Aug 22, 2019

Key prison officials knew Epstein wasn't to be left alone in cell: WashPost

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Key Bureau of Prisons staffers knew there was an order not to leave Jeffrey Epstein alone in his jail cell ahead of facing sex trafficking charges, but they apparently ignored the directive in his final hours, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: If at least 8 officials did not follow key instructions in the 24 hours before Epstein's death, as is alleged, it would be a stunning systemic failure at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center.

  • Investigators suspect that at least some of those staffers knew Epstein had been left alone in a cell before he died, according to WashPost, citing people familiar with the matter.

Details: Sources told WashPost they're trying to determine the extent of such knowledge, but cautioned the apparent disregard for instruction does not necessarily mean there was criminal conduct.

  • It could simply be bureaucratic incompetence by individuals within the organization, the news outlet notes.

The big picture: The report comes days after Attorney General Bill Bar ordered the removal of acting director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz, following the suicide of Epstein in the New York prison.

  • Barr has said previously there were "serious irregularities" at the MCC and that the Justice Department would ensure that those responsible for the oversight would be held accountable.

Go deeper: What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

Go deeper

What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein

A protest group called "Hot Mess" holds signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8. Photo: Stephanie Keith / Stringer/Getty Images.

Federal prosecutors charged multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein with sexual abuse and sex trafficking of underage girls in July. On Aug. 10, the 66-year-old was found dead in an apparent suicide at a federal detention center in New York City.

The latest: After alleged victims and their attorneys testified at a hearing on Aug. 27, a federal judge formally closed the criminal sex trafficking case against Epstein Aug. 29. Meanwhile, prosecutors in France opened a preliminary investigation into Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy" in late August.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 22, 2019

MIT Media Lab director resigns over financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman. Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25

Dozens of rich and influential men surrounded Jeffrey Epstein. They knew that what they were doing was wrong. That's why they were so secretive about it.

Driving the news: In the aftermath of a blockbuster report from The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow — which details that MIT Media Lab's director Joi Ito flew to Epstein's private island twice and accepted more than $8 million of donations from him — Ito resigned on Saturday from MIT Media Lab, left his board seat with the New York Times Company, and resigned from the MacArthur Foundation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 7, 2019

Prosecutors in France move to investigate Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein's apartment in Paris on August 13. Photo: Mehdi Taamallah/Nurphoto via Getty Images

Prosecutors in France are opening a preliminary investigation into deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, "in connection with possible offenses such as rape, the sexual assault of minors and criminal conspiracy," the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The criminal case against Epstein technically ended with his death. But as American prosecutors refocus their attention on possible accomplices in Epstein's sex-trafficking ring and some accusers plan to file new suits, FBI and international investigations are gaining traction and the scope of the case continues to expand.

Go deeperArrowAug 24, 2019