The Bureau of Prisons declared it is “not required” to search for requested records related to Jeffrey Epstein and his death while in custody.
A Freedom of Information request filed by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson for documents and materials related to the convicted sex offender who committed suicide last month was denied by the federal agency.
“My public information request about his death— has been formally denied,” Attkisson reported Monday.
She noted that the press and the public, in general, are “entitled to review documents and communications generated and collected by federal agencies and officials because– we own them.”
“However, federal agencies often delay, obstruct and resist the release of such documents,” the host of “Full Measure” added.
And that seems to be what happened with her own FOIA request to obtain documents related to the injuries and medical care the accused sex trafficker received when was found in his cell at New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center after he hanged himself last month. The request also was for records from a previous failed attempt to take his own life in July.
The federal Bureau of Prisons informed Attkisson in a letter that the documents she was requesting were “categorically exempt from disclosure,” citing six exemptions, including that releasing the information “could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an(y) individual.”
ICYMI: Prison docs about Jeffrey Epstein– Withheld.
One reason given: Their release could endanger someone’s life.https://t.co/lNSUUxtHVy pic.twitter.com/Kvje80bx7f
— Sharyl Attkisson?️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) September 16, 2019
The other exemptions included “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and that fulfilling the request “could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.”
“Accordingly, this Office is not required to conduct a search for the requested records,” the letter to Attkisson stated.
However, the Bureau did tell her to keep re-filing the FOIA request “to see if the status changes.”
The denial of the request to release the Epstein documents to the public only added to the controversy surrounding his death and the questions which still seem to be unanswered even with a formal determination by the New York City medical examiner that Epstein died by suicide.
The 66-year-old billionaire, who was arrested in July and charged with the abuse of dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, was being held without bail while awaiting trial. He was apparently taken off of suicide watch after daily psychiatric evaluations following the suicide attempt in July. Initial reports of his death sparked immediate questions about how prison personnel failed to prevent the suicide.
Reports revealed that the two guards assigned to keep an eye on Epstein had reportedly not checked on him for hours before he died last month, and one of them was not a regular prison guard. Reports that the video footage from one of the cameras outside of Epstein’s jail cell was unusable added to the growing list of failures by the federal prison.
Some footage from outside Epstein’s cell unusable, not problematic, reports say https://t.co/UMQTCaVx2t
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 27, 2019
Attorney General William Barr had announced that the Department of Justice would investigate “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein was being held and they would “get to the bottom” of what happened.
Twitter users were appalled by Attkisson’s update but many were not surprised by the latest in a string of “irregularities.”
Just another coverup!
— Spirit of Divine Sophia (@SpiritServicesL) September 16, 2019
For a clear cut suicide? Not suspicious at all.
— Stormy Skyz (@Stormyskyzs) September 16, 2019
Stunning response to an unbelievable scenario.
— Dana French (@DanaBordeaux) September 17, 2019
I’m willing to agree the state has reasonable grounds to deny the FOIA request on the grounds that it may interfere with law enforcement proceedings but only if his death is actually under investigation.
— KingoftheWorld (@world_kingofthe) September 16, 2019
wtf. the ‘may disclose investigative methods’ reason for denying records request is bizarre.
Overall, when you die in govt custody, there is an inherent public interest that overrides the victim’s privacy interest. This is a GIANT f-u from the elite cabal.
— Hackslayer (@hackflusher) September 16, 2019
Anyone who expected them to release anything hasn’t paid attention at all
— ?⚖️DECLASS⚖️? (@trumps_all) September 16, 2019
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