Barr on Epstein death: 'Perfect storm of screw-ups'

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Key juror questioned in Roger Stone case MORE called the circumstances leading up to the death of Jeffrey Epstein “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”

Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, died in jail earlier this year in an incident that was ruled a suicide. Two correctional officers were charged this week with making false records and conspiracy over the incident. 

“I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Barr told The Associated Press in an interview published Friday. 


Barr also attempted to quash conspiracy theories about the death, telling the AP that he personally looked at security video showing that no one entered the area were Epstein was being held on the night he died. 

The Justice Department is still investigating the incident, including why Epstein didn't have a cellmate. 

“I think it was important to have a roommate in there with him and we’re looking into why that wasn’t done, and I think every indication is that was a screw-up,” Barr said. “The systems to assure that was done were not followed.”

Barr also said that federal prosecutors in New York are progressing in their investigation into anyone who may have helped Epstein. 

Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was arrested this year on different sex trafficking charges. His lenient plea agreement in a 2008 sexual misconduct conviction drew renewed scrutiny after a Miami Herald report last year. 

The two correctional officers charged this week in relation to Epstein's death were accused of failing to check on him, but signing slips that indicated otherwise. 

A lawyer for one of them told the AP that the guards were being “scapegoated” in the death.