Update (1100ET): Attorney General Bill Barr has made his first statement since Jeffrey Epstein's death, promising that he will get to the bottom of the situation because Epstein's victims "deserve justice... and they will get it."
Furthermore, Barr said during a speech in New Orleans, that the Epstein case was "was personally important to him," and that Epstein's prison "had serious irregularities."
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The severely understaffed corrections officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in NYC where Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in his cell Saturday morning violated prison protocol by not checking on the high-profile inmate - who had recently attempted suicide by hanging and had been found with ligature marks around his neck - every 30 minutes according to the Washington Post.
In fact, corrections didn't check on Epstein for several hours before he was found dead at7:30 am on Saturday.
EO Young, the national president of the Council of Prison Locals C-33, said that while cameras are prevalent in the facility, he did not believe they generally captured inmates’ cells. Because of this, the NY Post reported over the weekend, there was no surveillance video showing Epstein in the act of killing himself.
Though there are cameras in the 9 South wing where the convicted pedophile was being held, they are trained on the areas outside the cells and not inside, according to sources familiar with the setup there.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Saturday that lifesaving measures were "initiated immediately" after Epstein was found, and emergency responders were summoned right away, but it was too little, too late, and Epstein was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fact that such a high profile inmate was able to kill himself, particularly after having been placed on suicide watch after a July 23 where he was found with marks on his neck (he was taken off suicide watch about a week later) is particularly jarring, considering that he should have been subject to constant monitoring and daily psychological evaluations. After the incident he was moved to a special unit where it should have been easier to monitor him, and where he should have had a cellmate - though at the time of death Epstein was in his cell alone. In fact, the cellmate that Epstein was supposed to share his space with was removed the night before he died.
But Young, the Council of Prisons Local president, said that Epstein's case highlighted a grim reality for the MCC's prison guards.
"We can’t ever stop anyone who is persistent on killing themselves," Young said. "The only thing the bureau can do is delay that."
That grim reality is a byproduct of the fact that the Trump Administration had implemented a hiring freeze for the federal bureau of prisons.
"All this was caused by the administration," Young said.
Attorney General William Barr even conceded the bureau was "short" about 4,000 or 5,000 employees, and that he had lifted the freeze to try and ensure a steady flow of new employees.
"I think this is an area where we have stumbled," Barr said.
But other local politicians noted that - considering the timing of Epstein's death (after a document dump that implicated other high profile individuals who had sought Epstein's services) - something about Epstein's death just didn't add up.
"Something doesn’t smell right - and it’s not his dead body,"' said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Some of the men exposed in the documents included Maine Sen. George Mitchell and ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who allegedly slept with a teenage "Sex Slave" who is spearheading civil litigation against Epstein.
New York AG Letitia James said she found it "very difficult to understand how something like this could have happened."
"My understanding is that he should have been on suicide watch and the people on suicide watch are placed in a type of jumpsuit that wouldn’t allow them to hurt themselves or others," she said.
Of course, with Epstein gone, many of those who received his services can breath a sigh of relief knowing that their names won't come out during what likely would have been a high profile trial, though they could still be exposed through civil litigation.
And with the multiple investigations into Epstein's death, as one individual put it: "heads will roll". But will some of Eptein's most high-profile associates - people like Bill Clinton - get away unbesmirched? That's the big question.