The FBI has opened an investigation into a possible “criminal enterprise” involved in the death of Jeffrey Epstein, according to the Tuesday Congressional testimony of Bureau of Prisons director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer.
Sawyer announced the inquiry during a line of questioning from Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).
“With a case this high profile there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or criminal enterprise at foot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both, is the FBI looking at both?” Graham asked, to which Sawyer responded that “the FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes.”
Sawyer took her position in August after Attorney General William Barr demoted Hugh Hurwitz a week after Epstein died in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Epstein, 66, died in what New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled was suicide by hanging on August 10, despite being put on suicide watch after attempting suicide a few weeks earlier on July 23. Prison staffers recommended days before his death that Epstein be taken off the watch for unknown reasons.
News broke Tuesday morning that the guards assigned to Epstein have been arrested and are accused of falsifying log entries to read that they checked on the late financier every half hour as required, when in fact they had neglected to do so for several hours.
“I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry, to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said in August. “We will get to the bottom of what happened. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”