Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher January 14, 2020

No evidence tying union president, jail guards and Bill and Hillary Clinton to Jeffrey Epstein death

As we have reported, there is no evidence to back conspiracy theories that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were involved in the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

The disgraced financier, who was accused of sexually abusing and trafficking underage girls, committed suicide by hanging himself in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10. 

Two months later, two guards were charged with felony crimes for allegedly falsifying records that they had made regular checks of Epstein. 

Now, a Facebook post is trying to tie the head of the union that represents guards at the jail, J. David Cox, to the Clintons.

The post, which misspells "Jeffrey" for both Cox and Epstein, says: 

"Say hello to Jeffery David Cox the head of Federal Prison Guards in Manhattan. Jeffery is the boss of the guards who were supposed to keep Jeffery Epstein alive while in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. He also is friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton."

Alongside is a photo of Cox and Hillary Clinton looking toward the camera and shaking hands.

The implication of the Facebook post, which was flagged as part of the company’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed, is that Cox was in a position to have played a role in Epstein’s death.

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Both points in the post are highly misleading:

1. Cox is president of the American Federation of Government Employees, a union based in Washington, D.C., that represents 700,000 employees at numerous work sites. He didn’t work in the Manhattan jail, much less have authority to assign work shifts to the two guards or monitor their job performance.

2. Cox supported Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president and his union endorsed her. But the picture of Cox and Clinton is from a union-sponsored campaign event in 2015, based on a caption published with the photo. We found no evidence of any stronger friendship.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton and a spokesman for Bill Clinton each told PolitiFact that it "is utter nonsense" that the Clintons and Cox have a friendship. 

A spokesman for Cox referred us to an article by the fact-checking operation Snopes. That article concluded that a theory that Cox played a key role in an alleged Clinton-orchestrated conspiracy to kill Epstein was false. "We found no publicly available evidence that he has a relationship with either Clinton that goes beyond the cordial dynamic that one would expect between a leading national labor union official and two historically powerful figures within the Democratic Party," Snopes wrote.

Our ruling

Facebook posts say J. David Cox, "the boss" of the jail guards "who were supposed to keep" suspected sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein alive, is also "friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton."

Cox is president of a Washington-based national union for federal employees; he doesn’t work in a Manhattan jail or have authority over its guards. And though Cox supported Hillary Clinton’s run for the 2016 Democratic nomination, there is no evidence of a friendship beyond that.

We rate the statement False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post, Dec. 12, 2019

PolitiFact, "There’s no evidence that the Clintons were involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s death," Aug. 12, 2019

Snopes, "No, Jeffrey David Cox Wasn’t Involved in Any Clinton-Linked Conspiracy to Kill Jeffrey Epstein," Dec. 4, 2019

Email, Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, Jan. 8, 2020

Email, T. Andrew Huddleston, director of communications, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Jan. 9, 2020

Email, Bill Clinton spokesman Angel Urena, Jan. 10, 2020

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No evidence tying union president, jail guards and Bill and Hillary Clinton to Jeffrey Epstein death

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