4 Questions On Epstein Suicide For William Barr, Trump’s AG And Bush Senior’s Coverup Man
Attorney General William P. Barr, who has earned the nickname “The Coverup General,” said in a statement that he “was appalled to learn” about Jeffrey Epstein’s death in federal custody.
The disgraced pedophile financier died in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held since his arrest on July 6 on federal charges that he sexually abused and trafficked underage girls.
Barr has asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into Epstein’s death while in custody.
Epstein’s name has been linked to famous friends and acquaintances including President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew The Duke of York, New York Daily News former owner Mort Zuckerman, and actor-director Woody Allen.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Epstein was convicted in a Florida state court in 2008 of procuring a 17-year-old girl for prostitution. He served 13 months in “custody with work release” as part of a plea deal where federal officials identified 36 victims. The controversial, no-prosecution plea deal gave Epstein immunity from all federal criminal charges. Epstein spent most of that time on work release or in the private wing of a jail. A former Florida corrections worker said Epstein was “treated like a celebrity“.
Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors and sexually abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005 in Florida and New York.
This time, it was different. “You’ve got a guy who is a millionaire who is now living among rats and mold and wants to go home,” a source told the New York Daily News. “This is a disgusting place and the people there, they treat you disgusting. Who wouldn’t be suicidal in that kind of place? You have a silver spoon in your mouth and then you’re put in a cesspool.”
Barr recused himself from the 2008 plea deal but not from the new investigation, New York Magazine reported.
Presidents love Barr. He’s a big fan of expansive executive powers. He served as attorney general for both Trump and President George H. W. Bush, arguing that certain potential crimes under investigation by a special prosecutor shouldn’t be looked into at all, because he didn’t think they were actually crimes.
Barr’s defense of the first Bush administration was seen as so robust that he was dubbed the “Coverup General” in 1992 by William Safire, a former Nixon speechwriter-turned-columnist for The New York Times, Vice News reported.
In the Iran-Contra scandal, Barr successfully helped pardon six former White House officials from the Ronald Reagan administration including some convicted of lying to Congress or withholding information. The six-year investigation centered on allegations that the Reagan administration had secretly sold weapons to Iran despite an arms embargo, then funneled the proceeds to anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua.
Lead Iran-Contra prosecutor James J. Brosnahan warned the judge that Barr may have biased his jury pool. Brosnahan believed he witnessed a successful cover-up, according to Vice News.
In the Mueller report, Trump’s newly appointed Attorney General Barr submitted a less-than-four-page “trust me” summary widely seen as a cover-up of a cover-up of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
The Department of Justice under the Trump administration might try and cover up the circumstances of Epstein death, MSNBC anchor Joy-Ann Reid suggested.
Barr has said that the Epstein case is very important to him personally. “The one person who we, in theory, must wait for answers from is William Barr. And William Barr’s record, just to be candid, doesn’t seem to denote somebody who is willing to tell truths that hurt Donald Trump or could make Donald Trump uncomfortable or unhappy,” Reid told Carol Lenning, an investigative reporter for The Washington Post.
So while we’re waiting for answers from Barr, here are some questions:
1. Why didn’t Barr fully recuse himself from the case, only partially? Why does he want this case so bad?
Barr recused himself from Epstein’s 2008 plea deal but not from the new investigation. That means Barr recused himself from an internal Justice Department investigation of former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s involvement in approving Epstein’s controversial no-prosecution plea deal. Democratic members of Congress and presidential candidates demanded that Acosta resign because of his role as then-U.S. attorney in Miami in signing off on the deal not to prosecute Epstein.
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, told CNBC that Barr should have recused himself in both cases. Barr’s father, once the headmaster of the exclusive Dalton private school in Manhattan in the 1970s, hired Epstein to teach math to children despite Epstein not having a college degree.
Barr joined the law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, in 2009. Kirkland & Ellis represented Epstein in 2008 when he was being investigated in Florida. Acosta also worked at Kirkland & Ellis.
Barr’s work for a firm that represented Epstein was enough to justify recusing himself from overseeing the current prosecution, Figliuzzi told CNBC.
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2. Why was Epstein put in a cell with a former cop who is fighting a death penalty case for 4 murders?
Before Epstein was found dead in his cell, he had a cellmate for about two weeks. Nicholas Tartaglione is a former police officer who has been charged with four murders. They were cellmates in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center. In the last week of July, Tartaglione claimed that he found Epstein unconscious and helped him. Epstein, 66, was found in a fetal position with marks on his neck.
Bruce Barket, a lawyer for Tartaglione, said that contrary to reports Tartaglione had hurt Epstein, the two cellmates get along just fine, New York Daily News reported.
“They became more than cordial,” Barket said. “In the short time they were together, they became friends.”
Tartaglione is facing the death penalty for the alleged kidnapping and murder of four people in 2016. He was sent to the special unit from the general jail population because correction officers found a cellphone in his cell. Epstein was there because, according to The Daily Beast, he’d been threatened by other inmates after his arrest for allegedly sex trafficking girls as young as 14.
3. Why was Epstein taken off suicide watch which is against MCC policies?
New York Times Prison officials took Epstein off suicide watch 12 days before he hanged himself, New York Times reported. After a so-called suicide attempt three weeks earlier, Epstein was placed on suicide watch and got daily psychiatric evaluations. This stopped for unknown reasons. Why he was deemed no longer at risk of taking his own life raises questions about what prison officials were ordered to do. It was inexcusable that Epstein was not under a 24-hour watch, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said in a letter to the Justice Department. “These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court,” Sasse wrote.
4. Why was he left in a cell alone which is against the MCC policies?
It would have been almost impossible for Epstein to harm himself if had he been on suicide watch, a prison official said, according to the New York Times.
Inmates on suicide watch are usually put in a special observation cell surrounded with windows, with a bolted-down bed and no sheets or blankets, said an official who spoke anonymously. A correction officer or fellow inmate trained to be a “suicide companion” are typically assigned to sit in an adjacent office and monitor the inmate constantly.
One of Epstein’s guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on the night he died was reportedly not a regular corrections officer, CBS News reported. On the morning of Epstein’s death there was shouting and shrieking from his jail cell, a source told CBS.
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