David Schoen, federal criminal defence lawyer who has been hired by Donald Trump as a part of his impeachment team, has casted doubt on Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide” in a detailed statement to Newsweek.
According to the civil rights attorney, his beliefs have nothing “to do with a conspiracy theory” but are rather based on his own observations that were preceding the tragic events.
Epstein, who was arrested in July 2019 over sex trafficking accusations was found dead in his prison cell a month later, on 10 August.
Just nine days before that, Schoen said he had a meeting with the disgraced financier “at his request.”
"We met for 5 hours. During that meeting he asked me if I would consider representing him in the then-pending criminal case. I said that I would but that I wanted to meet with his current team first to hear their view of the idea,” Schoen recalls in a written statement.
The lawyer says that he then received a call from a member of Epstein’s team saying that the convicted sex offender was “animated and energized” after talking to Schoen, although the man still did not become an official member of his defence.
"The following week I received repeated messages about his enthusiasm from our meeting and his eagerness to fight his case,” Schoen maintains.
The attorney was apparently going to meet with Epstein and his lawyers on 9 August at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Lower Manhattan, but the gathering was postponed to the next week because of traveling problems.
"Meanwhile I received a message that Mr Epstein wanted to see if I could come up before then anyway to meet again with him. I asked whether it was urgent and the person told me he didn't know but that it should be fine to come up the next week,” he recalls.
But according to reports Schoen has apparently received, as of 9 August Epstein still “remained animated and gave every indication he was planning to fight the case vigorously” for his freedom, as he had pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking charges brought up against him. However, he was found dead the next day.
“So my first reason for believing it was not suicide is based simply on the anecdotal evidence from my own observations in meeting with him and from reports I received throughout the week," Schoen claimed.
Malfunctioning Cameras & Medical Report
Epstein’s alleged enthusiasm is not the only reason that makes Schoen doubt the medical examiner’s conclusion that the 66-year-old man had hanged himself.
Two cameras outside Epstein’s prison cell were not working properly on the night of his death, and the initial autopsy had concluded the man had multiple injuries to his neck, including a broken hyoid bone - something not very common although not entirely impossible in the case of self-hanging.
An independent pathologist who was hired by Epstein’s brother for an autopsy review, Michael Baden, confirmed that the late financier’s injuries were “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings” and would usually point to “strangulation".
Schoen found Baden’s account convincing, calling him "one of the most respected and experienced forensic pathologists in the world".
According to the legal expert, “after examining Mr. Epstein following his death [Baden] concluded that in thousands of autopsies he had performed he never saw injuries like Mr Epstein's consistent with suicide."
"That strikes me as a powerful assessment that cannot be discounted," Trump’s lawyer argues. "Further he finds it inexplicable that immediately after the exam, the official medical examiner reported the cause of death as inconclusive and then changed it to suicide days later without further evidence.”
All these factors have left Schoen doubting whether Epstein had killed himself.
Epstein was first convicted as a sex offender back in 2008 but had received quite a lenient sentencing back then, having spent just 13 months in jail with extensive work release. The powerful financial mogul made a number of influential friends around the world, including Britain's Prince Andrew, and was also occasionally spotted in the company of Clintons and Trumps.