while she was a minor. Giuffre claimed to have had the encounters in Florida, on private planes, in New York, New Mexico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Dershowitz has vehemently denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, included in the hundreds of pages of documents were pages of flight logs from Epstein’s private jet. Prominent individuals who had traveled on the jet, according to those records, included Bill Gates, who flew once; former President Bill Clinton and aide Doug Band, who flew four times; President Trump, who flew once in 1997 from Palm Beach to New York; Colombian President Andres Pastrana; Dershowitz; Hyatt Hotels Chairman Tom Pritzker; Brunel; and model and talent agent Naomi Campbell, among others.
Epstein had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy last month in New York. Epstein, 66, was accused of having preyed on dozens of victims as young as 14.
Fox News' Jake Gibson, Tamara Gitt and The Associated Press contributed to this repory
Attorney General Barr slams 'serious irregularities' in Epstein's detention, vows investigation-Americans Are Pissed