Every time Donald Trump feels threatened by something or someone, he turns it around and falsely accuses his critic(s) of the very same corrupt, depraved or just bad conduct they quite legitimately reproach in him. He is not Putin’s puppet … Hillary is. He’s not a racist … the Democrats who call him one are. He’s not lazy … Joe Biden is. And so on … and on … and on.

Now one wonders if he is not doing it prospectively. His former party animal chum, convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, dies under suspicious circumstances. In no time, Trump re-tweets an outlandish conspiracy theory implicating the Clintons in his death. Even for Trump, accusing a former president and rival for the office of murder is beyond appalling.

This would be quite a feat for the Clintons given that Epstein was in federal custody in a federal correctional center part and parcel of the federal government. All the people in the federal Bureau of Prisons chain of command between the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein died and the White House are President Trump’s employees, including Attorney General William Barr, who is directly responsible for the Bureau of Prisons in which facility Epstein expired.

What this very possibly represents is Trump’s attempt to get out in front of a story that may not look so good for him as it plays out. He had to do something beyond-the-pale in order to deflect and distract from the sleazy and smarmy stories about him emerging as part of the Epstein saga. He has a powerful motive to distract the public from zeroing in on his intimate past associations with his pervy pal.

What we know as fact right now is that (1) Trump and Epstein were buds, (2) they frequently socialized with one another, and (3) at one point, the two of them flew in 28 young women and partied with them, whatever that means, with no other males present. What we don't know is how young these women were and whether this particular dalliance involving two serial misogynists was only the tip of the Trump-Epstein iceberg.

Attorney General Barr is now investigating what he calls “serious irregularities” at his Manhattan facility. Appropriately, he wants to investigate the circumstances surrounding what he hastily concluded was an “apparent suicide.” The ensuing preliminary autopsy report indicates that this may not have been a suicide. However, any federal investigations by the Justice Department, Justice Inspector General, FBI, U.S. Marshals and/or the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, all of which are under Barr’s supervision, are essentially compromised by not being able to be conducted at arm’s length. Hen house, let me introduce you to Fox.

It defies credulity to take Epstein off suicide watch only 17 days after he attempted to kill himself. Similarly, it raises a great many questions, for example, why was his cellmate removed from the cell the day before the alleged suicide, the same day that new and incendiary allegations about powerful people associated with Epstein’s nefarious activities were made public? It is possible that someone who did not want Epstein to ever go to trial for fear of what might else be revealed had a hand in the series of events that provided the accused the opportunity to avoid justice. Just sayin’.

Only Congress and the New York State authorities can be trusted to undertake a legitimate investigation of Epstein’s death and depravity and of where and to whom they might lead.

Canandaigua Academy graduate Richard Hermann is a law professor, legal blogger, author of seven books and part-time resident of the Finger Lakes.