The detail was revealed in a letter addressed Thursday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins. The letter was obtained by Fox News on Friday.
“The Department can confirm that Mr. Epstein was placed on suicide watch in July,” Justice Department official Stephen E. Boyd wrote. “Mr. Epstein was later removed from suicide watch after being evaluated by a doctoral-level psychologist who determined that a suicide watch was no longer warranted.”
Both the FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general are investigating the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death after the disgraced financier was found unresponsive in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, N.Y., on August 10, where he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges involving underage girls.
“Although Mr. Epstein is deceased, the department’s case against anyone who was complicit in his alleged crimes will continue,” the DOJ’s letter said.
Since Epstein's death, Attorney General William Barr has removed the director of the federal Bureau of Prisons and appointed a new director and deputy director. The jail's warden has been reassigned to a desk post at a regional office and two guards who were supposed to be watching Epstein the night he died were placed on administrative leave.
Epstein was a key defendant in a high-profile case of paedophilia and an underage sex trafficking scheme. The late 66-year-old financier was also close with numerous famous personalities and politicians. This fact spurred numerous conspiracy theories regarding Epstein's demise, suggesting that it could have been more than just a suicide since his testimony could have allegedly hurt powerful people who may have used the accused sex trafficker's services.
These theories were further fuelled by numerous media reports suggesting that the New York prison was heavily understaffed and that the guards were not checking up on Epstein as often as they should have been according to the rules. The financier’s apparent suicide comes weeks after making another such attempt, something that led to him being put on suicide watch. However, media reports suggest that the measure was lifted six days after being imposed.