Jeffrey Epsteinwas found dead in his cell not long after he was mysteriously taken off suicide watch, despite a recent attempt to take his own life this past summer. The guards watching him were rent-a-cop level, they falsified prison logs, and had fallen asleep on the job. Shrieks were heard near his cell the day he died. All of this is sketch city and for once, the conspiracy theory crowd was not dismissed. Epstein had ties to some of the most powerful and wealthiest people on the planet, including the Clintons. His private island was reportedly wired for sound; can you say blackmail tapes? And the search warrant executed for his New York residence yielded troves of incriminating evidence to back up the not-so-new allegations that he was a child predator. He was indicted for trafficking underage girls and other sex crimes. He escaped justice in early 2000s thanks to a sweetheart deal he cut with then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, a piece of history that was resurrected by the Miami Herald which reported on Epstein’s plea deal which showcased what money and connections can afford you when you get into trouble. This legal arrangement cost Acosta his job as Trump’s labor secretary.
The death of Epstein while in federal custody was another low point for the DOJ. Barr was outraged, leading him to order a full review with Inspector General Michael Horowitz joining the effort. Initially, two guards were suspended, and the warden was reassigned. Now, two guards have been arrested (via NPR):
Two correctional officers who were assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died in his cell have been indicted for allegedly ignoring more than 75 mandatory checks on the wealthy financier then fabricating records to cover it up.
Federal authorities charged Michael Thomas and Tova Noel with multiple counts of falsifying records and conspiracy. The two worked as guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal facility in Manhattan that is mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.
At a court appearance on Tuesday, Thomas and Noel pleaded not guilty and a judge released each of them on a $100,000 bond.
The indictment provides the first official account of what happened in the hours before Epstein's death.
According to video surveillance footage obtained by prosecutors, Epstein was in his cell unobserved for eight hours before he was found dead. The unit he was in requires that all inmates be accounted for twice an hour.
There were conflicting medical analyses as well. One saying that Epstein had killed himself, another that cast doubton that conclusion due to the wounds around his neck. The latter autopsy was conducted by Epstein’s brother who noted the neck injuries were more consistent with homicide than suicide. I mean all of this was just too good to be true. The man potentially had dirt on oodles of people; Epstein also had ties to the British Royal Family. Yet, Attorney General Barr now says that the events that occurred prior to Epstein’s death were a disaster, but that the child predator committed suicide (via NYT):
Attorney General William P. Barr said in an interview published on Friday that the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of sex trafficking, in a secure federal prison resulted from “a perfect storm of screw-ups,” rather than any nefarious act.
Mr. Barr’s statement refuted suggestions from members of Mr. Epstein’s family that he may have been murdered. His remarks came the same week that two prison guards were criminally charged, accused in an indictment of failing to check on Mr. Epstein every half-hour as they were required to and then lying about it on prison logs.
“I can understand people who immediately — whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario, because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Mr. Barr said in an interview with The Associated Press as he flew to Montana on Thursday night.
Mr. Epstein’s death in August at a federal detention center in Manhattan set off a rash of unfounded conspiracy theories on social media that were picked up and repeated by high-profile figures, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. No matter their ideology, the refrain of the theories was the same: Something did not add up.
Mr. Barr said that he, too, was initially suspicious. How could someone who had been on suicide watch kill himself in one of the most secure jails in America? In the interview, he said that his concerns were sparked by the number of irregularities at the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Mr. Epstein was being held awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
But investigations by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department’s Inspector General have put to rest those suspicions, Mr. Barr said. Instead, he has concluded that Mr. Epstein was able to kill himself after a series of human errors by prison officials and guards.
Still, the events and details of this case—and how this guy met his end—ignited much discussions, which was perfectly captured by Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-LA) remarks