Two corrections officers from the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein allegedly killed himself on August 10 have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of FBI and Office of the Inspector General investigations into his death, with the prison's warden has been 'temporarily reassigned', the Justice Department has announced.
In a statement released Tuesday, the department said a warden from another federal prison in upstate New York has been named acting warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, where Epstein, who faced charges of running a sex trafficking ring involving minors, allegedly killed himself on Saturday.
The department said it would take additional action involving prison personnel if "the circumstances warrant" it.
NEW: The MCC’s warden has been temporarily reassigned pending the Justice Department’s inspector general and FBI probes into Epstein. pic.twitter.com/bwzA8y1Nwx— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) 13 августа 2019 г.
President Donald Trump commented on the billionaire's death earlier in the day, saying he was "absolutely" "demanding" a "full investigation" into the circumstances of Epstein's death. Attorney General Barr lambasted the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, saying there were "serious irregularities" at the facility, and that he was "apalled" after hearing about Epstein's death.
Prior to his arrest and conviction on one count of soliciting prostitution from a single underage girl in 2008, the Epstein, a former hedge fund manager, was considered a major mover and shaker among the US's political and cultural elite, maintaining relationships with Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, members of the Kennedy family, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch, and a long list of stars, singers, and other public figures.
Epstein was arrested on multiple counts of alleged sex trafficking and abuse of minors last month, with Justice Department starting an investigation into his case in early 2019, ruling the non-prosecution agreement which followed his 2008 plea deal and 18-month prison sentence unconstitutional.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the circumstances of Epstein's death in the maximum security prison while he was supposed to be watched "like a hawk" by prison officials "boggles the imagination." According to the mayor, "this series of events" was "way too convenient" given Epstein's extensive knowledge, "potentially, about some of the richest and most powerful people in the country."