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BEN SASSE “ NEBRASKA INTELLIGENCE JUDICIARY Wnited States Senate oo WASHINGTON, DC 20510 November 13, 2019 Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer Director Federal Bureau of Prisons U.S. Department of Justice 320 First Street NW Washington, D.C. 20534 Dear Director Sawyer, (On Saturday August 10, 2019, the day that serial child rapist and wealthy financier Jeflrey Epstein was found dead in his cell, I wrote to Attorney General Barr expressing my anger that the Department of Justice failed. Epstein’s death makes it significantly harder to prosecute his co-conspirators. Wealthy and powerful men raped innocent children, and it is an outrage that so much of the evidence of these crimes died with Epstein while in your agency’s custody. In my letter that morning, I asked the Attorney General several initial questions —about the circumstances of Epstein's custody after his previous apparent suicide attempts, about whether appropriate investigations had been triggered, and whether steps were being taken to preserve evidence. These were very basic and urgent questions, and Americans deserve answers to them, ‘That day, in a public statement, Attorney General Barr confirmed the launch of the Department's investigations, and on September 5, I received a letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd containing a two-sentence acknowledgement that Epstein had been placed ‘on and later removed ftom suicide watch, information which had been reported by the media on August 23. Beyond these short statements, the Department has not been forthcoming or responsive, with the Department's claiming that it “is significantly limited in the amount of information [it] can release.” These and so many other questions deserve answers. And yet, months later, we're still in the dark about what happened to Epstein. Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing of the Bureau of Prisons. Epstein’s death in custody has ignited a crisis of public trust in your agency and exacerbated the erosion of trust that the American people have in our institutions of republican self-government more broadly. To pretend like this issue, which is by far the public's top concern with your agency, won't be a significant focus of attention at this hearing is naive—to KEARNEY OFFICE uaa orrice scorrsawure orice -nasunaron oc orice the point of being laughable. And while there may be particular details that you cannot yet answer, deflecting difficult questions won't cut it. Your predecessor, Hugh Hurwitz, was reassigned in the wake of this scandal. The American people are now looking to you for a public account of what went wrong. Please come prepared to give some substantial answers. Sincerely, “Bon Sasea_ Ben Sasse US. Senator