When we first spotted headlines about a lone gunman’s lethal assault on the home of a federal judge in New Jersey, we feared this was just another example of how criminals have been emboldened by the nationwide backlash against law enforcement embodied by the ‘defund the police’ movement.
But that was before we learned that the judge targeted in the attack – Newark-based US federal judge Esther Salas – had been assigned to the Deutsche Bank/Epstein case just four days before the attack.
The shooting occurred Sunday night at around 5pmET. Salas 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl, a student, opened the door at the family home in North Brunswick after hearing the doorbell ring. The man outside appeared to be a FedEx employee, according to media reports.
Almost immediately, the gunman started blasting, shooting and killing Anderl, and badly wounding his father, Mark Anderl, 63, a prominent defense attorney in the area. Salas has reportedly received threats from time to time, but local press reported that Salas hadn’t received any threats recently.
Seated in Newark, Salas’ most high-profile cases recently involved the tax evasion prosecution of Joe Giudice, the husband of RHNJ star Theresa Giudice. She also spared a murderous gang leader from the death penalty over what she ruled was an intellectual disability that made him ineligible for capital punishment.
But Salas is now presided over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its AML policies while failing to monitor “high-risk” customers like sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. After all, how would Epstein have managed to run his international child-sex-trafficking ring without banks to move the money around for him.
The FBI revealed last night that it would be taking over the case.
Investigators said they’re looking into any connections to the Epstein/DB lawsuit, while also investigating any connections to her husband’s work as a criminal defense attorney.
The FBI’s announcement was met with a sarcastic response by many on twitter.
If there is one organization in the country that can stand up to the Epstein-linked mob and keep democratic society on track, this is that group. https://t.co/xCb5SYUqP7
— Mark Melin (@MarkMelin) July 20, 2020
The FBI says it’s looking for one suspect. The Marshals Service is also carrying out its own investigation, since the agency takes its responsibility to protect federal officials “very seriously”.
So far, authorities have refused to confirm that the Epstein connection might have been a motive. A friend of the judge’s said Salas hadn’t received any threats recently.
Salas, 51, was New Jersey’s first Hispanic woman to serve as a US district judge. She was nominated by Barack Obama in 2010, and confirmed by the Senate the following year.