'Things that don't hang themselves': Sen. Kennedy drops Epstein joke, demands answers at hearing

The American people do not believe Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and have turned the entire debacle into a punch line, said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., during a Tuesday hearing with the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"Christmas ornaments, drywall, and Jerry [sic] Epstein. Name three things that don't hang themselves," Kennedy said. "That's what the American people think, and they deserve some answers."

The New York City medical examiner ruled that the convicted sex offender took his own life inside his Manhattan prison cell on Aug. 10. However, just hours before the hearing, it was announced the two prison guards on duty during the night Epstein died were charged with making false records and conspiring to make false records.

During Sen. Lindsey Graham's, R-S.C., questioning of Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the Federal Bureau of Prisons director, she admitted the FBI is now checking for any criminal elements surrounding Epstein's death.

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Kennedy told Sawyer to deliver a message to the investigators for him and asked authorities to tell the public the truth.

"I know that you're not in charge of these investigations, but you talk to the people who are. And I need you to take a very respectful message today," he said.

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"Tell the American people what happened. And don't rush it so that they don't do a thorough investigation," Kennedy continued. "But you and I both know they can make this a top priority and get this done more quickly than they normally would. They need to do that. And I'd like you to deliver that message."

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Federal prosecutors offered the two guards a plea bargain which would involve them allocuting and admitting to doctoring prison logs, but the AP reported Friday that the officers had declined the deal.

In a recent interview on Fox News, famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden said Epstein's body bore telltale signs of homicidal strangulation, despite an official ruling that he killed himself. The Epstein family hired Baden to perform an independent investigation into the autopsy results.

Fox News' Greg Norman contributed to this report