Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer revealed during testimony to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday that the FBI is investigating whether a “criminal enterprise” played a role in the death of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, asked Sawyer: “With a case this high profile, there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or criminal enterprise at foot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both, is the FBI looking at both?”
Sawyer responded: “The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes.”
.@LindseyGrahamSC on Jeffrey Epstein: “Do you concur with the opinion that it was a suicide?”
Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Sawyer: “That was the finding of the coroner.”
Graham: “Do you have any evidence to suggest otherwise?”
Sawyer: “I do not.” pic.twitter.com/2aBK0YWXuP
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 19, 2019
Fox News notes that, when Graham asked Sawyer how Epstein’s death could have happened, Sawyer responded, “the whole situation is still under the investigation of the FBI and the Inspector General’s office and I’m really not at liberty to discuss specifics of this case.
Sawyer added, “I can discuss issues around institutional operations but I can’t specifically talk about that particular issue.”
There has been rampant speculation over how Epstein died on August 10th after he was found dead in his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell in New York.
The two prison guards who were tasked with monitoring Epstein during the time of his death reportedly did not check on him for three hours as they took a nap and then allegedly falsified records, which resulted in them being charged on Tuesday “with making false records and conspiring to make false records and to defraud the United States by impairing the lawful functions of the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Fox News reported.
“As alleged, the defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”
Epstein’s autopsy only deepened speculation after experts suggested that the bones that were broken in his neck were more commonly associated with homicides and not suicides.
“An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein suffered multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death,” The Washington Post reported. “Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.”
Dr. Marc Siegel, a Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, told Fox News in August:
The hyoid bone in the neck being fractured and other fractures in the neck, make it more likely, and again, this is a percentage call, more likely that it was a homicide than a suicide. It can either be a suicide or a homicide still … I am now more suspicious than ever that this could be a homicide. That answer is going to come to us because if someone attacked, you see signs of the attack on the body … It hasn’t been released yet. I’m waiting to see that. If someone holds you down and strangles you, you see evidence on the body — bruises. The other question that has come up … is about the suicide watch situation which is shocking to me as a physician who has dealt with severely depressed and suicidal patients.
The New York City medical examiner ruled in August that Epstein’s death was a suicide.