Bloomberg reported that Attorney General Bill Barr won’t be recusing himself from the Jeffrey Epstein child sex trafficking case.
Justice Department official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive matter, said that AG Barr made the decision this Tuesday after he consultant with his career ethics officials at the department.
Bill Barr weighed on whether he would have to remove himself from involvement in the case in part because Jeffrey Epstein previously hired lawyers from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The same law firm Bill Barr served as counsel before becoming attorney general.
But AG Barr has recused himself from any retrospective review of the Justice Department’s decision more than 10 years ago letting Jeffrey Epstein avoid prosecution on federal sex-trafficking offenses in Florida and the decades of prison time that he could have faced if convicted.
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in southern Florida who approved the widely criticized deal under which Jeffrey Epstein was permitted to plead guilty to two state charges of soliciting a prostitute. He served 13 months in a Florida state prison while being released during the day to conduct his business.
Some former federal prosecutors have expressed their concern that AG Barr might interfere in the New York case if he didn’t recuse himself.
While President Trump socialized with Jeffrey Epstein at times in the past and once referred to him as I he told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he had a falling out with the financier and hasn’t spoken with him in about 15 years. “I was not a fan of his,” he said.
Still, former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah wrote in an opinion column for the Daily Beast that she has concerns that the attorney general may intervene in the case “given Barr’s conduct in the past acting more as a defense attorney for Trump than an overseer of justice.”
A former administration official claimed that Acosta will be put against more and more pressure as new documents are released in the Epstein case, especially if some of the documents go into what Acosta knew when the plea deal was made.
On Monday Clinton released a statement confirming that he had taken a total of four trips on Epstein’s plane, but said he “knows nothing” about the “terrible crimes” linked to him.
Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago estate “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents filed by Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who has represented several Epstein accusers.