“[Epstein’s] death happened in… early August. It's Thanksgiving and you're here to testify today, and you say you're not allowed to speak about this incident. I think that's crazy.”

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Video of Senator Sasse’s exchange is available here or by clicking on the image above.

Today, at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse took strong issue with the Bureau of Prisons’ refusal to provide public answers about the events surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s death.

“[T]his death happened in the middle of August, early August,” Senator Sasse said. “It's Thanksgiving and you're here to testify today, and you say you're not allowed to speak about this incident. I think that's crazy… You've got a whole bunch of women who were raped by this guy. This is a sex trafficking ring in the United States. This guy had evidence, he's got co-conspirators, and there are victims out there who want to know where the evidence has gone… Let's just be clear so we have a level set for everybody in this room. You're in your job because of this crisis, right? You come here today and you say you can't testify about it but the reason you're director now is because the last guy got fired, right?” 

Senator Sasse’s full questioning is available here.

Background:

On November 13, Sasse told the Director of Bureau of Prisons to show up to today’s hearing prepared to answer questions.

On August 19, when Attorney General Barr removed the Director of the Bureau of Prisons,Sasse praised the move and called for more answers. 

On August 13, Sasse urged Attorney General Barr to rip up the plea deal with Epstein that still shields his co-conspirators. That letter is available here

On August 10, the day of Epstein’s death, Sasse wrote to Attorney General Barr demanding that “heads must roll” and asking transparency questions to make sure DOJ answers for the miscarriage of justice.

In February 2019, at Sasse’s insistence, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into its handling of Epstein, who was charged with running a child sex trafficking ring in New York and Florida, among other locations.

On January 15, 2019, during his confirmation hearing, William Barr, the President’s nominee for Attorney General, publicly committed to making sure that the DOJ responded to Senator Sasse’s questions into the Epstein case and that they would prioritize the prosecution of sex-trafficking.

In late 2018, Sasse repeatedly pushed the DOJ to investigate the sweetheart deal that Epstein received.