- Prince Andrew and the U.S. prosecutors investigating convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein are in conflict over Andrew's participation in the Epstein case.
- Media outlets reported Monday that prosecutors had "formally requested" Andrew's assistance in the investigation.
- In response, Andrew's lawyers said that he had offered to help three times, offers rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice.
- U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman subsequently accused Andrew of attempting to "falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to co-operate," stating the royal had "repeatedly declined" interview requests.
A public conflict has arisen between Prince Andrew and the U.S. prosecutors investigating convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, regarding Andrew's degree of participation in the inquiry. Andrew said he would assist prosecutors in his controversial BBC interview last year—in which he denied Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre's allegations that she was forced to have sex with the royal—stating that he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required." In January, Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, alleged that the royal had offered "zero" cooperation with the inquiry.
On Monday, media outlets including NBC reported that prosecutors had "formally requested through the British government" to speak to Andrew in relation to the case. Attorney General William Barr subsequently told Fox News that the Duke of York would not be extradited, saying, "I don't think it's a question of handing him over. I think it's just a question of having him provide some evidence."
Andrew's lawyers, the London firm Blackfords, responded with a "strongly worded two-page statement," as the Guardian reports, claiming that Andrew had offered to help with the investigation three times, and was rebuffed by the Department of Justice. "The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DoJ. Unfortunately, the DoJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the duke has offered zero cooperation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered," the statement read.
Berman responded with another public statement, as reported by the Guardian, accusing Andrew of attempting to convince the public of his participation in the inquiry while "repeatedly" declining interview requests.
"Today, Prince Andrew yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate with an ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex trafficking and related offences committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates, even though the prince has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally—through the very same counsel who issued today’s release—that he would not come in for such an interview," Berman said.
A Department of Justice spokesperson told the Guardian that it "does not publicly comment on communications with foreign governments on investigative matters, including confirming or denying the very existence of such communications."
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