On 10 August, it was reported that Epstein had been found unresponsive on the floor of his cell in New York City, a day after a federal appeals court unsealed nearly 2,000 pages of documents related to the accused sex trafficker. A week later, Dr Barbara Sampson, a New York City medical examiner, ruled Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging.
However, in October, Dr Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein's brother Mark to determine the cause of the millionaire's death, opined that the autopsy of the deceased was more consistent with homicidal strangulation than suicide. Although Dr Sampson insisted that she stands "firmly" behind her initial findings, the meme "Epstein didn't kill himself" immediately emerged on social media, billboards, and even beer cans.
Epstein's death was surrounded by a string of coincidences: the jail's suicide watch was removed just ahead of the sex abuser's death; two prison guards fell asleep instead of making checks every 30 minutes; two cameras outside Epstein's jail cell were not working. According to reports, the guards tasked with watching Epstein at the time of his death were arrested and charged with falsifying records on 19 November.
Epstein's Final Moments Raise Many Unanswered Questions
"The life and strange death of Jeffery Epstein likely would not be approved for treatment as a work of fiction, or as a movie as there seem to be so many implausible elements and oddities", says Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist, adding that he does not rule out that Epstein was murdered.
According to the analyst, Epstein's final moments raise many unanswered questions. First of all, it is not clear why he returned from Europe to his arrest, Ortel highlights.
"Many accounts suggest that Epstein was wired into the power structure and so should have been aware that he had come under scrutiny", he says. "With all his wealth, and his aircraft fleet, he could easily have run away to Brazil or some other location where he might have fought extradition, while living the high life".
How Epstein's Ties With Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew Remained Swept Under the Rug
Meanwhile, conservative activist group Project Veritas broke in early November that ABC News had been sitting for about three years on juicy details concerning Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew's ties with the shamed financier.
Caught on a hot mic, ABC News reporter Amy Robach admitted that she had received information from Epstein accuser Virginia Guiffre (née Roberts), but that the broadcaster had decided to drop the story. Apart from the apparent ire from the British royal family, the mainstream network apparently did not want to cast shadow on Bill Clinton at the time, as his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was running for president.
“Then the Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about #PrinceAndrew...threatened us in a million different ways. We were so afraid that we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will...That also quashed the story.” - @arobach #EpsteinCoverup pic.twitter.com/fPvJc3s1Li— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 16, 2019
On 17 November, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to ABC News President James Goldston on Sunday demanding answers to questions surrounding what appears to be the Epstein cover-up. On Tuesday, McCarthy made it clear that he would push for congressional hearings if ABC News doesn't explain their decision to drop the story about the convicted sex offender years ago.
I am deeply concerned that ABC News chose to bury the truth about Jeffrey Epstein's role in human trafficking. @RepDougCollins, @RepMcCaul and I sent a letter to the President of @ABC News requesting more information about their enabling of Mr. Epstein. pic.twitter.com/AVqfZKqmt6— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 18, 2019
According to Charles Ortel, there is nothing new about ABC News', a mainstream media outlet, unwillingness to cross the path of the rich and powerful.
ABC News' Decision to Drop Epstein Story Evokes Juanita Broaddrick's Case
The analyst argues that much in the same vein as the US news media dragged their feet about covering the case of Juanita Broaddrick, who stated in 1999 that she was raped by then Attorney General of Arkansas Bill Clinton in April 1978, though in 1997 she claimed to the contrary in her sworn statement. In 1999, NBC was accused of "sitting" on the story during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. The interview with Broaddrick was aired 12 days after Clinton had been acquitted on 12 February 1999.
"The 35-day interval between tape and air is now one of the legends of the impeachment process", Philip Weiss, the American journalist who eight years later made an interview with Jeffrey Epstein, wrote in 1999. "Why didn’t the American public get to hear Mrs Broaddrick before the Senate voted to acquit Mr. Clinton on 12 February?"
The story resurfaced during the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and only attracted public attention in relation to the 2017 Me Too movement.
"Large news organisations must retain access to the elites so they can only move against a powerful family if they are certain they will win", Ortel elaborates. "In 2015, and strangely even today, Hillary Clinton credibly may become President of the United States. So, it makes sense that ABC, owned by Disney, would tread carefully, even if that means failing to fight for Epstein’s many victims, as they rightly should".
Epstein Story & Smear Campaign Against Justice Kavanaugh
He draws parallels between the US MSM effort to keep the Epstein story under the rug and their attempt to smear Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused by Dr Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her when they were teens in September 2018. Kavanaugh resolutely denied all the allegations. The case was widely covered by the US mainstream media, although Ford's testimony failed to convince the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"When it comes to conservatives, the 'established media' takes the view that any 'appearance of impropriety' is grounds for severe disciplinary action", Ortel says. "In contrast, when it comes to proponents of 'unregulated globalism', bribery, corruption and sexual deviancy seem to be swept under the rug, until the stench becomes truly overpowering, as it certainly seems to be with the Clintons, Epstein, and Harvey Weinstein who once were all closely tied, perhaps symbiotically".
According to him, "the MSM has lost credibility as the passage of time reveals most therein are naked partisans while citizen journalists are rushing in, swiftly and credibly to reveal uncomfortable truths".