President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next attorney general, Merrick Garland, said he couldn’t answer why law enforcement failed to act sooner and more forcefully against billionaire sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.
“You asked me the ‘why’ question, and I can’t answer the ‘why’ question,” Garland said in response to a question from Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse. “The values question I can answer. This is just horrendous,” Garland added, referring to the Department of Justice’s initial handling of the Epstein case.
Sasse cited the Epstein case as an example of law enforcement not treating elite, powerful individuals the same as regular, everyday Americans.
“He evaded justice for years, and when the department did ultimately partner with local authorities, it allowed charges to be brought that didn’t befit the seriousness of his crimes. Infuriatingly, he was allowed to die by apparent suicide in federal custody,” Sasse said.
“Everybody knew he was a suicide risk, and many people would benefit from that outcome,” the senator added. “What do you think went wrong with the department’s handling of the Epstein case?” (RELATED: Tip Of The Iceberg: Feds Shut Down Epstein Investigation Though FBI Suspected Epstein Was Abusing Young Girls In Other Cities, Victims Lawyers Says)
Sasse was referring, in part, to a 2007 federal investigation into Epstein for sex crimes which resulted in a non-prosecution agreement being signed, which only required Epstein to serve two years in prison. Sasse was previously highly critical of a 2020 Department of Justice investigation into the case, calling it a “disgusting failure.”
Former President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, resigned in 2019 due to criticism for his involvement in the 2007 case as a U.S. attorney. (RELATED: Epstein Victims’ Fund Stops Payouts Because It’s Running Out Of Cash)
Epstein was ultimately arrested in July 2019 on federal sex trafficking charges. He died shortly thereafter while in federal custody by an apparent suicide.