Fact Check

No, the Justice Department Didn't Release ‘96% Redacted’ Epstein Flight Logs

And U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland did not say, "Some things shouldn't be kept secret."

Published Mar 23, 2023

 (Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)
Image Via Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images
The U.S. Justice Department in early 2023 released convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs, which were nearly 96 percent redacted.

On March 21, 2023, Twitter account Channel 69 News claimed that the U.S. Justice Department released the flight logs of Jeffrey Epstein's private plane while redacting 96 percent of the contents. The tweet appeared to quote U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, as well. 

Their tweet stated: "Justice Department releases EPSTEIN FLIGHT LOGS which appear to be nearly 96% redacted. 'By releasing these documents, we hope that the DOJ can restore the public's trust,' AG Garland told Channel 69. 'Some things shouldn't be kept secret.'"

This tweet is a work of satire, and comes from a Twitter account @BeepSatire with the bio, "Everything we say is a joke and satire." When we clicked on the link in the account's description, it led us to a site labeled "Beep Satire" and prompted us to submit our email in order to receive, "Satire, jokes, and political tomfoolery straight to your inbox."

Jeffrey Epstein, a financier who was charged with sex trafficking, died in his prison cell in 2021 while awaiting trial (he previously had been convicted of other sex offenses).

His private planes have long been the subject of conjecture. Prosecutors released his logs in December 2021 in the trial of his alleged sex-trafficking accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was ultimately convicted. The documents contained manifest records of who traveled with him on various flights. Unsealed flight logs from a 2019 defamation case against Maxwell showed that public figures like Bill Gates and Donald Trump traveled on the planes. 

We rate this claim as "Labeled Satire." 


"Beep Satire." Twitter, https://twitter.com/BeepSatire. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

"Get the Latest from Flo Communications." Beep Satire. https://confirmsubscription.com/h/y/DB2D8D16E9E1A3C0. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Shamsian, Jake Epstein, Jacob. "Jeffrey Epstein's Private Jet Flight Records Revealed in Ghislaine Maxwell Trial." Insider, https://www.insider.com/ghislaine-maxwell-trial-jeffrey-epstein-private-jet-flight-records-revealed-2021-12. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

"Who Was Jeffrey Epstein? The Financier Charged with Sex Trafficking." BBC News, 8 July 2019. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48913377. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.