When the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced last month that it wasn’t bringing any additional charges in the Donald Trump – Michael Cohen – Stormy Daniels scandal, it raised questions as to whether Trump and Attorney General William Barr had managed to corrupt the SDNY. Now that Jeffrey Epstein has died while in the SDNY’s hands, it raises even more questions.
To that end, the SNDY released a statement just now about Jeffrey Epstein. Notably, it refers to his death as an “apparent suicide,” leaving open at least the theoretical possibility that it was something else. The bulk of the remainder of the statement focuses on how Epstein’s death represents a “hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in court.” The statement ends by insisting that the investigation into Epstein’s crimes will remain ongoing.
This statement hits all the right notes. The difficulty here is that the SDNY is at least partially under the thumb of Donald Trump, who has a lot to gain by making the Epstein scandal go away, and William Barr, who has shown he’s willing to go to great lengths (and illegal lengths) to protect Trump from his scandals.
Meanwhile, questions abound. Even if this was a suicide, why was Jeffrey Epstein not being more closely watched? Last month he suffered severe injuries in what was either a suicide attempt, a murder attempt, or a staged attempt at getting moved to a different jail. NBC News says that Epstein had since been taken off suicide watch. Who made that decision, and how high up did it all go? Stay tuned. We don’t know where this is going, but it’s likely to be profoundly ugly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report