FBI agents raid Epstein’s Little St. James Island
Attorney General William Barr said on Monday during a police conference in New Orleans that there were “serious irregularities” at the Manhattan federal facility where the accused sex trafficker apparently killed himself over the weekend.
Barr, who said he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death, said the case would continue and noted that “any co-conspirators should not rest easy.”
“This sex-trafficking case was very important to the Department of Justice and to me personally, Barr said. It was important to the dedicated prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and to our FBI agents who investigated the case and were preparing it for trial. Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward and deserve the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom.”
“I was appalled, and indeed the whole Department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner. We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” he added.
Barr said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General is investigating the irregularities, saying, “We’ll get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”
According to ABC News, relying on an anonymous source, Barr has instructed FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich to brief Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen “every three hours” on the FBI’s investigation into the cause of Epstein’s death and “numerous agents were assigned to both the FBI and OIG [Office of Inspector General] investigations over the weekend.”
Barr’s comments echo a statement released by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman on Aug. 10 in which he noted his intent to keep the Epstein investigation open and ongoing:
“Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment—which included a conspiracy count—remains ongoing.”
The inclusion of a conspiracy count is significant from a legal perspective, indicating that indeed, the investigation does not end with Epstein’s death.
On the same day as Barr’s comments, FBI agents conducted a raid on Epstein’s Little St. James Island. At least a dozen agents were pictured disembarking speedboats and moving about the island using golf carts in video footage taken by an onlooker obtained by The Daily Mail.
The anonymous provider of the footage told The Daily Mail, “We were enjoying lunch when we saw over a dozen people getting off their speedboats and landing on the island. When we looked harder, we could see the FBI logo on the backs of their shirts. It didn’t take long for us to realize they must be conducting a raid on Epstein’s house.”
Epstein died Saturday morning, reportedly after he killed himself in his jail cell. New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, said in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner that the autopsy on Epstein was performed Sunday but results have not been publicly released noting that the determination of the cause of death was “pending further information at this time.”
Dr. Michael Baden, a private pathologist, observed the autopsy on behalf of Epstein’s representatives, which Sampson described as “routine practice.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, Epstein had been removed from suicide watch in late July at the request of his lawyers.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch following an incident on July 22, 2019, where he was found on the floor of his cell, “semi-conscious, despondent and crying with slight bruising around his neck.” At the time, CBS News reported that a “source said it was not clear whether his injuries were self-inflicted, but that Epstein was put on suicide watch at the correctional facility as a precautionary measure.”
Following the July 22 incident, a source told NBC News that authorities were questioning another inmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, who reportedly was Epstein’s cellmate. Tartaglione is a “former police officer in Westchester County who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy.”
The New York Times reported that a “law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said that when the decision was made to remove Mr. Epstein from suicide watch, the jail informed the Justice Department that Mr. Epstein would have a cellmate and that a guard ‘would look into his cell’ every 30 minutes.”
These procedures appear to not have been followed on the night of Epstein’s death. He was reportedly alone in his cell at the time of his death and had not been checked on for hours.
On Aug. 11, the New York Post reported that “there’s no surveillance video of the incident.” While there are cameras in the cell block to which Epstein had been assigned, they were reportedly “trained on the areas outside the cells and not inside.”
The Washington Post reported on Aug. 11 that “the two corrections officers assigned to watch the special unit in the detention center where Epstein was being housed were working overtime” at the time of his death. Additionally, one of the individuals who had been assigned to watch Epstein’s unit “did not normally work as a correctional officer but, like others in roles such as counselors and teachers, was able to do so.”
Epstein’s death followed the Friday release of more than 2,000 pages of documents (some of which can be found here and here) related to a now-settled lawsuit against Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers.
Giuffre claimed that “she was ‘forced’ to have sex with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, ‘model scout’ Jean Luc Brunel, and “many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders,” according to court documents. Dershowitz and Brunel have denied the allegations.
Also included in Guiffre’s allegations are former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Britain’s Prince Andrew (whom she has publicly accused previously), hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell, and now-deceased MIT scientist Marvin Minsky.
Richardson, Prince Andrew, Mitchell, and Durbin have all denied the accusations and no charges have been filed against any of the men at this time.
Flight Logs Incomplete
In a 2016 article, Fox News reported that, based on a review of flight logs, former President Bill Clinton had made “at least 26 trips” aboard Epstein’s private jet, which has been called the “Lolita Express” in media reports. The flight logs indicate that Clinton flew without a Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights.
According to the Giuffre court documents, the flight records are not complete as they were maintained by only one pilot, Dave Rodgers:
“As Defendant acknowledges in her own statement #44, flight records are incomplete. There were several pilots and co-pilots that flew Epstein and Maxwell (Lawrence “Larry” Visoski, David (Dave) Rodgers, Bill Hammond, Pete Rathgeb, Gary Roxburgh, and Bill Murphy) in multiple aircrafts … Yet, only one pilot, David Rodger’s produced flight records.”
The Daily Mail reported on Aug. 11 that Ghislaine Maxwell was “ready to co-operate with the American authorities in their ongoing investigation into Prince Andrew’s late friend Jeffrey Epstein.” Maxwell, who is currently in the UK, has not commented publicly in response to Epstein’s arrest and subsequent death along with her alleged role in the trafficking.
Epstein’s Finances Being Investigated
Epstein’s financial dealings also appear to be coming under investigative scrutiny. According to The New York Times, Deutsche Bank, “where Mr. Epstein was a client from 2013 until June 2019, has been handing over transaction-by-transaction data to federal prosecutors and other authorities.”
It has also been reported that Les Wexner, a longtime client of Epstein’s, has been providing documents to federal investigators which allegedly show “all sorts of irregularities and theft” on the part of Epstein. Wexner, the billionaire founder of Limited Brands, now known as L Brands, reportedly severed ties with Epstein more than 10 years ago after Epstein was first accused of molesting underage girls in 2007.
It has been speculated that Wexner was the primary source of Epstein’s wealth. At one point, Wexner assigned Epstein fiduciary power “over all of his private trusts and foundations,” according to a 2003 Vanity Fair article that relied on interviews with Epstein and people close to Wexner.
Additionally, two of Epstein’s longtime lawyers, Darren Indyke and Jeffrey Schantz, who were both involved in Epstein’s financial transactions, including trusts in the Virgin Islands, have recently hired criminal defense lawyers. These lawyers, presumably financial and tax specialists, are not believed to have been hired to represent Epstein in his criminal case.
This article is part of my ongoing series at The Epoch Times.