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Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Jeff Epstein. Photos: Tom Williams; Rick Friedman via Getty Images.

The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has opened a probe into allegations that federal prosecutors "may have committed professional misconduct" in a case involving multimillionaire serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, according to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

Why it matters: Epstein walked away from the 2008 trial with a light sentence from Miami's then-top prosecutor Alexander Acosta — now Trump's labor secretary. As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported at the time, Sasse asked the Justice Department in December to investigate its treatment of Epstein, after a Miami Herald exposé late last year uncovered details of his sweetheart deal.

The backdrop: A federal statute gives OPR the authority to explore cases of misconduct involving DOJ personnel. However, the division had not made such a move until Sasse — a member of the Judiciary Committee who was infuriated by the Herald revelations — stepped in, a spokesperson for the Nebraska senator said.

  • OPR said it will share results of the probe with Sasse "at the conclusion of its investigation as appropriate."

Go deeper: Ben Sasse asks Justice Department to investigate itself on Jeffrey Epstein

Go deeper

59 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

COP26 head warns Glasgow summit will be "harder than Paris"

Alok Sharma, U.K. COP26 president, in Milan on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

U.K. COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters Tuesday that the upcoming talks in Glasgow, widely viewed as the last chance to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming, will be extremely difficult.

Driving the news: Sharma sought to temper expectations and note that the agenda features some of the toughest items that negotiators have punted on at previous summits.