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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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

3 hours ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.