FBI Probing If ‘Criminal Enterprise’ Played Role In Jeffrey Epstein's Death
Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Sawyer told lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing that the FBI is looking into the possibility that a “criminal enterprise” played a role in the death of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Miami Herald reported that during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sawyer was asked about the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death, which official reports have indicated was a 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,” committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said. “So are you looking at both? Is the FBI looking at both?”
Sawyer responded: “The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also mentioned the fact that there are powerful people who might have wanted to silence Epstein, who purportedly killed himself in a federal prison cell while facing new sex trafficking charges.
“What happened to Jeffrey Epstein is an enormous black eye” for the Bureau of Prisons, Cruz said. “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.”
The Texas Republican said there are only two explanations for what happened with Epstein: either “gross negligence and total failure of BOP to do its job” or “something far worse ... that it was not suicide but rather a homicide carried out by person or persons who wanted Epstein silenced.”
Sawyer said she was unaware of any indication that Epstein’s death “was anything other than a suicide.”
Also on Tuesday, two correctional officers working at the prison on the night Epstein died were charged with falsifying prison records to cover up their dereliction of duty.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas “are accused of failing to check on Epstein every half hour, as required, and of falsifying prison logs to make it appear that they had been monitoring the Palm Beach multimillionaire and sex offender on Aug. 9 and 10.”
According to the unsealed indictment, Noel and Thomas “sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the common area of the SHU (Special Housing Unit)” when they were supposed to be counting inmates.