Hill Leaders Demand Answers From ABC News on Quashed Epstein Story

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy / Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) is demanding answers from ABC News regarding allegations that the network killed a story investigating the full extent of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's crimes.

Recent revelations about an unaired interview ABC anchor Amy Robach conducted with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre prompted an inquiry from top GOP leaders in Congress. McCarthy and Reps. Mike McCaul (R., Texas) and Doug Collins (R., Ga.), the top Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees, demanded answers from the network as to why the story never aired in a letter sent Sunday to ABC News president James Goldston.

"What appears to have been presented to Ms. Robach is first-hand evidence of human trafficking," McCarthy wrote. "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."

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Among the six questions McCarthy demanded answers for: "Who was involved in deciding this story was not of public interest, and what were their reasons for deciding so?" and "Can Ms. Robach expand on the ‘outside forces' she mentioned as potentially responsible for the story not running?"

NPR first reported in August that in 2015 ABC News sat down with Giuffre, who was in the process of suing the billionaire, but the interview never aired. That reporting received new scrutiny after conservative activist group Project Veritas obtained leaked footage of Robach complaining about how the network killed her exclusive.

"She had pictures, she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything," Robach says in the video.

In its initial statement following the release of the Robach video, ABC News responded that "at the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story." ABC News declined to comment on the record about the congressional letter.