On the third anniversary of Epstein's controversial death, a lawyer for one of his prison guards says the government wants to push the investigation under the rug
A woman on November 29, 2021 at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, where the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was held in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
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Today marks the third anniversary of the controversial death of the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, whose body was found in the early hours of August 10, 2019 in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center—supposedly one of the most high-security prisons in the U.S.
Epstein’s death was officially ruled a suicide, the result of having hanged himself with his bedsheet. But questions about his death—amid a set of circumstances that then-attorney general William Barr described as a “perfect storm of screw-ups” on the part of the under-staffed Bureau of Prisons—linger even still.
A month before his death, Epstein had been found unconscious in his prison cell with marks on his neck. He was put on suicide watch—and then removed from it on July 29, just days before his death. His cellmate had been removed, the guards didn’t check on him, and the surveillance cameras apparently were off.
Sure, these things can happen. But all together?
The two prison guards who were supposed to check in on him every thirty minutes admitted that they had falsified statements claiming they’d done so while in fact they’d slept and shopped online. The charges against them were dismissed in January of this year as part of a plea deal.
Jason Foy, a lawyer for Tova Noel, one of the guards, reportedly said his client had provided the government with insight into the “toxic culture, subpar training, staffing shortages, and dysfunctional management” of the prison. (Last August, the facility was closed temporarily due to “deterioriating conditions.”)
But Montell Figgins, the lawyer for the other prison guard, Michael Thomas, told me that, as far as he is aware, the government—specifically the Inspector General of the Bureau of Prisons, which is part of the Justice Department—never completed its promised investigation into the “anomalies of the prison system” that had led to the oversight regarding Epstein.
“They [the Inspector General’s office] were always maintaining that there needed to be a thorough investigation of many, many, different pieces of it,” said Figgins. “But I think they just issued preliminary findings on what they needed to prosecute some individuals.” Namely his client.
Figgins said that, as far as he’s aware, even after his client’s case was closed, the investigation was officially still ongoing. This was corroborated to me by someone close to Epstein’s legal team. At least one Epstein lawyer had been contacted for an interview by the Inspector General’s office, but then no interview ever took place.
No explanation was given as to why not, according to this source.
No official report was made, and the case was never officially closed. There is no mention on the Inspector General’s website of an investigation being closed or a report made.
Although, there is this:
An inquiry from me to the Federal Bureau of Prisons went unanswered.
In November of last year, the New York Times reported that records they had to sue the Bureau of Prisons for showed “incompetence and sloppiness by some within the Bureau of Prisons,” which runs the federal detention center that housed Epstein.
Even so, the records the Times reporters received were incomplete with many redactions.
Figgins speculates that no one, particularly not a new administration, wants to keep looking under the hood of what happened the night Epstein died.
“I think it's it's going to be pushed under the rug,” he told me. “It doesn't reflect very well on anyone. It looks bad on our government. It looks really bad on our government. So, you know, the more they issue reports, it is just them radiating how the system was broken and didn't work properly. That's why I think that they have no interest in trying to issue more reports and do more investigations.”
Meanwhile, conspiracy theories rage as to whether Epstein was killed that night or whether he had “help” with his suicide. The fact that our government doesn’t want to give a clear picture of what actually happened is merely going to add fuel to the fire.