U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is supporting House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy's request for information from ABC News related to the network’s decision to spike anchor Amy Robach's story on Jeffrey Epstein that would have exposed allegations against the now-deceased sex offender three years ago.
McCarthy, R-Calif., was the first lawmaker to question the network’s decision to scrap the 2015 interview with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre when he sent a letter to ABC News President James Goldston on Sunday. Also signing the letter were House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Mike McCaul of Texas and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins of Georgia.
Sasse did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but told The Washington Examiner on Wednesday, “If anyone has information that can help put Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators behind bars, they [ABC News] ought to do everything they can to bring that information into the full light of day."
"Powerful, well-connected men have suppressed stories and evaded prison, but the victims deserve justice, and the public deserves the truth. That’s going to take hard-nosed reporting without fear or favor,” he reportedly added.
Video captured Robach on a hot mic claiming higher-ups at her network killed the story. The footage was published earlier this month by Project Veritas, whose controversial founder, James O'Keefe, has described himself as a “guerrilla journalist.” The video included Robach saying ABC refused to air an interview she conducted with one of Epstein’s victims.
Project Veritas said an ABC News insider leaked the hot-mic outburst.
“I’ve had the story for three years. ... We would not put it on the air,” Robach said on the hot mic. “Um, first of all, I was told, who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.”
She also said she tried to get the interview on the air for three years “to no avail.”
Less than two weeks after the footage was published, the House Republicans wrote the letter, asserting, “What appears to have been presented to Ms. Robach is first-hand evidence of human trafficking.”
They noted they were “deeply concerned that this victim, in search of justice, went to ABC News, provided information and an interview and then ABC News chose to bury the truth. This was a decision that Ms. Robach alluded was due to protecting powerful people or financial interests.”
The three Republicans wrote that they were requesting more information from ABC News, asking the outlet several questions including who was involved in deciding the story was not of public interest as well as any rationale for that decision.
McCarthy said ABC seems more concerned with the identity of the leaker than with discovering why the story was buried in the first place. He claimed the network has a "moral authority" to determine if they did everything they could to expose the truth.
Epstein was found dead in August in his prison cell in New York City while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Prosecutors alleged the convicted sex offender paid girls as young as 14 hundreds of dollars for massages before he molested them in his homes in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005.
Sasse has repeatedly pressed for answers surrounding Epstein’s death, including on the day Epstein died. In a letter Sasse wrote to Attorney General William Barr that day he expressed anger demanding that “heads must roll” over the incident. He also expressed his frustration in a letter sent to the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons last week, writing, “we’re still in the dark about what happened to Epstein.”
On Tuesday, prosecutors announced that two prison guards, identified as Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were charged with making false records and conspiring to make false records and to defraud the United States by impairing the lawful functions of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
ABC News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment following the release of McCarthy’s letter.
Earlier this month, responding to the published video of Robach, an ABC News spokesperson told Fox News the Epstein story wasn’t fit to air.
“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since, we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it,” the spokesperson said. “That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”
ABC News later identified who the network had accused leaked the footage and reportedly worked with CBS, her current employer, to get her fired.
Fox News’ Brian Flood, Nick Givas and Melissa Leon contributed to this report.