Attorney General William Barr says he was “appalled” and “angry” at the revelations that Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide while in custody at a Manhattan prison, a facility he claimed failed to “adequately secure” the inmate.
Epstein, who was facing federal sex trafficking charges and was accused of abusing dozens of underage girls, was found unresponsive in his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday. In remarks at a police conference on Monday, Barr vowed “get to the bottom of what happened” so there would be accountability.
“This sex trafficking case was very important to the Department of Justice and to me personally, it was important to the dedicated prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. And to our FBI 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 deserve the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom,” Barr told the crowd.
Epstein’s death came just after thousands of pages of documents were unsealed in federal court in a case against him. The documents included a sworn deposition from 2016 when alleged victim Virginia Giuffre was asked which politically connected and financially powerful people she was directed to have sex with as a minor.
The 66-year old was found injured in his jail in late July, and was under observation at the time, law enforcement sources told CBS News. The attorney general said that the FBI and the office of Inspector General are now carrying out a thorough investigation into MCC’s pattern of failures with Epstein at the forefront.
Meanwhile, as many decry Epstein’s death as a lack of justice for his alleged victims, Barr noted that the “case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein” and that “any co-conspirators should not rest easy.”
“The victims deserve justice and they will get it,” Barr promised.