Billionaire pedophile and political donor Jeffrey Epstein, one of the most repellent figures of recent times, was arrested over the weekend. By one account, the feds arrested him by breaking down his door and it looks like he’s going to be a brought into court today in shackles.
Epstein owned homes in Palm Beach, Florida, New York City and Paris, and an island in the Virgin Islands and the vast Zorro Ranch in Stanley, New Mexico. He was essentially running an international sex trafficking ring. Lawyers involved in the case told me he worked in conjunction with a prominent figure in the modeling industry. They would lure young women and girls — as young as 12 — from Brazil and Eastern Europe to his estates with promises of a future in the industry. Instead, they found themselves servicing this disgusting man and his disgusting friends.
The story erupted more than a decade ago after a woman named Virginia Roberts gave a sworn statement in a federal court filing that claimed that under Epstein’s tutelage she “was a teen sex slave forced to have sex with Prince Andrew” and that she also saw Bill Clinton on Mr. Epstein’s “orgy island.” Epstein was a major donor to the Democratic Party and had a lot of powerful friends within it. Bill Clinton was reportedly on Epstein’s “orgy island” and flew overseas on his private plane at least 10 times.
Donald Trump also had social ties to Epstein, and though he and his attorneys lied and downplayed the extent of those ties — see this 2016 story I did for VICE — there is no direct evidence that Trump had the same sort of intimate relationship with the pedophile that Bill Clinton did.
Still, consider that Trump told New York magazine, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy.”That was in a 2002 profile of Epstein written three years before the pedophile began to be investigated. “He’s a lot of fun to be with,” Trump added. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Mark Epstein, the pedophile’s brother, testified in 2009 that Trump flew on Jeffrey’s private jet at least once. Meanwhile, message pads from Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion –that were seized by investigators and that I obtained when writing for VICE — indicate that Trump called Epstein twice in November of 2004.
In 2010, Epstein pled the Fifth when asked by a lawyer representing one of Epstein’s victims about his relationship with Trump:
Q: Have you ever had a personal relationship with Donald Trump?
A. What do you mean by “personal relationship,” sir?
Q. Have you socialized with him?
A. Yes, sir.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you ever socialized with Donald Trump in the presence of females under the age of 18?
A: Though I’d like to answer that question, at least today I’m going to have to assert my Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendment rights, sir.
During its investigation, the FBI received a copy of Epstein’s private 194-page phone book. I was told it was stolen by a household employee sometime around 2004.
The phone book, which I obtained, includes investigators’ margin notes pointing to key witnesses against Epstein as well as handwritten notes identifying dozens of underage girls abused by Epstein and his friends in the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere, as well as their phone numbers. (Here’s a redacted version.)
Among those listed in the phone book were well-known political figures such as Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia; Tony Blair, the repellent for leader of the British Labor Party; Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate; Senator Edward Kennedy and Henry Kissinger. Also listed were major political contributors like David Koch and Pepe Fanjul.
All those names were listed alphabetically at the front of Epstein’s telephone book, along with the names of Trump, his former wife Ivana, his daughter Ivanka, and his brother, Robert, as well as Bill Clinton hack Doug Band.
Further back were separate categories for locations where Epstein had estates, as well as the names and phone numbers for the girls available in each locale. These categories included the United Kingdom, France, Florida, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
Epstein created a number of other odd categories, including one called “Jeffrey.” The address at the top of the category, 301 E. 66th Street, corresponds to an apartment owned by Epstein. There were dozens of names in the “Jeffrey” category, including former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, attorney Alan Dershowitz, then–Senator John Kerry, former senator and lobbyist George Mitchell, lobbyist Thomas Quinn, and David Rockefeller. Trump was also listed in this section. Under his name were 14 phone numbers, including emergency numbers, car numbers, and numbers to Trump’s security guard and houseman.
Needless to say, this doesn’t mean any of the people named above were engaged in illicit activities. It does suggest but does not prove that Epstein knew them well enough to have gotten their phone numbers, but if he ever talked to them it may have been about any topic, such as politics, not necessarily sex with minors.
In 2008, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now Donald Trump’s labor secretary, helped arrange a once-secret deal that shut down the federal investigation of Epstein. As a result, this cretinous pedophile served a mere 13 months in a minimum security prison, even though he plead guilty to state prostitution charges, including one involving a 14-year-old girl. Epstein could have been sentenced to life in prison, but was soon freed and moved back into an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
When asked why he believed Epstein received such a light sentence, Sky William Roberts, Virginia’s father, told me, “Because he’s a billionaire. You’re not a billionaire and neither am I. If we did what he did we’d be in prison.”
So why did the feds arrest Epstein now? Probably because one of Epstein’s victims sued Ghislaine Maxwell — Epstein’s former live-in girlfriend, one of his procurers of young women, and the daughter of disgraced British newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell — for slander. Media outlets sued to obtain the documents from the lawsuit. They are apparently explosive and supposed to be made public today.
It’s important to note that what’s going down now doesn’t look to be a retread of previous accusations against people who allegedly had what appear to be perilously intimate relationships with Epstein, including Prince Andrew, Dershowitz and Bill Clinton. A person “familiar with the matter” told the Washington Post that prosecutors do not have significant double jeopardy concerns or concerns about Epstein’s previous plea, meaning the charges probably involve new victims or new alleged wrongdoing.
But here’s the most interesting detail: The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district’s human-trafficking officials and the FBI. Prosecuting sex crimes is not within the jurisdiction of the Public Corruption Unit.
The Public Corruption Unit “oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government. Corruption crimes investigated by the unit include bribery, embezzlement, and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies.”
Public Corruption would be involved in this case only if they were investigating whether public officials were involved in facilitating or covering up Epstein’s crimes. In order to meet the legal definition of sex trafficking, the individual would have had to have been moved across states lines for the purposes of engaging in sex. For example, the crime would have to involve a Florida girl who was flown from Florida to New York, New Mexico or another country to have sex with a public official at one of those locations.
So who would be at risk? Any public official — from a senator to a law enforcement official to a president — who a) had sex with a trafficked individual; b) took a bribe or campaign donations from Epstein and obstructed the investigation of the pedophile; or c) went to one of his homes and socialized with him and knew that trafficked women were present.
Incidentally, the two Assistant United States Attorneys who are prosecuting Epstein – Alex Rossmiller and Alison Moe — obtained the first conviction of a scam PAC operator. That makes it even more likely that there is a campaign finance angle to the Epstein case.
If you’re looking for suspects, take a look at Epstein’s private phone book that the law enforcement seized over a decade ago for some possibilities. Also assume that the suspects probably are from Florida, New York or New Mexico, where Epstein had properties and trafficked women.
But some suspects — and let me emphasize and repeat, suspects only because they fit the profile described above — spring to mind. These would include former New Mexico Governor and Clinton administration secretary of energy Bill Richardson as well as New York attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer, both who received campaign donations from Epstein, which they returned after Epstein’s pedophilia was reported. (It should be noted that Harvard University, that towering paragon of moral probity, refused to return Epstein’s donations.)
Acosta, Trump’s secretary of labor, who offered an incredibly bizarre explanation of why he helped arrange and accept Epstein’s original lenient plea deal, could be on the hook if evidence emerges that he took a bribe to obstruct justice. So, too, could be former New Mexico attorney general Gary King, a Democrat whose deceased father Bruce King sold Epstein the Zorro Ranch. After his felony conviction for pedophilia, Epstein donated $35,600, through Virgin Island-based companies, to the failed 2007 gubernatorial campaign of King, then New Mexico’s attorney general and hence the state’s top cop.
As of now, Paul Manafort and Jeffrey Epstein are living in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. The MCC has space for 792 inmates. There’s plenty of room for more friends of Trump or of Bill and Hillary Clinton, or any public official sick or twisted enough to enable or cover up Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes.