The Justice Department has revealed a checkered past for the Manhattan Federal Jail in which convicted child predator, Jeffrey Epstein apparently died at his own hand. Among the bombshell revelations, the DOJ report said that the guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) are “notorious for not watching high-risk, high-profile inmates — and even helped one smuggle in contraband.”
Among other lapses in the DOJ documents, officers at the MCC recently let an accused CIA leaker obtain electronic devices to continue to steal and transmit classified information, and they let a fraudster with ties to the Clintons get his hands on a smartphone that he used to falsify evidence. They even let an Islamic terrorist have access to al Qaeda propaganda — including bomb-making instructions — that he then distributed to fellow inmates!
The security breaches at the MCC are so profound and well-known, that prison inspectors wonder why Epstein was ever sent there in the first place.
“MCC has had major screw-ups in the past,” said Patrick Dunleavy, a former deputy inspector general for the New York State Department of Corrections. “It’s strange that they put Epstein there.”
Last year, according to the documents, a former CIA employee allegedly responsible for “the largest unauthorized public disclosure of CIA information in the history of the agency” was able to get two iPhones into his cell at the MCC. The outrageous security breach was aided by correctional officers.
“The contraband cellphones were smuggled into the MCC and protected from detection through a network of visitors to the facility, inmates and correctional officers,” FBI agent Jeff Donaldson wrote in an October affidavit for a search warrant that was recently unsealed and obtained by The NY Post.
As part of his work for the CIA, Joshua Adam Schulte specialized in hacking computers and computer networks. He reportedly put those skills to use once he obtained the smartphones, transferring data to co-conspirators outside the MCC through encrypted accounts in Switzerland. He also used them to leak sealed federal search warrants to reporters at The New York Times and Washington Post, with the CIA determining that at least one of the newspapers’ articles contained classified information.
That’s not all. The Post reports that Schulte also gained access to a laptop in the prison library on which he created “covert partitions to hide data, including potentially classified information,” as well as “child pornography.”
And it gets better. The Post also reports that Schulte’s cellmate at MCC happened to be Omar Amanat, a cousin of Hillary Clinton confidante Huma Abedin and a Clinton Foundation donor. A tech entrepreneur who owned stakes in a film studio behind the “Twilight” movies, Amanat was locked up on securities fraud charges for which a jury convicted him in 2017. Like Schulte, Amanat also reportedly obtained a smuggled cellphone, which the feds say Schulte helped him use to create a “fraudulent report,” including phony, backdated emails, intended to “prove Amanat’s alleged innocence.”
A Pattern of Failures and Broken Protocols at Epstein’s Jail
How this history of lapses in security at the MCC may, or may not have contributed to Epstein’s death, remains to be seen. However, it does bolster his attorney’s “dissatisfaction” with the conclusion that Epstein died 100% at his own hand.
After the cause of death was deemed a suicide by the New York chief medical examiner, Epstein’s defense team said in a statement that they were “not satisfied” with the conclusion and blasted the “medieval conditions” of the federal prison, blaming their employer’s death on just the kinds of broken protocols and security breaches that were common at the MCC.
Soon after the ME’s conclusions, Epstein’s defense team announced that they would be conducting an independent investigation alongside the federal probes, saying that they would use legal action, if necessary, “to view the pivotal videos — if they exist as they should — of the area proximate to Mr. Epstein’s cell during the time period leading to his death.”
Now, it is some of those very videos that “coincidentally” are found to be “unusable.”
Epstein was charged in July with conspiracy and sex trafficking of minors. He was transferred to suicide watch after he was found unconscious with bruises around his neck but was taken off constant observation in late July.
He was found dead in his cell a little less than two weeks later.