Published August 16, 2019
This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 16, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHARLES PAYNE, HOST: The New York City Medical Examiner's Office is expected to release the autopsy results for Jeffrey Epstein at any time, any moment now.
The federal jail where Epstein was being held now under scrutiny after the apparent suicide. The autopsy could settle it once and for all.
When the autopsy is released, we are going to bring it to you immediately.
Meanwhile, stocks surging, continuing to rebound from Wednesday's 800-point plunge. Is the market signaling a possible trade truce?
Welcome, everyone. I'm Charles Payne, in for Neil Cavuto, and this is "Your World."
And while stocks were rallying big time today, it wasn't enough for Wall Street to finish in the green this week.
FOX Business Network's Jackie DeAngelis keeping track of it all -- Jackie.
JACKIE DEANGELIS, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon to you, Charles.
Well, the markets did finish higher today. But it was a wild, volatile week on Wall Street, with all three indices finishing the week actually lower. That was after the Dow suffered its steepest point drop of the year on Wednesday, and the 30-year Treasury fell to a record low on Thursday.
Now, Walmart's upbeat earnings, that helped with confidence yesterday. That company's seen as a bellwether and, in many ways -- and also has exposure to China.
Fresh data points today to consider as we move forward, well, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment report, it was under expectations. It was actually the lowest reading of the year. But on the housing front, the 30 year-fixed rate loan averaging 3.6 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That was for the week. Mortgage demand is at a three-year high.
Finally, on China, new announcements of stimulus, concerns over trade uncertainty still. They are one reason that global investors sought some safety in U.S. Treasuries this week. That sentiment easing a bit today, as investors are hopeful that the president will speak to Xi Jinping soon. He told reporters that he would yesterday.
PAYNE: So, thank you very much, Jackie.
PAYNE: It was a wild ride. The question, of course, now is, where do we go from here?
With me to discuss, trader Alan Knuckman. He's at the CME. And market watchers John Tamny and John Layfield.
Alan, I want to go to you, because we almost closed at the highs of the session. And that's rare on a Sunday -- on a summer Sunday, after this kind of volatility. What do you think investors are looking for?
ALAN KNUCKMAN, MARKET STRATEGIST: Well, I still believe optimism wins.
And the price action we saw this week was very critical to put it in a bottom base, possibly. We tested and rejected those swing lows. We have been making a series of higher lows in the S&P. So I view that as positive.
We're only 5 percent off the all-time highs. I don't think it's different this time. We have seen this before. The markets have to sell off to go higher. And it's very positive to see us finish on the highs right now.
Looking at the VIX, the volatility index, it's essentially unchanged on the week once again, after we had that big fear of explosion. It's all evaporated once again and the markets are calm.
PAYNE: You know, Layfield, yesterday, of course, we were up, but there were more losers and winners and the leaders were all defensive, right, utility stocks, real estate, consumer staples.
That changed today. We saw tech stocks come on really strong and really strong gains across the board. What are you seeing here with this market?
JOHN LAYFIELD, CONTRIBUTOR: I'm seeing that we have a very strong U.S. economy.
I think we are slowing to a degree, Charles, but I don't see a recession is being imminent, like a lot of people have predicted. We have the best market in the world right now to invest in. There's so much problems going on in Europe.
We don't know how to price Brexit in. German manufacturing slowing down. Emerging markets are bad right now. China was having a lot of problems before this trade war. That continues.
The only place to really put money right now is in the U.S. stock market. And I think that's what we're seeing. And we're seeing that we still have a pretty strong economy.
PAYNE: John Tamny, Jackie DeAngelis referenced the sentiment report.
It was much lower than anticipated, with 33 percent of the respondents talking about the Federal Reserve and tariffs possibly hiking prices. Could that actually be more pressure for President Trump to come up with some sort of truce?
JOHN TAMNY, EDITOR, REALCLEARMARKETS: Well, I think he President Trump is part of the pressure.
To me, the market story right now -- markets never price in the present, they always price in the future. And President Trump has been talking down the dollar aggressively this week.
As his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has long said, you talk down the dollar, you talk down the markets and the economy, simply because investors, when they put money to work, are buying dollar returns in the future.
And so I think he's -- the president's got to be very careful here. Presidents who talk down the dollar oversee failed economies, because you drive around -- away the very investors who make growth possible in the first place.
PAYNE: And, in the meantime, Alan the investors are coming from all over the world. We have $16 trillion in negative bond yields, global yields. And it feels like that's what really created that inverted yield curve, more than the traditional role of sort of signaling a recession.
And I think that's being very aggressive to try and say that that signals a Recession. And even so, a recession is just a word. Or it's two negative quarters. I don't see that happening here in the near term.
But even if that does happen, that doesn't mean there's not opportunities in stocks. And the performance in the stock market, the last five times we have had an inverted yield curve, the market has been up three months, six months, one year, two years and three years after it.
So it can be a positive for stocks. Stocks are the only choice right now, barring economic catastrophe. Where's money going to go? You can get a better yield in an S&P stock from a dividend than you can getting into Treasuries.
Why lock up your money at 2 percent for 30 years? It doesn't make any sense. The money flow is going to go where the yield is.
PAYNE: John Layfield, this morning, Deere announced their earnings before the open. It was an unmitigated disaster. The guidance was a disaster. The stock went on to have its best session in seven months. I mean, is that a sign that maybe the market itself is oversold?
LAYFIELD: I don't know if it's oversold, Charles.
I think people are having a hard time handicapping what's going on. I don't think anybody has any idea how this trade war is going to play out. But to what Alan was saying, I think there is still some opportunity out there.
There is no yield in the world. And the only place to put money right now is in the U.S. markets, either in debt or in stocks. And you look at stocks and what happened, say, between 2013 to 2015, when yields were slow for so long, dividend stocks became de facto bonds.
I mean, you look at stocks that I own, BP, AT&T, Ford, they all have about a 6 percent yield. That is incredible right now. You can't get that anywhere else in the world. And I think we're going to see dividend stocks become de facto bonds again, and I think that's good for the stock market.
PAYNE: And that's good news for a whole lot of pension funds as well. Let's face it.
John, so where do you see us going? I mean, listen, the global economy is -- has been on shaky ground. But we saw more evidence this week at least the American consumer is still robust, retail sales very strong, Walmart's earnings very strong.
Confidence and sentiment, even though it dipped, still historically very strong.
TAMNY: Well, the natural state for the American economy is for it to grow, simply because it's comprised of the American people, who are enormously productive.
But we do have these policy areas that make things unnerving. Certainly, the dollar once again, a falling dollar would drive away investors, but we can't ignore China in all this. The reality is, the U.S. stock market is priced with growth in China in mind.
Apple gets a fifth of its iPhone sales from China. It's McDonald's second largest market. It's Nike's second largest market. GM sells more cars there than it does in North America. Boeing sells a quarter of its planes there.
So long as we're browbeating China and having a war with them, we're limiting the ability of U.S. businesses to sell there, and that's dangerous.
PAYNE: All right, let's leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you all very, very much. Appreciate it.
Meanwhile, folks, the New York City medical examiner is expected to release the autopsy results of Jeffrey Epstein at any moment.
Bryan Llenas is in the newsroom with the very latest -- Bryan.
BRYAN LLENAS, CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Charles.
Well, sources tell Fox News that that autopsy report, the findings of that autopsy report will be released at any moment later today.
That on top of the fact that we are -- well, there's just a lot of questions right now. This autopsy report will be one of the pieces to the puzzle that will help with all of the questions surrounding Epstein's apparent suicide.
The big question here is, The Washington Post reported just yesterday that the findings have shown reportedly that he broke multiple bones in his neck, including the hyoid bone. And that is a very specific part near the Adam's apple.
Now, that has been a point of controversy. Some experts are saying, look, that is more of a sign that this is a homicidal strangulation. The facts are that a hyoid bone can break in a suicidal hanging, as well as a strangulation, even though experts do say it could be more likely to have broken in a homicidal strangulation.
There are a lot of different factors here, including age and whatnot. But we should be getting some of those answers with this autopsy report. How many bones broke? Did that hyoid bone break? Were there marks around Epstein's neck?
These are all the questions that this report can answer, that on top of the fact, remember, Charles, there are multiple different investigations going on. It's not just the autopsy report, the DOJ and the FBI investigating all of the circumstances into Epstein's death, things like, what were the guards doing? How did this happen?
Epstein was in the special housing unit. The cellmate that he was with the night before wasn't there the night that he died, was taken out, the fact that he was on suicide watch, but then taken off. And then, of course, what were the guards doing?
Sources tell us that two senior DOJ officials have been sent to the Metropolitan Correctional Center by Attorney General William Barr to continue to investigate what's happening and that, ultimately, all of this, Charles, as we have Congress -- Congress really calling for full transparency into these investigations.
They want everybody to know what happened been here, because, obviously, there are a lot of conspiracy theories going on, based on Epstein's contacts, very high-level people, and the fact that ultimately people are having a tough time understanding why the most high-profile inmate at the MCC was able to kill himself inside the special housing unit, which is a place where there are supposed to be more eyes on you -- Charles.
PAYNE: Bryan, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to say -- to scratch your head on this one. You're right. Everybody wants answers.
Thank you very much.
LLENAS: Of course.
PAYNE: And, meanwhile, New York City police are hunting for this guy after a bomb scare earlier today. We're going to get to the latest next.
PAYNE: New York City police are hunting for a man seen leaving at least two rice cookers in a subway station just blocks from the World Trade Center.
The incident creating quite a scare earlier today.
Laura Ingle is in New York City with the very latest -- Laura.
LAURA INGLE, CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Charles.
Well, nerves were certainly rattled very early this morning, when the word came out that there were two suspicious packages that were found at this very busy subway station.
It turned out that they were not pressure cookers, but that is what caused such a scare. And, of course, this forced evacuations of the subway station and all the nearby buildings up above the ground.
Now, the bomb squad was called in immediately, determined the items were empty rice cookers not explosives, deemed them not to be a threat. Investigators were seeing carefully processing the evidence hours later, after all the -- the all-clear was given. They did that here at the subway station.
The NYPD putting out two images today from the surveillance footage captured at the Fulton Street station of a man seen going through the turnstiles before taking two rice cookers out of a shopping cart and then placing them in the Fulton Avenue subway station at two different spots.
While police work to find out who this guy is -- and there's word that they are maybe close to identifying him -- they have emphasized it's not clear whether he was trying to scare people or was merely throwing the objects away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MILLER, NYPD DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Obviously, we'd like to speak to this person.
I would call -- I would stop very short of calling him a suspect, because, right now, we just -- because of the time, rush hour, the place, a subway station, the items, rice cookers that could be mistaken for pressure cookers, it certainly is the kind of thing that we would want to know, why is he placing them there?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGLE: A third empty rice cooker was found on a sidewalk around the same time in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, where a pressure cooker bomb went off in 2016, injuring more than two dozen people.
Police say all three rice cookers came from the same manufacturer and were the same model. And that longstanding slogan, if you see something, say something, well, it worked today.
A transit rider underground at the Fulton Avenue station alerted a worker with the MTA, or Metropolitan Transportation Authority, at 7:00 a.m., which prompted the evacuations and roadblocks that we saw at the height of the morning commute.
Police and the MTA say they took this very seriously because a rice cooker does look so similar to a pressure cooker, which has in the past, as we have reported, caused deaths and injuries after being made into explosive devices.
The NYPD Counterterrorism Unit sent out a tweet this afternoon saying, look, we have got a lot of our officers, a lot of our men and women out at the subway station. So if you see an extra presence today, don't be alarmed. We are just out on patrol with what happened today in an extra way -- Charles.
PAYNE: Laura, thank you very much.
So the question now, was this some type of hoax or maybe even a dry run?
Bob Strang is the former co-chair of the New York Anti-Terrorism Task Force. And he joins us now.
First, before I ask you about that, I heard interchanging the term rice cooker, pressure cooker. I was always under the assumption that they turned a rice cooker into a pressure cooker. I mean, we saw something like this in Chelsea a couple of years ago, and, of course, the Boston bombers as well.
ROBERT STRANG, INVESTIGATIVE MANAGEMENT GROUP: Right.
And, obviously, when you see something like this, they're very similar, right? They're going to cause the same reaction, the reaction that we saw today. PAYNE: The reaction is obviously fair. Even the stock market sold off right before the open, as these -- as a third -- when they announced the third one, stocks pulled back.
And you could fill that fear, that real serious fear. And the question right now is, what -- what was the motive? What could the motive have been?
STRANG: And you heard John Miller, the deputy commissioner here in New York City for terrorism, say, we don't know yet. We really have to talk to this young man.
There are some sources that say they have identified him at this moment. They're going to try to talk to him shortly and find out exactly what the motive was. But, clearly, we know who it was. And they're going to find out soon.
Part of the problem is, as you know, with our history in New York City, rush hour in the subway, and events that have happened in our country in the past couple of weeks in Ohio and Texas, people are on edge. And when you see something like this, it has a major ripple effect, and not only a ripple effect in our own city, but other cities across the country, because like when something happens in Chicago or L.A., we're put on high alert, other cities are put on high alert when something happens here in New York.
PAYNE: Is there a chance this could have been some form of a dry run to see response times and other reactions?
STRANG: You always have to think about the worst-case scenario. I mean, when you have a situation like this, is it a decoy of some type? Is it a dry run? Is it somebody that is looking to see exactly where cameras are placed and paid someone else to go ahead and drop these things?
There's all kinds of possibilities. And that's what this interview is going to help, because not only are they going to interview this young man and talk to him about his motives, but they will have a search warrant. They will be looking at his computer, his phone.
They're going to really do a thorough job to make sure that if in fact this -- this was some type of nonevent, it's -- they're going to be sure of that.
I know it's not your focus right now, but we're waiting any moment for the autopsy report on Jeffrey Epstein. And, again, you don't have to necessarily be a conspiracy theorist to think that probably something went wrong.
Certainly, it was a series of mistakes. Were the guards not there? Why were they asleep? Why wasn't a cellmate there? The injury itself.
We had a guest on yesterday saying that out of 239 suicides, that hyoid bone was only fractured six times. So all of these things, just from your professional experience dealing within law enforcement, are you -- will you feel comfortable once this autopsy report is out one way or the other?
STRANG: Well, having worked for the Department of Justice for almost 11 years, I know that when there's an internal investigation, they do a very thorough job, not only terms of their own...
PAYNE: It's a serious black eye for everyone involved.
At the same time, they're going to find out through the Department of Justice heading it up, the FBI and the department of -- Bureau of Prisons that has their own internal -- the inspector general.
There are several independent outside agencies looking at this. So at the end of the day, there's going to be a pretty clear independent view of what happened.
PAYNE: But how surprised were you, though, that it did happen, considering that Epstein apparently tried to commit suicide just a week earlier?
STRANG: Well, I don't know the result of that initial investigation. Was it an attempted suicide? Was there something else involved?
So, clearly, I think that everybody was kind of surprised the way it happened.
PAYNE: Oh, boy.
Well, Bob, we always appreciate your expertise, and particularly during these times, as you mentioned. Thank you very much.
STRANG: Thank you, Charles.
PAYNE: Well, thanks, but no thanks.
Rashida Tlaib dismissing Israel's offer to let her visit the West Bank on humanitarian grounds. So the political fallout over that move, it's coming up.
PAYNE: We're going to Trace Gallagher on breaking news on the Epstein autopsy reports -- Trace.
GALLAGHER: Yes, the autopsy has now dropped, Charles.
And we are being told they have ruled, the medical examiner, this was a suicide, saying that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself at 6:30 in the morning -- that would be last Saturday morning -- and that it was suicide, that he tied a bedsheet to the bunk in his cell, and that he knelt toward the floor.
This is not going to calm the critics, because so far we haven't got any information about maybe potentially how he did this. All it says is he tied the bedsheet to the bunk and knelt toward the floor.
The big controversy in all of this for the past couple of days has been if in fact or how in fact he broke his hyoid bone, which is near the Adam's apple in men. He also, according to The Washington Post, broke several other bones.
We're waiting for an actual hard copy of the autopsy, so we can go through it line by line. The headline is, they're ruling this as a suicide. They have not changed their mind. The question becomes, will they answer the questions as to how he got these numerous broken bones?
Will they answer the questions about what was on the outside of his neck? Was it a straight bruise, meaning from a bedsheet, or were there various bruises?
Remember, back on July 23, Epstein had a number of bruises on his neck and he said he was beaten up by a cellmate. But they still ruled that as self- inflicted wounds. That's when they placed him on suicide watch. And then six days later, for some reason, because of pressure from his lawyers, because of other protocols that still are kind of baffling the experts, he was taken off suicide watch.
And then, late last week, he was found dead in his cell. The question in all of this remains is how he got the force to break the hyoid bone. That's been one of the major points of contention.
We talked to Dr. Cyril Wecht last hour when I filled in on "Shepard Smith Reporting," And he was telling us that, to actually break the hyoid bone, you need a tremendous amount of pressure, which is why it's much more common, Charles, in strangulation than it is in suicide.
So what they're saying here is, what is the circumstance to how he generated enough force to actually break that bone in his neck? You see a picture of it right there? Did he fall off the bunk? Did he jump off the bunk? Did he roll off the bunk?
How is it that he was able to generate the force of breaking that bone? Now, we should note that, in older people, the hyoid bone does break a bit more easier than it does in younger people. Jeffrey Epstein, 66 years old, about 5' 11'' Did he jump off?
Could he have generated enough force to actually break that? That's the question that people are asking. But, for now, it appears to be a settled matter, because nobody's going to adjudicate this and say, OK, let's go back, we want answers.
Right now, the medical examiner's word on this historically has been final. They have ruled this as suicide. There is an investigation going on right now in Congress. There is an internal investigation going on inside the prison.
The warden has been reassigned. The two guards who were there -- one wasn't even really a guard. It was a corrections employee who just happened to be helping out. They apparently were asleep when the suicide happened, and then went back and tried to falsify the documents to say that they were, in fact, following procedure by checking on Jeffrey Epstein every 30 minutes.
That's the question that remains is, what happens now? Do they take this thing at face value and agree suicide and move on? Or do the numerous alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein and others want to pursue this further, they want to find out more? That is what is yet to be seen.
But, right now, the bottom line from the medical examiner is that they are maintaining that these wounds were self-inflicted, and that it was suicide -- Charles.
PAYNE: Trace, thank you very much.
And one of the people who may not accept these findings -- and Trace just referenced him -- forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, he joins me right now on the phone.
So, yesterday, you were very...
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes, I'm here.
PAYNE: Yes, hi.
Yesterday, you were very -- it seemed like you were very skeptical about the notion that perhaps his hyoid bone could have been broken. And now we do have the official autopsy report. What are your thoughts?
WECHT: Did I hear your reporter in his comments say that he was found kneeling into -- into the rope with bedpost -- the bedsheet attached to the bedpost? Did I hear the word kneeling?
PAYNE: Doctor, he said he had the bedsheet, tied into the bunk, knelt toward the floor, and then committed suicide.
All right, I'm going to tell you, I will repeat this. And you do not from a kneeling position with a bedsheet attached to the bedpost break the hyoid bone, which is high up under the mandible, and also cervical vertebrae.
We haven't yet heard -- I haven't -- about how many vertebrae. They used the plural. They said fractures. And you don't break vertebrae in a suicidal hanging in which the scenario is a leaning into.
If he hurled himself off the top bunk bed, that could have then occurred, because you have got a 200-pound-plus person with that kind of force imparted by the velocity of the dropping-down body.
But if that kind of hanging occurred, with Epstein attaching the bedsheet to the bedpost and then kneeling down like Robin Williams did some months ago, kneeling down from the doorknob, you do not break your hyoid bone and your cervical vertebrae.
And insofar as this business about brittleness, this is not a 75-year-old postmenopausal woman who has osteoporosis. This is a 66-year-old guy. Sure, the bones are somewhat more brittle than a 35-year-old guy. But I'm not aware that this is somebody that looks like he had osteoporosis with that kind of weakened bones.
So that is not a rationalization or an explanation for those kinds of fractures. I want to hear more. If they tell me he hurtled himself down, fine. But if they're telling me that he was just kneeling down, and he broke the hyoid bone and the cervical vertebrae, no way, with all due respect to the fine forensic pathologist there at the NYC Medical Examiner's Office and my colleague who is an observer.
I'm sorry, I do not buy that. I have never seen that. I have never heard of that.
PAYNE: All right, hold on one second. Dr. Wecht, hold on one second, because I want to go back to Trace Gallagher. He's in Los Angeles.
And he -- oh, not -- we're not going to go back to him yet. Oh, we are.
Trace, go ahead.
Yes, that's the thing, is that Dr. Cyril Wecht brings up these amazing things because that's what everybody's been asking, Charles. Is it like Robin Williams did when he committed suicide up in Tiburon a couple of years ago, where he knelt and forced forward?
I don't have the -- I don't have the answer as to whether Robin Williams broke his hyoid bone or not, but that's when the discussion was happening after the suicide, is that if you just kneel forward and kind of hang there, will you break the bone? Is there enough force to break the bone?
And that's one of the things they're going to go back and look at. They're also going to be looking at the timing of this whole thing.
And, in that, we want to kind of look to Bryan Llenas, because he's been covering this thing in -- from the beginning.
And, Bryan, when you hear this, that it's been ruled a suicide, and Dr. Wecht comes in and says, look, he doesn't think there's enough velocity to break that hyoid bone, that kind of fits with the narrative we have been hearing all week from critics.
LLENAS: It does, but I will say this.
Dr. Wecht, with all of the years that he's had an experience, his opinion really does matter here. But when you read and you see what -- and you speak to other folks and forensic folks, they have always said that this hyoid bone, it's been a point of contention.
So, ultimately, the chief medical examiner here has said that this was a suicide by hanging.
And I -- we're waiting to get the full report on this, so we can figure out exactly how many of those bones were actually broken.
I know that when you speak to the forensic experts, they tell you that ultimately matters. It's not just the hyoid bone. It's what other bones and, again, like we had said before, the other marks on the neck.
Obviously, if they didn't find handprints on Epstein's neck that were -- then, obviously, this wasn't a strangulation. They made the determination that this was a suicide. So it'll be interesting to find out the details as to why.
We go back to this understanding, though, that this still is just one piece to this puzzle, because there are a lot of questions as to how this man was able to get a bedsheet and why this man was taken off of suicide watch. And why was the highest-profile inmate at the MCC put in a situation in which she didn't have a cellmate?
And for that, that is why the DOJ has sent two senior officials to the MCC today to continue that part of the investigation, because, ultimately, here, this was a forensic analysis with the autopsy. They're going to find out what the body tells them.
But we have got the DOJ, the FBI, and the Bureau of Prisons to figure out the other circumstances here that allowed Epstein to do what the examiner now says was a suicide by hanging, because, ultimately, again, if this person -- if Epstein was on suicide watch and then taken off six days later, there are some wardens out there that say there's no way that a prisoner should have been able to have a double bunk bed, there's no way that the prisoner would have gotten a bedsheet.
And that is why there are all these questions. And that is why the DOJ and everyone else is asking for transparency.
One piece of the puzzle, an important one, because you're right, Trace -- for days now, there's been a lot of speculation because of the Washington Post report. An important piece here that, at least scientifically, based on the body, what we have seen, this was a suicide by hanging -- Trace.
And that's what they're ruling this. And we're waiting for more information right now. But to your point, when you go through this, and they say it's a suicide watch, because, on July 23, he had injuries -- Jeffrey Epstein claimed that he was beaten by a cellmate.
And they checked that out, and they ruled that these were self-inflicted injuries, and they placed him on suicide watch for six days. And the process when you're on suicide watch is that you are placed in a cell that has cameras and it has 24-hour surveillance.
We have gone over this again and again, Bryan, about how MCC has been -- MCC has been so overworked with these guards -- the prison guards union came out saying they're working 80-hour weeks, they're understaffed. One of the guards wasn't even really a guard.
And when you're on suicide watch, you need someone to watch them 24 hours. Those 24 hours is somebody on overtime for 24 hours, because it's not standard procedure. It's not worked into the budget, so to speak.
So that begs the question of how he was able to get off suicide watch six days after apparently trying to commit suicide. And there was reporting saying that he was -- that the jail was being pressured by his attorneys.
And the warden finally succumbed and said, OK, fine, we don't think he's any -- he's suicidal psychological evaluations and the rest.
But you talked about the model of the cell themselves. Even when you're placed off of suicide watch, a lot of inmates in there, former inmates, will say, there are not supposed to be bunk beds, there's not supposed to be any lights or anything you can attach anything to of height that would offer the opportunity to commit suicide.
And the bedsheets themselves are supposed to be paperweight strength, meaning they're not much stronger than thick paper towels, maybe not very comfortable, but at least they wouldn't facilitate a suicide. That's what a lot of the inmates are saying.
So these questions are not going to be solved by whatever information comes out in the next few minutes from this autopsy report, Bryan.
LLENAS: Yes, that's exactly right, Trace.
Look, when you speak to the experts, they say it only takes 10 minutes to kill yourself in this manner. That is, to be in a prison cell with a bedsheet and to strangle yourself, you need 10 minutes or less. And if you want to kill yourself, you can kill yourself in prison.
I mean, this is, I believe, the number one way in which inmates die in prisons across the United States. But, again, you go back to the point that this wasn't just any inmate. And so the questions now are with those guards. We had talked about those guards. You speak to the union, and they said, for the last three years, the Metropolitan Correctional Center has just been understaffed.
And they have been working their folks to the bone. One of those guards was working 80 hours-plus. The other, we know through resources telling Fox News, they used to be a correctional officer for seven years. And then they got moved to another position.
And they needed a volunteer to work that night. And so they asked the person who had seven years' worth of experience to help that night. So it's not as though that person was inexperienced.
And if you speak to people like Mayor Rudy Giuliani, they will tell you, at the end of the day, you volunteer for a job, you have got eyes. It doesn't mean you can't do the job in terms of looking and watching over -- over the people in that unit.
I will also say he was put in the special housing unit in 9 South, which, in this particular case, this is an inmate who was under protective custody. That means they're not only putting him there because perhaps he's a danger to himself, but mainly because other inmates could potentially want to hurt or kill this particular inmate.
He was a high-profile convicted sexual offender and somebody who was in a trial here accused of pedophilia. And this is somebody that is a high target for potentially being killed or being harmed in jail.
So this is why he was put in the special housing unit. And so we're going to talk here -- I think moving forward, Trace, part of the thing is those surveillance cameras too and the hallways...
LLENAS: ... to take a look and see what those guards were doing at the time.
GALLAGHER: Yes. And that is a great question.
And what you bring up is a great point, Bryan, about the fact that not only a high-profile inmate, but potentially and possibly the highest profile inmate in any jail in the country at that point in time.
Jeffrey Epstein, those who don't know the story, you have to kind of go back, and seven, eight, nine years, when he struck that sweetheart of a deal with the state of Florida, they put him in a jail cell in Palm Beach, where he was allowed to leave six days a week to go to and from work 12 hours a day.
So he was only in jail 12 hours a day, one day 24 hours. That lasted 13 months. And it just -- I mean, they cried foul over this around the country, saying, he was facing several lifetimes in prison. He ended up 13 months in jail, in a local jail, where he was allowed to leave six days a week.
So it begs the question. When you have the highest profile inmate in the country in your care, do you not have cameras on the cell? Do you not have more than every-30-minute observations on the cell? That's the question we're going forward.
I want to bring in Dr. Nesheiwat, because he (sic) can give us a little more insight.
It's ruled suicide, Doctor. What is your -- what is your -- your thought on this finding so far?
DR. JANETTE NESHEIWAT, FAMILY AND EMERGENCY MEDICINE: Well, so far, we have to understand, Trace, that suicide, when you're hyoid bone is broken, usually, it's homicidal strangulation, you're choked.
And my concern is, was he injured by his cellmate? He was -- he claimed he was choked. Apparently, there were bruises around his neck. I want to know, did he see a doctor after that injury? Was he examined? Did he get an X-ray of his neck?
Maybe is it possible that he sustained some of these injuries during that time, and it's now being picked up? Because according to the medical examiner, if she's saying that it's suicide, it's like the doctor that we - - that you spoke to earlier. You need force.
Unless he -- if he's about 6 feet tall, and his bed is about 5 feet up, that gives you 11, 12 feet to jump off of. You need force that type of fracture. And on top of that, it's multiple fractures. It's not just one.
So I want to know, was the cartilage damaged, in addition to the hyoid bone? Did he have any cervical fractures as well? So we need some more information, but only a small percentage of fractures from suicide happen via what he did in the jail cells.
So we definitely need to see the report in detail. Initially, also, we're told that he had bleeding, what we call petechial hemorrhage, which means the pressures increased in his head.
NESHEIWAT: But that still could be from a suicide hanging, but there is concerned, why did he have multiple fractures?
NESHEIWAT: I'm considering maybe his cellmate caused him injury.
You can have a broken hyoid and just have pain with range of motion of your neck from left to right and have pain with swallowing. Having a broken hyoid doesn't kill you. So I wonder, did he have it all along and now it's being picked up on his autopsy?
I want to jump in here, if I can, Dr. Nesheiwat, because The Daily Beast is now reporting -- and we are still waiting for a copy of the actual autopsy -- The Daily Beast is now reporting that a person familiar with the investigation said the autopsy photos showed that the marks around Epstein's neck didn't look like those left by a rope.
We know it wasn't a rope, but instead look more like those from fabric, which is consistent with reports that he used a bedsheet. So they're saying that, according to their sources, this all fits.
NESHEIWAT: It's possible.
But the thing is, Trace, it's rare, but multiple fractures? I can understand maybe the hyoid, just maybe one fracture, maybe a mandible fracture, maybe a cervical fracture.
But to have multiple fractures, and understanding that his cellmate was some big muscular person who Epstein himself said he was attacked and beaten -- why would he make that up? And then why did they transfer his cellmate out of the jail?
I suspect that maybe he had some injuries, if he was truly attacked, or maybe he did something to his -- to himself when he did have a cellmate. We don't know. So the video footage and the surveillance is crucial.
And then we need to see -- I really need to see the autopsy report in detail to see where the fractures are.
NESHEIWAT: Are they crush fractures. Are they comminuted fractures? Is it a hairline fracture?
NESHEIWAT: Or is it just a chip in the bone?
So we need to take a closer look and get some more detailed information.
GALLAGHER: Those are all very good points.
Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, those are all very good points. And when we get the hard copy of this autopsy, we hope to have those.
Again, the Jeffrey Epstein ruling from the medical examiner is that he died by suicide. Will that satisfy the critics? The odds are unlikely.
We will continue coverage of breaking news, Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy released.
Charles Payne on the other side of the break with more coming up.
PAYNE: Major breaking news.
The report is and from the New York City Medical Examiner's Office. They have ruled Jeffrey Epstein died of an apparent suicide.
I want to go back to forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. He joins us now.
Doctor, you really do not believe, though, from what you know, the idea that perhaps Epstein knelt, tied this -- this noose around his neck from the bedsheets, knelt from his bedpost, and that it created the injuries that we do know about.
You do not think those two things are compatible.
WECHT: I do not believe that, in a kneeling position, with a bedsheet tied to the bedpost, in the absence of force that would have been imparted from hurling himself from a top bunk would have provided sufficient force it to fracture the hyoid bone and also fractures of the cervical vertebrae.
We do not know -- and I'm waiting to see this report -- how many vertebrae, cervical vertebrae -- there are seven, come down from the back of your neck to the bony prominence at the base of your neck. And those are seven cervical vertebrae.
So we want to find out how many of those were broken. You do not get fractures of the cervical vertebrae and of the hyoid bone high up here under the mandible with somebody tying a sheet to a bedpost and leaning forward.
You can see, there's no force, there's no velocity. It's basic physics formula. Force equals one-half mass times velocity squared.
WECHT: The mass is his head. Fine.
WECHT: And the velocity.
And this business about brittleness, he's not a 70-, 75-year-old postmenopausal woman.
PAYNE: No, we got that.
Let me ask, though, because if he did this from the top bunk, considering his body weight -- and you mentioned earlier 200 pounds off the top bunk. There's already reports out...
PAYNE: ... that these marks look like bedsheets -- could then it have been possible?
If he hurled himself off the top bunk, that force would have made it possible to fracture the cervical vertebrae and the hyoid bone, if they can show, in reconstructing that scene, that that is what happened. I would say that is a possibility. Still raises questions, but I think it falls within the realm of physical possibility with that kind of force present in the scenario that would work with the double bunk.
PAYNE: So, let me also ask, because there were some reports leading up to today suggesting also, in a haste, once the body was discovered, that certain things may have been done, a rush.
Hey, you see the body laying there. Could those kind of things have changed the -- or influenced what -- with these marks and some of these other things, just trying to retrieve the body?
WECHT: No. No, I understand. No.
The hastiness, the retrieval of the body and so on, no, I cannot see, envision how those actions would have produced some anatomical changes such as we have been talking about. No, I do not see that at all.
It would have been damaging possibly to the retrieval of other evidence, DNA, physical evidence, trace evidence, but not the anatomical structures in the neck, anterior and posterior. No, that wouldn't have happened.
PAYNE: Dr. Wecht, thank you very much. We always appreciate your expertise, particularly now. Thank you.
WECHT: Thank you.
PAYNE: So what the Department of Justice is doing right now on the Epstein case.
We will be right back.
PAYNE: And the major breaking news at this hour, Jeffrey Epstein's prison death has been ruled a suicide by the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.
I want to go now to Catherine Herridge on what the DOJ will now be doing -- Catherine.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks, Charles. And good afternoon.
The Justice Department has, of course, a significant piece of this investigation. A senior Justice Department official telling reporters a short time ago that Attorney General William Barr has dispatched two senior officials to personally visit the MCC to independently gather information and speak with bureau prison staff at the facility.
That team has been on site since yesterday. In addition to the separate after-action team that was launched within the Bureau of Prisons -- we reported on that just a few days ago -- officials from regional offices are also at the MCC to lend their expertise and insight.
This after-action team, for context, is still on the ground at MCC, and they are looking at what went wrong. And this is standard protocol after a significant event like this one.
One of the key questions, as we have been talking really for days, is the number of correctional staff at MCC who are on these overtime shifts before and during the Epstein suicide.
And we can now report officials have found -- and this is really an incredible number -- 93 percent of that overtime they were serving was voluntary by those staff.
And also for context, this happened in New York, but there's a lot now happening here in Washington, D.C. There are five separate investigations that had been launched, including the Justice Department, the FBI, and multiple congressional committees -- Charles.
PAYNE: Catherine, thank you very much.
HERRIDGE: You're welcome.
PAYNE: I want to go to former DOJ prosecutor Jim Trusty.
Jim, five separate investigations. Everyone wants to know why there were no prison guards, why he had a bunk bed cell. Where was his cellmate? There were no cameras. And even we had an expert forensic pathologist who still questions whether or not this was a suicide.
JAMES TRUSTY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, we love the blame game, right?
But the bottom line is, I'll say a couple things. The Bureau of Prisons is actually pretty used to having significant prisoners, not just run-of-the- mill street thugs, but guys that have notoriety attached to them. You can think about terrorism cases. You can think about the O.J. Simpsons of the world and now, more recently, Jeffrey Epstein.
There may be all forms of negligence that are associated with his death here, but that's not the stuff of a criminal case or even of some sort of conspiracy. It could be there's a lot to look at from the DOJ perspective when it comes to the management and the way they treated somebody.
But there's a lot of information we don't have that I think we want -- maybe we will get some of this from the medical examiner report -- about what was Epstein saying was happening to him over the last few weeks, and what kind of notice that they have that he was a serious suicide risk?
PAYNE: Well, maybe we do -- obviously, there's a trail of negligence. And we will find out the source. And Catherine Herridge mentioned 93 percent of the overtime being done was voluntary. And we heard there was a chronic issue there at this Metropolitan Correction facility.
But the conspiracy theories will continue to live until these questions are answered, because it does seem like an unusual string of circumstances that led to Epstein being alone in that cell to apparently be able to commit suicide.
Well, let me say a couple of broad things. The first is, Epstein was in the business of schmoozing, of being a real smooth talker. So I would be real curious to see what he said to prison officials, what he said to a prison psychiatrist or psychologist about the previous incident.
It may not be gospel to get words from his mouth, but it would be interesting to see how he was characterizing some things. I think there's a lot of room for examination of these -- of this report that's coming out.
The hyoid bone is a weird thing, right? You don't normally see that in a suicide. But I think there's an assumption here that we need to step away from, which is that everyone knows exactly how his body was positioned when he began and finished this effort to kill himself.
And the reality is, crime scenes are notoriously fluid. Just because you find a body in the final resting place doesn't help you know exactly where they were before. This holds true with ballistics as much as it holds true with suicide. People don't move like chess pieces.
And then you add to it that people come in and maybe try a resuscitation under very panicky circumstances.
TRUSTY: Things get moved around.
So I don't know that we can sit here and say we know he was kneeling and that he lunged forward, as opposed to the model you raised, which is a guy that uses all of his weight and velocity to create a better hanging, for lack of a better phrase, to do one that actually can break neck bones, that could affect the hyoid the way he did.
So there's a lot that's going to be very hard to untangle. But I think more information is coming.
PAYNE: Without a doubt, Jim.
Now, beyond that, just the fact that this was able to happen with perhaps the highest-profile prisoner in the system right now, federal -- federally run prison, as a DOJ prosecutor, does -- how much does that bother you? And what should be done?
TRUSTY: Well, look, it's bothersome on a lot of levels. And I don't really care about the bureaucracy, so much about kind of BOP egos or DOJ track records.
I think about it in terms of victims. There's some victims that probably feel this was a great, just result, I'm happy that it's over, and I'm happy that this man had some sense of despair. But there's probably a lot of victims out there -- or alleged victims at this moment -- that would say, this is a very depriving moment, that we lost the ability to hold him accountable in the public forum in a more serious, sustained way.
PAYNE: Right. Right.
TRUSTY: So, that's kind of where my emphasis goes right now...
TRUSTY: ... is thinking about these young girls and women that went through an awful lot.
PAYNE: Right. Real quick.
And the investigation, though, will continue, though, right? There shouldn't be a break in these investigations, right, Jim?
TRUSTY: There's a lot to do. There will be a lot of investigation for a while.
PAYNE: All right, thank you very much.
In the meantime, folks, the stock market had a rough week, but a strong finish today, and perhaps, perhaps news over the weekend. That's what Wall Street believes. Maybe we will get something of a truce between China and the United States.
In the meantime, that's it for me today. I will be back on Monday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on "Making Money."
And, of course, be sure to tune in at 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow for "Cavuto Live" right here on the Fox News Channel.
"The Five" starts right now.
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