10:18 GMT04 April 2020
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    Although investigators insist that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August 2019, conspiracy theories claim that the convicted paedophile was murdered before he could testify against his group of high-profile friends, including former US President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

    During a House Intelligence Committee briefing earlier this week, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier asked John Demers, the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division at the Justice Department whether the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein “had ever worked as an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asset”, the Daily Beast reports.

    Speier then said that she wonders whether Demers had any personal knowledge of the late billionaire financier collaborating with the agency.

    The Assistant Attorney General allegedly answered by saying that he was not in the know about the matter, pointing to the fact that he works for the Justice Department rather than the FBI.

    Spokespersons for the Justice Department and Speier have not commented on the issue yet.

    It is not the first time that US law enforcement officials have been pressed over Epstein’s possible ties with the FBI.

    In July 2019, former US Attorney Alexander Acosta was asked by a reporter if the financier was an “intelligence asset”, according to the Washington Examiner.

    “So, there has been reporting to that effect. And let me say, there’s been report to a lot of effects in this case. Not just now but over the years. And again, I would, I would hesitate to take this reporting as fact.”

    In November 2018, the Miami Herald reported that “Epstein provided what the government called ‘valuable consideration’ for unspecified information he supplied to federal investigators”, part of “an extremely generous plea deal” he obtained from Acosta’s office in 2007.

    Epstein had been under investigation since 2005 before he died in custody in August 2019; he pleaded not guilty to all charges and faced up to 45 years in prison.

    While the official cause of his death was reported to be suicide by hanging, it remains disputed as its circumstances raised doubts as to whether he was murdered before he could testify against his high-profile friends, including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, among others.

    Related:

    US Prosecutors Accuse Billionaire Epstein of Harassing Witnesses Tied to Sex Abuse Case
    US Probing ‘Serious Irregularities’ at Jail Where Accused Sex Offender Epstein Died - Barr
    'Scary Person': US Prosecutors Detail Assets of Accused Child Sex Trafficker Epstein - Reports
    US Criminal Justice System Ignores Crimes Like Epstein’s While Punishing the Vulnerable
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    information, investigators, FBI, Jeffrey Epstein, US Department of Justice, United States
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