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Pathologist Michael Baden didn’t perform Epstein autopsy

August 16, 2019

CLAIM: Dr. Michael Baden, 85, the pathologist who investigated the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., performed Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Epstein’s lawyers asked Baden, a well-known pathologist, to attend the autopsy. He did not perform it.

THE FACTS: Reports circulating widely on Facebook and Twitter are suggesting that Baden was chosen to do the autopsy as part of a cover up to protect important people who have been tied to Epstein, among them President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton. New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson performed the autopsy Sunday on the body of Epstein, who died Saturday from an apparent suicide, The Associated Press reported.

Epstein was found early Saturday in a Manhattan jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Sampson has not released the results of the autopsy and the cause of death has not been announced.

Lawyers representing Epstein selected Baden to attend the autopsy.

Baden, who served as the city’s chief medical examiner in the late 1970s, made a name for himself testifying in high-profile cases, including for the defense in O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial. He’s also performed private autopsies in police killings, such as the 2014 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri.

Sampson said it is routine for private pathologists to observe an autopsy.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536