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GOP Senator wants Jeffrey Epstein's Florida plea deal thrown out

Posted at 12:50 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 12:51:38-04

NEW YORK (AP) — A Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking the Justice Department to "rip up" a controversial plea agreement that Jeffrey Epstein struck in Florida more than a decade ago.

Under the 2008 deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges rather than face much tougher federal prosecution on charges he sexually abused teenage girls at his homes in Florida and New York.

RELATED: More coverage of the Jeffrey Epstein case

Federal prosecutors said when they charged Epstein that the Florida deal doesn't apply to prosecutors in New York.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who heads the panel's oversight subcommittee, asked Attorney General William Barr to confirm it is no longer binding following Epstein's suicide.

A Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity says Barr has recused himself from any review of the 2008 plea deal involved in the federal investigation into Epstein.

—By Michael Balsamo