Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Americans should get more answers about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who officially died of a suicide by hanging in his Manhattan jail cell.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Kennedy joked on Tuesday: “Christmas ornaments, drywall, and Jeffrey Epstein…name three things that don’t hang themselves.” He was referring to the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme that’s gone viral.
“That’s what the American people think,” he continued. “And they deserve some answers.”
At the hearing was Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Sawyer.
Speaking to Sawyer, he added, “I know that you’re not in charge of these investigations. But you talk to the people who are. And I need you to take a very respectful message today: Tell the American people what happened. And don’t rush it so they don’t do a thorough investigation. But you and I both know [that] they can make this a top priority, and get it done more quickly than they normally would,” Kennedy added.
The disgraced multi-millionaire financier who was a convicted sex offender died after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell in August. The New York Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that he hung himself, but some lawmakers, a forensic pathologist, and his brother Mark Epstein have called that into question in recent weeks.
This week, two employees who worked at the Manhattan detention center who were on duty the night he was found were indicted for allegedly making false records to cover up their failure to check up on Epstein.
Sawyer said the FBI “is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise” in Epstein’s death.
“I can discuss issues around institutional operations, but I can’t specifically talk about that particular issue,” she also told Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Regarding the two guards who were on duty when Epstein died, she said they don’t represent the Bureau of Prisons.
“We don’t want people like that working in the Bureau of Prisons,” Sawyer said, “They do not represent the vast majority of the 35,000 employees across the Bureau of Prisons. Most of our staff are very high quality, good people doing the right thing. And you are right, this incident was a black eye on the entire Bureau of Prisons.”
Epstein was jailed in July without bail after he faced new sex trafficking charges. Reports have said that he was placed on suicide watch before he was taken off of it before his death.
In 2008, he was convicted of felony solicitation of prostitution involving a minor.