In the wake of the shocking news of billionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s death on Saturday morning, Attorney General William Barr reacted shortly thereafter. He called the situation “appalling.”
Epstein reportedly committed suicide while being held in a federal facility just weeks after he reportedly was found in his cell following a failed suicide attempt.
The Bureau of Prisons said that Epstein was found in his cell at around 6:30 a.m. local time and was immediately rushed to the hospital where efforts to revive him failed, according to The Hill.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement.
Barr then indicated that in addition to an FBI investigation that would take place in the wake of the suspicious death, he also spoke with the Inspector General, who also plans to launch an investigation into Epstein’s death.
According to CNBC, the FBI typically doesn’t investigate suicides that happen in federal prisons. However, given the high profile nature of the case, an “abundance of caution” would be taken.
Epstein made headlines in late July after authorities found him unconscious and with marks on his neck after a failed suicide attempt. This act prompted authorities to place him on suicide watch.
However, authorities revealed shortly after Epstein’s Saturday morning death that he was no longer on suicide watch in the days leading up to his death.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 10, 2019
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, where the suicide took place, never returned comment to The Hill for clarification on Epstein’s suicide watch status.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing many of Epstein’s reported victims, confirmed in a tweet that she would still be moving forward with civil litigation against Epstein’s estate.
Predator Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice.
Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) August 10, 2019
Bloom published a serious of additional tweets about the news, with one remark on Twitter calling for the administrators of Epstein’s estate to freeze his assets, holding them for her clients filing civil lawsuits. He said, “They deserve full and fair compensation NOW.”
Rep. Lois Frankel — who represents the Florida district where Epstein owned a mansion that was allegedly one of the locations where sexual abuse took place — demanded that the House Oversight Committee investigate a 2008 plea deal that helped Epstein avoid federal sex trafficking charges.
“The death of Jeffrey Epstein does not end the need for justice for his victims or the right of the public to know why a prolific child molester got a slap on the wrist instead of a long prison sentence,” Frankel said.