August 13, 2019
“This crooked deal cannot stand... The federal government failed to bring Jeffrey Epstein to justice. We cannot allow Epstein’s accomplices to escape, too.”
Today, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee who on Saturday demanded that the DOJ investigate the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, wrote to the U.S. Attorney General to again urge the Department of Justice to rip up its 2008 sweetheart deal with Epstein. That old non-prosecution, non-investigation deal effectively shields any co-conspirators who participated in Epstein’s international sex trafficking ring.
Sasse’s letter to the Attorney General is available here and found below:
Dear General Barr,
Thank you for your commitment to investigating the details surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide. As I expressed in my letter to you on Saturday, the Department of Justice owes the American people answers to several urgent questions surrounding this child rapist’s death. Too many of Epstein’s secrets have gone to the grave with him, and the Department must not allow his death to be one last sweetheart deal for his co-conspirators.
The victims of Epstein’s international sex trafficking ring deserve justice. In order to bring Epstein’s co-conspirators to justice, the Department of Justice should rip up the non-prosecution, non-investigation agreement entered into by Epstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in 2008.
As documented in reporting by The Miami Herald, despite preparing a 53-page indictment, federal prosecutors instead entered into an agreement with Epstein that offered immunity to him, four named co-conspirators, and “any potential co-conspirators” from federal charges, with Epstein agreeing to plead guilty to state charges that gave him a slap-on-the-wrist sentence that went largely unenforced. This deal “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes.”
This agreement should shock the conscience of anyone familiar with its details. These problems run far beyond those identified by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which ruled that federal prosecutors violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by hiding the terms of the deal from the women and girls that Epstein raped and exploited until after it was entered. The idea that wealth and connections can buy injustice—the only plausible explanation for such pathetically soft terms for a serial child rapist at the heart of a massive international criminal enterprise—is wholly and completely inconsistent with the basic notions of fairness and equality that undergird the rule of law enshrined in our Constitution. Moreover, the notion that one individual’s plea could shield a whole class of potential co-conspirators of uncertain size and identity from legal liability would—if treated as enforceable—pioneer a new model for one fall guy to shield all other members of a criminal enterprise from accountability to the law.
This crooked deal cannot stand.
As such, I ask you to confirm that the Department of Justice no longer considers the non-prosecution, non-investigation agreement entered into by Epstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida binding against any of the named or unnamed co-conspirators. Only by ensuring that this shameful agreement does not command the force of law in shielding Epstein’s fellow rapists and exploiters can we ensure that some measure of justice is finally delivered to Epstein’s victims who have been let down time and time again by their government.
The federal government failed to bring Jeffrey Epstein to justice. We cannot allow Epstein’s accomplices to escape, too.
Thank you in advance for your resolve to pursue justice in this matter.
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee