There have been plenty of conspiracies in the wake of financier and accused child abuser Jeffrey Epstein's reported suicide last weekend at Metropolitan Correctional Facility in New York City. But this one from an MSNBC analyst was too much even for liberal host Chris Matthews. Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor, suggested on Matthews's show Tuesday night that President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr "facilitated" Epstein's death.
Video: Hypocrisy on @MSNBC. In a @Hardball segment decrying Trump and others for spreading conspiracy theories on Jeffrey Epstein's suicide, MSNBC legal analyst Paul Butler claimed that, "in some ways," President Trump and Attorney General Barr "facilitated" Epstein's death pic.twitter.com/mhL3yRW2ur— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 13, 2019
"The fact is that Mr. Epstein took his own life," Butler said. "He died while in the custody of the Trump administration. Bill Barr directs the Bureau of Prisons, and they allowed, in some ways they facilitated Mr. Epstein's suicide."
Matthews, to his credit, immediately questioned his guest's logic.
"Well, that's not fair," Matthews said. "What do you mean facilitated?"
Trump and Barr "were on notice" that Epstein was vulnerable for suicide, Butler argued.
The host pressed Butler, asking him to account for the MCC's incompetence. Reportedly, the guards on duty that night failed to check on Epstein for several hours. They've since been reassigned.
"What do you make of pulling back, not having the guards there?" Matthews said. "What about not doing the half hour — on the half hour checking of him, make sure he had a cellmate who could watch him."
Earlier this week in New Orleans Barr slammed MCC for its inadequate oversight and "serious irregularities." He pledged to investigate Epstein's death and said federal prosecutors will pursue answers about his alleged child abuse to try and seek some kind of justice for his victims.