US Attorney General William Barr addressed addressed the death of Jeffery Epstein Monday, citing “serious irregularities” at the jail where he was being held.
Epstein was in federal custody at the Manhattan Correctional Center in connection with an ongoing case investigating allegations of sex trafficking.
In a speech at the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police’s 64th National Biennial Conference, Barr said:
This case was very important to the Department. 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.
Barr spoke of the failure to adequately secure the prisoner, noting “serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and that demand a thorough investigation.” He ended his comments on the situation with a promise that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will ensure that the victims get the justice that they deserve. The investigation into sex trafficking will continue against any co-conspirators and anyone complicit with these actions.
The office of public affairs for the DOJ had previously released a statement from Barr pledging an investigation into Epstein’s death.
Epstein was found dead in his cell in federal custody in a New York prison Saturday, apparently of suicide. Barr said that “In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
The New York Times reported that the jail was understaffed, with only two correctional officers working that evening.