House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) contacted the president of ABC News, demanding to know why the network did not air a report from a Jeffrey Epstein accuser three years ago.
McCarthy sent the letter, signed by Reps. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to ABC News President James Goldston.
It comes after video footage obtained by Project Veritas emerged earlier this month showing ABC News reporter Amy Robach admitting that she had received information from Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre but that the network had decided not to air it.
Giuffre alleges the late financier used her as an underage sex slave for himself and his friends, including Prince Andrew.
Robach also claimed that the network had received threats from Buckingham Palace when Prince Andrew became implicated in the alleged abuse claims.
In his letter to Goldston, McCarthy references the recent footage, writing: “As you must have seen, a video has emerged of ABC News Anchor, Amy Robach, expressing regret and frustration over a decision by ABC News executives three years ago to not publish a first-hand account from one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers.
“In the video, Ms. Robach remarks her evidence was collected over three years ago, but was ‘quashed’ because she was told ‘no one knows who Epstein is,’ therefore rendering it a ‘stupid story.’”
He continues: “What appears to have been presented to Ms. Robach is first-hand evidence of human trafficking. I am deeply concerned that this victim, in search of justice, went to ABC News, provided information and an interview and then ABC News chose to bury the truth.”
McCarthy then proceeds to ask Goldston six questions:
- Will ABC News provide Congress the interview Ms. Robach conducted with the victim?
- What did ABC News learn about Jeffrey Epstein after Ms. Robach first presented her story to executives?
- Who was involved in deciding this story was not of public interest, and what were there reasons for deciding so?
- Can Ms. Robach expand on the “outside forces” she mentioned as potentially responsible for the story not running?
- Was ABC News ever presented with additional evidence on Mr. Epstein from the time Ms. Robach first brought her investigation to the network and when he ultimately arrested?
- Were authorities alerted at any time after Ms. Robach presented ABC News executives with her reporting? If so, when and what was provided?
Epstein was arrested on July 6 in New Jersey on child sex trafficking charges, one year after Giuffre (previously Roberts) made her allegations in a January 2015 sworn affidavit.
Giuffre described how she had been recruited by Epstein’s close associate Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging that she was trained as a sex slave for Epstein, and eventually passed around to other men, including Epstein’s longtime associate Prince Andrew.
Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations. Giuffre has since released photographs in which Andrew can be seen with his arm around her, with Maxwell visible in the background.
On Saturday night, Andrew told BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis that he had not noted any suspicious behavior when he spent time with Epstein.
In what has been widely panned as a “car crash interview,” the prince again denied having sex with a then 17-year-old Giuffre and claimed that on that night, he had been with his daughter at a pizza restaurant.
When quizzed about his decision to stay with Epstein in his New York apartment in 2010 after he had been convicted of child sex offenses, the prince admitted that it had been “the wrong decision to go and see him.”
Maintaining that he had visited Epstein to break off their friendship, the prince expressed regret that Epstein had “quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming.”