U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr today asking for his commitment to publicly release the results of the FBI and inspector general investigations into the recent death of Jeffrey Epstein while in federal custody.
“We fully support your call for a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death,” the senators wrote. “True accountability, however, especially for the victims of Mr. Epstein, requires full transparency.”
Full text of the letter is below. The letter can be viewed here.
August 15, 2019
The Honorable William P. Barr
U.S. Department of Justice
Robert F. Kennedy Building
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Barr:
Just over four weeks ago, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and New York Police Department (NYPD) Crimes Against Children Task Force officers after he was indicted for committing a slew of heinous acts, including molestation, abuse of underage girls, and sex trafficking of minors. Numerous victims looked forward to seeing Mr. Epstein face justice. Yet, on August 10, Mr. Epstein allegedly hanged himself in his cell at the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) facility in Manhattan.
This week, you revealed that there were “serious irregularities” at the MCC. We agree. According to press reports, corrections officers violated protocol by not checking on Mr. Epstein regularly even though he had previously been placed on suicide watch. Additionally, one of the individuals assigned to watch Mr. Epstein did not normally work as a corrections officer. The MCC “is functioning with less than 70 percent of the needed correctional officers, forcing many”—including the two individuals watching Mr. Epstein—“to work mandatory overtime and 60- or 70-hour work weeks.”
You confirmed that both the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Inspector General are investigating, and you promised that “there will be accountability.” We fully support your call for a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death. True accountability, however, especially for the victims of Mr. Epstein, requires full transparency. For that reason, we ask for your commitment to make the results of the FBI and IG investigations public as soon as they are completed. We also ask that you please keep us informed of the progress of these investigations so we can ensure that these problems are swiftly addressed and corrected.
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Charles E. Grassley
Committee on Finance
cc: The Honorable Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz