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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Bar has ordered the removal of acting director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz following the suicide of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center.

The big picture: Barr has previously said there were "serious irregularities" at the MCC and that the Justice Department will ensure that those responsible for the oversight are held accountable. Barr has appointed Kathleen Hawk Sawyer as the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Thomas Kane as deputy director. Hawk Sawyer previously served as director of the bureau from 1992 to 2003.

Catch up quick: Epstein, one of the highest-profile pretrial inmates in the world, was not under suicide watch at the time of his death, despite guards finding him unconscious in his cell from a possible suicide attempt in July.

  • Epstein died just 1 day after newly unsealed documents were made public from a 2015 defamation lawsuit that detailed what his accusers described as a sex-trafficking operation.
  • Barr has directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to temporarily reassign the warden in charge of the MCC where Epstein was held pending the outcome of a Justice Department and FBI investigation.
  • The BOP also placed 2 staff members assigned to Epstein's unit on leave. Guards are suspected of falling asleep and falsely stating in log books that they checked on inmates every half-hour, AP reports.
  • Epstein's autopsy shows he hanged himself in his cell.

Between the lines: While Epstein's death means victims will not have the chance to face him in court, Barr has made clear that he will be pursuing all parties involved in the financier's alleged trafficking of dozens of underage girls.

  • At a conference last week, Barr stated: "Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice, and we will ensure they get it."

Go deeper: What we know about Jeffrey Epstein's life and death

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.