Attorney General William Barr said that while he understands Americans’ skepticism of the official explanation of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, he became confident the disgraced financier committed suicide after reviewing security footage confirming that no one entered Epstein’s cell the night he died.
“I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Barr told the Associated Press in an interview published Friday.
Earlier this week, two Manhattan prison workers were arrested for failing to check on Jeffrey Epstein the night he died in prison, after they falsified records to cover up that they had fallen asleep instead of checking on Epstein every half hour, per protocol. Bureau of Prisons director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer also revealed in Senate testimony that the FBI was “looking into a criminal enterprise” involving the case.
Barr, who said in August that he was “appalled” at the negligence surrounding Epstein’s death and vowed to “get to the bottom of what happened,” confirmed Thursday that the Justice Department is still investigating the circumstances.
“They are definitely pushing things along,” Barr said. “I’ll just say there is good progress being made, and I’m hopeful in a relatively short time there will be tangible results.” Barr added that the DOJ is specifically exploring why Epstein was not given a cellmate after being taken off of suicide watch.
“I think it was important to have a roommate in there with him and we’re looking into why that wasn’t done, and I think every indication is that was a screw-up,” he said. “The systems to assure that was done were not followed.”