John Kennedy to Bureau of Prisons chief: Christmas ornaments, drywall, and Jeffrey Epstein don't hang themselves

Not only is he the most quotable member of the Senate, he must be the most quotable politician in America.

Well, second-most behind you-know-who. But certainly no worse than that.

It’s the American people who’ve drawn the conclusion that Epstein didn’t kill himself, Kennedy noted at today’s hearing with the head of the BOP, leaving us to wonder if he agrees or disagrees. The affidavit unveiled this morning implies strongly that Epstein really did do the deed himself, enabled by BOP negligence. But that’s not the point here. The point, stressed by Kennedy at the end of the clip below, is that people are waiting for answers on Epstein’s death — and waiting, and waiting, for more than three months now. That point was made repeatedly in questioning of BOP chief Kathleen Hawk Sawyer during her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, with the frustration compounded by the fact that Sawyer refused to provide any information about Epstein because the investigations are still pending.

But is it the timeline that’s the problem? Or is it the fact that those investigations are likely to conclude that Epstein committed suicide and that the public is all but certain to reject that conclusion, just another bit of official corruption in a country that allowed Epstein to prey on children with impunity for decades? There’s no “optimal” timeline for the FBI and the DOJ in issuing their results, after all. If they had investigated his death for two weeks and declared they’d found no evidence of foul play, that would be dismissed by Epstein conspiracy true believers as cursory and proof that a cover-up is afoot. They rushed the inquiry. Instead we’re now three months removed from Epstein’s death and the feds are taking their sweet time. Verdict: They’re moving too slowly. They must be covering something up.

Regardless, a smart politician will seize the opportunity to show the public that he understands why they’ve lost faith in the system while keeping their distance from the belief that Epstein didn’t kill himself, which is unlikely to be true. Enter Kennedy, Lindsey Graham, and most of all Ben Sasse, each of whom pressed Sawyer during questioning to use whatever influence she has to get the pending Epstein investigations finished and the fact-finders brought before Congress. Sasse is especially vehement, as you’ll see, if not as quotable as Kennedy. You owe Epstein’s victims an explanation for why he was allowed to cheat justice on the BOP’s watch, he tells her, emphasizing that the investigations should be over by now. But his sharpest point comes in rebuttal to Sawyer saying that all inmates receive equal treatment when they’re monitored for being threats to themselves. It’s true that Epstein didn’t deserve special treatment because he was a billionaire or had loads of celebrity friends or even because his crimes were especially heinous, although all of those things are true. The reason he deserved special treatment, Sasse stresses, is that he was the star witness who could have unraveled an international sex trafficking ring. God only knows how many child predators might have been brought down with Epstein’s testimony. God only knows how many children who are right now being raped or otherwise abused by his accomplices might have been saved.

How does that guy get left alone long enough to take the evidence with him to the grave?

Here are Graham, Sasse, and Kennedy confronting Sawyer, followed by Kevin McCarthy telling Megyn Kelly that he’s prepared to hold hearings if ABC tries to stonewall his request for information on the buried Amy Robach segment. McCarthy has no power to call hearings at the moment but his Republican counterparts in the Senate do. Would Graham, as Judiciary chair, ask ABC to account for what happened, at least insofar as whether it had reason to believe based on Robach’s reporting that Epstein was still engaged in child trafficking as of 2016?