Miami Herald - Julie K. Brown
Democrats call for full investigation of Justice Department’s deal with Jeffrey Epstein
Democratic members of Congress requested Friday that Attorney General William Barr order an investigation into his own department’s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case, focusing on the deal Epstein received to escape meaningful punishment 10 years ago.
The lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Barr Friday, saying the department’s ongoing inspector general investigation should not limit itself to how the multimillionaire financier was able to wind up dead in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial.
“Limiting the scope of an independent inquiry solely into his death is grossly inadequate, and would ignore the various DOJ officials who have allowed this serial pedophile to escape true justice for more than a decade,” said the letter, signed by Florida U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Ted Deutch, and Reps. Jackie Speier of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
The main Justice Department official referenced in the letter is Alexander Acosta, who was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida when Epstein was first investigated on allegations of sexually trafficking dozens of underage girls at his waterfront estate in Palm Beach.
After preparing a 53-page draft indictment that could have put away Epstein for life, Acosta shelved the charges, allowing Epstein to plead to relatively minor charges in state court in Palm Beach County and serve a short jail term.