As many as 20 staffers subpoenaed in the Jeffrey Epstein death investigation

As many as 20 staffers subpoenaed in the Jeffrey Epstein death investigation

Federal investigators in New York have issued grand jury subpoenas to corrections officers at the jail where pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was being held before his suicide earlier this month, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Epstein was found hanged in his cell in the early morning hours nearly two weeks ago. The multimillionaire financier was awaiting trial on charges that he’d run a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls.

In the days since Epstein’s death, reports of mistakes and mismanagement behind the walls of the Manhattan facility have emerged including reports that officers fell asleep for hours while on watch.

Epstein had not been checked on for hours before his suicide, CNN has reported, and the guards who were responsible for his supervision that night could face criminal exposure if they falsified records to show that they had made the checks every 30 minutes, as is required.
There are also questions as to why Epstein was left alone in his cell that night, despite an apparent prior suicide attempt the month before.
The subpoenas went out Friday to as many as 20 staffers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and represent a new and significant phase in a criminal investigation into the workers responsible for Epstein’s detention.
The suicide of one of the highest-profile federal inmates has deeply angered top officials at the Justice Department, and investigators with the FBI and the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s Office have been probing the circumstances that led up to it.
On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr told reporters that the investigations were “well along” but had faced delays because many witnesses “were not cooperative” and had “required having union representatives and lawyers before we could schedule interviews.”
Prosecutors had offered the corrections officers an opportunity to sit voluntarily for an interview, but the officers refused to do so without a form of immunity that would protect them from criminal exposure, the source with knowledge of the situation said.
If they are questioned before a grand jury, some of the corrections officers would likely invoke their Fifth Amendment right to decline self-incriminating testimony, the source said.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the investigations on Thursday.
Prosecutors hope to learn from the lieutenants in charge of Epstein’s cell block that night about the rounds that were or were not made to check on prisoners and to see how work was handed off from previous shifts as they seek to piece together the inmate’s final moments, the source said.
The subpoenas are the clearest indication yet that some of the jailors could face criminal prosecution for their actions that night.

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