Warden at prison where Epstein died temporarily reassigned, staffers placed on leave

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference in New York Monday

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"The Attorney General has stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice are investigating the death of Mr. Epstein, and we look forward to learning the results of their inquiries", Nadler and Collins wrote. "In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein's death".

Barr vowed to "get to the bottom of what happened" and promised accountability. It is believed this home was one of several that women, some underage, may have been sexually assaulted by Epstein or other men. But he had been taken off that watch at the end of July and returned to the jail's special housing unit.

Epstein is said to have committed suicide in his cell in Lower Manhattan, according to ABC news, who have cited three law enforcement officials.

The prison was also criticized for being understaffed and for not performing regular checks on Epstein, according to an official who was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Epstein died Saturday after apparently hanging himself with a bedsheet in a Manhattan cell, officials say.

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The manner in which Epstein killed himself has not been announced.

Sampson said a federal prosecutor was aware that she allowed a private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to observe the examination at the request of Epstein's lawyers.

Epstein served just 13 months in jail over the Florida charges a decade ago under a plea deal struck by the then federal prosecutor in the state, Alex Acosta, who was forced to resign as U.S. labour secretary last month over the issue.

Those watches, though, generally last only 72 hours before someone is either moved into a medical facility or put back into less intensive monitoring. Lindsay said surveillance footage from the prison are unlikely to be of much help to investigators.

"Who was watching? What does camera show?".

"Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein", she said in a statement. At least one of the officers was on his fifth straight day of overtime while another was working mandatory overtime to compensate for the staffing shortage on the morning of Epstein's demise.

Ms McCawley urged authorities to continue their investigation, focusing on Mr Epstein associates who she said "participated and facilitated [Mr] Epstein's horrifying sex trafficking scheme".

The lawmakers said they did not want to wait for the outcome of the Justice Department investigations before receiving their own information.

Court documents from 2011 reveal Epstein controlled several apartments in a building just blocks from his $77 million NY townhouse and allegedly housed "underage girls from all over the world".

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched Epstein's luxury home on Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands on Monday morning, using golf carts to get around, NBC News reported.

In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor, and served 13 months in prison.

The court filing Monday came in a long-running lawsuit against the USA government by women who claim they were not consulted about the 2008 plea deal as required by the federal Crime Victim's Rights Act.

Barr's remarks follow several scathing rebukes of the Justice Department from lawmakers like Sen. In the aftermath of his death, accusers expressed anger that Epstein would not face them in court.

They have all strenuously denied the allegations.

Eight months later, the jail remains so short-staffed that the BOP is offering guards a $10,000 bonus to transfer there from other federal lockups.

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