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AG Barr won't recuse himself from NY Epstein case, official says

Attorney General William Barr on May 1.

Attorney General William Barr on May 1. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has consulted with Justice Department ethics officials and will not recuse himself from overseeing the case of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein by federal prosecutors in New York City.

That's according to a Justice Department official who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

But the official says Barr is recused from any review of a 2008 plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges in Florida. That's because Barr's former law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, had previously represented Epstein.

That deal Epstein secretly cut allowed him to avoid federal prosecution for nearly identical allegations.

Epstein was charged Monday in federal court in Manhattan with sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

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