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Report: Bill Barr will not recuse himself from federal case against Jeffrey Epstein
Attorney General William Barr will not recuse himself from the federal prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested Saturday on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, The Hill reported.
The decision comes after Barr consulted with ethics officials within the Justice Department.
Barr will continue to recuse himself from anything having to do with Justice Department investigation into a 2008 plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges, since the now-attorney general once worked for a law firm that represented Epstein on those charges.
Barr did not work for the law firm while it represented Epstein.
Epstein served only 13 months in prison for two counts of soliciting prosecution in 2008, even though there was plenty of evidence against him at the time. It was widely seen as a sweetheart deal for Epstein, who also had to register as a sex offender as a result of the charges.
Now, Epstein faces up to 45 years in federal prison on new charges that he sexually trafficked underage girls. Epstein’s residence was raided prior to the arrest and nude photos of girls were reportedly found, some of which were labeled and secured in a safe.
A lawyer for at least one of the girls in the photos reported that his client was underage at the time the photos were taken, according to USA Today.
Also found in the home were a life-size female doll and a chess set with sexually suggestive figures made to look like a member of Epstein’s staff. A large mural in the home depicts Epstein in a prison.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Prosecutors successfully argued that Epstein should remain in jail while awaiting trial.
A look back
It is expected that the Justice Department will take another look at the 2008 deal Epstein was able to get in light of the current charges. Then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who now serves in President Donald Trump’s cabinet, has been under fire for his part in the deal.
Many Democrats have demanded that Acosta resign from his current position as labor secretary over the decade-old deal, Newsweek reports. The deal included keeping details about Epstein’s sentence from the victims, which was later declared illegal.
Acosta will reportedly speak to the press about the situation on Wednesday afternoon.
For his part, Epstein is said to have had connections to some famous and powerful men, including former President Bill Clinton and Woody Allen. Trump himself said nice things about Epstein in the early 2000s, but then banned him from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after it was reported that he assaulted an underage girl.
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