When convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell on Saturday, several people questioned how a man at the center of a massive crime ring with connections to some of the biggest-named people in the country was even able to kill himself.
Epstein previously tried and failed to take his own life just a couple of weeks prior on July 23, so he must have been placed on suicide watch, involving 24-hour surveillance — right?
According to a Department of Justice official who spoke on anonymity to the Associated Press, Epstein was ordered to be watched around-the-clock but that the guards fell asleep on their watch, giving Epstein several hours alone.
FBI agents will sweep the Manhattan jail that housed Jeffrey Epstein today as new reports say the guards on duty fell asleep for 3 hours and then falsified records to cover it up. | @GriffJenkins pic.twitter.com/MvD56H0leS
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) August 14, 2019
The Associated Press reports those same guards went back and falsified their records to reflect that they had checked on Epstein, when they did not.
From the report:
A person familiar with the probe of Jeffrey Epstein’s death at a federal jail says guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates in his unit every half hour, when they actually weren’t.
Epstein is believed to have killed himself early Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was awaiting trial in a sex trafficking case.
Surveillance video reviewed after the death showed guards never made some of the checks noted in the log, according to the person familiar with the investigation.
The Justice Department said earlier Tuesday that two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.
The Justice Department says two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself in jail have been placed on administrative leave. https://t.co/lB5VubhVy8
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 13, 2019
Shortly after the untimely death, Attorney General William Barr announced that he would instruct the Justice Department to continue investigating Epstein’s crimes and the situation surrounding his death.
“Before I begin, I would like to briefly address the news from the Manhattan Correctional Center over the weekend regarding Jeffrey Epstein,” Barr said Monday at the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s 64th National Biennial Conference in New Orleans, BizPac Review reports.
“This case was very important to the Department,” he continued. “It was important to the dedicated prosecutors and agents who investigated the case and were preparing it for trial. Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward and deserved the opportunity to confront the accused in court.”
“I was appalled – indeed, the entire Department was – and frankly angry, to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” the attorney general said, promising a continuation of the investigation. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and that demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are already doing just that. We will get to the bottom of what happened at the MCC and we will hold people accountable for this failure.”
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice, and we will ensure they get it,” he concluded.
The Associated Press adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The department says in a statement Tuesday that the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has also been temporarily reassigned to an office post pending the outcome of two investigations. Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.
Attorney General William Barr has expressed outrage that Epstein was able to take his own life Saturday while under the care of the federal Bureau of Prisons while the inmate was facing sex trafficking charges.
The Justice Department says the warden of another facility in upstate New York has been named the acting warden at MCC. The Department says it will take additional personnel action as warranted.