Attorney general 'appalled' over Epstein's death, announces investigation

Body of Jeffrey Epstein being brought to NYC Office of Medical Examiner's

Enlarge Image Body of Jeffrey Epstein being brought to NYC Office of Medical Examiner's. Michael Dalton

Epstein has died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

With questions growing about the news that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide, a new report has some information on what may have happened in the lead-up.

Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by the news.

Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his jail cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which operates the lower Manhattan jail, in a statement.

On this week's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday", White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said President Donald Trump wanted everything to be investigated on Jeffrey Epstein death when asked about the president's retweet linking Epstein's death to former President Bill Clinton. He initially had a cellmate, but that person was removed for reasons unknown, the source said. In an August 10 statement, Barr said he was "appalled" at hearing the news and said it raised "serious questions that must be answered".

All of their claims have yet to be verified, but Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman vowed following Epstein's death on Saturday that "our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment - which included a conspiracy count - remains ongoing". He noted in a statement Saturday that the indictment against Epstein includes a conspiracy charge, suggesting others could face charges in the case.

Sigrid McCawley, an attorney representing one accuser, said in a statement that "the reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of courageous and truthful victims should not end" with Epstein's death. In October, Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger was killed in a federal prison in West Virginia where had just been transferred.

Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee, was highly critical of the Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons in a letter addressed to Barr on Saturday, demanding answers to questions surrounding Epstein's death. Authorities believe Epstein hanged himself, a law enforcement source told CNN. "Being responsible for Epstein's custody and prosecution, the Department of Justice should not have allowed this to happen".

Epstein's removal from suicide watch would have been approved by both the warden of the jail and the facility's chief psychologist, said Jack Donson, a former prison official who worked for the Bureau of Prisons for more than two decades. The records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, as well as the transcript of a 2016 deposition of Epstein in which he repeatedly refused to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.

"We've worked so hard to get here, and he stole that from us, too", she told the newspaper.

A Miami Herald series on the plea deal and the new charges in July renewed attention on the plea deal and spurred outrage against it.

A number of lawmakers have called for congressional investigations or probes into Epstein's death and his previous plea deal.

Before his legal troubles, Epstein led a life of extraordinary luxury that drew powerful people into his orbit.

Epstein owned a private island in the Caribbean, homes in Paris and New York City, a New Mexico ranch, and a fleet of high-price cars.

Sisak reported from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Balsamo from Savannah, Georgia.

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