New revelations continue to emerge about how multimillionaire convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was at the center of a major federal investigation of his alleged international sex-trafficking operation, was allowed to die — allegedly by suicide — in his prison cell, taking his secrets to his grave. Late on Tuesday, The New York Times reported that two guards assigned to keep watch over Epstein on the night that he died fell asleep and falsified records to create the impression that they had checked in on him at regular intervals.
In announcing a federal investigation into the circumstances of Epstein's death, United States Attorney General William Barr said that he is "appalled" and "angry" that Epstein was allowed to allegedly kill himself. Barr also condemned unspecified "serious irregularities" at New York City's federally-run Metropolitan Correctional Center that allowed the shadowy but politically-connected sex criminal to die there, according to an NBC News report.
However, as former federal prosecutor Elie Honig wrote in a CNN.com op-ed on Tuesday, it is Barr himself who is ultimately responsible for the operation of the federal prison system, which includes the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
"He is responsible for all of it. This happened in Barr's house," Honig wrote. "He doesn't get to stand outside, wag his finger, roll the blame downhill and call it a day."
But another federal prosecutor, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance, called in a Time.com op-ed for Barr to step aside from the Epstein investigation, due to his conflicts of interest — as well as due to the fact that "concerns that Barr had acted as the President's lawyer rather than the people's with regard to the Russia investigation."
Vance, however, believes that Barr will not recuse himself from the investigation.
"If the past is prologue, he will not recuse," Vance wrote.
The former prosecutor cited Barr's refusal to step aside from the Russia investigation despite having previously authored a lengthy policy memo, as CNN reported, arguing that a president may not be prosecuted for obstruction of justice under most circumstances — an opinion suggesting that he had already made up his mind about whether Trump should be prosecuted.
Among Barr's possible conflicts, his own father hired a young Epstein — who had no teaching experience and no college degree — as a math teacher at New York City's ritzy, private Dalton School, as Law & Crime reported.
But Barr's handling of the Robert Mueller investigation into the Donald Trump Russia collusion scandal creates even greater concerns about Barr's leadership, according to Vance. As The Inquisitr has reported, Trump and Epstein had a friendship that endured nearly two decades before the pair had a falling-out over a real estate deal.
"Barr's tenure as Attorney General has left a large segment of the country with questions, not just about Department of Justice but also about where his personal loyalties lie," Vance wrote. "No matter how objective his leadership is in this matter, there will be doubts about the outcome."
According to Vance, Barr must recuse from the Epstein death investigation to restore the American public's confidence in the Justice Department.
"We are in a dangerous place if people no longer trust that the Justice Department is doing justice," the former U.S. attorney wrote, in her Time.com op-ed.