(NEW YORK) — Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was taken off suicide watch July 29, in part, at the urging of his defense attorneys, sources familiar with the decision told ABC News as Attorney General William Barr raised alarm Monday over what he described as “serious irregularities” in the prison’s handling of Epstein.Before Epstein was formally removed from suicide watch, he had to undergo more than one psychiatric evaluation before prison officials made the move, according to sources.The sources also told ABC News that while there are cameras on the cell block where Epstein had been held, it does not appear that cameras are trained on individual cells in the special housing unit. Therefore it’s unlikely there’s video showing Epstein’s death by suicide.Under heightened pressure from lawmakers over Epstein’s death, Barr said Monday that Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators “should not rest easy” just because Epstein won’t have his day in court.”Let me assure you that case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said in remarks to a law enforcement group in New Orleans on Monday. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. Victims deserve justice and will get it.”Barr additionally said he was “angered” about what he described as the Manhattan Correctional Center’s “failure” to secure Epstein, and highlighted what he called “irregularities” in the MCC’s system that have already surfaced in the early stages of the DOJ investigations.”We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said. “We will get to the bottom of it, and there will be accountability.” The day after Epstein’s death in prison, Barr announced he had asked the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General to investigate the circumstances surrounding the matter, in addition to an FBI investigation that already launched. A source familiar with the investigation told ABC News on Sunday that Barr instructed FBI deputy director David Bowdich to update Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen every three hours on their investigation and that Rosen has been in constant communication with Barr.”I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement Saturday. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”Barr’s remarks follow several scathing rebukes of the Justice Department from lawmakers like Sen. Ben Sasse, who in a statement Saturday said that there was no excuse for Epstein to be approved to be taken off of suicide watch.”Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” Sasse, R-Neb., said. “Given Epstein’s previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance. Obviously, heads must roll.”
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.