McCarthy asks ABC News to account for Epstein story

From the Capitol


House Republican Leader

I am deeply concerned that ABC News chose to bury the truth about Jeffrey Epstein’s role in human trafficking. I sent a letter to President James Goldston of ABC News requesting more information about their enabling of Mr. Epstein:

Dear Mr. Goldston:

As you must have seen, a video has emerged of ABC News anchor Amy Robach expressing regret and frustration over a decision by ABC News executives three years ago to not publish a firsthand account from one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers. She attributes this comment to an attorney of one of Mr. Epstein’s victims, which she obtained through her reporting: “There will come a day when we realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known.”

In the video, Ms. Robach remarks that her evidence was collected more than three years ago, but was “quashed” because she was told “no one knows who [Epstein] is,” therefore rendering it a “stupid story.” Note: In 2008 then-financier Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and served 13 months in prison.

Mr. Epstein was later arrested on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors. It is now known that Mr. Epstein’s abuse dates back decades and involved countless young women and minors.

When it comes to human sex trafficking — especially against minors — the United States Congress has taken aggressive bipartisan action to stop such atrocities. This work has successfully shut down trafficking marketplaces and has provided victims support and recourse to serve justice.

What appears to have been presented to Ms. Robach is first-hand evidence of human trafficking. I am 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.

Although it is unclear whether anyone thought to alert authorities to further examine these deeply disturbing allegations, it is clear that ABC News’ enabling of Mr. Epstein has consequences: fewer victims willing to come forward to bring perpetrators of this modern-day slavery to justice and, more grievously, the possibility that any number of minors could have been spared from human trafficking over the past three years.

To end that, we are requesting more information from ABC News.

1. Will ABC News provide Congress the interview Ms. Robach conducted with the victim?

2. What did ABC News learn about Jeffrey Epstein after Ms. Robach first presented her story to executives?

3. Who was involved in deciding that this story was not of public interest, and what were their reasons for deciding so?

4. Can Ms. Robach expand on the “outside forces” she mentioned as potentially responsible for the story not running?

5. Was ABC News ever presented with additional evidence on Mr. Epstein from the time Ms. Robach first brought her investigation to the network and when he was ultimately arrested?

6. Were authorities alerted at any time after Ms. Robach presented ABC News executives with her reporting? If so, when and what was provided?

ABC News’ initial response and subsequent actions reveal their priority is to identify and hold accountable the individual who released the video to the public. We believe that uncovering the source of the information is incomparably less important that the possibility of exposing the source of a human trafficking operation. It is imperative that the public be assured that newsroom decisions regarding exposing human trafficking are not tampered by financial interests or outside forces.


Kevin McCarthy,

House Republican Leader

Mike T. McCaul,

ranking member House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Doug. A. Collins,

ranking member House Committee on the Judiciary

For a copy of the original letter, which includes footnotes for context and links to referenced videos, see Kevin McCarthy’s Facebook page.

Story First Published: 2019-11-22