‘Disgusting failure’: Sasse slams DOJ probe into Epstein’s sweetheart deal
Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse slammed the Department of Justice’s investigation into convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s sweetheart plea deal, calling it a “disgusting failure.”
The DOJ briefed Sasse over the phone Thursday on the completion of the DOJ’s investigation into Epstein’s deal and the findings of the executive summary, Sasse spokesman James Wegman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday afternoon.
“Letting a well-connected billionaire get away with child rape and international sex trafficking isn’t ‘poor judgment’ — it is a disgusting failure,” Sasse said in a Thursday statement. “Americans ought to be enraged. Jeffrey Epstein should be rotting behind bars today, but the Justice Department failed Epstein’s victims at every turn.”
“The DOJ’s crooked deal with Epstein effectively shut down investigations into his child sex trafficking ring and protected his co-conspirators in other states,” Sasse continued. “Justice has not been served. The full report needs to be released to the public. OPR might have finished its report, but we have an obligation to make sure this never happens again.”
The senator’s announcement comes as the DOJ and FBI presented Epstein victims Thursday with the results of the DOJ review of how former U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta handled the 2007 and 2008 Epstein cases.
Despite evidence of Epstein’s underage sex trafficking, the Justice Department determined that Acosta merely showed “poor judgement” by giving Epstein only one year in prison and by failing to “make certain that the state intended to and would notify victims identified through the federal investigation about the state plea hearing.”
“His decision left victims uninformed about an important proceeding that resolved the federal investigation, an investigation about which the USAO had communicated with victims for months,” a DOJ report said. “It also ultimately created the misimpression that the Department intentionally sought to silence the victims. Acosta failed to ensure that victims were made aware of a court proceeding that was related to their own cases, and thus he failed to ensure that victims were treated with forthrightness and dignity.”
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Acosta resigned from his position in the Trump administration as labor secretary in 2019 amidst scrutiny over how he handled the Epstein case, according to the New York Daily News.
Epstein died of apparent suicide in a New York City federal jail in 2019 at the age of 66. His longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of involvement in Epstein’s crimes against young women, was arrested by the FBI in July.