Sending Office: Frankel, Lois
Sent By:
MiQuel.Davies@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Dear Colleague: 

Please join the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) in sending the following letter to the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on the Judiciary asking for an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 plea
deal, including a specific list of questions that need to be answered. 

We urge you to join us in sending this important letter. If you would like to sign on, please e-mail MiQuel.Davies@mail.house.gov with Congresswoman Lois Frankel by COB August 23, 2019.

Sincerely,

 

***

August XX, 2019 

 

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings               The Honorable Jerrold Nadler

Chairman                                                         Chairman

Committee on Oversight and Reform             Committee on the Judiciary 

2157 Rayburn House Office Building            2141 Rayburn House Office Building 

 

The Honorable Jim Jordan                              The Honorable Doug Collins

Ranking Member                                             Ranking Member

Committee on Oversight and Reform             Committee on the Judiciary  

2157 Rayburn House Office Building            2141 Rayburn House Office Building 

 

Dear Chairman Cummings, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Jordan, and Ranking Member Collins,  

We write to request the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on the Judiciary investigate the circumstances and facts surrounding the 2008 plea deal involving Jeffrey Epstein as well as consider providing the victims a forum to be heard if
they so desire.

 

Jeffrey Epstein, a well-known billionaire with deep political connections, was accused of molesting and trafficking dozens of young women since the late 1990s. Epstein’s case was first reviewed by the former State Attorney for Palm Beach County, Barry Krischer,
and was ultimately disposed of through a highly unusual negotiated plea deal approved by the former-U.S. Attorney, and recently-departed Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. Several other U.S. Department of Justice officials also reportedly reviewed and approved the
plea deal[1] during the course of its negotiations and execution.

 

To the dismay of many, the result of Epstein’s prosecution was a lenient plea deal, under which Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to lesser, prostitution-related charges and received an astoundingly light sentence: only 13 months in a private wing of the
county jail where his cell door remained open and a television was installed for his personal use. Furthermore, Epstein was permitted to spend six of seven days each week in work release despite being designated as a sex offender by the Court and contrary
to existing policies that prohibited the participation of sex offenders in work release programs.

 

Epstein was able to plead to these minor charges not only without notice to any of the victims, in clear violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, but with the terms of his plea actively concealed from his victims by agreement between Epstein’s counsel
and the government. These extraordinary circumstances have been expressly confirmed in the written findings of the federal district court before whom detailed documentary evidence and sworn testimony has been presented. The terms of Epstein’s plea deal, work
release conditions, and his treatment as a designated sex offender, have all come under severe criticism, and merit further official inquiry, as does his recent suicide while in federal custody.

 

A series of articles by the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, and other well-respected newspapers have raised these and other serious issues as to the overall integrity of the Department of Justice’s investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s
horrific actions, and the subsequent resulting plea agreement. The Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on the Judiciary have jurisdiction over the issues in this matter given the nature of Epstein’s crimes and the unusual conduct of the U.S.
Attorney’s office.

 

We appreciate the Committee on Oversight’s leadership in requesting a briefing from the Office of Professional Responsibly (OPR) regarding an update in their current investigation of Acosta’s alleged misconduct. However, this OPR report is still outstanding,
and there are still many unanswered questions that are likely to fall outside its limited scope. Therefore, we are requesting a full and fair review of the facts and circumstances of Epstein’s shockingly light sentence and suicide. Despite Epstein’s death,
there are many unanswered questions. These include, but are not limited to: (1) why did Acosta enter into an extremely lenient non-prosecution plea deal with a serial sex offender facing a 53-page federal indictment?; (2)  why was the plea deal not disclosed
to Jeffrey Epstein’s dozens of victims?; (3) why was blanket immunity granted to unindicted co-conspirators and who were they?; (4) why was Jeffrey Epstein allowed to participate in a work release program not typically available to sex offenders?; (5) who
other than Epstein’s lawyers contacted officials and prosecutors to intervene on Epstein’s behalf?; (6) who was allowed to visit Epstein while he was serving his lenient sentence?; (7) what if any illegal conduct was Epstein involved with while on work release?;
(8) were there any violations of law, Department of Justice policies, procedures, and practices by law enforcement?; (9) is there any evidence that Epstein continued to engage in child molestation after he finished or even during his Palm Beach County sentence?;
(10) what was the role of local Palm Beach County officials?; (11) whether Epstein was given a favorable deal because of his stature, wealth, and contacts?; and (12) what are the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death?

 

While we cannot undo the damage Epstein has caused the victims of his abuse, the survivors of Epstein’s exploitation and manipulation deserve a forum to be heard and both they and the public deserve transparency and answers to unresolved questions. The victims
should be given an opportunity to tell their own stories and the government and law enforcement officials involved be required to explain under oath the highly unusual treatment afforded to Jeffrey Epstein. 

 

We respectfully request that the Committee on Oversight and Reform along with the Committee on the Judiciary exercise its powers to launch a formal investigation to answer these and other relevant questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Civil Rights, Government, Judiciary

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
 
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.