There is a lot of action going on in the case of Jeffrey Epstein today.
We reported yesterday that two guard were about to be charged and those officers were in fact arrested today for allegedly making false record and conspiring to interfere with the functions of a federal prison.
The correctional officers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were supposed to be conducting periodic checks on Epstein while he was in his jail cell. Instead of checking on him, they allegedly were sitting at their desk, browsing the internet and walking around the unit.
According to the Miami Herald, the indictment claims that they “repeatedly signed false certifications attesting to having conducted multiple counts of inmates when, in truth and in fact, they never conducted such counts.”
Epstein was found dead in his cell on August 10, his death ruled a suicide.
But his brother Mark Epstein and famous forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden have raised questions about whether it was suicide because of the nature of the fractures in the neck which are more common in the case of a murder than a suicide, as well as other unexplained injuries on his body, including abrasions on his wrists. Baden observed the injuries on the body during the autopsy.
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee was also holding an oversight hearing. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Committee Chair, quizzed the Bureau of Prisons head Kathleen Hawk Sawyer on the Epstein case.
While she was limited in what she could say, she did say that they were looking into the possibility that a “criminal enterprise” played a role in his suicide.
“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,” Graham said. “So are you looking at both? Is the FBI looking at both?”
“The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes,” Sawyer replied.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also called out how Epstein died, saying there were only two possibilities, neither good.
“What happened to Jeffrey Epstein is an enormous black eye for the BOP,” Cruz said, using the acronym for the Bureau of Prisons, “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.”
Cruz floated “two possibilities” for what happened to Epstein. The first was “gross negligence and total failure of BOP to do its job.” The second, he said, was “something far worse … that it was not suicide but rather a homicide carried out by person or persons who wanted Epstein silenced.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC on Jeffrey Epstein: "Do you concur with the opinion that it was a suicide?”
Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Sawyer: “That was the finding of the coroner."
Graham: "Do you have any evidence to suggest otherwise?"
Sawyer: "I do not." pic.twitter.com/2aBK0YWXuP
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 19, 2019
According to the Daily Wire, Sawyer said that she didn’t have any “indication” that it was anything than a suicide, but that “the whole situation is still under the investigation of the FBI and the Inspector General’s office and I’m really not at liberty to discuss specifics of this case.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) perhaps spoke for many in saying that the matter needed to be properly investigated with diligence but due speed to satisfy the concerns of the American people.
.@Senjohnkennedy: “Christmas ornaments, drywall and Jeffrey Epstein – name three things that don’t hang themselves. That’s what the American people think…and they deserve some answers."
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 19, 2019