The full sordid web of Jeffrey Epstein is still to be revealed

Branko Marcetic writes that while the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell did not blow the lid off the whole sordid Epstein saga due to the prosecutors being cautious in their efforts to secure a conviction, the process did produce quite a lot of information that did not get much media attention, that showed the web of high profile people who were part of his circle and traveled around with him. He concludes:

The Jeffrey Epstein saga is the story of the world’s most prolific child sex trafficker who operated more or less unhidden for decades, but was able to consistently escape media scrutiny, legal punishment, and, finally, justice by dying before he went to trial. In a normal world, this tale of sprawling criminality and public corruption would be the subject of an intense, wide-ranging government investigation that would expose the conspiracy’s full scope and the identities of those involved.

Instead, information about the case continues to come in dribs and drabs, thanks only to the work of a few dogged reporters and the occasional fortuitous legal disclosure, limited in this most recent trial by the judge’s order to avoid “needless” naming of names, and prosecutors’ decision to leave tens of thousands of photos seized from Epstein’s home by the FBI unreleased. The public may end up having to wait for the civil suit against Prince Andrew or for Maxwell herself to strike some kind of deal to learn more.

Just as with the John F. Kennedy assassination, obscuring the full truth of the crime has only fed the growth of disreputable nonsense like QAnon, which serves to launder and distract from the intimate involvement of elites like Trump in Epstein’s crimes, turning them into yet another culture war sideshow. This is the double tragedy of Epstein’s death: it’s denied many of his survivors full justice, and turned the terrible truth of his crimes into a shield for his fellow perpetrators.

Marcetic thinks that the Prince Andrew case, if it ever goes to trial, may reveal more details.

Ghislaine Maxwell arrested in Jeffrey Epstein case

Maxwell was Jeffrey Epstein’s close associate and sometime lover and was accused by his victims as being the person most involved in procuring and grooming young girls to be abused by him. Geoffrey Berman was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York who arrested Jeffrey Epstein and he had said that Epstein’s death in jail while awaiting trial did not mean the end to the investigation. But when US attorney general Bill Barr fired Berman last month for reasons that are still murky, it was not clear what would happen to those investigations. Now Berman’s replacement Audrey Strauss has ordered the arrest of Maxwell and charged her with conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts and also with perjury. Berman had refused to resign as demanded by Barr until he agreed to appoint Strauss, Berman’s deputy and a respected career prosecutor, as his replacement. (You can read the 17-page indictment here.)
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Review: Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (2020)

I watched this four-part mini-series about Jeffrey Epstein. I thought that I knew the Epstein story pretty well but this series was an eye-opener mainly because it gave a voice to the many young girls who were abused and trafficked by Epstein. The number of such girls was astounding, way beyond what I had thought. Their description of how he groomed them and then took advantage of them were so disgusting that at the end of each one-hour episode, I actually felt dirty and had to watch some other show just to partially cleanse my mind.
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Was Jeffrey Epstein working for the FBI?

Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison while awaiting trial for pedophilia, had earlier received an extraordinarily lenient plea deal for charges related to sex with minors, with one of the federal prosecutors who negotiated that deal, U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, ending up as a cabinet member for Donald Trump. Questions had been raised as to why Epstein off so easily and most answers were that he had used his money to buy favors from influential people.
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MIT professor suspended for getting secret donations from Jeffrey Epstein

Seth Lloyd is a well-known MIT professor who has done important work on quantum computing and information theory. (I quote him in my latest book.) But an internal investigation by the university’s law firm Goodwin Proctor, commissioned by MIT after it was revealed that its highly regarded MediaLab had been getting unreported donations from Jeffrey Epstein, reveals that Lloyd has also been getting secret gifts from Epstein.
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Jeffrey Epstein, shifty and secretive to the end

It turns out that just two days before his death in jail, Jeffery Epstein wrote a will leaving his entire estate of nearly half a billion dollars to a trust. I don’t know anything about trusts except that what I can gather is that they are the product of yet another one of those loopholes inserted into the tax code that benefit the wealthy who can afford to hire tax accountants and lawyers, and that it enables the wealthy to hide their assets and reduce their taxes.
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What Jeffrey Epstein’s death reveals about the shocking state of US jails

While there have been all manner of speculations about how Jeffrey Epstein may have met his death in jail, lawyer Ken White, who has been a federal prosecutor, says that those who think that “jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide” do not realize that the truth may be less sensational but more disturbing, that this kind of death in US prisons is far more common than people think and is due to a culture of neglect, lack of staff, poor training, abuse, and sheer cruelty on the part of those who run these institutions.
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Jeffrey Epstein’s jail conditions

Jeffrey Epstein faces a fairly long period in pre-trial detention period in jail, now that his request for bail and to be under house arrest has been denied. Since the crimes with which he is charged are so awful and the judge found that he is obviously both a flight risk and a potential danger to other people, the denial of bail is not unreasonable. I became curious about what kind of conditions he faces while facing trial since we know that even after his conviction of sex crimes in 2009 in Florida, he was only assigned to the local country jail and was allowed out six days a week to continue his business, whatever that was, returning to the jail only at night.
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Following the Jeffrey Epstein money trail

As I had hoped, many more news outlets have started digging into convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s financial background. In my ongoing attempts attempt to try to understand the financial elements of this saga, I found an informative time line of his life that appeared in the Sunday, July 14, 2019 edition of the Plain Dealer that they had created using Vanity Fair and the Miami Herald as their sources.

1953: Born to middle-class parents in Brooklyn.
1969-71: He attends Cooper Union School of Engineering but never attains a degree.
1973: He’s hired to teach math and physics at The Dalton School in Manhattan. Donald Barr, father of current Attorney General William Barr, is the school’s headmaster at the time.
1976: He joins Investment banking company Bear Stearns at the urging of chairman Alan Greenberg, whose son was a Dalton student.
1982: Epstein launches J. Epstein & Co., managing the finances of clients with $1 billion or more.
1990: He purchases a secluded Palm Beach, Florida, mansion, the site of several alleged assaults.
1996: He relocates his company, which he’s renamed Financial Trust Co., to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
1996: Epstein declares a Manhattan mansion at 9 E. 71st St. to be his, but the details are unclear. It’s mentioned by several accusers as the location where they were assaulted.
1998: He buys Little St. James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. ”Everybody called it ‘Pedophile Island,”’ said Kevin Goodrich, who is from St. Thomas and operates boat charters. ”It’s our dark corner.”
2005: A 14-year-old girl says she was paid to give Epstein a massage. The police investigation uncovers that he is in contact with many girls.
2006: In May, Epstein is charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor. In July, the investigation is referred to the FBI.
2007-08: Epstein receives a plea deal with Alex Acosta, who was then U.S. attorney for Southern Florida. Epstein receives 18 months in jail but serves only 12. The Miami Herald has since reported that Acosta signed off on a nonprosecution agreement that was ”negotiated, signed and sealed so that no one would know the full scope of Epstein’s crimes.” Acosta went on to become secretary of Labor in April 2017; he resigned Friday amid the growing scandal.
2011: Epstein fails to report as a sex offender to New York.
2015: Virginia Roberts states in a sworn affidavit that he began abusing her at the age of 15 in 1999 while she was employed at Mar-a-Lago.
2018: Beginning in November, the Miami Herald publishes a series outlining Epstein’s sexual misconduct and judicial leniency.
2019: Jennifer Araoz alleges that a woman recruited her outside high school in 2001, and that Epstein later raped her. She was 14.
July 2019: Epstein is arrested July 6 on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He’s accused of paying more than a dozen women and girls to engage in sex acts. Epstein’s lawyers claim that at worst, it was akin to soliciting prostitution.

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Jeffrey Epstein may be in more trouble than we thought

It is a sad commentary on the state of the justice system and the presidency in the US today that immediately after the news broke that on Saturday the FBI had arrested convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at the airport his arrival back in the US on his private plane, the question that was widely asked was whether he would again use his connections to get off with a slap on the wrist, like he did the first time. After all, Alexander Acosta who was the US attorney who arranged that sweetheart deal is now secretary of labor. Donald Trump has spoken warmly of his friend Epstein and of his fondness for especially young women. So the question was whether Attorney General William Barr who is the ultimate boss the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) that brought the indictments would quash the investigation or Trump would pardon him. You can read a live blog of his arraignment that was held today.
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