Top House Republicans turned up the heat Sunday on ABC News, calling on the network to explain why it sat on a story about convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein and whether it contacted authorities with evidence of sex-trafficking.
In a Sunday letter to ABC News President James Goldston, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and two other leading Republicans said they were concerned that the network sought to “bury the truth” about anchor Amy Robach’s reporting.
“I am deeply concerned that this victim, in search of justice, went to ABC News, provided information and an interview, and ABC chose to bury the truth,” the letter said. “This was a decision that Ms. Robach alluded was due to protecting powerful people or financial interests.”
The Republicans asked ABC to provide Congress with the interview of Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has alleged that the late billionaire used her as a teen sex slave, and explain whether any “outside forces” were involved in spiking the story.
ABC said in a statement that the story failed to meet its standards for broadcasting after Project Veritas posted Nov. 5 an off-the-air video showing Ms. Robach venting about the network’s refusal to air her story for three years.
In a separate statement, Ms. Robach said that she was “upset that an important video I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficing corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations.”
Her initial comments on a hot-mic video came after Epstein was found dead Aug. 10 in his New York City jail cell after being charged with sex trafficking. His death was ruled a suicide.
In the leaked footage, Ms. Robach also said Prince Andrew was implicated in her interview. He denied in a BBC interview that aired Saturday having sex with Ms. Giuffre, saying he had no recollection of meeting her, and that he regretted staying at the billionaire’s Manhattan mansion in 2010.
Epstein was convicted in 2008 of prostitution of a minor in Palm Beach, Florida, serving 13 months in prison.
ABC has said it will pursue and hold accountable the person who leaked the video, but the Republicans argued that “uncovering the source of the information is incomparably less important than the possibility of exposing the source of a human trafficking operation.”
Last week, former ABC producer Ashley Bianco said in an interview with Megyn Kelly that she was fired from her new job at CBS over the Robach video, which Ms. Bianco denied leaking.
The Washington Times has reached out to ABC for comment.
The letter was also signed by Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
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