Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he was "angry" to find out about accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's death while in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center over the weekend and vowed once again to find out how it happened.
While giving an address at the Fraternal Order of Police's annual conference in New Orleans, America's top cop paused to address the ongoing question of how Epstein's death occurred while in federal custody.
"This case was very important to the Department," Barr said. "It was important to the dedicated prosecutors and agents who investigated the case and were preparing it for trial."
"Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward and deserved the opportunity to confront the accused in court," the attorney general continued. "I was appalled — indeed, the entire department was — and frankly angry, to learn of the [prison's] failure to adequately secure this prisoner.
"We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and that demand a thorough investigation," Barr said. "The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are already doing just that. We will get to the bottom of what happened at the MCC and we will hold people accountable for this failure."
A transcript of Barr's full remarks at the event was released shortly after by the Justice Department.
After news of Epstein's death broke over the weekend, Barr said Saturday in a formal statement: "Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered" and that there would be both an FBI and inspector general's investigation into the matter.
The circumstances surrounding the child sex trafficking suspect's weekend death, however, remain a mystery. There is no footage of what happened to the prisoner, law enforcement officials told the New York Post. Furthermore, a new report notes that Epstein's cellmate was transferred to another part of the prison before Epstein's death. Also, Epstein's death also comes on the heels of court documents in which two high-profile Democratic politicians had been named by one of the billionaire's accusers, adding to suspicions about the timing of the alleged suicide.
"Given Epstein's previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said in a letter to Barr on Saturday. "Obviously, heads must roll."
This post has been updated.