Sasse calls on DOJ to 'rip up' Epstein nonprosecution deal to bring 'co-conspirators to justice'

Sasse calls on DOJ to 'rip up' Epstein nonprosecution deal to bring 'co-conspirators to justice'
© Getty Images

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP McConnell: 15-20 GOP senators will not vote for any coronavirus deal CNN chyron says 'nah' to Trump claim about Russia MORE (R-Neb.) on Tuesday urged Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell Democrats' silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder MORE to "rip up" a 2008 nonprosecution deal for disgraced financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, arguing that the Justice Department must bring his co-conspirators to justice in wake of his death. 

"The victims of Epstein’s international sex trafficking ring deserve justice," Sasse, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee, wrote in a letter to Barr on Tuesday.


"In order to bring Epstein’s co-conspirators to justice, the Department of Justice should rip up the non-prosecution, non-investigation agreement entered into by Epstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in 2008," he continued.

Epstein, who was arrested last month, died by apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell Saturday, federal officials said. His death came while he was awaiting a trial on allegations that he had trafficked dozens of minors for sex. 

The financier's arrest last month had sparked intense scrutiny surrounding a plea agreement he reached with a U.S. Attorney's office in Florida in 2008. The Miami Herald reported last year that Epstein originally faced an indictment for sex trafficking and related crimes. 

But Epstein was able to avoid federal charges under a deal where he pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges. He served 13 months in jail and registered as a sex offender. 

Former Trump Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaAppeals court finds prosecutors' secret plea agreement with Epstein didn't break law Florida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington MORE resigned last month after drawing scrutiny over his role in negotiating the plea deal for Epstein.

"This agreement should shock the conscience of anyone familiar with its details," Sasse said in the letter. "This crooked deal cannot stand."

The letter represents the second time in less than a week that Sasse has reached out to Barr about Epstein's death. The Nebraska senator expressed outrage over the weekend, saying that "heads must roll" over Epstein's apparent suicide. 

"The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,” Sasse wrote in a separate letter

Barr has said that the Justice Department would investigate “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein died.