UNITED STATES – The FBI launched an investigation into a possible “criminal enterprise” playing a role in disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death, the Federal Bureau of Prisons director told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Kathleen Hawk Sawyer was questioned by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about Epstein’s death in jail while he was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.
“With a case this high-profile, there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or a criminal enterprise afoot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both? Is the FBI looking at both?” Graham said.
“The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes,” Sawyer responded.
On August 10, Epstein’s dead body was discovered in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, and his death was ruled a suicide by the New York City medical examiner. Epstein supposedly hung himself in his cell.
That finding smelled of skepticism during a hearing on Tuesday.
“How can I put this? Christmas ornaments, drywall, and Jerry Epstein — name three things that don’t hang themselves. That’s what the American people think, and they deserve some answers,” Senator John Kennedy (R-La), said to Sawyer.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), has also been on board with the theory that there was foul play involved in Epstein’s death.
“What happened to Jeffrey Epstein is an enormous black eye for the BOP, and yet he died in federal custody.
He died in federal custody before he had a chance to testify about his crimes, about his wrongdoings, and about the other powerful men who were complicit in that sexual abuse. … There were powerful men who wanted Jeffrey Epstein silenced,” Senator Cruz said in reference to the Bureau of Prisons.
Epstein had served one year in prison after being convicted of trafficking under girls for prostitution charges in 2008. Epstein has been tied socially to numerous prominent political, business, and academic figures.
Women who were still in their teenage years in the early 2000s alleged they were being trafficked to older men by Epstein or associates of Epstein.
The United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew was a friend of Epstein during those years, but last week in an interview he denied that Epstein had supplied him with young women.
There is mounting evidence that Epstein did not commit suicide and that he was murdered. However, then Sen. Cruz asked Sawyer if there was evidence suggesting Epstein was murdered, and the BOP director agreed with the medical examiner’s assessment of suicide.
“There’s no indication, from anything I know, that it was anything other than a suicide,” Sawyer replied to Sen. Cruz.
On that same Tuesday, the two correctional officers who were guarding Epstein’s jail cell on the night he died were charged with falsifying records. The two guards, named Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, are alleged to have failed to check on Epstein twice an hour as they were required to do.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said, “As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”