The latest news in the Jeffrey Epstein death investigation is that “[a]s many as 20” correctional officers received grand jury subpoenas last week. CNN reported the story on Thursday afternoon and cited an unnamed source with apparent knowledge about the subpoenas.
Epstein, a 66-year-old convicted sex offender and accused serial child sex-trafficker of national infamy, you may have heard, died 12 days ago in what a medical examiner said was a suicide by hanging. Epstein’s death and the circumstances surrounding it have spawned multiple investigations and conspiracy theories.
Attorney General William Barr, for his part, has been shaking things up of late at the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
After Epstein died at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, two guards were suspended and a warden was reassigned. Barr then announced that he was removing the acting director of the BOP Hugh Hurwitz from that role and replacing him with Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who served as BOP Director from 1992 to 2003. She was the first woman to lead the BOP. Barr also announced that Dr. Thomas R. Kane is the choice for Deputy Director of the BOP.
“I am pleased to welcome back Dr. Hawk Sawyer as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Under Dr. Hawk Sawyer’s previous tenure at the Bureau, she led the agency with excellence, innovation, and efficiency, receiving numerous awards for her outstanding leadership, “ Barr said in a statement on Monday. “I am also pleased to announce Dr. Thomas R. Kane as the Deputy Director of BOP. Dr. Kane served in the Bureau for over thirty years under four Attorneys General and is known for his expertise and proficiency in prison management and organization.”
The move was made after Barr expressed his anger and dismay that Epstein was not adequately secured (he was taken off of suicide watch) after a reported prior suicide attempt. Despite the medical examiner’s determination, the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death, which law enforcement experts called stunning, is being investigated by both the FBI and the DOJ’s Inspector General.
As the Associated Press reported, the on-duty prison guards that were working overtime failed to check on Epstein each half hour and may have falsified logs to indicate otherwise. It’s also been reported that at least eight prison officials knew Epstein was not supposed to be left alone in his cell.
CNN’s source also said that more subpoenas could be on the horizon.
[Mugshot via Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Image of jail via David Dee Delgado/Getty Images]