Although child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide death last weekend has made that aspect of his story at the top of the news in the time since — other issues remain. Now, Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is demanding that the Justice Department “rip up” a plea deal that now former U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta had struck with Epstein while he was still on the job in south Florida in the 2000s. According to the terms of the deal, Epstein avoided federal charges for years, and any co-conspirators of his were also shielded from federal charges in the southern district of Florida, where many of Epstein’s crimes took place. Sasse — like Attorney General William Barr — is now zeroing in on any and all of those who participated in Epstein’s crimes (and are still alive).
In a letter sent to Barr on Tuesday, Sasse — who chairs the judicial oversight subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee — insisted:
‘The notion that one individual’s plea could shield a whole class of potential co-conspirators of uncertain size and identity from legal liability would — if treated as enforceable — pioneer a new model for one fall guy to shield all other members of a criminal enterprise from accountability to the law… The Department of Justice should rip up the non-prosecution, non-investigation agreement.’
So far, most of Barr and the Justice Department’s public commentary and actions in Epstein’s case following his death have been centered on dealing with how he ever got the opportunity to commit suicide in the first place and thereby avoid facing any further justice. According to one report in The New York Times, Epstein hadn’t even been checked on for “several hours” prior to being discovered dead, and it’s also been shared that the two guards covering his cell were on overtime and one might not have even been a “full-fledged corrections officer.”
Previously, Sasse himself had insisted in another letter to Barr that “obviously, heads must roll” over the chance being there for Epstein to even take for his suicide. This Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that the warden covering the Metropolitan Correctional Center (where Epstein was) had been reassigned and two lower level staffers covering Epstein’s unit had been placed on administrative leave as their investigation into the situation proceeded. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec also made sure to insist that additional options remain on the table if the ongoing investigation finds them worthwhile.
The case has already sparked a high-level resignation. In the time since Acosta struck that lenient — and seemingly illegal — plea deal with Epstein, he became the Labor Secretary in the Trump administration. Following public outrage over the details — and a judge ruling that the deal’s details had been illegally kept from Epstein’s victims at the time — Acosta resigned from the Labor Department, even after repetitive public defense from President Donald Trump.
Trump himself has also caused another problem for those concerned with bringing Epstein and now any potential co-conspirators to justice. Over this past weekend, he shared a conspiracy theory about his death on Twitter suggesting the Clintons had something to do with it, although there’s no evidence of this whatsoever. On Tuesday, he defended his post by pointing to the person behind the theory as supposedly “very respected.”
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