The Latest: Senator wants Epstein’s plea deal thrown out
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of Jeffrey Epstein’s death (all times local):
A Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking the Justice Department to “rip up” a controversial plea agreement that Jeffrey Epstein struck in Florida more than a decade ago.
Under the 2008 deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges rather than face much tougher federal prosecution on charges he sexually abused teenage girls at his homes in Florida and New York.
Federal prosecutors said when they charged Epstein that the Florida deal doesn’t apply to prosecutors in New York.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who heads the panel’s oversight subcommittee, asked Attorney General William Barr to confirm it is no longer binding following Epstein’s suicide.
A Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity says Barr has recused himself from any review of the 2008 plea deal involved in the federal investigation into Epstein.
—By Michael Balsamo
Amid revelations about Jeffrey Epstein’s death, authorities have intensified inquiries into what went wrong at the jail and who could still face charges in his case.
A person familiar with the matter says Epstein was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes. But investigators have learned those checks weren’t done for several hours before Epstein was found Saturday.
That person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Additionally, Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, tells The Washington Post that one of the guards assigned to Epstein’s unit wasn’t a correctional officer, but a fill-in who had been pressed into service.
In the criminal case, authorities are seemingly turning their attention to those who knew about Epstein’s penchant for underage girls.