Washington, D.C. (Nov. 18, 2020)—Today, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney; Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chairman Jamie Raskin; Committee Members Jackie Speier and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Rep. Lois Frankel sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr following up on multiple requests for a briefing from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) regarding the role of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in approving a favorable plea deal for convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein and concealing the deal from the survivors of Mr. Epstein’s crimes.
“Over the past two years, DOJ told Committee staff that it could not provide a briefing or documents relating to this case because there was an ongoing investigation,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, last week OPR completed its investigation and publicly released an executive summary of its findings, which appear to absolve former United States Attorney Alex Acosta and other DOJ attorneys from any wrongdoing and reducing their failure to prosecute Mr. Epstein to merely ‘poor judgement’.”
“Despite our Committee’s repeated requests for information relating to this investigation spanning more than 16 months, OPR never notified the Committee that it had completed its work, never informed the Committee of its findings, and never provided any briefing or other information regarding these matters,” the Members continued. “Only Monday—days after the full report had already leaked to the press—did DOJ finally provide it to this Committee.”
Members wrote to DOJ and OPR on March 1, 2019, July 10, 2019, and December 20, 2019, requesting information regarding the plea agreement with Mr. Epstein and relating to whether, when, or how to inform the survivors of Mr. Epstein’s abuses of the decision not to prosecute him.
The Members also requested documents reflecting the Department’s standards of professional responsibility applicable to attorneys in the Southern District of Florida at the time, as well as any documents relating to Mr. Epstein’s work release, conditions, and treatment during his confinement.
The Members requested that OPR provide a briefing and all documents relating to the investigation, the report, and its findings by December 2, 2020.
Click here to read today’s letter.
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