Note: This year-long daily summary of #MeToo and related sexual assault news has been divided up to encompass below only those news stories beginning in September 2018. For previous months this year, kindly click this link.

2019

August

Aug. 19

Epstein Death Blame

nbc news logoNBC News, AG Barr removes acting Bureau of Prisons chief in wake of Epstein suicide, Adam Edelman, Aug. 19, 2019. Attorney william barr new oGeneral William Barr, right, on Monday said he removed the acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons from his job in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in a federal jail in Manhattan earlier this month where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Hugh Hurwitz, below at left, had been the agency's acting director. Barr said Hurwitz would remain in the Bureau of Prisons as the assistant director of department's Reentry Services Division.

Epstein, 66, was found dead by apparent suicide August 10 in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

hugh hurwitz headshotHe was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. He had apparently hanged himself, and was found unresponsive at around 6:30 a.m. ET.

The center's warden, Lamine N'Diaye, has been temporarily reassigned, and the two guards assigned to watch Epstein have been placed on leave.

The FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating how Epstein was able to take his own life while he was being held. Barr has said "serious irregularities" had been found at the lock up.

Barr, in a statement Monday, said he’d appointed Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer as the bureau's new director and Dr. Thomas R. Kane as the its new deputy director. The statement makes no reference to Epstein.

"I am confident Dr. Hawk Sawyer and Dr. Kane will lead BOP with the competence, skill and resourcefulness they have embodied throughout their government careers."

Sawyer served as the bureau's chief from 1992 to 2003. She was appointed when Barr was the attorney general under President George H.W. Bush. Kane worked in several senior roles in the agency from 1977 to 2018.

Lawmakers and Trump administration officials have expressed outrage that that Epstein could have possibly killed himself under the noses of jailers. The disgraced financier was taken off suicide watch even though he had reportedly tried to take his own life last month, officials have said.

See related story: MSNBC, House Judiciary asks if White House linked to Epstein decisions, Lawrence O’Donnell discusses with hugh hurwitz headshotMimi Rocah and John Heilemann, Aug. 12, 2019 (18:34 min. video). The top Democrat and top Republican on the Judiciary Committee want the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz, right, to explain in great detail how it was possible that Jeffrey Epstein's death happened and was anyone at DOJ or Trump admin in the know?

Epstein's Final Affairs

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein signed will just two days before suicide, Priscilla DeGregory and Kate Sheehy, Aug. 19, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein signed his will just two days before he hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell — leaving behind a nearly $600 million fortune, according to court papers exclusively obtained by The Post on Monday.

The court document, filed in the US Virgin Islands, where the convicted sex molester owned two isles — including one that locals dubbed “Pedophile Island’’ — was filed Aug. 8.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University The 66-year-old former hedge-fund manager, right, was worth $577,672,654, or about $18 million more than he previously stated in court papers while futilely trying to land bail on federal sex-trafficking charges, the new documents show.

He put all of his holdings in a trust, called The 1953 Trust, after the year he was born.

“It’s done that way for privacy reasons,’’ a city estate lawyer told The Post. “It’s pretty boiler-plate. It’s what we call a ‘pour-over will,’ which means everything pours over to a trust.

“What is more unusual is the date, the fact that all of this was done just days before he died,’’ said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

“He could have thought, ‘I need to get my ducks in a row.’ ”

The 21-page filing includes a copy of Epstein’s death certificate from Aug. 11, the day after his suicide — and lists “Immediate Cause: Pending Further Study.’’

The city Medical Examiner’s Office has since ruled that Epstein killed himself Aug. 10.

Manhattan federal prosecutors Monday asked the judge overseeing his criminal case to officially toss it in light of his death.

“Because Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, died while this case was pending, and therefore before a final judgement was issued, the indictment must be dismissed under the rule of abatement,” the assistant US attorneys wrote judge Richard Berman, who was overseeing the case.

The federal prosecutors added to the judge that they have notified all of Epstein’s “identified victims” and repeated previous statements from US Attorney Geoffrey Berman that his office isn’t done looking into the alleged sex-trafficking ring that serviced Epstein and his buddies.

Epstein’s will was filed with court officials in St. Thomas.

One of the two Brooklyn lawyers listed as witnessing its signing is Mariel A. Colon Miro — an attorney for drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo’’ Guzman. Miro was once accused of flouting court rules by passing a phone to Chapo’s wife so the spouse could communicate with her imprisoned husband. Miro has denied the claim.

The Post’s legal expert said Epstein’ s lawyers likely filed his will in the Virgin Islands to try to keep it “more private, because that is not where people would look.’’ In New York, “There is always a risk that it would be leaked.”

There are no details on the trust’s beneficiaries. The court papers note that Epstein’s only potential heir was his brother, Mark Epstein. But the will adds that Mark only had a claim to his brother’s extensive holdings if Jeffrey hadn’t left behind the document.

Jeffrey Epstein had been sued by a multitude of sex accusers before his death, and the lawsuits are still piling on. The new legal documents note, “Petitioners are investigating potential debts and claims of the Estate and at this time they are unknown.’’

Epstein’s list of holdings in the new documents mainly mirrors what his lawyers previously filed when seeking bail for him, although they include two additions.

One lists “Aviation Assets, Automobiles and Boats,’’ a collection worth $18,551,700, and another involving Epstein’s famous, eccentric, sex-drenched art collection — “fine arts, antiques, collectibles, valuables,’’ according to the papers — which still needs to be appraised.

While the will is new, it is not clear whether it superceded another.

Its executors are two longtime Epstein employees: lawyer Darren Indyke and businessman Richard Kahn. A third man, Boris Nikolic, is listed as an alternate. The executors will receive $250,000 apiece for their work on the estate, in addition to “reasonable’’ expenses related to the job, the papers say.

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein was sent three 12-year-old French girls as ‘birthday gift,’ Emily Saul and Yaron Steinbuch, Aug. 19, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein once had three 12-year-old girls from poor families flown in from France as a sick birthday present for himself, according to newly unearthed court documents.

Virginia Giuffre — who has claimed Epstein and his gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell coerced her into being a “sex slave” when she was 15 — said in court papers that the girls who were flown in were molested by the financier and returned to France the following day.

“The worst one that I heard from his own mouth was this pretty 12 year old girls he had flown in for his birthday,” she said, according to the document.

“It was a surprise birthday gift from one of his friends and they were from France. I did see them, I did meet them,” she said.

jean luc brunelShe said they were a gift from Epstein’s acquaintance Jean-Luc Brunel, right, a model scout, according to the Daily Mail.

“Jeffrey bragged afterwards after he met them that they were 12-year-olds and flown over from France because they’re really poor over there, and their parents needed the money or whatever the case is and they were absolutely free to stay and flew out.”

The allegations were revealed in 2015 court papers, as part of a 2008 civil lawsuit filed by two Epstein accusers against the US following a plea deal that they argued violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

The case is still ongoing, and federal Judge Kenneth Mara recently ruled that Florida federal prosecutors acted illegally when they failed to inform Epstein’s underage victims of the wrist-slap deal — which included a non-prosecution agreement that shielded the financier’s alleged co-conspirators.

Epstein, who served just 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10 while being held on federal sex-trafficking charges, authorities said.

Giuffre said Epstein had described to her how the girls had massaged him and performed oral sex, according to the Daily Mail.

virginia roberts giuffres st tropaz naomi cambpell“He went on to tell me how Brunel bought them in Paris from their parents, offering them the usual sums of money, visas, and modeling career prospects,” she said, according to the news outlet. She is shown as a teen in a photo at St. Tropaz with models and Maxwell.

“Laughing the whole way through, Jeffrey thought it was absolutely brilliant how easily money seduced all walks of life, nothing or no one that couldn’t be bought.”

The same civil suit filed against the Miami US Attorney’s Office alleged that young girls from South America and Eastern Europe also were recruited for sex with Epstein.

The multimillionaire financier invested $1 million to help launch Brunel’s Miami-based modeling firm MC2 in return for a “supply of girls on tap,” according to the lawsuit.

The company has denied any connection to Epstein’s crimes and previously said Brunel no longer actively worked with the firm.

virginia robertsGiuffre, 35, shown in a more recent photo, who lives in Australia, also has claimed that she was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17.

Maxwell hasn’t been charged with any crimes, but has been accused in civil suits of having recruited underage victims for Epstein — and of engaging in three-way sex with him and various girls.

She has denied Giuffre’s allegations as “malicious lies.” Brunel also denied being involved “directly or indirectly” in Epstein’s crimes. “I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager,” he told The Guardian.

Prince Andrew also has strongly denied claims of any impropriety, with a rep saying that “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.” Buckingham Palace also said in a statement: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.

New York Post, Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister spotted packing bags near socialite’s rumored home, Jackie Salo, Aug. 19, 2019. The sister of Jeffrey Epstein’s gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell was spotted packing up bags near the Massachusetts mansion where the socialite had been rumored to be staying.

Christine Maxwell, who is one of Ghislaine’s older sisters, was photographed on Saturday at a hotel just a few miles from the Manchester-by-the-Sea property owned by Scott Borgerson, a tech CEO romantically linked to the alleged madam, the Telegraph reported.

The 69-year-old sibling — who lives with her husband, Roger Malina, in Dallas, Texas — appeared to be putting several bags into a vehicle with help from a friend, the outlet reported.

The quiet coastal town buzzed with rumors that Ghislaine has been living with Borgerson since 2016. But a neighbor told The Post that the 57-year-old socialite fled the town last month. Borgerson denied he was dating Ghislaine.

Ghislaine Maxwell lived in this home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with a friend, neighbors said.

Ghislaine, who is the daughter of disgraced publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, has long been at the center of the Epstein scandal. She was accused in recently unsealed court papers of providing underage women for Epstein and engaging in threesomes with the financier.

#MeToo Modeling Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, As with Epstein’s accusers, justice has been elusive for women allegedly abused by his modeling agent friend, Beth Reinhard, Rosalind S. Helderman and Jenn Abelson, Aug. 19, 2019 (print ed.). Jean-Luc Brunel, who has been the subject of allegations for decades, had befriended financier Jeffrey Epstein.

jean luc brunelThe teenage American models who arrived in Paris, far from their parents and hometowns, said the bargain was clear: have sex with their prominent French agent and his wealthy, middle-aged friends or risk a fleeting shot at a modeling career.

Nineteen-year-old Courtney Powell was among a handful of young models who took the bold step of publicly accusing Jean-Luc Brunel of sexual misconduct — ranging from groping and other sexual advances to drugging women’s drinks and rape — in the hope that he would be stopped.

But their allegations, nationally televised on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 1988 and echoed later in a book and court records, sparked no apparent investigation. Nor did they prevent Brunel from continuing to exploit and assault others, according to two other former models recently interviewed by The Washington Post.

Brunel went on to befriend a wealthy, jet-setting American financier named Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly abused dozens of minors; one, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has said in court documents that Epstein pressured her to have sex with Brunel when she was a teenager.

Brunel’s accusers are calling for law enforcement to investigate the 72-year-old modeling scout and whether he helped Epstein procure girls.

More Epstein Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, British paper publishes footage of Prince Andrew at Epstein’s NYC home, Karla Adam​, Aug. 19, 2019. The Mail on Sunday video shows Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a young woman outside sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2010.

Buckingham Palace said that Prince Andrew is “appalled” over the Jeffrey Epstein’s sex abuse claims, following the publication of images of the Duke of York at Epstein’s New York home in 2010.

The palace statement came hours after the Mail on Sunday published footage of Andrew at Epstein’s Manhattan residence in which he is seen looking out from a large door and waving a cheerful goodbye to a young woman.

“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes,” read the statement emailed to The Washington Post on Monday. “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

The video footage was reportedly taken in 2010, when Epstein was a registered sex offender who had served time in jail. A Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001picture of Andrew and Epstein strolling in Central Park from around the same time surfaced in 2011, prompting questions over Andrew’s judgment.

Shortly after, he quit his unpaid job as a trade envoy.

Prince Andrew is shown separately at left in a 2001 photo in London with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, center, who has alleged in a lawsuit that she was recruited to become a sex slave by Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell (at right) after being a towel-girl at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club.

Aug. 18

Epstein Death

jeffrey epstein complex dcma federal court protester

A protester against sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein holds his  photo aloft before his death in his cell

ny times logoNew York Times, Inmate 76318-054: The Last Days of Jeffrey Epstein, Ali Watkins, Danielle Ivory and Christina Goldbaum, Aug. 18, 2019 (print ed.). The notorious jail in Manhattan was a sharp departure from Mr. Epstein’s formerly gilded life. Here’s what happened inside.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Jeffrey Epstein, right, inmate 76318-054, hated his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. It was cramped, dank and infested with vermin, so Mr. Epstein, long accustomed to using his wealth to play by his own rules, devised a way out.

He paid numerous lawyers to visit the jail for as many as 12 hours a day, giving him the right to see them in a private meeting room. Mr. Epstein was there for so long that he often appeared bored, sitting in silence with his lawyers, according to people who saw the meetings. While they were there, he and his entourage regularly emptied the two vending machines of drinks and snacks.

“It was shift work, all designed by someone who had infinite resources to try and get as much comfort as possible,” said a lawyer who was often in the jail visiting clients.

Outside the meeting room, Mr. Epstein mounted a strategy to avoid being preyed upon by other inmates: He deposited money in their commissary accounts, according to a consultant who is often in the jail and speaks regularly with inmates there.
But in his final days, Mr. Epstein’s efforts to lessen the misery of incarceration seemed to be faltering.

He was seldom bathing, his hair and beard were unkempt and he was sleeping on the floor of his cell instead of on his bunk bed, according to people at the jail.

Still, he convinced the jail’s leadership that he was not a threat to himself, even though an inquiry was already underway into whether he had tried to commit suicide on July 23. The federal jail was so poorly managed and chronically short-staffed that workers who were not correctional officers were regularly pressed into guard duty.

Aug. 16

Epstein Death

jeffrey epstein gurney cropped emergency room

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Results Conclude He Hanged Himself, Ali Watkins and Michael Gold, Aug. 16, 2019. The findings from New York City’s chief medical examiner refute conspiracy theories that Mr. Epstein may have been murdered.

The results came six days after Mr. Epstein (shown on a gurney at a hospital emergency room in a New York Post photo) was found dead in his cell in federal prison in Manhattan, where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The New York City medical examiner said on Friday that Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a federal jail cell was a suicide, confirming he had hanged himself.

Mr. Epstein’s death had set off a wave of unfounded conspiracy theories, as people speculated online, without evidence, that he might have been killed to keep him from providing information to prosecutors about others in his social circle, including President Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew of Britain.

But the chief medical examiner in New York City, Dr. Barbara Sampson, ruled out foul play. She released a terse statement saying that, after an autopsy and a “careful review of all investigative information,” she had determined the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was “hanging” and the manner was “suicide.”

Three of Mr. Epstein’s lawyers, Martin G. Weinberg, Reid Weingarten and Michael Miller, challenged the findings and vowed to conduct their own investigation.

“We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner,” said the lawyers, who had hired a private pathologist to observe the autopsy, in a statement. “We will have a more complete response in the coming days.”

The medical examiner’s determination came six days after Mr. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

Guards on their morning rounds found Mr. Epstein at about 6:30 a.m. last Saturday, prison officials said. He appeared to have tied a bedsheet to the top of a set of bunk beds, then knelt toward the floor with enough force that he broke several bones in his neck, officials said.

His suicide followed an apparent attempt to kill himself in late July, and came 12 days after prison staff had recommended he be removed from suicide watch and returned to the wing in which he had been housed before.

Aug. 15

jeffrey epstein sex offender

washington post logoWashington Post, Autopsy finds broken bones in Epstein’s neck, deepening questions around his death, Carol D. Leonnig and Aaron C. Davis​, Aug. 15, 2019 (print ed.). Experts say a broken hyoid bone happens in suicide by hanging but is more typical in homicide by strangulation.

An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death.

Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

The details are the first findings to emerge from the autopsy of Epstein, a convicted sex offender and multimillionaire in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking. He died early Saturday morning after guards found him hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and he could not be revived.

Forbes, Jeffrey Epstein Spent Time Alone With Young Female Prison Visitor, Richard Behar, Aug. 15, 2019. The day after he was taken off suicide watch, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein spent at least two hours locked up alone with a young woman, in a private room reserved for inmates and their attorneys, according to an attorney who was visiting the prison that day.

"The optics were startling. Because she was young. And pretty,” said the visiting attorney, who asked that his name not be used because he didn’t want to create friction with the prison administration. NBC News has reported that Epstein paid his lawyers to sit with him in a room for eight hours a day for attorney-client meetings, allowing him to avoid his cell.

New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

The visiting attorney went to the Manhattan Correctional Center (shown in a Jim Henderson photo via Wikimedia) on July 30, a day after Epstein was reportedly taken off suicide watch and transferred into the Special Housing Unit (SHU). During the hours the visiting attorney was present, it wasn’t Epstein’s main lawyer, Reid Weingarten, or other named attorneys who visited him.

“If I was him, I would have hired... an old bald guy,” said the lawyer, who said the young woman was in there with Epstein for at least two hours when he was there. He also pointed out that the room is locked when prisoners go in, after their handcuffs are removed, and unlocked only when prisoners leave and handcuffs are put back on.

 

real news networkThe Real News Network, Commentary: Epstein May Be Just One Part of an Intricate Network of Sex and Power, Marc Steiner, Aug. 15, 2019 (16:44 min. video). Journalist Whitney Webb's MintPress series looks at the sordid history tying together mobsters, oligarchs, and government intelligence agencies in a web of blackmail, exploitation, and profit

David Icke, Opinion: Epstein: Gateway to the Global Cesspit, David Icke (who has been exposing elite paedophiles and Satanists for decades), Aug. 15, 2019 (68:23 min. video).

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Where in the World Is Ghislaine Maxwell? Kate Briquelet, Lachlan Cartwright and Dana Kennedy, Aug. 15, 2019. As the British socialite’s alleged boyfriend denies she’s holed up at his Massachusetts home, a friend tells The Daily Beast that Ghislaine Maxwell is lying low in France.

Police are reportedly scrambling to find the 57-year-old British socialite—and accused madam of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—as she faces a new lawsuit from one victim who alleges Maxwell gave “organizational support to Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring” and procured “underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure.”

Aug. 14

Epstein Probes

ny times logoNew York Times, First Person Commentary: Jeffrey Epstein Raped Me When I Was 15, Jennifer Araoz (Ms. Araoz has filed a lawsuit against the estate of Jeffrey Epstein), Aug. 14, 2019. Now I’m suing his estate and accomplices.

During my freshman year, one of Epstein’s recruiters, a stranger, approached me on the sidewalk outside my high school. Epstein never operated alone. He had a ring of enablers and surrounded himself with influential people. I was attending a performing arts school on the Upper East Side, studying musical theater. I wanted to be an actress and a singer.

The recruiter told me about a wealthy man she knew named Jeffrey Epstein. Meeting him would be beneficial, and he could introduce me to the right people for my career, she said. When I confided that I had recently lost my father and that my family was living on food stamps, she told me he was very caring and wanted to help us financially.

The trap was set.

The visits during the first month felt benign, at least at the time. On my second visit, Epstein also gave me a digital camera as a gift. The visits were about one to two hours long and we would spend the time talking. After each visit, he or his secretary would hand me $300 in cash, supposedly to help my family.

But within about a month, he started asking me for massages and instructed me to take my top off. He said he would need to see my body if he was going to help me break into modeling. I felt uncomfortable and intimidated, but I did as he said. The assault escalated when, during these massages, he would flip over and sexually gratify himself and touch me inappropriately. For a little over a year, I went to Epstein’s home once or twice a week.

New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary, More details about Epstein's circle of friends seep out, Wayne Madsen, Aug. 14, 2019 (subscription required). As more questions fly about concerning the August 10 so-called suicide of uber-wealthy and politically connected pedophile Jeffrey Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, so, too, is information about how far and wide Epstein’s circle of friends extended during the height of his international sex trafficking.

Aug. 13

Epstein Probes

ny times logoNew York Times, Epstein Was Left Alone for Hours in Jail, and One Guard Was a Substitute, Ali Watkins, Katie Benner and Danielle Ivory, Aug. 13, 2019 (print ed.). Only one of the two people guarding Jeffrey Epstein normally worked as a correctional officer, according to three prison officials.

Jeffrey Epstein was not checked on for hours in the Manhattan jail where he died, and one of his guards was not a full-fledged officer, officials said. Attorney General William Barr said Mr. Epstein’s suicide would not halt the investigation into others who might have helped traffic girls for sex.

ny times logoNew York Times, First Person Opinion: The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People, James B. Stewart, Aug. 13, 2019 (print ed.). Our columnist went to Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan mansion last year to talk about Tesla. They ended up discussing much more.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein (right) at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.

The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Jeffrey Epstein and When to Take Conspiracies Seriously, Ross Douthat, Aug. 13, 2019. Sometimes conspiracy theories point toward something worth investigating. A few point toward the truth.

No, you still don’t want to listen to QAnon, or to our disgraceful president when he retweets rants about the #ClintonBodyCount. But just as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s network of clerical allies and enablers hasn’t been rolled up, and the fall of Bryan Singer probably didn’t get us near the rancid depths of Hollywood’s youth-exploitation racket, we clearly haven’t gotten to the bottom of what was going on with Epstein.

#MeToo: Suit Deadlines Extended

ny times logoNew York Times, He Says a Priest Abused Him. 50 Years Later, He Can Now Sue, Rick Rojas, Aug. 13, 2019. New York joined more than a dozen others this year in significantly extending statutes of limitations for filing lawsuits over sexual abuse. Groups including the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts are bracing for a deluge of legal action.

boy scouts logo customMajor institutions across New York State, from the Catholic Church to the Boy Scouts of America to elite private schools, are bracing for a deluge of lawsuits now that adults who said they were sexually abused as children will be entitled to pursue formal legal action.

New York joined more than a dozen states this year in significantly extending statutes of limitations for filing lawsuits over sexual abuse. Previously, the state had required that such suits be filed before a victim’s 23rd birthday.

Under the new law in New York, the Child Victims Act, which was approved by the Legislature in January, accusers will be able to sue until they are 55.

#MeToo: Opera Star

placido domingo file

Opera star Placido Domingo (file photo)

ap logoAssociated Press via Washington Post, Opera legend Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, Jocelyn Gecker, Aug. 13, 2019. Numerous women told the Associated Press that Domingo (78, profiled on Wikipedia and on his own site), tried to pressure them into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and in some cases punishing them when they refused his advances.

Aug. 12

Epstein Aftermath

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary: Epstein-Barr: “Justice” in a quasi-dictatorship known as the United States, Wayne DJT jeffrey epstein cheerleaders party cropped mar a logo screenshotMadsen (syndicated columnist, author and former Navy intelliegence officer), Aug. 12, 2019 (subscription required, excerpted with permission).  One of the biggest threats to Donald Trump’s presidency – his former good friend and fellow uber-wealthy sex pervert Jeffrey Epstein – died in a federal detention center in Manhattan of what was officially termed a “suicide.”

Trump and Epstein are shown in a screenshot of them ogling cheerleaders at a wild party at Mar-a-Lago, which is located about a mile from the Palm Beach mansion where Epstein and his accomplices lured scores of Florida's under-age junior high and high school girls for illegal sexual encounters.

 

washington post logoWashington Post, Attorney general blames federal jail for ‘failure’ to keep Epstein alive, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett​, Aug. 12, 2019. william barr new oAttorney General William P. Barr, right, said Jeffrey Epstein’s death would not deter the probe into who might have aided the politically connected financier’s alleged crimes.

The attorney general’s comments were noteworthy in that he publicly blamed the Bureau of Prisons, which is part of the Justice Department, for the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s apparent suicide.

Palmer Report, Commentary: Wait a minute, WHO was watching Jeffrey Epstein when he died? Bill Palmer, Aug. 12, 2019. Earlier today, Attorney General Bill Barr tried to deflect responsibility away from himself when he pointed to “serious irregularities” at the jail where Jeffrey Epstein died. Based on his track record, no one can believe a word Barr says, and we wrote that it sounded like he was trying to pin the whole thing on lower level employees.

bill palmer report logo headerNow it turns out one of the guards watching Jeffrey Epstein on the night of his death “wasn’t a regular correctional officer” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – according to a surreal new report from the AP. To our ear, it sounds like some kind of staffing shortage resulted in someone guarding Epstein who wasn’t formally trained for that particular task.

This could indeed be the case, and it could explain how Jeffrey Epstein managed to commit suicide while he was under protective custody. This comes after the WSJ reported earlier today that it was Epstein’s lawyers who had him removed from suicide watch, which he’d been on since a suspicious incident two weeks ago. But there’s a catch to all this.

During the rollout of the redacted Mueller report, we saw Bill Barr repeatedly feed dubious claims to major news outlets, which they then turned around and reported as having been from a source “familiar” with the matter. In these instances it was painfully obvious that Barr himself was the source. Now we’ve got two major news outlets with unnamed sources who want to pin the blame on everyone but Barr. Considering Barr’s villainy, we’re taking all of this with a grain of salt.

ny times logoNew York Times, Epstein’s Opaque Finances Could Become a Focus for Investigators, Emily Steel, Matthew Goldstein, Steve Eder and David Enrich, Aug. 12, 2019 (print ed.). The question of where Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth came from is likely to be a focus after his death.

A convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker who surrounded himself with an elite network of business and political leaders, Mr. Epstein enjoyed the trappings of great wealth: private jets, mansions, his own island. But much remains unknown about the sources of his wealth.

Legions of lawyers, bankers and accountants have been trying in recent weeks to solve that mystery, and their quest is unlikely to end after Mr. Epstein was found dead on Saturday morning. The answers could illuminate how Mr. Epstein allegedly operated a long-running sex-trafficking operation, whether he had help from others and who — including Mr. Epstein’s victims — will receive any of his remaining assets. It is not known if Mr. Epstein had a will.

ny times logoNew York Times, Before Jail Suicide, Epstein Was Not Closely Monitored, Katie Benner, Danielle Ivory, Christina Goldbaum and Ashley Southall, Aug. 12, 2019 (print ed.). The disclosures about apparent failures in Mr. Epstein’s detention deepened the questions about his suicide. It was Friday night in a protective housing unit of the federal jail in Lower Manhattan, and Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of trafficking girls for sex, was alone in a cell, only 11 days after he had been taken off a suicide watch.

Just that morning, thousands of documents from a civil suit had been released, providing lurid accounts accusing Mr. Epstein of sexually abusing scores of girls.

Mr. Epstein was supposed to have been checked by the two guards in the protective housing unit every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed that night, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of his detention said.

In addition, because Mr. Epstein may have tried to commit suicide three weeks earlier, he was supposed to have had another inmate in his cell, three officials said. But the jail had recently transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone, a decision that also violated the jail’s procedures, the two officials said.

The federal Bureau of Prisons has already come under intense criticism for not keeping Mr. Epstein under a suicide watch after he had been found in his cell on July 23 with injuries that suggested he had tried to kill himself.

The law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said that when the decision was made to remove Mr. Epstein from suicide watch, the jail informed the Justice Department that Mr. Epstein would have a cellmate and that a guard “would look into his cell” every 30 minutes.

But that was apparently not done, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the death was still under investigation.

The city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, announced on Sunday night that her office had conducted an autopsy of Mr. Epstein, but she declined to release a determination about the cause of death.

She said a private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Mr. Epstein’s lawyers, had observed the autopsy examination.

The medical examiner is confident the cause of death is suicide by hanging, but she wants more information from law enforcement before releasing her determination, a city official said.

MSNBC, House Judiciary asks if White House linked to Epstein decisions, Lawrence O’Donnell discusses with hugh hurwitz headshotMimi Rocah and John Heilemann, Aug. 12, 2019 (18:34 min. video). The top Democrat and top Republican on the Judiciary Committee want the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, Hugh Hurwitz, right, to explain in great detail how it was possible that Jeffrey Epstein's death happened and was anyone at DOJ or Trump admin in the know?

Aug. 11

New Reporting On Epstein

washington post logoWashington Post, Epstein’s death leaves prosecutors with prime target: Ghislaine Maxwell, Marc Fisher, Aug. 11, 2019. According to many of the women who have spoken about what the financier allegedly did to them, Maxwell was Jeffrey Epstein’s chief co-conspirator. She has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing. People familiar with the investigation said authorities have had trouble locating her.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001

For someone who stood by Epstein through the most sordid allegations, Maxwell was also a factor in his downfall: It was through a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre that thousands of pages of documents containing detailed accounts of Epstein’s alleged abuses became public last week.

Guiffre, who says she was recruited by Maxwell after being a towel-girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club , is shown at center in a 2001 photo with Maxwell at right and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Johanna Sjoberg, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she said Maxwell hired her as an assistant, said in a 2015 deposition that was released Friday that it was Maxwell’s job to ensure that three girls a day were made available to Epstein for his sexual pleasure.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘It was inevitable’: Officers watching Epstein were on overtime due to jail staffing shortage, union president says, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, Aug. 11, 2019. Giuffre said Maxwell recruited her in 2000, when she was 16 or 17 and working at Donald Trump’s Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago. Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy was completed Sunday, but the medical examiner said she has not made a determination about his cause of death and is awaiting “further information.”

Commentaries on Epstein Death

Below are links to notable expert commentaries, continued below, about the death of the wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, right, and the death's jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019implications for the public:

Trump Watch: Immigration Judges

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Administration Moves to Muffle Border Judges, Christina Goldbaum, Aug. 11, 2019 (print ed.). The Justice Department has moved to decertify the union of immigration judges, a maneuver that could muffle an organization whose members have sometimes been openly critical of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement agenda.

ICE logoThe department filed a petition on Friday asking the Federal Labor Relations Authority to determine whether the union, the National Association of Immigration Judges, should have its certification revoked because its members are considered “management officials” ineligible to collectively organize, according to a Justice Department spokesman.

The move suggested escalating tensions between overwhelmed immigration judges desperate for greater resources and a Justice Department pushing them to quickly address a backlog of immigration cases.

“This is a misguided effort to minimize our impact,” said Judge Amiena Khan, vice president of the judges’ union, which has publicly criticized the use of a quota system in immigration court and other attempts to speed up proceedings.

U.S. Politics / Trump

TheHill.com, Scaramucci fires back at Trump: He will turn 'on everyone' and then 'entire country,' Justin Wise, Aug. 11, 2019. Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci denounced President Trump early Sunday, arguing that he would eventually turn on everyone in his circle.

anthony scaramucci salt conference 2016 cropped"For the last 3 years I have fully supported this President," Scaramucci said on Twitter. "Recently he has said things that divide the country in a way that is unacceptable. So I didn’t pass the 100% litmus test. Eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country."

The comments from Scaramucci came less than 24 hours after Trump railed against the former White House aide over his recent comments about the administration.

Scaramucci last week called Trump's visit to El Paso, Texas to meet with survivors of a mass shooting a "catastrophe."

"Anthony Scaramucci, who was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling, now seems to do nothing but television as the all time expert on 'President Trump.'" Trump tweeted late Saturday night.

He added that Scaramucci "knows very little about me...other than the fact that this Administration has probably done more than any other Administration in its first 2 1/2 years of existence."

donald trump twitter"Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV, and it’s not for being the Mooch!" Trump said.

Scaramucci was ousted from his job as White House communications director in July 2017 after a chaotic 11-day stint. In the years since, he hasn't hesitated to criticize the administration while appearing on television talk shows.

msnbc logo CustomAppearing on MSNBC last Thursday, the former Trump aide said that the president's trip to El Paso was a "catastrophe."

“Maybe he’ll tweet something negative about somebody for saying he didn’t do well, but the facts are he did not do well on the trip because if the trip is being made about him and not the demonstration of compassion and love and caring and empathy for those people, then it becomes a catastrophe for him, the administration, and it’s also a bad reflection on the country," Scaramucci said.

After Trump attacked four minority congresswoman last month, Scaramucci said that the president could be "turning into" a racist.

"I don't think the president is a racist," Scaramucci said on BBC's "Today." "But here's the thing, if you continue to say and act in that manner, then we all have to look at him and say, OK, well, maybe you weren't a racist, but now you're turning into one."

Epstein Death Commentaries (Continued)

TheHill.com, Opinion: Jeffrey Epstein's suicide makes no sense, Bernard B. Kerik (right, former New York City corrections commissioner and poliice chief) Aug. 10, 2019. Accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death bernard kerik portraitthis morning — reportedly a suicide, according to federal officials — is an inexplicable end to a bizarre, tragic case that only got more disturbing the more we learned about it.

The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief.

His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.

But the most basic question, in my mind, is why Epstein was in solitary confinement in the first place — something so totally inappropriate for a prisoner already at risk of suicide.

Epstein, a billionaire financier with powerful friends in the worlds of business and politics, pleaded guilty in Florida in 2008 to sex crimes and served a few months in jail. He was reindicted this summer in New York on charges of sex trafficking underage girls and had been in federal custody ever since.

He tried to commit suicide less than two weeks ago and, we were told, was placed in solitary confinement and under a suicide watch.

So how in the world could he commit suicide?

There is a valid use for solitary confinement in a penal institution. If you’re a threat to the institution or a threat to its staff, an escape risk or a threat to national security, then solitary confinement should be considered.

But not in this case. Jeffrey Epstein — in spite of his previous pleas or the new, serious charges — was none of the above.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which had custody over Epstein, and federal prosecutors certainly knew his earlier suicide attempt was real. Yet, instead of putting him into an administrative segregation unit — into a real, true suicide watch — they put him into solitary confinement and, in so doing, enabled him to finish what he had tried before.

Was that their intent? Who knows, but it raises serious questions about his death and the investigation surrounding him.

There is nothing worse than taking a suicidal prisoner and sticking him into a solitary confinement cell. Common sense and any psychologist, any corrections professional, will tell you that — so why was it done in this instance?

In solitary confinement there is a 15-minute “watch” rule, but that is not the same as a “suicide watch.” A prisoner can asphyxiate himself in 90 seconds and, after eight minutes or so, he will be brain dead.

That’s exactly why around-the-clock supervision is necessary when a prisoner is classified as suicidal. And it requires constant supervision, in person or by technology — cameras.

So why was Epstein placed in “solitary” in the first place? After his first attempt, were his cell and his supervision changed? Was he watched constantly by cameras in his cell, or only checked sporadically? Was he allowed to have objects that he could use to attempt suicide again, after having done so once before? How could a prisoner hang himself — as Epstein did, according to early reports — and no guard would immediately see it or react? Why, given his previous attempt and all of the issues surrounding his case, wasn’t a supervisory officer watching him constantly and able to respond immediately?

None of this makes any sense, at least at this point.

The crime here — in my mind, with what is known at this point — is that Epstein was placed in solitary confinement at all. The government often uses every tool in its power to ensure you never have a fair day’s fight in court, including the use of psychological tools to force you to plead guilty or to force you to cooperate with the government.

Solitary confinement is one of those tools. It is a mechanism to demean, degrade and demoralize a prisoner. The mind-altering seclusion of “solitary” will force a prisoner into a deep depression from which, for some, there is no return.

Only time will tell if that’s what happened with Epstein or if something more sinister occurred.

But one thing already is crystal clear: There are flaws and failures in the U.S. criminal justice system that should disturb all of us. And in Jeffrey Epstein’s case, none of it makes any sense.

Bernard B. Kerik was the first deputy and commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, 1995-2000. As commissioner of the NYPD from 2000 through 2001, he oversaw its response to the 9/11 attack. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to ethics violations and was fined, then pleaded guilty in 2009 to eight federal charges, including tax fraud and false statements, which led to his 48-month sentence in a federal prison. He is the founder of the Kerik Group, providing homeland security, police and correctional training, criminal justice and prison-reform strategies.

Jeffrey Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of Achievement

Retail mogul Leslie Wexner, Jeffrey Epstein's friend (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of Achievement

SouthFront, Jeffrey Epstein RIP: But Many More Questions Remain to be Answered, Philip M. Giraldi (former CIA officer), right, Aug. 11, 2019. The Jeffrey Epstein saga philip giraldigoes on even though convicted pedophile Epstein himself has been found hanged in his jail cell in Manhattan.

So, he is dead but did he do it himself or was he helped? There are many prominent individuals and powerful government agencies that will be very pleased that he is gone as most of his secrets will have gone to the grave with him.

There was certainly a warning that something might happen. Two weeks ago, he was reportedly found unconscious in his jail cell with marks around his neck. It was suggested that he might have tried to kill himself or, alternatively, had been beaten up by another inmate. There was also considerable speculation that some aggrieved part of the Deep State was trying to kill him to silence him.

The subsequent press reports revealed that Epstein had been taken to a hospital, but there has been no follow-up about his condition or status apart from a brief note that he had been returned to the same jail under suicide watch. In any event, the story had pretty much died, which is precisely what a lot of the high rollers and politicians who became involved with Epstein would have liked to see happen. Nevertheless, investigations of the “Affair Epstein” reportedly were continuing at the federal level as well as in New York State and Florida.

The most recent elaboration of the Epstein saga prior to his death came from his former patron Leslie Wexner, the canny Jewish business tycoon who built an Ohio based fashion empire called L Brands from scratch. L Brands, by the way, includes Victoria’s Secret, which features young women strutting around in their underwear. The 81 year old Wexner claimed in a 564 word letter that the wily Epstein “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him. In the letter Wexner admitted to having lost at least $46 million from his family money, but some media accounts are suggesting that the fraud amounted to much more, possibly as much as $500 million. And the alleged theft also extended to property, to include the series of transactions that left Epstein possessing the Upper East Side mansion where he resided and did his filming of celebrities having sex with young girls, estimated to be worth $56 million, as well as the commercial airliner that became the Lolita Express and a yacht.

My belief that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence agent is based principally on Acosta’s comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” … “Acosta testified that he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had ‘been told’ to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ‘I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.’”

The questions about Epstein remain even though he is gone, but one fears that the authorities will be disinclined to further investigate a dead man. It appears that no one in the various investigative agencies or the mainstream media has been interested in what Acosta meant, even though it would be simple enough to ask him. Who told him to back off? And how did they explain it? And then there is Epstein’s Austrian passport. Was it fake or real, with a real name and photo substitution or alternation of both picture and name? How did he get it? Austrian passports are highly desirable in intelligence circles because the country is neutral and its holders can travel just about everywhere without a visa.

mossad seal CustomAnd there’s more. As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young girls. And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express, former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation.

Other compelling evidence for a Mossad connection came from Epstein’s relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”

Israel and high-profile Jewish players also have continued to turn up like bad pennies in the Epstein case, but no one seems to be interested in pursuing that angle. Epstein clearly had contact with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak and Wexner also had close tiesto the Jewish state and its government.

barry krischer alex acosta CustomBarry Krischer, who may have been the source of the comments to Acosta (shown at right with Krischer in file photos), has received the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) award. Evidence also suggests that Krischer, cooperating with rabidly pro-Israel Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz, played a key role in the failure to adequately punish Epstein for his conviction for pedophilia.

According to a recent New Yorker story, the police investigators of the Epstein case observed that “the tone and tenor of the discussions of this case with Krischer changed completely” after his meetings with Dershowitz. At that point, the two detectives most involved in the case found themselves under extreme pressure. They were surveilled constantly by private investigators and they even had their household trash snatched and searched. And the resulting plea agreement with Krischer “…was due to the efforts of Dershowitz, who had proceeded to attack and smear the victims.”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer, is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, which seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable, Harry Litman (a law professor, right, and former U.S. harry litman msnbc screenshotattorney and deputy assistant attorney general), Aug. 11, 2019 (print ed.). For anyone familiar with Bureau of Prisons standard operating procedures, Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is more than mysterious; it is unfathomable.

The 66-year-old accused sex trafficker was found dead in his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) Saturday morning, apparently after having hanged himself.

The Bureau of Prisons, the federal agency that runs the MCC, has said the FBI will investigate. Epstein’s death almost certainly means that astounding blunders occurred, perhaps by multiple personnel at the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

If any prisoner in the federal system should have been a candidate for suspicion of suicide, it was the high-profile and disgraced Epstein. All administrative and structural measures should have been in place to ensure it could not happen. And yet it apparently did.

First, consider the MCC itself. It is a high-rise, forbidding administrative detention facility in the south of Manhattan. Its population consists almost entirely of prisoners, like Epstein, awaiting trial in federal court in Manhattan. It has been referred to as the “Guantanamo of New john gotti mug shotsYork” for its stringent security measures. It is the facility of choice for notorious federal defendants, often in special administrative segregation units, having previously housed John Gotti (shown in 1990 mug shots), Bernard Madoff, Omar Abdel Rahman and, recently, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

In other words, it is the very place to put a high-profile and potentially suicidal defendant such as Epstein.

Second, consider the BOP’s suicide prevention protocol. Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck. If he was not on suicide watch, it would be astonishing. Yet if he were on suicide watch, his death would be virtually inconceivable.

The BOP’s suicide prevention protocol entails, first and foremost, human eyes on the prisoner 24 hours a day. It also requires a strict deprivation of anything — shoelaces, sheets, pillowcases — that could possibly be used to hang oneself. It also requires disabling anything that could be used to tie a noose — vents, sprinkler heads, etc.

Finally, we are not talking about inexperienced yokels. BOP personnel, especially at MCC, are the best professionals in the corrections industry, and they receive special training in administrating suicide prevention. Who better to guard against such a horrific development?

At this point, questions abound, and BOP has to address them promptly.

  • The first: Was Epstein on suicide watch, and if not, why not?
  • The second: How exactly did Epstein manage to kill himself, and why exactly was it that he had access to the tools?
  • Third, is there a video of Epstein’s cell at the crucial time? There should be, and it will reveal exactly how and when Epstein killed himself.

David Talbot via Facebook, Opinion: The "suicide" of Jeffrey Epstein, David Talbot (right, best-selling author of "The Devil's Chessboard," david talbot facebook"Season of the Witch" and "Brothers" and Founder of the Salon Media Group), Aug. 11, 2019 (updated). Well, it's official —- we now live in a criminal, lawless nation where people who know too much about the sleazy lives of the rich and powerful can be "suicided" to death — even when they're on suicide watch in a New York City jail cell!

The "suicide" of Jeffrey Epstein — oh what the hell, let's call it what it really was, a politically necessary execution — reeks of the "suicide" of Craig Spence back in 1989.

Spence, below, a Republican lobbyist with deep ties to the Reagan presidency, ran a Washington call-boy service and, like Epstein, had the craig spencegoods on many of America's decadent elite. After his sex racket exploded in the headlines, Spence told friends he would probably be murdered — a termination that would be called a suicide. And guess what? In November 1989, Spence was indeed found "suicided" in a Ritz Carlton hotel room in Boston.

The list of prominent names on whom Jeffrey Epstein had secret dirt — including video and photos — is endless. It includes, of course, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. And Epstein's ties to intelligence services, including U.S. and Israeli agencies, are equally obvious.This is how the elite — and the secret police under their command — operate. Key witnesses get paid off or permanently disappeared. But the Epstein case is so fucking obvious it shows that the U.S. oligarchy has become so cocky it doesn't even pretend to be lawful anymore.

A final note on this flaming conspiracy to silence the latest man who knew too much.

For decades, the corporate media have been ridiculing and condemning those who believe that power in the U.S. often operates in darkly clandestine ways. The New York Times, Washington Post, TV networks et al have worked feverishly to marginalize the deep investigative work done by citizen researchers and independent journalists (including me) to shed light on the national security assassination of President Kennedy. Eye-opening investigations into 9/11 — and the undeniable web of connections between Saudi royalty and the hijackers, U.S. agencies' foreknowledge of the hijacker plots, and the Bush-Cheney administration's coverup of inconvenient 9/11 truths — also are routinely blacked out by the mainstream media.

But in the wake of this Epstein bombshell, now, the C-word (as in conspiracy) is even creeping into the prose of NY Times columnists like Paul Krugman. Sometimes the criminality at the top of America becomes so brazen, so obvious that even our press watchdogs are stirred from their slumber.

robert maxwell with papers fileThere is much information that suggests a connection between Epstein and Israeli intelligence. His top deputy and procuress was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, left, -- British media tycoon, swindler and spy (for Israeli and British intelligence). Epstein was also set up mysteriously in the high-end investment game -- despite being woefully unqualified -- by the lingerie billionaire Les Wexner, a major benefactor of Israel, whose large mossad seal Customdonations to Ehud Barak have become an issue in the current Israeli election.

Epstein was also infamously and aggressively defended by lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a prominent spokesman for the Israeli government. Epstein was operating a classic "honeytrap" -- spy parlance for a sex trap that ensnares powerful peopIe and makes them vulnerable to blackmail from security agencies. I should note that I don't believe Mossad would operate on U.S. soil without agreement or even partnership with US intelligence.

jeffrey epstein gurney cropped emergency room

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein could have ‘paid’ for help with suicide: Former Gotti pal, Brad Hamilton, Aug. 11, 2019. The jail where Jeffrey Epstein (shown on an emergency room gurney on Aug. 10 in an uncredited photo via Twitter) apparently hanged himself was a nest of corruption in the early ’90s, according to one of late mobster John Gotti Sr.’s top associates — who insists it’s still a place where almost anything can be bought if you have the bucks.

“If he killed himself someone had to have helped him,” said Lewis Kasman, a onetime close confidant of the Dapper Don who visited the godfather several times at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 1992.

“There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7. Someone had to give [Epstein] the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly,” said Kasman, who has kept abreast of conditions in the lockup.

Kasman added: “That facility for years had issues of corruption, with correction officers bringing in food or cellphones for wealthy people.”

The former Gambino bean counter noted that Gotti, who did time both in the jail’s 9 South and 10 South units, its most secure wings, still managed to get his favorite steak dinner sneaked in: “He had Peter Luger’s whenever he wanted.”

william barr new oKasman said he heard US Attorney General William Barr, right, personally made a hush-hush trip to the MCC two weeks ago, about the time Epstein was found in his cell with bruises around his neck. “When does that happen?” he asked. “The attorney general never visits jails. Something’s not right there.”

Kasman said the facility was “totally disgusting — worse than Guantanamo Bay.” “There are roaches crawling all over you — in every orifice — when you sleep. The Bureau of Prisons’ answer to that is that they can’t spray. It’s toxic.”

New York Magazine, A Former U.S. Attorney on Where Epstein’s Legal Cases Will Go After His Death, Matt Stieb, Aug. 10, 2019. Facing a criminal case for sex trafficking and sex-trafficking conspiracy, multiple civil cases by alleged victims, and a Department of Justice inquiry into his wrist-slap plea deal in Florida, Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide has opened a flurry of questions about the future status of his legal proceedings.

As for the criminal charges, those are effectively kaput: As former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains, “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide ends the criminal case against him because no one else was charged in the indictment.”

Many questions — not to mention full-blown conspiracy theories — remain. How much more about Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring will come to light? Will others be indicted? What might we find out from the FBI and Department of Justice inquiries into Epstein’s suicide? To help weigh these questions, Intelligencer spoke with former U.S. Attorney and New York contributor Barbara McQuade about where the legal proceedings involving the sex offender go from here.

Other questions asked and answered:

  • How much information about Epstein and his co-conspirators will never be known because the criminal case against him closes with his death?
  • What about Epstein’s knowledge, now lost, of his own alleged crimes? I’m thinking about passwords, knowing where records are, information like that.
  • Does his death make it less likely that charges will be brought against other people?
  • How might this affect the civil cases by his victims against his estate, or the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General investigation into the plea deal?

Vanity Fair, Trump’s Epstein Response: The Clintons Are Definitely Pedophile Murderers, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Aug. 11, 2019. The president plumbed new depths by retweeting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s suicide, in lieu of making a public statement.

Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide was shocking enough without factoring in how President Trump might react to it. The commander-in-chief and former Epstein confidant was perhaps uncharacteristically quiet in the weeks following the disgraced financier’s arrest this summer, especially as rumors swirled that Epstein held dirt on some of the world’s most powerful people. How then, would he respond to news of Epstein’s shocking demise?

Why, by accusing a former president and ex-political opponent of subverting his own justice department to arrange Epstein’s murder, of course. That’s just where we are now.

Hours after word of Epstein’s death by suicide arrived, Trump broke any semblance of restraint, indirectly addressing his former Mar-A-Lago buddy-turned-political liability. Rather than issuing a prepared statement, the president opted to retweet self-proclaimed comedian and commentator Terrence K. Williams’s assertion that Bill and Hillary Clinton were behind Epstein’s death.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen,” Williams wrote, citing reports of Epstein’s association with Bill Clinton and a #TrumpBodyCount hashtag that had circulated earlier. “#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead. I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this! RT if you’re not Surprised #EpsteinSuicide #ClintonBodyCount #ClintonCrimeFamily.”

Immediately before that, Trump also retweeted a post from BNL News that read “BREAKING: Documents were unsealed yesterday revealing that top Democrats, including Bill Clinton, took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedophilia island.’” Trump also squeezed in a contented jab about pushing back on media narratives.

Trump’s tweets served as yet more evidence of the president’s tendency to embrace unfounded conspiracy theories targeting his political enemies; previously, he winked at intimations that Texas senator Ted Cruz’s father killed JFK, and spent years embracing the racist allegation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. While the Friday release of court documents related to Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking did place Bill Clinton — and Trump himself — as a passenger on several of Epstein’s flights, there have been precisely zero corroborated links between Epstein’s alleged crimes and Clinton, and nothing suggesting that the Clintons, who for decades have been accused of all manner of criminal conspiracies, could have a hand in Epstein’s death.

“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Clinton spokesman Angel Urena said in response to speculation about the former president’s connection to the disgraced financier last month. "He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

LewRockwell.com, What Do All These People Have In Common? Charles Burris, Aug. 11, 2019:

James Forrestal (1949), Frank Olson (1953), Ernest Hemingway (1961), Josefa Johnson (1961), Henry Marshall (1961), Marilyn Monroe (1962), Phillip Graham (1963), John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1963), J. D. Tippet (1963), Lee Harvey Oswald (1963), Karyn Kupcinet (1963), Grant Stockdale (1963), Gary Underhill ( 1964), Bill Hunter (1964), Jim Koethe (1964), Guy Bannister (1964), Mary Sherman (1964), Mary Pinchot Meyer (1964), Malcolm X (1965), Dorothy Kilgallen (1965), Lisa Howard (1965), Nancy Carole Tyler (1965), Lee Bowers (1966), Desmond FitzGerald (1967), David Ferrie (1967), Eladio del Valle (1967), Jack Ruby (1967), Martin Luther King (1968), Robert Francis Kennedy (1968), Thomas Merton (1968), Mary Jo Kopechne (1969), Winston Scott (1971), Malcolm Wallace (1971), Lucien Sarti (1972), Thomas Davis (1973), Richard Cain (1973), Dave Yarras (1974), Sam Giancana (1975), Jimmy Hoffa (1975), Roland Masferrer (1975), Johnny Roselli (1976), George De Mohrenschildt (1977), Charlie Nicoletti (1977), Carlos Prio (1977), William Sullivan (1977), Nelson Rockefeller (1979), Frank Nugan (1980), Jimmy Hoffa (1982), Kevin Mulcahy (1982), Vicki Morgan (1983), Danny Casalaro (1991), Vince Foster (1993), Kenneth Trentadue (1995), William Colby (1996), Ron Brown (1996), Steve Kangas (1999), Katharine Graham (2001), Gary Webb (2004), Michael Kreca (2006), Robert Vesco (2007?), Deborah Jeane Palfrey (2008), Antonin Scalia (2016), and Seth Rich (2016).

Like Jeffrey Epstein, they all died from very suspicious deaths.

Aug. 10

Epstein Dead

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide at Manhattan Jail, William K. Rashbaum, Aug. 10, 2019. Mr. Epstein, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, hung himself and his body was found this morning.

Epstein, shown in his mug shot, the financier indicted on sex trafficking charges last month, committed suicide at a Manhattan jail, officials said on Saturday.

Mr. Epstein hung himself and his body was found this morning at roughly 7:30 a.m.(EDT).

Manhattan federal prosecutors last month charged Mr. Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, and details of his behavior have been emerging for years.

New Epstein Revelations

jeffrey epstein trumps cropped ghislaine maxwell Photo by Davidoff Studios Getty Images vanity fair

Jeffrey Epstein with the Trumps and his girlfriend and alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell, at left (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘She was shaking’: Court filings describe system Jeffrey Epstein allegedly used to procure girls, Beth Reinhard, Marc Fisher, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig, Aug. 10, 2019 (print ed.). Newly unsealed documents lay out disturbing details about the financier’s alleged abuse and the number of people in his orbit who could have observed them.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with pictures of naked girls and stocked with sex toys. And the schedules of teenagers on call to give him massages at his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion were documented in phone messages from his assistants.

Roberts, at center, claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family, left. The California native said the photo at left portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001. At right was Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of the corrupt newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, a longtime Mossad asset who drowned in 1991 after toppling overboard from his yacht Lady Ghislaine. 

Those and other claims about financier Jeffrey Epstein unsealed in court filings Friday lay out disturbing details both about his alleged activities and the number of people in his orbit who could have observed them, raising new questions about how the sex abuse charges against the multimillionaire were previously handled.

Epstein, who is now facing federal sex trafficking charges involving the alleged abuse of dozens of minors, previously pleaded guilty in Florida state court to two felony counts, serving about 13 months in jail. A federal judge ruled in February that the prosecution team led by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who recently resigned as President Trump’s labor secretary, violated the rights of alleged victims by failing to notify them of an agreement not to bring federal charges.

More Epstein Death Coverage

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein dead in apparent suicide, Larry Celona and Eileen AJ Connelly, Aug. 10, 2019. Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died overnight in an apparent suicide, law enforcement sources told the Post Saturday.

A gurney carrying a man who looked like Epstein was wheeled into New York Downtown Hospital around 7:30 a.m. A call for a reported cardiac arrest came in at 6:38 a.m., Fire Department sources said. Two weeks ago, Epstein, 66, was placed on suicide watch after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.

The multimillionaire financier was being held without bail pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges. Epstein was busted July 6 over the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of young girls in his Upper East Side townhouse and his waterfront mansion in Palm, Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. He pleaded not guilty and faced up to 45 years in prison.

washington post logoWashington Post, Jeffrey Epstein dead after apparent suicide in New York jail, Matt Zapotosky and Renae Merle, Aug. 10, 2019 (at 11:43 AM). What you need to know about disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier and registered sex offender charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, has died by apparent suicide while in jail and the FBI is investigating, the Bureau of Prisons said Saturday.

Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his cell in the special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City about 6:30 a.m., the Bureau of Prisons said. Lifesaving measures “were initiated immediately by responding staff,” who then requested aid from emergency medical services, the bureau said.

Epstein was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the bureau said. ABC News, which first reported the incident, said that Epstein had hanged himself.

The Bureau of Prisons called the death an “apparent suicide,” though one official cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages and no final determination had been made. Aja Davis, a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner, said that her office was investigating the death.

Daily Mail, Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, 66, kills himself in his Manhattan jail cell, 24 hours after files in his case were unsealed and two weeks after he was placed on suicide watch ahead of his sex trafficking trial, Andrew Court, Aug. 10, 2019.

  • Jeffrey Epstein has hanged himself inside his New York City jail cell
  • He was discovered by prison guards in cardiac arrest on Saturday morning, and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead
  • Epstein was arrested on July 6 on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking, and was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center without bail
  • He was reportedly placed on suicide watch following after a first suicide attempt on July 24
  • Epstein's death comes just 24 hours after court documents detailing his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed by the courts
  • The explosive documents included claims from Epstein's alleged 'sex slave' that she was required to have intercourse with a number of powerful men

LauraLoomer.us, Opinion: AUDIO: Jeffrey Epstein DEAD FOR HOURS On Suicide Watch With Cameras In Cell Before EMS Arrived, Laura Loomer, Aug. 10, 2019 at 11 a.m. (EDT). People are asking how Jeffrey Epstein “committed suicide” when he was on suicide watch and being monitored by multiple guards and cameras.

Exclusive sources for LauraLoomer.us tell us that at around 6:20 am EST, Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC) requested First Responders for an inmate who was found unresponsive.

Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive this morning in his cell in his bed, and was cold to touch when correctional officers entered to wake him for breakfast. Our sources say that there were no injuries visible and they began chest compressions while EMS were en route.

Epstein was being detained for his upcoming trial for child and human sex trafficking and a barrage of other charges. Sources tell us that food vendors, all correctional officers who have been in contact with Epstein, as well as his water supply are being investigated following his suspicious death that is being reproted as a suicide.

Two weeks ago in a declared failed attempt to commit suicide, Epstein was placed on suicide watch. This means that aside from his cell being monitored remotely 24 hours a day by at least TWO cameras in his cell, 30 min round checks were also conducted by correctional officers.

There are reports from MSM claiming that Epstein hung himself which are categorically FALSE. Epstein’s body was cold to touch which means he had been dead for at least 4 hours, and if he had hung himself, one of the TWO cameras in his cell would have alerted the officers monitoring them. The reports being pushed through MSM are contradictory to that which our exclusive sources and the EMS recording states.

There would not have been a way for Epstein to commit suicide because while on suicide watch, one does not have clothes, bed sheets, or shoelaces. Inmates on suicide watch only have a smock and a hole in the ground for using the restroom.

Under the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s policy regarding inmates on suicide watch, prisoners on suicide watch are to be kept under “direct, continuous observation.”

Epstein was dead for hours before EMS responded because his body was stone cold, according to EMS. How did Epstein die if guards were watching him continuously? If they were watching him continuously and he did commit suicide, then one of those things isn’t true.

Epstein wouldn’t have been able to commit suicide if he truly was being watched continuously, which means foul play is likely involved…

Even if Epstein didn’t commit suicide (because let’s be honest, nobody believes Epstein actually committed suicide), if he was being watched continuously like he was supposed to be, according to the prison protocol, how did it takes hours for guards to realize he was dead?

Epstein was found in his cell at around 6:25 a.m on Saturday morning. According to the audio recording from EMS that was reporting back to the dispatch at 6:33 am, Epstein was stiff/cold, meaning he had been dead for a while.

Listen to audio after 2 min and 40 sec where dispatchers confirm that Epstein was stiff and cold.

Epstein was found cold and unresponsive by EMS and was not considered a patient even though EMS is heard saying “working cold”. Sources also tell us no apparent injuries were visible on Epstein’s body, making it unclear how his death has been deemed suicide already without an autopsy.

NBC News, Jeffrey Epstein is dead by apparent suicide in federal jail, Justice Department investigating, Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Phil nbc news logoMcCausland, Aug. 10, 2019. Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead" and that his death "raises serious questions that must be answered."

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, died by apparent suicide Saturday morning while in federal custody, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Epstein, 66, was in his federal jail cell in downtown Manhattan but was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. He had apparently hanged himself, and was found unresponsive at around 6:30 a.m. ET.

william barr new oAttorney General William Barr, right, said he was "appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead" while in federal custody. He said he has consulted with the Department of Justice's inspector general, who is opening an investigation into the circumstances.

"Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered," Barr added.

Epstein's death comes a little over two weeks after he was found injured and in a fetal position in his cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. He was semiconscious with marks on his neck at the time.

In July, two sources told NBC News that Epstein was on suicide watch. His death came the day after a trove of court documents was unsealed, providing new details about Epstein's alleged sex trafficking.

Epstein, who was being held on federal sex trafficking charges, was transported Saturday morning from the jail to a hospital in lower Manhattan. Upon arrival, he was in cardiac arrest, people familiar with the matter said.

The Department of Justice said Epstein was pronounced dead at the hospital. The FBI is investigating his death.

Palmer Report, Analysis: Bill Barr just gave something away about Jeffrey Epstein’s death, Bill Palmer, Aug. 10, 2019. Donald Trump’s cartoonishly corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr has issued a statement sayin he’s “appalled” that Jeffrey Epstein died while in federal custody, and he’s going to get to the bottom of what really happened. This statement was met with well-deserved eye rolls across the board – but he actually gave something away in the process.

bill palmer report logo headerNo one believes that Bill Barr wants to get to the bottom of Jeffrey Epstein’s death. This is the same guy who “got to the bottom” of the Mueller Report, the Trump-Cohen payoff scandal, and the death of Eric Garner by burying the investigations as best he could. But whatever happened to Epstein, this whole thing has become bigger than Barr. It turns out Barr knows it, too.

In his statement, Bill Barr said it’s the Department of Justice Inspector General who will be handling the investigation into Epstein’s death. Why does this matter? In general, the Inspector General is the one person in the DOJ with a degree of autonomy from the Attorney General’s influence.

michael horwitz headshotMore to the point, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, right, has consistently shown that he’s unwilling to protect the Trump regime or anyone else. In his IG report into the Hillary Clinton email investigation, he essentially said there should have been no email investigation to begin with, shutting down Trump’s insistence that the FBI went easy on Clinton. Recently, Horowitz announced that James Comey didn’t break any laws by coming forward about Trump’s crimes, shutting down Trump’s insistence that Comey was a criminal leaker.

By handing off the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death to the DOJ Inspector General, Bill Barr is throwing up his hands and letting this go wherever it’s going to go. Barr is giving away that he knows this whole thing is far bigger than he is, and that he can’t stop this from heading wherever it’s heading.

Miami Herald, Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein kills himself in N.Y. jail; U.S. inquiry launched, Julie K. Brown, Aug. 10, 2019. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has opened a federal investigation into the suicide of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who was found unresponsive Saturday morning in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, a federal prison where he had been housed awaiting trial.

Attorney General William Barr said ‘serious questions’ about the death of Jeffrey Epstein must be answered.

perversion of justice miami herald logoPalm Beach lawyer Jack Scarola, who represents several victims, said an investigation is called for into how Epstein was able to, once again, get authorities to look the other way. “It is inexplicable how such a high-profile person on suicide watch could commit suicide without help,’’ Scarola said.

“Epstein once again cheated his victims out of an opportunity for justice. While I’m sure none of them regret his death, all of them regret the information that died with him. The one expectation is that Epstein’s death not derail the investigation into others who participated in his criminal activities. There are named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice,’’ Scarola said.

Attorney General Barr said he directed the FBI and inspector general to open separate probes into his death.

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

His death came one day after the Miami Herald and other news organizations published a trove of documents describing in detail how he operated the equivalent of a sexual pyramid scheme, luring girls, most of them 14 to 16, to his Palm Beach home, then coercing them into sex.

The court papers provided damning evidence — in the form of sworn depositions, photographs, flight logs and witness statements — that Epstein and his alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, were operating an international sex-trafficking operation in which girls and young women were lured into trafficking with the empty promise that the couple would help them with their education or careers.

His death could short-circuit what would have been a spectacular trial that likely would have drawn in an array of prominent witnesses. Epstein had a constellation of important friends in business, political and society circles, including former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.

However, with his death, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will likely refocus their probe on Maxwell, Sarah Kellen Vickers, Adriana Ross and Lesley Groff — all of whom allegedly helped run Epstein’s operation in the mid- to late-2000s. Another woman, Nadia Marcinkova, who is now a commercial pilot, was accused of sexually abusing some of the underage girls.

New York Magazine, After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death, Everyone Is Turning to Conspiracy Theories, Matt Stieb, Aug. 10, 2019. Politicians, reporters, and pretty much everyone else on Twitter are responding to Epstein’s death, reaching for conspiracy and convincing — if unfounded — theories on how it might have happened.

New York Magazine, A Former U.S. Attorney on Where Epstein’s Legal Cases Will Go After His Death, Matt Stieb, Aug. 10, 2019. Facing a criminal case for sex trafficking and sex-trafficking conspiracy, multiple civil cases by alleged victims, and a Department of Justice inquiry into his wrist-slap plea deal in Florida, Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide has opened a flurry of questions about the future status of his legal proceedings.

As for the criminal charges, those are effectively kaput: As former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains, “Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide ends the criminal case against him because no one else was charged in the indictment.”

Many questions — not to mention full-blown conspiracy theories — remain. How much more about Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring will come to light? Will others be indicted? What might we find out from the FBI and Department of Justice inquiries into Epstein’s suicide? To help weigh these questions, Intelligencer spoke with former U.S. Attorney and New York contributor Barbara McQuade about where the legal proceedings involving the sex offender go from here.

Other questions asked and answered:

  • How much information about Epstein and his co-conspirators will never be known because the criminal case against him closes with his death?
  • What about Epstein’s knowledge, now lost, of his own alleged crimes? I’m thinking about passwords, knowing where records are, information like that.
  • Does his death make it less likely that charges will be brought against other people?
  • How might this affect the civil cases by his victims against his estate, or the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General investigation into the plea deal?

Aug. 9

Daily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex Ring, Kate Briquelet, Katie Baker, Justin Miller, Pilar Melendez, daily beast logoTracy Connor, Aug. 9, 2019. In newly unsealed documents, Virginia Giuffre claims that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell trafficked her to politicians, princes, and a high-flying financier, among others.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University A young woman who says financier Jeffrey Epstein, right, and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell kept her as a sex slave also accused a host of high-powered men of being involved in Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring, according to court records unsealed Friday.

Virginia Giuffre, who says that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to powerful people for erotic massages and sex, claimed in depositions in 2016 that Maxwell directed her to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Britain’s Prince Andrew (whom she has accused before), wealthy financier Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell, now-deceased MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, and modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, as well as “another prince,” a "foreign president," a well-known prime minsiter" and the owner of a “large hotel chain” in France.

None of the men named in the deposition have been charged with a crime or even sued in civil court in connection with the Epstein case. The deposition represents accuser Giuffre’s allegations, and the court documents unsealed on Friday did not contain any corroboration or further details, though many documents remain sealed.

Brunel’s attorney Joe Titone declined to comment. Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace have previously and vehemently denied Giuffre’s allegations. “Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory. The Dubins have flight records and other evidence that definitively disprove that any such events occurred," a spokesperson for the Dubin family told The Daily Beast on Friday.

A spokesperson for former Gov. Bill Richardson, Madeleine Mahony, told The Daily Beast on Friday,“These allegations and inferences are completely false. Governor Richardson has never even been contacted by any party regarding this lawsuit. To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls. Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein’s residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre."

Mitchell said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “The allegation contained in the released documents is false ... I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre.”

He added: “In my contacts with Mr. Epstein I never observed or suspected any inappropriate conduct with underage girls. I only learned of his actions when they were reported in the media related to his prosecution in Florida. We have had no further contact.”

The revelation comes after a federal appeals court ordered the release of the sealed documents in a lawsuit that Giuffre filed against Maxwell, the British publishing heiress whom Giuffre says was Epstein’s madam. Maxwell has rejected allegations that she has acted as a procurer for Epstein and denied she facilitated Prince Andrew's acts of sexual abuse and was Epstein’s madam.

Aug. 8

More On Epstein marie villafana linked in

As an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Marie Villafaña (shown above in a Linked In photo) was the lead federal prosecutor on the Jeffrey Epstein case 12 years ago

Miami Herald, Lead U.S. prosecutor in ’08 Epstein case — who sources say wanted to charge him — resigns, Julie K. Brown and Jay Weaver, Aug. 8, 2019. A. Marie Villafaña, the lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate a controversial plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, has submitted her resignation to the Justice Department, the Miami Herald has learned.

Her departure comes amid a federal probe into the role she and other federal prosecutors, including her former boss, Alexander Acosta, Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University had in sidelining a 53-page indictment against the wealthy New York investor in favor of a state plea to minor prostitution charges in 2008.

Epstein, 66, right, was accused of molesting dozens of underage girls, most of them 14 to 16 years old, at his Palm Beach mansion more than a decade ago. He is now facing federal sex trafficking charges involving minors brought against him last month by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is examining whether Acosta, who resigned his cabinet post as secretary of labor last month — and other U.S. prosecutors involved in the 2007-2008 case — committed misconduct in negotiating the secret pact with Epstein. A federal judge in February ruled that the prior deal was illegally negotiated because Epstein and federal prosecutors concealed it from his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

brett kavanaughThe Herald has learned that several people involved in the Epstein case have been questioned by the Justice Department in recent weeks as part of its ongoing OPR investigation.

Jonathan Biran, Villafaña’s lawyer, confirmed her resignation Thursday, noting that she has long planned to transition to a legal career in healthcare, and now plans to join the federal Department of Health and Human Services. In recent years, she has handled a number of healthcare fraud cases in South Florida.

Villafaña, 51, has worked in the Southern District of Florida, mostly based in West Palm Beach, for the past 18 years. She is the last member of the federal prosecution team that handled Epstein’s case in 2008 still employed by the Department of Justice. The other members of the team, including Acosta, left in the years after Epstein’s case was closed.

Aug. 7

MintPress News, Investigation: Mega Group, Maxwells, and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal (Part III), whitney webb twitterWhitney Webb, right, Aug. 7, 2019. The picture painted by the evidence is not a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.

As billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians.

While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”

The Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades, billionaire Leslie Wexner, was a co-founder of the group that unites several well-known businessmen with a penchant for pro-Israel and ethno-philanthropy (i.e., philanthropy benefiting a single ethnic or ethno-religious group).

However, as this report will show, another uniting factor among Mega Group members is deep ties to organized crime, specifically the organized crime network discussed in Part I of this series, which was largely led by notorious American mobster Meyer Lansky.

whitney webb twitterWhitney Webb, right, is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets, including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

ny times logoNew York Times, Billionaire Accuses Epstein of Misappropriating ‘Vast Sums of Money,’ Steve Eder and Emily Steel, Aug. 7, 2019. Leslie Wexner, the mogul behind Victoria’s Secret, detailed in a letter how his life became intertwined with Jeffrey Epstein, who faces sex-trafficking charges. Mr. Wexner used the letter to cast himself as an unwitting victim of his former adviser’s financial impropriety.

jeffrey epstein hands handsFor over 15 years, Jeffrey Epstein, right, served as a close personal adviser to Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire mogul behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Now, Mr. Wexner says Mr. Epstein “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him and his family.

Mr. Wexner, the chief executive of the retail giant L Brands, included the accusation in a 564-word letter he sent Wednesday to the Wexner Foundation, giving his most detailed account yet of how his life and affairs became intertwined with Mr. Epstein, who was arrested last month and charged with sex trafficking involving girls as young as 14.

In the letter, Mr. Wexner said the misappropriation was first discovered in 2007 as he separated from Mr. Epstein. In early 2006, Florida authorities charged Mr. Epstein with multiple counts of molestation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a sex offender.
“It was agreed that he should step back from the management of our personal finances,” Mr. Wexner said in the letter. “In that process, we discovered that he had misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family. This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now.”

Mr. Epstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he and his employees paid dozens of underage girls to engage in sex acts. A lawyer for Mr. Epstein did not respond to Mr. Wexner’s new accusations. In a letter to L Brands employees last month, Mr. Wexner, 81, said he was “NEVER aware of the illegal activity charged in the indictment.”

Mr. Wexner used his letter on Wednesday, addressed to the “Wexner Foundation Community” and distributed to the press, to cast himself as an unwitting victim of his former adviser’s financial impropriety, after weeks of questions about his deep ties to Mr. Epstein.

In the same article, The Times reported that Mr. Wexner had given Mr. Epstein wide powers over his finances, philanthropy and private life.

“I first met Mr. Epstein in the mid-1980s, through friends who vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional,” Mr. Wexner wrote in the letter to the foundation. “Mr. Epstein represented that he had various well-known and respected individuals both as his financial clients and in his inner circle. Based on positive reports from several friends, and on my initial dealings with him, I believed I could trust him.”

Before the separation, Wexner-backed entities financed a charity called C.O.U.Q., which Mr. Epstein controlled. That foundation accepted an $11.2 million donation from the Wexner Children’s Trust in 2002 and $10 million from the Leslie H. Wexner Charitable Fund in 2004.

In the letter sent Wednesday, Mr. Wexner said he had been “able to recover some of the funds” that he said were misappropriated by Mr. Epstein. That included a transfer of about $46 million worth of securities from C.O.U.Q. and a Virgin Island business controlled by Mr. Epstein to a foundation run by Mr. Wexner’s wife, Abigail Wexner, according to tax documents.

Aug. 6

#MeToo: Boy Scouts

washington post logoWashington Post, Boy Scouts failed to stop hundreds of previously unreported sexual predators, a lawsuit alleges, Kayla Epstein​, Aug. 6, 2019. A group of lawyers is claiming to have uncovered hundreds of previously unreported cases of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania on Monday. The plaintiff in the case, named only as S.D. because he wishes to keep his identity private, is alleging that he was assaulted “hundreds” of times by a scout leader in Pennsylvania over the course of approximately four years in the 1970s.

boy scouts logo customThe lawsuit alleges that S.D.'s abuse would not have been possible had it not been for the negligence of the Boy Scouts, that the organization conspired to keep incidents of sexual assault a secret, and that the organization and other defendants engaged in “reckless misconduct” in failing to protect its young participants.

The litigation stems from an effort to unearth previously unreported cases of child sexual abuse in one of America’s most prominent youth organizations, spearheaded by Abused in Scouting, a group of law firms that collaborate on bringing such cases to light.

U.S. Politics

washington post logoWashington Post, Ocasio-Cortez confronts McConnell over photo of men in ‘Team Mitch’ shirts ‘groping & choking’ her cutout, Tim Elfrink, Aug. 6, 2019. The young men wear matching shirts from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)’s campaign, and cluster around a cardboard cutout of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Several of them hold their thumbs down. One grasps the life-size poster by the waist and pretends to kiss the congresswoman. Another appears to mime his hand around her neck.

alexandria ocasio cortezTo Ocasio-Cortez, right, the photo — originally posted to Instagram and then made viral on Twitter on Monday — suggested an endorsement of violent misogyny.

“Are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?” Ocasio-Cortez asked on Twitter on Monday night.

McConnell’s campaign answered in the negative to both questions, saying in a statement that it “in no way condones” the image and also noting that the men are high school students with no official affiliation.

But as many raced to post the men’s real names and social media accounts, the campaign also suggested it was wrong to cast them into the maw of viral outrage culture and cried hypocrisy, noting a similar controversy that ensnared President-elect Barack Obama’s speechwriter in late 2008.

Aug. 3

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein lavished cash on lawyers’ charities after sweetheart plea deal, Isabel Vincent, Aug. 3, 2019. Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was so thrilled with the sweetheart plea deal his legal dream team scored for him in Florida, that he threw in an added bonus — nearly $1 million worth of donations to their favorite charities, including a tony Manhattan prep school.

jeffrey epstein hands handsIn 2007, while two Manhattan-based criminal defense lawyers were finalizing Epstein’s deal, which included 13 months in a Palm Beach County jail and freedom from federal criminal prosecution, Epstein (shown in a photo from his defunct foundation) was writing checks to their charities.

Epstein’s C.O.U.Q. non-profit donated $500,000 in 2007 to the Ramaz School on the Upper East Side where attorney Jay Lefkowitz was a prominent member of the school’s Orthodox Jewish community. {Editor's note: Lefkowitz is a senior litigation counsel at the major law firm Kirkland and Ellis, where his colleagues included fellow Epstein defense counsel Kenneth Starr, the former Independent Counsel targeting President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case, and current Attorney General William Barr, all of whom have track recordsd as highly partisan Republicans.]

Epstein’s private foundation also donated $250,000 to the Washington-based Foundation for Criminal Justice where another attorney, Gerald Lefcourt, was a board member in 2007, public filings show.

Both of the contributions were one-time donations from the charity, which was founded in 1998 by Epstein and former gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of the late British media mogul Robert Maxwell who has been accused by three women of procuring girls to work as sex slaves for Epstein.

alexander acosta o cropped CustomSee related story: Above the Law, Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest Forces Us To Ask: Which Dirtbag Lawyers In This Case Will Face Their Own Music? Joe Patrice.

It’s not clear what prompted the donations, and neither Lecourt nor Lefkowitz returned The Post’s emails and calls seeking comment.

A former senior advisor to both Presidents Bush, Lefkowitz’s three children attended the school. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who served as principal of the school between 1966 and 2015, married Lefkowitz and his wife Elena Neuman in 1991.

Neuman, a documentary filmmaker, has made films for the Ramaz School, according to her LinkedIn profile. The couple donated between $25,000 to $99,000 to the school’s annual campaign in 2010, according to the Ramaz Magazine.

In a letter sent to Ramaz parents, school officials said they did not know that the 2007 contribution came from Epstein and were only recently made aware of it.

“This gift opportunity was brought to Ramaz by a community member and was used to establish an educational program,” said the letter, which did not identify the “community member.”

A spokeswoman for Ramaz refused comment.

Calls to the Foundation for Criminal Justice, a charity that promotes the work of criminal defense lawyers, did not return requests for comment.

Aug. 1

polly twitterAmazing Polly, Opinion: Epstein Enemy Emerges from the Swamp? Polly (shown on Twitter photo, last name withheld), Aug. 1, 2019. (33:32 min. video). You have to bear with me as I set the stage in this video about a person who has come out of the shadows recently and who ran in the same circles as Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Conrad Black was a powerful media mogul -- could he be a key to untangling the web of corruption? Find out why I think so.

July

July 31

Associated Press via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ex-Pa. AG Kathleen Kane released from jail, Staff Report, July 31, 2019. A former ap logoPennsylvania attorney general who was convicted of leaking grand jury material and lying about it is out of jail, walking free Wednesday after serving eight months behind bars.

kathleen kane oKathleen Kane (shown at right in a file photo while in office) left the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in the Philadelphia suburbs about 8:20 a.m. When asked by a reporter how she felt, Kane replied “grateful.”

Kane resigned after being convicted in 2016 of perjury, obstruction and other counts for leaking grand jury material to a Philadelphia newspaper and lying about it.

The Scranton native (shown below in a mug shot after arrest) was a little-known former assistant county prosecutor when she ran for attorney general with a campaign largely financed by her then-husband, who helped run a family-kathleen kane mugowned trucking and warehousing business. Kane won in a landslide in 2012, becoming the first woman and first Democrat to win the office.

Democrats embraced her as a rising star and her name began floating in political circles as a potential U.S. Senate candidate.

However, the state Supreme Court appointed a special counsel to investigate Kane’s office in 2014 after former prosecutors with the attorney general’s office complained that a Philadelphia Daily News story had contained information from a grand jury investigation that was protected by secrecy laws. She was charged in 2015.

Prosecutors contended that Kane had leaked the information to smear two former state prosecutors, who she believed had provided information for an earlier story in The Philadelphia Inquirer that revealed her decision not to pursue charges against Democratic state lawmakers in a separate corruption case.

Kane had argued that she had been the victim of selective and vindictive prosecution after clashing with some of the office’s former prosecutors. During her campaign for the attorney general’s office, she raised questions about how it had prosecuted the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case.

After the special counsel began investigating, Kane revealed the exchange of pornographic emails by members of the attorney general’s office and judges. She had also argued that she was wrongly turned down in an effort to keep all Montgomery County judges from handling her case and that evidence against her was illegally obtained.

After appeals failed, she turned herself in to the jail in the Philadelphia suburb of Eagleville at the end of November and began serving a 10- to 23-month term. She eventually had a couple months shaved off for good behavior.

Justice Integrity Project Editor's note: Some commentators have written that she was selectively prosecuted, as she unsuccessfully argued, for persistent efforts to investigative pedophile scandals in Pennsylvania involving powerless youths (as in the Penn State scandal) and powerful perpetators.

More On Jeffrey Epstein

jeffrey epstein hands handsOver the years, Jeffrey E. Epstein, right, surrounded himself with many prominent scientists, including several affiliated with Harvard (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation).

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race With His DNA, James B. Stewart, Matthew Goldstein and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, July 31, 2019. Over the years, Jeffrey E. Epstein surrounded himself with many prominent scientists, including several affiliated with Harvard.

Jeffrey E. Epstein, the wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker, had an unusual dream: He hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.

Mr. Epstein over the years confided to scientists and others about his scheme, according to four people familiar with his thinking, although there is no evidence that it ever came to fruition.

Mr. Epstein’s vision reflected his longstanding fascination with what has become known as transhumanism: the science of improving the human population through technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Critics have likened transhumanism to a modern-day version of eugenics, the discredited field of improving the human race through controlled breeding.

 djt knauss epstein ghislaine maxwell mar a lago getty full davidoff studios

Donald Trump, Melania Knauss [Trump], Jeffrey Epstein and Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, (left to right at Mar-A-Lago.
Davidoff Studios Photography / Getty Images

washington post logoWashington Post, Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein partied together. Then an oceanfront mansion came between them, Beth Reinhard, Rosalind S. Helderman and Marc Fisher, July 31, 2019. Trump has not said why his relationship with Epstein ruptured, only that it happened about 15 years ago. At the time, the two men were squaring off over an oceanfront Palm Beach mansion being sold at bankruptcy.

• Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking trial could last a month or more, attorney says

July 30

Assault Claim Against Chiefs' Nominee

ny times logoNew York Times, General Accused of Sexual Assault Is Defended by Two Prominent Woman, Helene Cooper, July 30, 2019. Senator Martha McSally and the former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Gen. John Hyten, left, was falsely accused.

With the female accuser looking on, two prominent women on Tuesday exerted their considerable influence on matters relating to sexual john hytenassault and the military, saying that they do not believe that President Trump’s nominee for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted a subordinate multiple times in 2017.

Both Heather A. Wilson, the former Air Force secretary, and Senator Martha McSally, right, Republican of Arizona and kathryn spletstosera self-described survivor of sexual assault in the military, strongly and unequivocally defended Gen. John E. Hyten of the Air Force during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Seated several rows behind the general was Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser, shown in a file photo at right, a 28-year Army officer with four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In an interview last week with The New York Times, she described numerous instances of unwanted touching by the general, culminating in what she described as an assault in her hotel room in December 2017. Air Force officials said an investigation found no evidence to corroborate Colonel Spletstoser’s accusations. (Investigators also said they found no evidence that she lied.)

“Sexual assault happens in the military,” Ms. McSally, right, said. “It just didn’t happen in this case.” Ms. McSally — who said this year that martha mcsally oshe had been raped when she was a cadet at the Air Force Academy — also described the case against General Hyten as not even “a jump ball” or a “he said, she said” situation.

Ms. Wilson, a former Republican House member, was equally adamant. Introducing the general at the start of the hearing, and serving as a character witness for him, she declared that “General Hyten was falsely accused, and this matter should be set aside as you consider this nomination.”

She then suggested that Colonel Spletstoser, who is still on active duty in the Army, “is a wounded soldier who believes what she is saying is true even if it is not.”

Colonel Spletstoser said she found the assertions of the two women devastating. Of Ms. Wilson in particular, Colonel Spletstoser said she was “disgusted and offended that she would insinuate that my combat service would make me a liar.”

With a handful of exceptions, the people who spoke Tuesday — Colonel Spletstoser said her offer to testify at the public hearing was declined — made clear they believed General Hyten over his accuser. Ms. Wilson, Ms. McSally and others cited the Air Force investigation into the case, with its more than 1,000 pages of records and interviews with over 50 people.

Epstein Scandal

CNBC, Jeffrey Epstein got court documents claiming he raped15-year-old girl day before he was injured in jail cell, Kevin Breuninger and Dan Mangan, July 30, 2019. A day before Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, was found mysteriously injured in his jail cell, the wealthy financier was served legal documents detailing a woman’s claims that he raped her in his New York City mansion when she was just 15 years old.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019The accuser, Jennifer Araoz, plans to sue Epstein, right, next month for claims of sexual assault, battery and rape, which she alleges he started committing when she was a New York high school student in 2001, according to a court filing earlier this month.

But first, Araoz is asking a judge to order Epstein to submit to a deposition, where he can be asked by Araoz’s lawyers the identity of a female “recruiter” who allegedly conspired with him to identify her “as a potential sexual abuse victim” and “facilitated the grooming” of Araoz.

“Upon identification of the recruiter, she will be added as a defendant to” Araoz’s planned suit against Epstein, the filing says. “Further, the recruiter possesses critical evidence of [Araoz’s] sexual assault claims.”

July 29

jeffrey epstein alan dershowitzThe New Yorker, Alan Dershowitz, Devil’s Advocate, Connie Bruck, July 29, 2019 (August 5 & 12, 2019 issue). The noted lawyer’s long, controversial career — and the accusations against him. He is shown with one of his clients, Harvard donor and accused pedophile and mass sex traffickerJeffrey Epstein.

Dershowitz says, “Every honest criminal lawyer will tell you that he defends the guilty and the innocent.”

“A lie is a lie is a lie,” Whoopi Goldberg said. It was May 2nd, and she was on the set of “The View,” the daytime talk show that she co-hosts. The subject was Attorney General William Barr, who had argued that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was not as alarming as it seemed—endorsing Donald Trump’s claim that there had been “no collusion, no obstruction” in the Russia case. Goldberg was incredulous. “Our parents taught us, if you lie, there are consequences,” she said. “When are consequences coming back?”

new yorker logoHer guest, the attorney Alan Dershowitz, offered an answer that combined legal analysis and political handicapping. “They come back in November of 2020, when we all go to the polls and we vote against people that we think lied,” he said. “But it would be a terrible thing”—he held up a finger for emphasis—“to criminalize lies.”

Dershowitz is a frequent guest on shows like “The View”; for decades, he has been a frequent guest just about everywhere. If you are a television producer putting together a segment about a celebrated criminal case, Dershowitz is an ideal booking. Intellectually nimble and supremely confident, he is an emeritus professor at Harvard Law School but also an occasional reader (and subject) of the tabloids. Over the years, he has written thousands of newspaper articles, magazine columns, and Web posts. With help from research assistants, he has published three dozen books—including “The Best Defense,” “Chutzpah,” and “Sexual McCarthyism”—that recount his cases and advance his opinions.

After a commercial, the next segment began, with images of several controversial Dershowitz clients: Claus von Bülow, O. J. Simpson, Mike Tyson. The lineup included Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy money manager who had been accused of sexually abusing underage girls. Starting in 2005, investigators had traced a sex-trafficking operation that extended from mansions in New York and Palm Beach to a Caribbean island, Little St. James, that Epstein owned. As charges became public, press accounts enumerated his famous acquaintances—including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Kevin Spacey—and described trips to the island on his plane, the so-called Lolita Express.

Despite sworn accounts from more than a dozen women, Dershowitz and his team secured a deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to minor charges and served only a brief sentence. On “The View,” which was hosted by four women, Dershowitz described the experience as fraught: “It’s a case that was very, very difficult, and very, very painful for me, because I saw real victims out there. I’m a very strong supporter of the MeToo movement.”

But, he said, an attorney is obligated to defend the rights of the accused: “I think of myself like a doctor or a priest. If they wheel Jeffrey Epstein into the emergency ward, the doctor is going to take care of him.” (Dershowitz put it differently to me, in one of a series of conversations this spring and summer: “Every honest criminal lawyer will tell you that he defends the guilty and the innocent.”)

July 28

Epstein Was Cosmo 'Bachelor'

jeffrey epstein cosmo bachelor of month stephen ogilvy photo

Jeffrey Epstein as Cosmo Magazine 'Bachelor of the Month' in July 1980 (Stephen Ogilvy Photo).

daily beast logoDaily Beast, When Epstein Was Cosmo’s Bachelor of the Month, Kate Briquelet, July 28, 2019. In July 1980, the predatory financier was featured as the magazine’s “Bachelor of the Month" seeking a "cute Texas girl."

Long before Jeffrey Epstein boasted of his billionaires-only client list — and long before his arrests for molesting underage girls in Florida and New York — the perverted financier was an eligible bachelor in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan.

In July 1980, Epstein was featured as the magazine’s “Bachelor of the Month,” a tiny section advertising successful single men across the country. At the time, the future sex-offender was a Bear Stearns trader and asked potential dates to write him at the investment bank's former headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

Epstein also claimed to speak only to millionaires, a prelude to his high-rolling lifestyle that included hobnobbing with Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, and amassing a collection of posh homes in Palm Beach, New York, Paris, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The personals ad, which included a photo of Epstein in a suit, portrayed him as a “New York dynamo” seeking “a cute Texas girl.”

anthony weiner“Financial strategist Jeffrey Epstein, 27, talks only to people who make over a million a year!” the listing declared. “If you’re ‘a cute Texas girl,’ write this New York dynamo at 55 Water St., 49th floor, N.Y.C. 10041.”

In December 2003, Page Six declared Epstein, then 50 years old, one of New York City’s “most eligible guys” under the headline “Singling Out Apple’s Top Studs.” The list of bachelors included Donald Trump, Jr., modeling agent Paolo Zampolli, and disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, at right.

July 27

Narativ, Building Big Brother: Jeffrey Epstein’s investment in an Israeli start-up reveals a myriad of links to Donald Trump and Israeli spies, Zev Shalev and Tracie McElroy, July 27, 2019.

What we found:

  • Jeffrey Epstein is an Israeli spy.
  • He is an investor in a start-up with ties to Israeli Intelligence.
  • Two Putin-linked oligarchs are his partners.
  • The start-up poses a privacy risk.
  • Ties to Erik Prince, Michael Cohen, George Nader and Peter Thiel.

It’s been thirty-two years since the “Pollard Affair” pierced the seemingly impenetrable facade of U.S.-Israeli relations. Now, two suspected Israeli agents are in jail – indicted on separate charges of sex trafficking of minors.

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on July 6 and charged with trafficking minors across state lines. George Nader – a key witness for Robert Mueller – was arrested last month for possession of child porn and transporting a minor for sex from Europe.

Epstein and Nader share a personal network that includes Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Erik Prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his UAE counterpart, Mohamed Bin Zayed.

But their association goes further than powerful friends and proclivities for teenage boys and girls. Epstein and Nader are believed to be agents for Israeli Intelligence. Narativ has independently confirmed Epstein was indeed working for the Israelis.

Both men also have ties to a burgeoning Israeli tech sector which is bringing Mossad-style military intelligence to the private sector and endangering the global balance of power.

The Haaretz newspaper has previously reported that Epstein, who was Donald Trump’s friend through the ’80s and ’90s, partnered in an Israeli start-up alongside former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Barak is seeking to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister in the upcoming re-run elections scheduled for September. Since 2015, he has been the front-man for Carbyne, an Israeli start-up which purports to be a high-tech solution for 911 emergency call centers, but the platform’s architecture and investors raise serious privacy concerns.

Narativ undertook an extensive investigation into Carbyne, and can now reveal a myriad of troubling connections between the start-up and people connected to Donald Trump.

July 26

Colonel Accuses Chiefs Nominee

ny times logoNew York Times, Colonel Accuses Top Military Nominee of Assault, Helene Cooper, July 26, 2019. Army Col. Kathryn Spletstoser described being sexually assaulted in her hotel room at a defense forum by Air Force Gen. John Hyten, an accusation he has denied.

General Hyten was nominated by President Trump to be the vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is the country’s No. 2 military post.

Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser says she had returned to her hotel room and was putting on face cream on the night of Dec. 2, 2017, after a full day at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California, when her boss, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, the commander of United States Strategic Command, knocked on her door and said he wanted to talk to her.

The military’s itinerary of General Hyten’s movements that day in Simi Valley, which was viewed by The New York Times, said he was having “executive time.” Colonel Spletstoser said in an interview this week that her boss “sat on the bed in front of the TV and asked me to sit down next to him.”

According to her account, General Hyten reached for her hand. She became alarmed, and stood back up. He stood up too, she said, and pulled her to him and kissed her on the lips while pressing himself against her, then ejaculated, getting semen on his sweatpants and on her yoga pants.

In April, President Trump nominated General Hyten to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed, he would become the country’s No. 2 military officer, helping to oversee the 1.2 million active-duty American troops at home and deployed around the world.

A Defense Department official who on Friday discussed the investigation only on condition of anonymity maintained that the Air Force’s investigation into the allegations did not unearth any emails, text messages or other supporting evidence, except for the fact that the two were together at each time that she alleges abusive sexual contact took place.

The official said that General Hyten, who oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal as the head of the Strategic Command, is one of the most heavily guarded officers in the American military and is frequently escorted by a security detail.

The official said it would be difficult, though not impossible, for the general to have entered Colonel Spletstoser’s room without his security guards noticing. None of the guards, the official said, reported anything amiss.

Epstein Attack Probed

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein's unit mate had an illegal burner phone in his possession, Wayne Madsen, July 26, 2019 (subscription required). Officials of the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan are being mum about how Nicholas Tartaglione, Jeffrey Epstein's unit mate who is charged with a quadruple homicide and faces the death penalty, obtained in the highly-secure facility a voice only "mini phone," commonly known as a "burner phone."

InStyle.com, In Conversation with Julie K. Brown and Jane Mayer, Two Reporters Exposing Corruption All the Way to the Top, Sarah Cristobal, July 26, 2019. Jane Mayer and Julie K. Brown are two of the most influential investigative reporters in the country. As they continue to expose corruption and abuse at the highest levels, there’s no disputing the power of the press.

How does one define “determination”? It’s spending years chasing a story that you believe in when no one else does. It’s cold-calling leads, knocking on the doors of strangers, and traveling to obscure destinations to try to coax a witness or a victim who doesn’t want to talk to do just that. It’s spending your days poring over a decade’s worth of legal documents that are stacked in comically high piles in your guest room. It’s arranging clandestine meetings with federal marshals in a parking garage using code words like “Charlie” and “low-jane mayer cspankey.” It’s missing family vacations so you can write, without distraction, a story that attempts to balance the scales of justice.

Determination is in the DNA of Jane Mayer, the New Yorker’s chief Washington correspondent, and Julie K. Brown, a senior investigative reporter at the Miami Herald.

Mayer *shown in a C-SPAN screenshot) has written four best-selling books tackling the issues of money, corruption, and power in politics. She’s taken on influential big-donor billionaires (the Koch brothers), contributed to the reporting that led to the televised Senate testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and established the through line from President Donald Trump’s office to Fox News HQ.

jeffrey epstein julie brown cnn screenshot CustomBrown  spent four years investigating and uncovering the abusive conditions in the Florida prison system, spurring a federal civil rights investigation by the Department of Justice. In November 2018 the Herald published “Perversion of Justice,” Brown’s staggering three-part article about financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (with whom she is shown on CNN in separate screenshots).

perversion of justice miami herald logoFor the piece, Brown tracked down around 80 alleged victims of Epstein’s abuse (eight of whom went on record). The story also detailed Epstein’s sweetheart plea deal arranged by Alexander Acosta, then the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, who went on to become Trump’s secretary of labor.

Constitution, statutes, and established congressional oversight defies the rule of law.

Consensual Kink: Exists, But Seldom Noted

New York Post, 68-year-old dominatrix charges men $150 an hour to clean her house, Wire and staff reports, July 25, 2019 (video). This 68-year-old divorcee found her kinky calling. As a dominatrix, she goes by the name Mistress Sofia and charges masked clients upwards of $150 an hour for her services.

BDSM tasks include cleaning her house in Swindon, UK, which also has a playroom full of toys. “There’s no touching. They’re allowed to worship my feet, but not above the ankles,” the mother of three explained. As for her adult daughter, she’s “proud” of her mom’s new lifestyle.

July 25

Epstein: The Big Picture

whitney webbMint Press News, Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump’s Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era (Part II), Whitney Webb, right, July 25, 2019 (Excerpted; Click link for full story]. Appalling for both the villainous abuse of children itself and the chilling implications of government by blackmail, this tangled web of unsavory alliances casts a lurid light on the political history of the U.S. from the Prohibition Era right up through the Age of Trump.

Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire who now sits in jail on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors, has continued to draw media scrutiny in the weeks after his arrest on July 6. Part of the reason for this continued media interest is related to Epstein’s alleged relationship to the intelligence services and new information about the true extent of the sexual blackmail operation Epstein is believed to have run for decades.

As MintPress reported last week, Epstein was able to run this sordid operation for so long precisely because his was only the latest incarnation of a much older, more extensive operation that began in the 1950s and perhaps even earlier.

Starting first with mob-linked liquor baron Lewis Rosenstiel and later with Roy Cohn, Rosenstiel’s protege and future mentor to Donald Trump, Epstein’s is just one of the many sexual blackmail operations involving children that are all tied to the same network, which includes elements of organized crime, powerful Washington politicians, lobbyists and “fixers,” and clear links to intelligence as well as the FBI.

This report, Part II of this series titled “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big To Fail,” will delve into Cohn’s close ties to the Reagan administration, which was also closely tied to the same organized crime network led by the infamous mob figure Meyer Lansky, which was discussed in Part I. Of particular importance is the “Iran Contra” network, a group of Reagan officials and associates who played key roles in the Iran Contra scandal. Though it has remained relatively unknown for years, many key figures in that same network, and several fronts for the CIA that were involved in funneling money to the Central American Contra paramilitaries, were also trafficking minors for their sexual exploitation and use in sexual blackmail rings.

Several of these rings made headlines at one point or another over the years — from the “call boy ring” run by Washington lobbyist Craig Spence, to the Franklin child-sex and murder ring run by Republican operative Larry King, to the scandal that enveloped the Catholic charity Covenant House in the late 1980s.

Yet, as this report will show, all of these rings — and more — were connected to the same network that involved key figures linked to the Reagan White House and linked to Roy Cohn — revealing the true scope of the sordid sexual blackmail operations and sex rings that involved the trafficking of children within the U.S. and even in Central America for their exploitation by dangerous and powerful pedophiles in the United States.

Appalling for both the villainous abuse of children itself and the chilling implications of government by blackmail, this tangled web of unsavory alliances casts a lurid light on the political history of the United States from the Prohibition Era right up to the present day and the Age of Trump, a fact made increasingly clear as more and more information comes to light in relation to the Jeffrey Epstein case.

“Roy could fix anyone in the city”

Since Donald Trump burst onto the political scene in 2015, the legacy of his mentor, Roy Cohn – as well as Cohn’s influence on his most famous protege — have begun to garner renewed media attention. Many of the profiles on Cohn following Trump’s rise have focused solely on certain shadowy aspects of Cohn’s history, particularly his association with major figures in New York organized crime, his corrupt dealings, and his eventual disbarment. Some of these portrayals even went so far as to label Cohn as politically impotent. While Cohn was known to deal with a sizable amount of sleaze in his career, such depictions of the man fail to note that he had created an influence machine of unrivaled power that included some of the most prominent people in media and politics as well as a cadre of celebrities.

Cohn was closely associated with numerous celebrities, famous politicians and political operatives. Many of his birthday parties over the years attracted such famous figures such as artist Andy Warhol, fashion designer Calvin Klein, and comedian Joey Adams, as well as notable political figures including former Mayor of New York Abraham Beame and then-Assemblyman from Brooklyn and future Senator Chuck Schumer, among others. In 1979 Margaret Trudeau, mother of current Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, attended Cohn’s birthday party, where she famously toppled his custom birthday cake; and of course Donald Trump, who became Cohn’s protege in the mid-1970s, was a frequent fixture at social events held in Cohn’s honor.

The politicians, journalists and celebrities invited to Cohn’s exclusive parties were said to be those who “had open accounts in Cohn’s ‘favor bank,’” his nickname for his unofficial balance sheet of political favors and debts that was surely informed and influenced by his extensive involvement in sexual blackmail operations from the 1950s well into the 1980s.

Many of Cohn’s celebrity friendships were cultivated through his relationship with and frequent appearances at the famous and famously debaucherous New York nightclub Studio 54, which was described by Vanity Fair as “the giddy epicenter of 70s hedonism, a disco hothouse of beautiful people, endless cocaine, and every kind of sex.” Cohn was the long-time lawyer of the club’s owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.

Among Cohn’s closest friends were Barbara Walters, to whom Cohn often referred as his “fiancee” in public, and whom he later introduced to the head of the U.S. Information Agency, Chad Wick, and other high rollers in the Reagan White House. Yet, Walters was just one of Cohn’s powerful friends in the media, a group that also included Abe Rosenthal, executive editor of the New York Times; William Safire, long-time New York Times columnist and New York Magazine contributor; and George Sokolsky of The New York Herald Tribune, NBC and ABC. Sokolsky was a particularly close friend of both Cohn and former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, whose involvement in Cohn’s sexual blackmail operation is described in Part I of this investigative series. Sokolsky ran the American Jewish League Against Communism with Cohn for several years and the organization later named its Medal of Honor after Sokolsky.

Cohn was also the attorney and friend of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and, according to New York Magazine, “Whenever Roy wanted a story stopped, item put in, or story exploited, Roy called Murdoch;” and, after Murdoch bought the New York Post, Cohn “wielded the paper as his personal shiv.” According to the late journalist Robert Parry, the friendship between Murdoch and Cohn first began thanks to their mutual support for Israel.

Cohn also leaned on his life-long friend since high school, Si Newhouse Jr., to exert media influence. Newhouse oversaw the media empire that now includes Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, and numerous local newspapers throughout the United States, as well as major interests in cable television. New York Magazine also noted that “Cohn used his influence in the early ’80s to secure favors for himself and his Mob clients in Newhouse publications.” In addition to Newhouse, Cohn’s other high school pals, Generoso Pope Jr. and Richard Berlin, later became the owners of the National Enquirer and the Hearst Corporation, respectively. Cohn was also a close friend of another media mogul, Mort Zuckerman, who – along with Rupert Murdoch – would go on to befriend Jeffrey Epstein.

Cohn’s media confidants, like journalist William Buckley of The National Review and Firing Line, often attacked Cohn’s political enemies – particularly long-time Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau — in their columns, using Cohn as an anonymous source. Buckley, whom historian George Nash once called “the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure,” received the George Sokolsky medal alongside Cohn’s mob-linked client and “Supreme Commander” Lewis Rosenstiel from the Cohn-run American Jewish League Against Communism in 1966. Buckley later got a heavily discounted $65,000 loan to buy a luxury boat from a bank where Cohn held influence and whose president Cohn had hand picked, according to a 1969 article in LIFE magazine.

Cohn, Murdoch and the Contras

Though Cohn’s influence in the Reagan administration and his friendship with the Reagan family and their inner circle has been acknowledged, less well-known is how Cohn aided the CIA’s covert propaganda efforts that were part of the larger scandal known as Iran-Contra.

Cohn, whose influence over the press has already been detailed, forged close ties with the director of the U.S. Information Agency, Chad Wick, even hosting a luncheon in Wick’s honor that was widely attended by influential figures in the conservative press, as well as senators and representatives. Soon after, then-CIA Director and Cohn friend William Casey was spearheading an extensive PR campaign aimed at shoring up public support for Reagan’s Latin American policies, including support of the Contra paramilitaries.

This domestic propaganda effort was technically illegal and required that the CIA outsource the job to the private sector to minimize the risk of fall-out. As Robert Parry reported in 2015, Wick took the lead in obtaining private funding for the effort and, just a few days after Wick promised to find private support, Cohn brought his close friend, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, to the White House.

“The man in the black tuxedo”

Roy Cohn was not the only one close to the Reagan administration who was simultaneously running sexual blackmail operations that abused and exploited children. In fact, there were several figures, all of whom shared direct connections to CIA Director William Casey and other close friends and confidants of Cohn.

The downfall of “Washington’s Jay Gatsby”

After having left his job as an ABC News correspondent in the 1980s, Craig Spence found success as a prominent conservative Washington lobbyist. Spence would soon find his fortunes shift dramatically when, in June 1989, it was revealed that he had been pimping out children to the power elite in the nation’s capital throughout the 1980s in apartments that were bugged with video and audio recording equipment. Much like Jeffrey Epstein, who ran a similar operation, Spence was often likened to Jay Gatsby, the mysterious, wealthy figure from the well-known Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby.

A 1982 New York Times article written about Spence said that his “personal phone book and party guest lists constitute a ‘Who’s Who’ in Congress, Government and journalism” and stated that Spence was “hired by his clients as much for whom he knows as what he knows.” Spence was also known to throw lavish parties, which the Times described as “glitter[ed] with notables, from ambassadors to television stars, from senators to senior State Department officials.” Roy Cohn, William Casey and Roy Cohn’s journalist friend William Safire were just some of the other attendees at Spence’s festivities.

Spence later stated that his contacts within the White House, which allowed him and his “call boys” access, were “top level” officials and he specifically singled out George H.W. Bush’s then-National Security Advisor Donald Gregg. Gregg had worked at the CIA since 1951 before he resigned in 1982 to become National Security Advisor to Bush, who was then vice president. Prior to resigning from his post at the CIA, Gregg had worked directly under William Casey and, in the late 1970s, alongside a young William Barr (emphasis added) in stonewalling the congressional Pike Committee and Church Committee, which investigated the CIA beginning in 1975. Among the things that they were tasked with investigating were the CIA’s “love traps,” or sexual blackmail operations used to lure foreign diplomats to bugged apartments, complete with recording equipment and two-way mirrors.

Barr would later become Bush’s Attorney General, rising to that post yet again under Trump. Furthermore, Barr’s father worked for the precursor to the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and recruited a young Jeffrey Epstein, then a high school drop-out, to teach at the elite Dalton School, from which Epstein was later fired. A year prior to hiring Epstein, Donald Barr published a science fiction fantasy novel about sex slavery. Notably, the same year Donald Barr hired Epstein, his son was working for the CIA.

Bill Barr has refused calls to recuse himself from the Epstein case, even though he worked at the same law firm that has represented Epstein in the past.

whitney webbWhitney Webb, right, is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets, including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

Epstein Hurt In Cell

NBC News New York, Jeffrey Epstein Found Injured in NYC Jail Cell After Possible Suicide Attempt: Sources, Jonathan Dienst, Tom Winter nbc news logoand Sarah Fitzpatrick, updated July 25, 2019. Epstein was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, sources said and investigators are jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019trying to piece together exactly what happened.

Accused pedophile and wealthy Manhattan financier Jeffrey Epstein (shown in a mug shot) was found injured and in a fetal position inside his cell at a New York City jail, according to sources close to the investigation.

Epstein, who is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center during his trial for conspiracy and sex trafficking, was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck, two sources told News 4. Investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened, saying details remain murky.

Two sources tell News 4 that Epstein may have tried to hang himself, while a third source cautioned that the injuries were not serious and questioned if Epstein might be using it as a way to get a transfer.

A fourth source said an assault has not been ruled out, and that another inmate was questioned.

nicholas tartaglione facebook CustomThe inmate who investigators have talked to in Lower Manhattan facility has been identified as Nicholas Tartaglione, according to two sources. Tartaglione (shown in a Facebook photo) is a former police officer in Westchester County who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville in Orange County, according to court records.

Sources told News 4 investigators questioned Tartaglione, and the former cop claimed not to have seen anything and insisted he did not touch Epstein, sources said.

The attorney for Tartaglione denied all the claims that his client attacked the financier, saying his client and Epstein get along well. The attorney added Epstein was seen today and appears to be fine.

"They are in the same unit and doing well," said Bruce Barket, an attorney for Tartaglione. He said any claim that Tartaglione might have assaulted Epstein "is absolutely not true."

Barket said Tartaglione and Epstein have been complaining about conditions inside the MCC including flooding, rodents and bad food. Epstein is now on suicide watch inside MCC, according to two sources. Attorneys for Epstein did not immediately return calls for comment.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons did not return calls and spokesmen for the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein Visited Clinton White House Multiple Times in Early ’90s, Emily Shugerman and Suzi Parker, July 25, 2019 (updated). A Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Epstein and the Clinton administration that date back to the president’s earliest days in the White House.

Days after Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on sex-trafficking charges in New York, Bill Clinton distanced himself from the high-flying financier and convicted sex offender. The former president owned up to just six encounters with Epstein, starting in 2002: four flights on the billionaire’s private jet, a single trip to his Harlem office, and one “brief visit” to his New York apartment, all with staff and security detail in tow.

bill clinton wNow, a Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Epstein and the Clinton administration that date back to the president’s earliest days in the White House, casting doubt on the oft-circulated narrative that the two only began associating after Clinton (shown in a White House photo) left office.

As early as 1993, records show, Epstein donated $10,000 to the White House Historical Association and attended a donors’ reception hosted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Around the same time, according to a source familiar with the connection, Epstein visited presidential aide Mark Middleton several times at the White House. Two years later, businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a personal letter to Clinton thanking him for their talk about the financier.

“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Clinton’s spokesperson, Angel Ureña, told The Daily Beast. “Any suggestion to the contrary is both factually inaccurate and irresponsible.”

Representatives for Epstein, de Rothschild and Middleton did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Dinner At The White House

How Epstein entered Clinton’s orbit remains unclear. When the president released his initial statement on Epstein, he did not explain the multiple other trips he appears to have taken on the financier’s plane — including one flight to Westchester with Epstein, his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell, and an “unnamed female.”

Clinton also failed to mention the intimate 1995 fundraising dinner at the Palm Beach home of Revlon mogul Ron Perelman, where Clinton hobnobbed with the likes of Epstein, Don Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett. (Nearby, at Epstein’s own Palm Beach mansion, the money man allegedly abused hundreds of underage girls.)

The two were clearly chummy by the early Clinton Foundation years, as attested to by a 2002 photo of Epstein and Clinton in Brunei that appeared in Vicky Ward’s 2003 profile of the financier. In a 2002 piece for New York magazine about the Africa trip, Clinton praised Epstein as a “highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist.”

Politico recently claimed that Clinton and Epstein connected in the first few years after the president left office. Citing “people who know those involved,” the article pegged Maxwell as the glue connecting the two men, and Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, as the tie between the president and the British socialite. Politico noted that Maxwell had vacationed with the Chelsea in 2009, attended her wedding in 2010, and participated in the Clinton Global Initiative as recently as 2013. (A Clinton spokesperson denied Chelsea and Ghislaine were close.)

Documents in the Clinton Library, however, attest to much earlier links between Maxwell, Epstein, and the Clinton White House.

In late September of 1993, Bill and Hillary Clinton hosted a reception for supporters who had contributed to recent White House renovations. The nearly $400,000 overhaul—which included new gold draperies and a 13-color woven rug for the Oval Office — was funded entirely by donations to the White House Historical Association, a private organization that helps preserve and promote the White House as a historical monument.

The reception took place at the White House residence from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., according to a copy of the president’s daily schedule. White House Social Secretary Ann Stock — who appears in Epstein’s little black book of phone numbers — was listed as the point of contact. According to multiple attendees, the evening included an intimate tour of the newly refurbished residence, followed by a receiving line with the president and first lady. Dessert was served in the East Room, where the couple thanked everyone for attending and announced the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

Guests for the event, according to the invitation list, included the journalist and philanthropist Barbara Goldsmith, heiress Jane Engelhard, political consultant Cynthia Friedman, and “Mr Jeffrey Epstein and Ms. Ghislaine Maxwell.” Epstein and Maxwell do not appear on the ‘regret list,’ and there is a letter ‘A’ next to both of their names, indicating they planned to attend. A press release from the event, put out by Hillary Clinton’s office, lists Epstein as a White House Historical Association donor.

Attorneys for Epstein did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

A letter from the following month reveals the extent of the financier’s generosity. Bernard R. Meyer, the executive vice president of the White House Historical Association, sent a note to Epstein’s Madison Avenue offices on Oct. 4, thanking him for his $10,000 contribution. The donation, Meyer wrote, would "assist in funding the costs of refurbishing the Oval Office in the West Wing and certain areas of the Executive Residence.”

A carbon copy of Meyer’s letter was also sent to A. Paul Prosperi—a college friend of Bill Clinton’s who visited Epstein frequently when the financier was jailed in 2008. Visitor logs show Prosperi, a Florida-based attorney, visited Epstein at least 20 times during the 13 months he spent in Palm Beach county jail for procuring an underage prostitute. Prosperi also attended the 1995 Perelman fundraiser where both Epstein and Clinton were present.

The White House refused to identify anyone associated with the Historical Association fundraising at the time, but records show Prosperi was intimately involved. The attorney is cc’d on letters to numerous donors, in which Meyer identifies him as the recipient of the contributions. Prosperi even wrote a $10,000 check to the association himself, according to a letter from Hillary Clinton’s personal counsel, Susan Thomases.

The Al Franken Question

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: We can’t let go of the Al Franken question. There’s good reason, Monica Hesse, July 25, 2019 (print ed.). We lack a template for addressing behavior that’s not criminal but bad nonetheless.

al frankenThanks to a 12,000-word New Yorker article this week (The Case of Al Franken), we now have a new vehicle to think about Al Franken, perhaps more deeply than anyone ever thought about Al Franken (shown in an official photo).

The “Saturday Night Live” star-turned-U.S. senator resigned in 2017 after eight women accused him of inappropriately jane mayer cspantouching or kissing them at various points in his career.

But according to the article, written by the renowned political investigative reporter Jane Mayer (shown in a C-SPAN photo), his resignation was a railroading. Facts about the initial accusation were misrepresented, she writes. She quotes sources who see Franken as a “cautionary tale,” a blundering but decent man whose propensity for “social kissing” swept him up along with genuine villains.

It’s worth reading.

Ethics: GOP Gadly Slammed

washington post logoWashington Post, Ethics panel of D.C. bar seeks to suspend conservative attorney Larry Klayman for 33 months, Spencer S. Hsu, July 25, 2019. The panel reported “egregious” misconduct in his representation of a woman who refused his romantic advances in 2010.

A legal ethics panel for the District of Columbia bar has recommended suspending conservative attorney Larry Klayman from practicing law for 33 months for “egregious” misconduct in 2010 while representing a woman who refused his romantic advances.

A report made public Wednesday by a hearing committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s disciplinary arm recommended that Klayman be required to prove his rehabilitation and fitness to gain reinstatement.

Klayman, 68, a Washington fixture whose active cases include lawsuits against Trump confidant Roger Stone and Infowars founder Alex Jones on behalf of writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, denied the allegations and can appeal the panel’s findings, which were contained in a 185-page report.

“It’s just a recommendation by a hearing committee,” Klayman said in an interview, adding that his appeal to the Board on Professional Responsibility and, if necessary, the court would take three to five years to resolve. He accused the review panel of partisan bias, saying, “It was a very politicized hearing committee, and I’m confident of success in the end.”

The panel ruled on a complaint brought by Elham Sataki, who retained Klayman in 2010 to file a sexual harassment suit against her former employer, Voice of America. That case was ultimately dismissed. Sataki could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

The panel concluded that the extent and “extreme nature” of Klayman’s misconduct abused the attorney-client relationship, including his fiduciary duty and obligation to consult with and abide by Sataki’s litigation decisions.

When she refused to enter a romantic relationship, he allegedly increased his compensation demands and exploited her “precarious financial position and his position as her attorney,” the report stated.

Despite her desire to pursue her case “simply and quietly,” Klayman, allegedly for his own political agenda, named unnecessary and high-profile defendants including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and attacked the judge hearing Sataki’s case as politically biased, the report stated.

Klayman allegedly refused to withdraw from her case after Sataki fired him, then published several articles about it without her knowledge or consent in WorldNetDaily, a right-wing news aggregator site.

The report cited excerpts of communications from Klayman to his client after she rejected him, such as a text from April 23, 2010, in which he stated, “When someone u deeply care for tells u stuff like, ‘you’ll never be my Boyfriend . . . how would u feel?’ ”

In a letter later that year to a third party, Klayman wrote, “I do truly love Ellie. . . . But I do not want to hurt her and my own emotions have rendered me non-functional even as a lawyer,” according to the report.

Sataki told investigators, in a statement quoted in the report, “It was a vicious cycle and never ending and it felt like I was in an abusive relationship instead of a client/attorney relationship.”

Review panel members Warren Anthony Fitch, Mary C. Larkin and Michael E. Tigar found unanimously that Klayman’s “relentless importunings” inflicted stress and emotional pain on Sataki, concluding, “It is hard to imagine greater prejudice being caused to a client.”

The panel said it decided to reduce by three months what would have been a longer suspension recommendation, calling Klayman’s commitment to less lucrative public interest law a mitigating factor.

Klayman is a notably combative litigant whose no-holds-barred tactics and robust use of the Freedom of Information Act have made him a dreaded — and sometimes loathed — inquisitor.

• At a separate hearing this morning, Republicans sharpened their attacks on Mueller, who declined some questions and gave terse answers to others. Former special counsel says he did not subpoena Trump because he knew it would delay probe

July 24

Vigilent Citizen, Opinion: Jeffrey Epstein: The True Ugly Face of the Occult Elite, Vigilant Citizen, July 24, 2019.  Described as an “asteroid poised to hit the elite world,” the case of Jeffrey Epstein could bring lots of people down. However, this story goes way deeper than most news sources currently let on. Indeed, everything about it is pure occult elite child exploitation.

The arrest of Jeffrey Epstein for child trafficking has explosive potential and (if important information is revealed to the public) could expose the true face of the elite to the world. The list of powerful people linked to Jeffrey Epstein and his infamous “Lolita Express” is as long as it is staggering. Combined with the systematic recruiting and exploitation of minors for the pleasure of powerful people, the case could convince lots of people that “pedogate” is all too real.

Due to the potentially explosive nature of this case, both sides of the political spectrum are already hard at work spinning the story to favor their side. However, this case has absolutely nothing to do with “conservative” and “liberal” and everything to do with the “elite”. From heads of state to members of royal families while not forgetting, celebrities, socialites and CEOs of large companies, members from all branches of the elite gathered to celebrate extreme depravity. But now Epstein is under arrest and the parties stopped. Now, one question remains: Will the entire disgusting truth Epstein’s parties come to light or will the elite cover its tracks while throwing Epstein under the bus?

LewRockwell.com, Who Was Epstein Working For? The Swamp Gets Deeper, Eric S. Margolis, July 20, 2019. ’ve had many strange experiences in my decades of covering intelligence affairs. These run from being invited to KGB HQ in Moscow, Chinese intelligence in Beijing, US intelligence in Virginia, Libyan intelligence in Tripoli, South African intelligence, and even Albanian intelligence in Tirana.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University But none was odder than the day I was invited to lunch in New York City with the by now notorious figure Jeffrey Epstein, right. The golden boy of Manhattan and Palm Beach society now sits in a grim jail cell accused of having sex with underage girls. He’s been doing this in plain view since the early 1990’s but, until recently, he seemed bullet-proof.

Soon after I walked into the entrance of Epstein’s mansion on E 71st Street, said to be the city’s largest private home, a butler asked me, ‘would you like an intimate massage, sir, by a pretty young girl?’ This offer seemed so out of place and weird to me that I swiftly declined.

More important than indelicacy, as an old observer of intelligence affairs, to me this offer reeked of ye old honey trap, a tactic to ensnare and blackmail people that was old when Babylon was young. A discreet room with massage table, lubricants and, no doubt, cameras stood ready off the main lobby.

I had arrived with Canada’s leading lady journalist who was then close to Epstein’s sometime girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell and, it was said, procuress – something Maxwell denies. Bizarrely, Maxwell believed that I could get KGB Moscow Center to release satellite photos that showed the murder on his yacht of her father, the press baron Robert Maxwell, who was a well-known double agent for Israel and KGB, and a major criminal.

Also present was the self-promoting lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who had saved the accused murderer Claus von Bulow, as well as a titan of the New York real estate industry (not Trump) and assorted bigwigs of the city’s elite Jewish society. All sang the praises of Israel.

Epstein reportedly had ties to Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew and repeatedly flew them about in his private jet, aka ‘the Lolita Express.’ All guests deny any sexual activity. I turned down dinner with Prince Andrew.

Epstein’s residence in Manhattan and Palm Beach, both of which I visited, were stocked with young female ‘masseuses.’ All were working class girls making big money in their spare time. I did not see any interactions between these girls and the guests.

Epstein and Maxwell became too big for their britches. They flaunted their sexual adventures and laughed at New York society. Everyone wondered about the source of Epstein’s lavish income but no one knew its origins. He claimed to be an exclusive money manager for a group of secretive millionaires. But the only one identified was billionaire Leslie Wexner, the owner of L Brands and Victoria’s Secret. Wexner denied any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Besides sexual frolics, Epstein and Maxwell were up to many odd things. The FBI found diamonds, cash and a fake passport when raiding his mansion and documents showing his net worth at $559,120,954.00. The IRS tax people will be eager to review the sources of this income.

alexander acostaIt seems likely that political influence was brought to bear on then US attorney Alexander Acosta, left, (he just resigned under fire last week) to make a sweetheart deal with Epstein, who had been charged by Florida with child molestation. Epstein got off with a token, 13-month jail sentence that allowed him to work from his office much of the day.

Were Trump or Clinton involved? How much did they ‘party’ with Epstein and revel in his fleshmart? There was talk of some sort of ‘intelligence’ angle to the affaire Epstein that spared him a harsh sentence.

A respected former CIA official, Phil Giraldi has come right out and accused Epstein of being an Israeli agent of influence. Epstein was let off with a slap on the wrist on his first child abuse charge, says Giraldi, because of his powerful Israel connections. To Giraldi and this writer, the Epstein ‘massage’ operation was a classic intelligence operation designed to blackmail men of influence into doing Israel’s bidding. Clinton had reportedly already fallen into this trap years earlier while still president.

NBC Today, New Look At Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island, Stephanie Gosk ,July 24, 2019. The arrest of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, who nbc news logois charged with sex trafficking young girls at his Florida and New York homes, is bringing attention to his luxury properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A former employee takes NBC’s Stephanie Gosk around the closely-guarded estate.

July 23

Epstein Scandal

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s Deep Ties to Top Wall Street Figures, Kate Kelly, Matthew Goldstein, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and James B. Stewart, July 23, 2019 (print ed.). A prominent banker, a top private-equity executive and a hedge-fund billionaire did business with Jeffrey Epstein even after his prostitution conviction.

jeffrey epstein hands handsMr. Epstein, who was charged this month with sex trafficking of teenage girls, liked to portray himself as a financial wizard, but there is little evidence to support that notion.

When Jeffrey Epstein (shown in a photo on his foundation site) was serving time in Florida for soliciting prostitution from a minor, he got a surprising visitor: James E. Staley, a top JPMorgan Chase executive and one of the highest-ranking figures on Wall Street.

Mr. Staley had good reason to maintain his relationship with Mr. Epstein, who received him at his Palm Beach office, where he had been permitted to serve some of his 13-month sentence in 2008 and 2009. Over the years, Mr. Epstein had funneled dozens of wealthy clients to Mr. Staley and his bank.

Mr. Epstein, who was charged this month with sex trafficking of teenage girls, liked to portray himself as a financial wizard, someone whose business and investing acumen made him indispensable to corporate executives and other leaders. But there is little evidence to support that notion. The financial services that Mr. Epstein dispensed appear to have been mostly pedestrian, and his list of clients small.

Mr. Epstein nonetheless managed to affix himself to a handful of prominent Wall Street veterans, including Mr. Staley, who is now chief executive of the British bank Barclays.

Mr. Epstein provided personal tax services to Leon D. Black, whose Apollo Global Management is one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. He discussed a major investment idea with and entrusted millions of dollars to Glenn Dubin, who ran the hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management. And, with Mr. Staley, he laid some of the early groundwork for JPMorgan to make a major acquisition — one that would vault Mr. Staley’s career to a higher plane.

Mr. Black, Mr. Dubin and Mr. Staley were not Mr. Epstein’s biggest business relationships: That distinction belongs to Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of the L Brands retail empire, which included Victoria’s Secret and The Limited. He gave Mr. Epstein broad powers to invest his fortune for nearly two decades.

Yet starting in the 1990s, Mr. Epstein — whose Wall Street experience consisted of a five-year stint at the investment bank Bear Stearns — managed to build a small but powerful finance network.

Mr. Black, the Apollo founder, was a widely respected figure on Wall Street when he met Mr. Epstein in the late 1990s. Before long, Mr. Black had entrusted Mr. Epstein with periodically providing a variety of tax and estate-planning services, according to a person close to Mr. Black. It was an unlikely assignment: Armies of lawyers and accountants have expertise in those fields; Mr. Epstein did not.

Over the next 15 or so years, including after Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008, Mr. Black met with Mr. Epstein at his palatial townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, according to people who were there.

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Moved Money Overseas in Transactions His Bank Flagged to U.S., David Enrich and Jo Becker, July 23, 2019. Mr. Epstein, who is charged with sex trafficking, had dozens of accounts at the bank. As Deutsche Bank officials this year scrambled to extricate themselves from a yearslong relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged this month with sex trafficking, they uncovered suspicious transactions in which Mr. Epstein had moved money out of the United States.

deutsche bank logoDeutsche Bank reported the transactions to a federal agency in charge of policing financial crimes, according to people familiar with the bank’s internal processes. The report came as the bank started looking for signs that Mr. Epstein was using his financial resources for the purposes of sex trafficking.

The bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein has been another black eye for Deutsche Bank, which is laying off thousands of employees as it struggles to return to profitability. The bank has been dogged by repeated financial scandals. It is under federal criminal investigation for potential money laundering, an investigation that has raised questions about Deutsche Bank’s handling of suspicious activity reports.

djt knauss epstein ghislaine maxwell mar a lago getty full davidoff studios

Donald Trump, Melania Knauss [Trump], Jeffrey Epstein and Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, (left to right at Mar-A-Lago.
Davidoff Studios Photography / Getty Images

Unz Review, Philip Giraldi: “Israel’s Agents of Influence,” Philip Giraldi, philip giraldiJuly 29, 2019. Some journalists in the Jewish media are starting to complain that President Donald Trump is “loving Israel” just a little too much since he keeps citing his concern for the Jewish state as the driving force behind some of his erratic behavior. It is a viewpoint that I most definitely share, though I would describe the apparent White House lovefest with the Israel as a “lot too much.” When the President of the United States calls a congresswoman an anti-Semite and demands that she apologize to him personally and also to Israel it is definitely a lot too much.

So Israel is always in the news, or so it seems, though it is often not in the news when the story might be derogatory. The story disappears from sight as soon as it is determined that Israel might be involved, as is currently the case with Jeffrey Epstein, or Israeli activity is excised completely as was the case with the Mueller investigation where Russiagate should have really been called Israelgate as it was Israel that was seeking favors from the incoming Trump Administration, not Russia. As Noam Chomsky put it, Israeli interference in American politics “vastly overwhelms” anything Russia has done.

The most visible Israeli tool for generating contacts with Americans that might prove useful is the all- expenses-paid VIP junkets that are arranged for Congressmen. New Congressmen routinely travel to Israel for a dog-and-pony show within months of their taking office.

Which brings us to the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein story and how it is being handled by government and covered in the media since the story exploded two weeks ago. No one outside the alternative media seems to be interested in the possibility, or rather likelihood, that Epstein was working for a foreign intelligence service, which would most likely be Israel. In the media the Epstein story died almost immediately, submerged in the tale of Donald Trump telling several congresswomen to go back where they came from.

It is unlikely that the spying aspect of Epstein’s alleged crimes will even be investigated both because it involves the Jewish state and also becomes it appears to include participation by leading politicians from both parties and other public figures. The Deep State will make the story die, which just might also be what happens to Epstein in jail.

alexander acostaThe evidence that Epstein was involved in intelligence work most likely bribing or blackmailing prominent individuals to act on behalf of Israel, derives both from the statement made by former U.S. Attorney for Miami Alexander Acosta, left, that “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone” and from other external evidence. Epstein was making videos of his guests having sex with his young girls, which is a version of a classic intelligence entrapment technique referred to as a “honey trap” that is employed by every major spy agency worldwide. And the Acosta quote – will it ever be fully investigated? Who told him that Epstein was “intelligence” and what were the circumstances?

Jeffrey’s sources of income have also been questioned. Epstein’s sole identified business connection was Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who maintained very close ties to the upper echelons of the Israeli diplomatic and intelligence establishment. Epstein served as Wexner’s trustee when the latter was forming the Mega Group, created by Wexner and Edgar Bronfman to generate positive views of Israel as a cover for Israeli propaganda dissemination in America.

Epstein’s lack of an identifiable income stream rather suggests that he might have been supported by a government agency of some kind. He had hidden in his Manhattan house a great deal of cash, diamonds and an Austrian passport. The diamonds might have represented payment in kind from Israel, which is capital of the world diamond trade, and the existence of the passport is intriguing. It has been described in the media as “fake” but that can mean anything. The passport, dating from the 1980s, was apparently authentic with a photo of Epstein and a fake name inserted in it, but it might plausibly be the product of a government document forgery lab. Why Austria? Because Austria was at the time politically neutral and the passport would be a good one for traveling anywhere. It would be much preferred by spy agencies or by agents who wanted to travel anonymously.

robert maxwell with papers fileThat Epstein would be linked to Israel rather than to some other intelligence service is due to his relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, whose father Robert, right, a Czech Jew who became a naturalized British citizen, was believed by C.I.A. and other intelligence services to be a long-time agent of Mossad. After he died under mysterious circumstances, he was given a state funeral in Israel that was attended by every current and former head of the Jewish state’s intelligence service as well as by the country’s prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. Ghislaine was reportedly Epstein’s close friend and a procurer of his young girl victims.

Child Protection

djt michael jackson

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Commentary: Donald Trump and Michael Jackson: what they had in common is the obvious, Wayne Madsen, July 23, 2019 (subscription required). In 1989, a frequent guest at Donald and Ivana Trump’s residence in Trump Tower in Manhattan was pop star and notorious pedophile Michael Jackson (shown above with Trump)....

According to Ivana Trump’s book, Raising Trump, published in 2017, Jackson often had “playdates” with the Trump children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, in the residence.

July 22

The New Yorker, The Case of Al Franken, Jane Mayer (shown right during a C-SPAN appearance), July 22, 2019.  A close look at the accusations jane mayer cspanagainst the former senator. When Franken was asked if he regretted his decision to resign from the Senate, he said, “Oh, yeah. Absolutely.”

Last month, in Minneapolis, I climbed the stairs of a row house to find Al Franken, Minnesota’s disgraced former senator (shown below in an official photo), wandering around in jeans and stocking feet. It was a sunny day, but the shades were mostly drawn. al frankenTakeout containers of hummus and carrot sticks were set out on the kitchen table. His wife, Franni Bryson, was stuck in their apartment in Washington, D.C., with a cold, and he had evidently done the best he could to be hospitable. But the place felt like the kind of man cave where someone hides out from the world, which is more or less what Franken has been doing since he resigned, in December, 2017, amid accusations of sexual impropriety.

Franken had experienced one of the most abrupt downfalls in recent political memory. He had been perhaps the most recognizable figure in the Senate, in part because he’d entered it as a celebrity: a best-selling author and a former writer and performer on “Saturday Night Live.” Now Franken was just one more face in a gallery of previously powerful men who had been brought down by the #MeToo movement, and whom no one wanted to hear from again. America had ghosted him.

Former Cop Says Epstein Victim Was 9

michael fisten

Daily Mail, 'Once the girls lost their braces, they were too old for him': Private investigator who spent a DECADE tracking Jeffrey Epstein claims he 'met with one 13-year-old victim who looked like she was aged NINE,' Andrew Court, July 20, 2019. Private investigator Michael Fisten, shown above on CNN, spent ten years tracking Jeffrey Epstein.

  • He says he met with numerous underage girls who claimed to have been victims of the billionaire, including one who was aged 13
  • Fisten says Epstein began losing interest in his alleged victims once they reached their late teenage years
  • He believes it's 'inconceivable' that those in Epstein's social circle didn't suspect he was a pedophile because his female companions looked so young

A private investigator who spent a decade tracking Jeffrey Epstein has given new details about the disgraced billionaire's predilection for underage girls.

In an interview with CNN on Saturday, Detective Michael Fisten claims he met with many of Epstein's victims, included one who looked like she was just nine years old.

The former homicide detective was first hired to trace Epstein back in 2009 by attorney Brad Edwards, who was representing alleged victims of the businessman in various civil suits.

Fisten told CNN that one of the most difficult moments of his investigation came when he met with a 13-year-old girl who said she had been abused by Epstein.

Jeffrey Epstein's Image Rehab

Daily Mail, Jeffrey Epstein partied with Trump's closest advisers including Wilbur Ross, Rudy Giuliani, and Steve Mnunchin at dinner hosted by David Koch just TWO MONTHS after his release from prison, July 22, 2019 (updated from July 21).

  • Jeffrey Epstein, 66, attended a screening and dinner party back in August 2010 for the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in Southampton.
  • The dinner was at the home of David and Julia Koch, and Epstein can be seen in photos chatting with attendees after Peggy Siegal put wilbur rosshim on the guest list
  • 'He was chatting to Jonathan Farklas, Leon Black and Wilbur Ross [right]. He was sitting right near Rudy Giuliani,' wrote Page Six at the time
    Steve Mnuchin was also present, as were designers Tory Burch and Tamara Mellon and billionaires Steven Schwarzman and Henry Kravis
  • Epstein should have been registered as a sex offender in New York at the time but it is unclear if he was as his hearing was not until 2011

Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with high-profile guests from the worlds of politics, banking, Hollywood and philanthropy at a Hamptons party just two months after his release by the state of Florida for soliciting a minor. Photos from a 2010 dinner party at the home of David and Julia Koch obtained by DailyMail.com show Epstein as he chats with guests after a screening of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

steven mnuchin wAmong those guests were two men who currently serve in President Trump's cabinet and his most trusted legal adviser.

Steve Mnuchin,left, and his then-wife Heather, Rudy Giuliani, right, and his then-wife Judith and Wilbur Ross all attended the rudy giuliani recentscreening and dinner that followed at the Koch's.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about those who attended the event a few days later, and in the piece noted that Giuliani 'walked out of the theater around the same time as Jeffrey Epstein, leading one observer to remark on the "beautifully done meeting of the prosecutor and the felon."'

Accused mass trafficking pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, left, is shown in a photo with Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, one of his defense jeffrey epstein alan dershowitzattorneys.

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Pitched a New Narrative. These Sites Published It, Tiffany Hsu. July 22, 2019 (print ed.). After Jeffrey Epstein got out of the Palm Beach County jail in 2009, having served 13 months of an 18-month sentence resulting from a plea deal that has been widely criticized, he began a media campaign to remake his public image.

The effort led to the publication of articles describing him as a selfless and forward-thinking philanthropist with an interest in science on websites like Forbes, National Review and HuffPost.

The Forbes.com article, posted in 2013, praised him as “one of the largest backers of forbes magazine l Customcutting-edge science around the world” while making no mention of his criminal past. The National Review piece, from the same year, called him “a smart businessman” with a “passion for cutting-edge science.”

The HuffPost article, from 2017, credited Mr. Epstein for “taking action to help a number of scientists thrive during the ‘Trump Era’,” a time of “anti-science policies and budget cuts.”

All three articles have been removed from their sites in recent days, after inquiries from The New York Times.

The articles in praise of Mr. Epstein came about partly because of an online publishing model adopted by some news organizations that relied on outside contributors who often wrote for little or no pay, with little or no input from editors.

The article on the Forbes website was attributed to Drew Hendricks, a contributing writer. As The Times revealed in an article last week, he was not the author of the piece. Instead, it was delivered to him by a public relations firm, and he said he was paid $600 to attach his byline and post it at Forbes.com.

A staff of roughly 200 employees produces Forbes’s in-house journalism, but most of the 100 articles the site publishes each day come from a group of nearly 3,000 outside writers. More content means more readers, and the number of unique visitors to Forbes.com has surged nearly 70 percent over the last four years, to 60.9 million last month, according to comScore.

While the number of views has gone up, the limited editing of contributors at Forbes has come in for criticism, with some noting huffington post logoproblematic posts like one in 2014 headlined “Drunk Female Guests are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities.”

Between 2005 and 2018, more than 100,000 contributors took advantage of HuffPost’s open-door model. At the time it was shut down, the HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen wrote, “Open platforms that once seemed radically democratizing now threaten, with the tsunami of false information we all face daily, to undermine democracy. When everyone has a megaphone, no one can be heard.”

The article on Mr. Epstein published by National Review, the conservative publication founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley Jr., was also national review logoremoved on Friday. It was credited to Christina Galbraith, who identified herself in her bio as a science writer who had published at Forbes and HuffPost.

Ms. Galbraith was also a publicist for Mr. Epstein, according to several news releases promoting Mr. Epstein’s foundations and initiatives in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that included her as a contact. Ms. Galbraith did not respond to requests for comment. In the article that appeared on the National Review site, she described him as having “given thoughtfully to countless organizations that help educate underprivileged children.”

Related Story From 2014

NewMediaWire, Hedge Funder Jeffrey Epstein Rewards Harvard's Legendary Hasty Pudding Institute, Christina Galbraith [emphasis added] March 4, 2014. Over the past year, the well-known science and Harvard philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein [shown in a photo from the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation], has put his substantial support behind Harvard’s famous and oldest theatrical troupe, the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770.

jeffrey epstein hands handsUp to now, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has put its funds behind strictly science endeavors at Harvard, notably the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics with a $35 million dollar gift. The foundation has been a growing admirer of the Hasty Pudding’s role in supporting public education and the arts in the Cambridge and Boston communities.

Founded in 1770, by an erudite group of Harvard students as a secret society, "to uphold friendship and patriotism," The Hasty Pudding Institute evolved into a theatrical troupe and Harvard’s oldest. Much is written about Hasty’s theatrical performances, its a cappella singers, the Harvard Krokodiloes, its wit, roast dinners, illustrious guests from Grace Kelly to Elizabeth Taylor and the fun and glamorous awards given to various actors of the year such as Dame Helen Mirren in January 2014.

For example, the Hasty Pudding gives thousands of dollars and support each year to the West End House Boys and Girls Club, which supports low income families with programs in leadership, life skills, academia, sports, nutrition, the arts and free hot meals. Page to Stage, another Hasty Institute program, supports low income children through the playmaking process from conception to performance. In addition to funds for sets, costumes and production, the Hasty Pudding also mentors young students through each aspect from dramatic coaching to light direction.

"The Hasty Pudding Institute had typical beginnings as a secret society in a dorm room," Jeffrey Epstein remarked. "But they have evolved into a theatrical company that uplifts the young community of Cambridge and Boston."

The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation is known for supporting cutting edge science research around the world but it plays an active role in supporting education and youth programs for underprivileged youth across the country from Head Start programs to sports initiatives for juvenile offenders.

Christina Galbraith
Jeffrey Epstein Foundation
(917) 573-76XX

Epstein Web Included Weinstein, Rose

Daily Mail, Predatory lender: Jeffrey Epstein had a network of female assistants he would suggest to pals including Charlie Rose - who hired three of these women and 'sexually harassed at least one,' Chris Spargo, July 22, 2019.

• New York magazine looked at Jeffrey Epstein's call logs between 2005 and 2006, which revealed he made dozens of calls to Charlie Rose (shown in a 2014 photo)
charlie rose 2014• He suggested five women to Rose, including the 'world’s most perfect assistant -- she used to work for Harvey Weinstein -- he’s lucky if he can get her'
• One of the three women who worked for Rose did not know the details of her hiring until now, and said: 'I was being offered up for abuse'
• Another candidate went on to work as an intern, and a fourth got a job with the Clinton Global Initiative
•' Jeffrey Epstein from time to time recommended various candidates for open positions at the Charlie Rose Show,' said a rep for Rose
• Epstein would have been trying to place the girls at the same time law enforcement were closing in on him and his band of madames

Jeffrey Epstein was not just providing underage girls to his friends, according to a new report.New York magazine examined the convicted pedophile's black book, and learned that Epstein maintained a list of female assistants he recommended to pals including Charlie Rose and Bill Clinton.

Written call logs reveal that Epstein recommended five women that Rose should hire in a two-year span, and that three of those women then went to work for the disgraced newsman, who at the time was the host and executive producer of his eponymous talk show on PBS.

Of those three, at least one would later accuse Rose of sexual harassment. 'I was being offered up for abuse,' said that woman, who was just 22 when she was hired by Rose on Epstein's recommendation. Epstein and his assistant Sarah Kellen called Rose dozens of times in that two-year period.

harvey weinsteinAt the same time, Epstein was being probed by officials in Palm Beach and the FBI following allegations of sexual battery involving minor females. One of the candidates Epstein named was said to be the 'world’s most perfect assistant she used to work for Harvey Weinstein [shown at left] he’s lucky if he can get her.'

It is Irin Carmon who learned the details of Epstein's calls with Rose. She was also one-half of The Washington Post team who abck in 2017 first detailed Rose's years of sexual misconduct with young female employees.

Her relationships with those victims allowed her to reach out and contact the ones named in call logs. At least one of the women said she was learning the details of how she was hired for the first time.

A representative for Rose did not deny the fact that Epstein called to suggest possible candidates for employment, stating: 'Jeffrey Epstein from time to time recommended various candidates for open positions at the Charlie Rose Show.'

July 21

#MeToo Overview

Channel One Russia, The #MeToo Movement in the United States, Washington DC Bureau Yuliya Olkhovskaia interviewed Justice Integrity russia one logoProject editor Andrew Kreig i a segment anchored by Vitaly Eliseev, July 21, 2019 (8:18 min. video). Channel One Russia surveyed the #MeToo movement and its consquences, including the impact on celebrities Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, below at right. The harvey weinsteinsegment showed how the U.S. legal system resolves such allegations. It  touched also on accusations against President Trump and, separately, disputes over the web application FaceApp.

Kreig, who edits the project's daily #MeToo News daily update, defended the rise of the #MeToo movement in general. The lawyer-editor has expressed the view on the show and more extensively elsewhere that:

"Presumption of innocence” is the standard only in criminal cases. Rightly or wrongly, it is ignored by the public quite often in other venues, including in conversation or social media. Hopefully the courts are not deterred in either #MeToo or other cases from the presumption of innocence concept.

The Kevin Spacey case could be interpreted to show that the court system worked last week. He was absolved of one set of charges that had serious problems with the evidence. But there are other accusations pending, not all in court. No, it doesn’t restore his career, but many actors and others suffer reverses that destroy their careers. In fact, one joke is that an actor’s union is one of the only ones in which 90 percent of the members are unemployed at any one time.

To clarify, we have several “courts of opinion” – some like “gossip” go back in time almost forever. Tabloid journalism and social media operate also largely outside the realm of defamation law. Criminal law carries a presumption of innocence for criminal cases in the United States and a “preponderance of evidence,” or 51 percent for civil cases. All of these come into play when a famous person is accused.

First among Russia's country-wide channels, Channel One has more than 250 million viewers worldwide, according to its description on Wikipedia.

July 20

jeffrey epstein island

Vanity Fair, “The Girls Were Just So Young”: The Horrors of Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island, Holly Aguirre, July 20, 2019. Locals say Epstein was flying in underage girls long after his conviction for sex crimes — and authorities did nothing to stop him. “It was like he was flaunting it,” says an employee at the airstrip on St. Thomas. “But it was said that he always tipped really well, so everyone overlooked it.”

Epstein was arrested on July 6 on charges of sex trafficking, the media have been scrambling to make sense of what happened on Little St. James, his 70-acre private island in the Caribbean. But on nearby St. Thomas, locals say Epstein continued to bring underage girls to the island as recently as this year — a decade after he was forced to register as a convicted sex offender — and that authorities did nothing to stop him.

Two employees who worked at the local airstrip on St. Thomas tell Vanity Fair that they witnessed Epstein boarding his private plane on multiple occasions in the company of girls who appeared to be under the age of consent. According to the employees, the girls arrived with Epstein aboard one of his two Gulfstream jets. Between January 2018 and June 2019, previously published flight records show, the jets were airborne at least one out of every three days. They stopped all over the world, sometimes for only a few hours at a time: Paris, London, Slovakia, Mexico, Morocco. When they left St. Thomas, the employees say, they returned to airports near Epstein’s homes in Palm Beach and New York City.

VISUP, Epstein's Little Black Book, Staff (non-public), July 19, 2019. A reader kindly provided me with a link to disgraced financier and alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's "little black book" on the recent post I did concerning the parapolitics behind this latest scandal. The contents of this little black book were originally posted on Gawker by the great Nick Bryant (author of The Franklin Scandal). That post can be found here while a more legible list of the names can be accessed here.

Through these links I was able to determine that Edgar Bronfman Jr. did in fact appear in Epstein's black book, as was briefly discussed in "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Bronfman Jr. is the brother of the two Bronfman heirs implicated in the NXIVM cult overseen by now-keith raniere nxivmconvicted pedophile Keith Raniere, left.

Naturally, Bronfman is but one of several interesting names to appear in Epstein's little black book. As such, I shall provide a brief assessment of several of the most noteworthy names and briefly address the significance behind them in this particular post. While many of these names are hardly surprising, several appear to provide a glimpse into the networks behind Epstein's pedophile ring. Several trace back to an early sex scandal from nearly six decades ago that appears to be one of the crucial deep events of the past century.

And with that in mind, on to the names.....

And then there is the enigmatic Maxwell family. Ghisliane Maxwell has frequently been described as Epstein's madam and implicated in robert maxwell with papers filesexual abuse along with the billionaire financier. And yet, she was not faced any charges as yet. Her father, Robert Maxwell, right, appears to have had a decades-spanning association with multiple intelligence services, including MI6, the KGB, the CIA, and especially the Mossad.

....

And then there's Trump and Cohn. Both men are closely linked to the old American Security Council (ASC) network. Throughout the Cold War, the ASC was essentially Le Cercle's American counterpart. Virtually every major American defense contractor contributed to the ASC, while its membership rolls were loaded with former high ranking military and intelligence officers. Like Le Cercle, it was both a think tank and a private intelligence network. Much more information on the ASC can be found here.

djt roy cohn youtube screenshotWhile Roy Cohn (at right of Trump in file photo) never joined the ASC, he was a member of the Western Goals Foundation, a private intelligence foundation that tracked the Left in the United States. Western Goals was closely aligned with the ASC and there was much overlap in the membership. As such, it should come as little surprise that Trump's political rise has been greatly aided by the old ASC network (noted here and here).

Even less surprising is that there was much overlap between the ASC and Le Cercle as well. While Britons and Americans were not officially allowed into the group until the late 1960s (Le Cercle was initially a German and French venture), the Cercle complex already appears to have established overtures with the ASC network by the early part of that decade. It was around this same time that the ASC network also began to forge ties with many of the future Cercle Britons (noted before here).

washington post logoWashington Post, For ‘client’ Jeffrey Epstein, an unlocked cell in a Florida jail, Lori Rozsa, July 20, 2019 (print ed.). Documents shed new light on the apparent deference granted to the financier while in the custody of Palm Beach County.

In 2008, a supervisor at the county jail here alerted staff members to the needs of an inmate serving an 18-month sentence for sex crimes involving a minor. Jeffrey Epstein, below left, he wrote in a memo, was a first-time offender “poorly versed in jail routine,” and “his adjustment to incarceration will most likely be atypical.”

jeffrey epstein at harvard university“For the time being, I am authorizing that his cell door be left unlocked and he be given liberal access to the attorney room where a TV will be installed,” Capt. Mark Chamberlain wrote in August of that year.

The memo does not indicate how long the cell door was to be left unlocked, but it and other documents obtained through public-records requests shed new light on the apparent deference granted to the wealthy financier while in the custody of Palm Beach County, as well as on the conditions of his confinement

During much of his sentence, Epstein was allowed to leave the county’s minimum-security stockade 12 hours a day, six days a week, for a work-release program, a job at a nonprofit foundation he had created. Sheriff’s deputies assigned to monitor the multimillionaire on these outings allowed him to enter his Palm Beach estate on at least nine occasions toward the end of his sentence, at least once unattended and for four hours, according to the deputies’ reports.

Daily Beast, Private Investigator Says He Shared Two Epstein Female Fixer Names with Feds, Barbie Latza Nadeau, July 20, 2019. A private daily beast logoinvestigator who has chased Epstein’s antics for more than a decade says he gave the feds the names of two women who allegedly procured underage girls for the financier.

Private investigator Michael Fisten first started digging into financier Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking crimes more than a decade ago when attorney Brad Edwards hired him. After Epstein signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in 2008, Edwards had sued Epstein in civil court on behalf of a number of alleged victims who had been blindsided by the plea deal (which a judge later ruled to have violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act). Fisten was tasked with finding as much incriminating information on the financier as he could.

Fisten, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, said he was shocked and disgusted by what he uncovered. In a wide-ranging interview with CNN, the P.I. said that he was able to identify two young women who have arranged access to girls for Epstein in recent years. He and Edwards have handed over the names and “associated information” over to federal authorities, he said, though he did not name the alleged fixers to CNN.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: What do ‘Lock her up’ and ‘Send her back’ have in common? It’s pretty obvious, Monica Hesse, July 20, 2019. In the Trump vernacular, any woman could become a woman who should be locked up or sent back.

washington post logoWashington Post, Female inmates were forced to expose their genitals in a ‘training exercise.’ According to a court ruling, that was legal, Adapted from a story by Meagan Flynn, July 19, 2019. The women were ordered to strip. Those on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads.

The women did not understand why this was happening. Early one March morning inside an Illinois prison, a tactical unit armed with batons and shields stormed two women’s housing units to round up about 200 handcuffed inmates and march them to a gymnasium.

Once in the gym, they stood facing the wall for more than an hour, still unsure why, until the guards started taking groups of four to 10 into the adjoining bathroom and beauty shop. There, they were ordered to strip. Standing shoulder to shoulder, women on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads. Some stood bleeding on themselves or the floor. They were ordered to lift their breasts and hair, to cough and squat, and then, finally, to bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities.

The bathroom had no doors and was visible from the gym, and the beauty shop’s door was open too, allowing male guards to see the naked prisoners whenever they walked past, or as they deliberately stared at them from afar, according to a federal complaint.

Later, the women discovered why the Lincoln Correctional Center guards had ordered the humiliating mass strip search: It was just a training exercise for incoming cadets.

Now, after eight years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled in a divided 2-1 opinion that the entire 2011 episode was legal, citing binding precedent within the circuit. Because the guards didn’t physically probe the women while conducting the visual body cavity searches, the judges ruled, the women’s Fourth Amendment rights to privacy weren’t violated.

The dissenting judge, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee, an Obama appointee, said the case illustrated a need for high courts to re-examine prisoners’ bodily privacy rights, especially when they are forced to reveal not only their naked bodies, but the inside of them — and the purpose is not for security.

“Surely a ‘training’ justification need not be treated with the same level of deference as a search conducted due to concerns over smuggled weapons or other contraband?” he questioned. “It is rationales like this — that fall somewhere between legitimate security concerns and unjustified harassment — that suggest the continuing need for the Fourth Amendment even in prisons.”

Circuit judges Frank H. Easterbrook and Daniel A. Marion, both Reagan appointees, ruled in the majority.

July 19

Trump Aide Indicted On Kiddie Porn Charges

george nader c span

Politico, Businessman who testified in Mueller probe indicted on child pornography charges, Josh Gerstein, July 19, 2019. A wealthy Lebanese-American businessman and Middle East expert who was a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation has been indicted on charges of importing child pornography and traveling with a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

George Nader, 60, made a brief appearance Friday morning in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to be arraigned on the new george nader djtindictment, which was returned July 3 and unsealed Friday.

Nader (a Trump-Pence 20`16 campaign advisor shown in file photo with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago) was involved in various meetings and discussions related to the Trump presidential transition which drew the attention of Mueller investigators, including a meeting that Erik Prince, the founder of private military contractor Blackwater, held with a Russian ally of President Vladimir Putin in the Seychelles in January 2017.

When Nader flew into Dulles Airport outside Washington in January 2018, he was questioned by agents working for Mueller. A search of three iPhones seized from him that day via a search warrant allegedly turned up child pornography.

Prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Nader over the images in April 2018, but kept the charges under seal and never told his attorneys about them even as he continued to cooperate with Mueller's probe, lawyers said.

Nader was arrested on the criminal complaint early last month at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York as he flew in from overseas. Magistrate judges in New York and Alexandria denied his requests for release.

Nader was wearing an Alexandria jail jumpsuit Friday for the five-minute hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema Friday morning. She set a trial date of Sept. 30.

A defense attorney for Nader, Jonathan Jeffress, urged Brinkema to reconsider the earlier orders to detain Nader pending trial. "This is not a typical child pornography case," Jeffress told Brinkema. However, the judge said she wasn't inclined to let Nader out.

rnc logo"I think the decision to detain your client was appropriate," Brinkema said, noting Nader's extensive overseas connections, the type of conduct at issue and the potential for a lengthy prison sentence.

JIP Editor's Note: Nader worked during the campaign on Middle East-related issued with Eliott Broidy, deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Related Story: Daily Beast, George Nader, Witness in Mueller Probe, Hit With New Charges of Sex Trafficking, Erin Banco, July 19, 2019.  George Nader, who was a key witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, was hit with new federal charges of sex trafficking for allegedly “engaging in sexual acts” with a 14-year-old boy he transported from Europe. An indictment unsealed Friday morning in Eastern District of Virginia also charges Nader with counts of child pornography and obscenity. The charges come on top of separate child-porn charges leveled by the same prosecutors last month.

Nader, a 60-year-old Lebanese-American businessman with deep political and financial ties to the United Arab Emirates, was a key cooperator in Mueller’s probe of foreign influence in the 2016 election.

Nader met several times with individuals associated with the Trump campaign throughout the election and into the early days of the administration. He spoke with officials and advisers on matters ranging from a pitch by a foreign firm for the campaign to use social-media manipulation to regime-change in Iran. (He met with Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign advisors about the plan, which included a proposal to use fake avatars to garner support for Trump, but Trump officials deny they ever considered it.)

July 18

Epstein Update

jeffrey epstein trumps cropped ghislaine maxwell Photo by Davidoff Studios Getty Images vanity fair

Epstein with the Trumps (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

Vanity Fair, “A Lot of Powerful People...Could Go Down”: The Journalist Who Published Jeffrey Epstein’s Black Book and Jet Passenger Logs Comes in From the Fringe, Joe Pompeo, July 18, 2019. Nick Bryant started pursuing the disgraced financier around 2012. He talks about how the world finally caught up, and where the case may go from here.

With Jeffrey Epstein denied bail and prosecutors building their case in his sex trafficking indictment, one of the next shoes to drop — possibly many shoes — will invariably be: Who within Epstein’s social orbit might be implicated in the scandal one way or another? As someone involved in litigation against Epstein told my colleague Gabriel Sherman earlier this week, “It’s going to be staggering, the amount of names. It’s going to be contagion numbers.”

Ever since Epstein’s arrest on July 6, there’s been growing scrutiny of his vast network of rich and / or famous and / or powerful friends and acquaintances—or former friends and acquaintances, as it were. There’s a road map to that network in Epstein’s now-infamous black book, filled with many bold-faced names, phone numbers, and addresses, from Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Ehud Barak to Alec Baldwin, Ralph Fiennes, Mick Jagger, and even Courtney Love. “It is a mosaic of Epstein’s social contacts,” the investigative journalist Nick Bryant told me.

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein's intelligence operation becoming clearer, July 18, 2019 (subscription required, excerpted with permission). With each court filing by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's former intelligence operations become clearer as to motive and practice.

Federal prosecutors, in arguing against any bail for Epstein, who is considered an extreme flight risk, pointed out that they discovered in a safe in his 9 East 71st Street Manhattan townhouse an expired Austrian passport issued in 1982, which bears Epstein’s photograph but is in another name.

There is a reason why the James Bond theme figures so prominently in the story of Epstein’s sinister Little St. James Island, nicknamed “Pedo Island” and “Orgy Island,” and the Epstein connection to Robert Maxwell and his dodgy daughter Ghislaine. In the case of the Epstein saga, life is definitely imitating art.

MintPress News, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case, Whitney Webb (shown in her Twitter photo), July 18, 2019 (excerpted). Epstein whitney webb twitteris only the latest incarnation of a much older, more extensive and sophisticated operation that offers a frightening window into how deeply tied the U.S. government is to the modern-day equivalents of organized crime.

Despite his “sweetheart” deal and having seemingly evaded justice, billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested earlier this month on federal charges for sex trafficking minors. Epstein’s arrest has again brought increased media attention to many of his famous friends, the current president among them.

Many questions have since been asked about how much Epstein’s famous friends knew of his activities and exactly what Epstein was up to. The latter arguably received the most attention after it was reported that Alex Acosta — who arranged Epstein’s “sweetheart” deal in 2008 and who recently resigned as Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary following Epstein’s arrest — claimed that the mysterious billionaire had worked for “intelligence.”

Other investigations have made it increasingly clear that Epstein was running a blackmail operation, as he had bugged the venues — whether at his New York mansion or Caribbean island getaway — with microphones and cameras to record the salacious interactions that transpired between his guests and the underage girls that Epstein exploited. Epstein appeared to have stored much of that blackmail in a safe on his private island.

Claims of Epstein’s links and his involvement in a sophisticated, well-funded sexual blackmail operation have, surprisingly, spurred few media outlets to examine the history of intelligence agencies both in the U.S. and abroad conducting similar sexual blackmail operations, many of which also involved underage prostitutes.

In the U.S. alone, the CIA operated numerous sexual blackmail operations throughout the country, employing prostitutes to target foreign diplomats in what the Washington Post once nicknamed the CIA’s “love traps.” If one goes even farther back into the U.S. historical record it becomes apparent that these tactics and their use against powerful political and influential figures significantly predate the CIA and even its precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In fact, they were pioneered years earlier by none other than the American Mafia.

In the course of this investigation, MintPress discovered that a handful of figures who were influential in American organized crime during and after Prohibition were directly engaged in sexual blackmail operations that they used for their own, often dark, purposes.

In Part I of this exclusive investigation, MintPress will examine how a mob-linked businessman with deep ties to notorious gangster Meyer Lansky developed close ties with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while also running a sexual blackmail operation for decades, which later became a covert part of the anti-communist crusade of the 1950s led by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI), himself known throughout Washington for having a habit of drunkenly groping underage teenaged girls.

Yet, it would be one of McCarthy’s closest aides who would take over the ring in later years, trafficking minors and expanding this sexual blackmail operation at the same time he expanded his own political influence, putting him in close contact with prominent figures including former President Ronald Reagan and a man who would later become president, Donald Trump.

Samuel Bronfman and the Mob

Samuel Bronfman never planned to become a major producer of liquor but true to his family’s last name, which means “brandy man” in Yiddish, he eventually began distributing alcohol as an extension of his family’s hotel business. During Canada’s Prohibition period, which was briefer than and preceded that of its southern neighbor, the Bronfman family business used loopholes to skirt the law and find technically legal ways to sell alcohol in the hotels and stores the family owned. The family relied on its connections with members of the American Mafia to illegally smuggle alcohol from the United States.

Years later, Samuel Bronfman’s children and grandchildren, their family’s ties to the criminal underworld intact, would go on to associate closely with Leslie Wexner, allegedly the source of much of Epstein’s mysterious wealth, and other mob-linked “philanthropists,” and some would even manage their own sexual blackmail operations, including the recently busted blackmail-based “sex cult” NXIVM. The later generations of the Bronfman family, particularly Samuel Bronfman’s sons Edgar and Charles, will be discussed in greater detail in Part II of this report.

whitney webbWhitney Webb, right, is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets, including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Alan Dershowitz hits the panic button in Epstein scandal, Bill Palmer, July 18, 2019. Two weeks after the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking of minors, the government hasn’t released any details or names allegedly associated with Epstein’s crimes. That said, we’ve spent the past two weeks watching Donald Trump erupt into an absolute panic, going to increasingly absurd lengths to try to distract from the scandal. Now Alan Dershowitz is hitting the panic button as well.

bill palmer report logo headerAlan Dershowitz’s only confirmed involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is that he’s the defense lawyer who helped Epstein land an extremely lenient plea deal more than a decade ago. As the Epstein case has come back into focus, Dershowitz has been accused of also having had sex with an underage girl. Dershowitz has denied having ever so much as met his accuser.

Whatever the truth is about Dershowitz, you have to figure the Epstein probe will bring it to the surface sooner or later. In the meantime, it turns out the New Yorker is about to publish some kind of ugly expose on the matter. We don’t have any idea what specific accusations or evidence might be in this New Yorker piece, but Dershowitz is making clear that he really, really doesn’t want us to believe any of it.

jeffrey epstein alan dershowitzAlan Dershowitz (right, whown with Epstein) wrote an article for conservative site Newsmax today, claiming that the New Yorker is only dropping the hammer on him because of his “defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel.” Well okay then. If anything, Dershowitz is only serving to generate even more interest in whatever the New Yorker is about to publish about him. We’ll have to wait and see what it is, but it’s clear that Dershowitz considers it to be really bad for him.

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Is Denied Bail in Sex Crimes Case, Benjamin Weiser and Ali Watkins, July 18, 2019. A federal judge on Thursday denied bail for Jeffrey Epstein, the financier facing sex-trafficking charges, rejecting his request to await trial under home detention at his Upper East Side mansion.

The judge, Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said Mr. Epstein, who owns property in Paris and has a private plane, would be detained in jail until his trial on charges that he sexually abused and trafficked dozens of underage girls in the early 2000s.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Judge Berman emphasized Mr. Epstein’s danger to the others, particularly his accusers and “prospective victims as well.” The judge cited what he called “compelling testimony” by two of the accusers — Annie Farmer and Courtney Wild — who said at a hearing on Monday that they feared for their safety and the safety of others if Mr. Epstein were to be released.

Mr. Epstein’s lawyers had proposed allowing him to post a substantial bond and remain in his mansion guarded around the clock by private security guards, whom he would pay. Prosecutors vigorously opposed that proposal, saying he was seeking “special treatment” and trying to build his own private jail — a “gilded cage.”

Judge Berman said that Mr. Epstein’s proposed bail package was “irretrievably inadequate,” and that he would not entertain any other bail proposals from the financier’s legal team. “I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community,” the judge said.
Prosecutors had also argued that Mr. Epstein’s fortune, said to be more than $500 million, would make it possible for him to flee the country if he were not detained.

The judge agreed, pointing to Mr. Epstein’s “great wealth and his vast resources,” including private planes and a residence in Paris.

Ever since his July 6 arrest at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after a flight from Paris, Mr. Epstein, 66, has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a highly secure jail in Manhattan that has housed accused terrorists, mobsters and even the Mexican cartel leader known as El Chapo.

In seeking Mr. Epstein’s detention, prosecutors also sharply disputed his lawyers’ argument that for more than a decade he had lived a law-abiding life. They noted, for example, that he had tried to influence possible witnesses against him as recently as last year.

The prosecutors said Mr. Epstein had wired $350,000 to two people close to him who were potential witnesses just days after The Miami Herald revealed details last November about his deal to avoid federal prosecution in Florida.

abc news logoABC News, Former IT contractor for Jeffrey Epstein says he quit over concerns about revealing pictures and topless young women, Kaitlyn Folmer, July 18, 2019 (video). A former IT contractor for Jeffrey Epstein who said that he ended their business relationship over personal concerns about gaggles of apparently unsupervised young women on the embattled financier's private island.

He told ABC News that his reluctance to continue working there was underscored by what he said was an extensive collection of photos of topless women displayed throughout the island's compounds.

#MeToo Claim Against Spacey Dropped

kevin spacey house

atlantic logoThe Atlantic, Kevin Spacey Is Not Vindicated, Spencer Kornhaber, July 18, 2019. The criminal case alleging the actor assaulted a busboy in 2016 has been dropped. But #MeToo is more than a reckoning taking place in court.

Help me. Among the text messages sent by a then–18-year-old busboy on the night in 2016 when he alleges Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted him, that one sentiment — a plea for rescue — recurred at least five times. At a Nantucket bar, the man had been talking with Spacey, who bought him a number of drinks and, according to the accuser, pulled down the man’s zipper and started fondling him. The man texted his girlfriend throughout the incident, expressing shock, confusion, and drunkenness. At one point, he wrote that he got an autograph and “a hell of a [story].” At other times, he wrote, “Help,” “Help,” and, “Seriously help.”

The text messages and other communications by the accuser — he filmed part of the encounter on Snapchat, too — were integral to two legal sagas: the man’s civil suit alleging damage from Spacey’s “explicit sexual behavior and lewd and lascivious conduct,” and a criminal charge against the actor citing indecent assault and battery. Both cases have now unraveled. In the course of defending Spacey’s “not guilty” plea, members of Spacey’s legal team alleged that the text exchange could have been edited to remove information that showed the encounter as consensual. They also balked at the news that the accuser’s phone, which was to be turned over as evidence, had been lost. On July 5, the accuser dropped the civil case, as his attorney explained that the man felt the criminal case was enough emotional turmoil for him. On Wednesday, the prosecutor Michael O’Keefe terminated that criminal case, citing “the unavailability of the complaining witness”: The accuser decided to stop testifying.

Spacey’s Nantucket case is one of the few high-profile criminal cases to emerge from the #MeToo movement. It has thus been freighted with significance, and all along, figures who’ve been skeptical of the movement have also voiced skepticism about these particular allegations (the popular podcast host Joe Rogan, for example, called them “horseshit”). Inevitably, the dismissal of Spacey’s case will be portrayed as a setback for #MeToo, and some fans of the actor are already saying he’s “vindicated.” The truth is that the case, and the dozens of other accusations against Spacey, demonstrate why #MeToo is not only — or even primarily — a courtroom battle.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Did Epstein benefit from Mossad's passport factory? Wayne Madsen, July 16, 2019 (subscription required). Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Alex Rossmiller dropped a mini-bombshell during the bail hearing for accused sex trafficking kingpin Jeffrey Epstein....

[Nearly 2,800 more words here reporting on major instances of forged Israeli passports, including facilitation of fugitives from the United State to Israeli, which has no extradition treaty with the United States requiring return of suspects and convicts.]

To intelligence experts, the Epstein bail hearing revelations about Epstein’s bogus passport raised as many eyebrows as it did among Judge Berman and the courtroom’s audience.

July 15

daily beast logoe jean carroll headshotDaily Beast, E. Jean Carroll Is ‘Exploring’ Legal Action Against Trump, Alaina Demopoulos and Tasia Jensen, July 15, 2019. The advice columnist and writer, right, who accused Trump of sexual assault last month, wants to “hire a really smart attorney” to find a way to “get around” the statute of limitations.

Epstein Bond Hearing

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal just got even worse, Bill Palmer, right, July 15, 2019. Donald Trump has forced the past few days’ biggest headlines to be about his psychotic racist attacks on certain Democratic Congresswomen, because he just keeps pushing the issue in increasingly deranged fashion. It’s not difficult to figure out what set Trump off to begin with and prompted him to lash out, and it has nothing to do with the people he’s attacking.

bill palmer report logo headerDonald Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein, ight, was arrested nine days ago on charges of sex trafficking of minors. Since that time we’ve seen various major news outlets begin reporting on the wild parties that Trump and Epstein allegedly threw together back in the day. We’ve also seen Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta forced to resign because he’s the one who let Epstein off the hook a decade ago to begin with – raising questions about why Trump then rewarded Acosta with the cabinet position.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019It’s clear that one way or the other, the Epstein scandal is going to land back on Donald Trump’s doorstep. Even if Trump didn’t participate in Epstein’s crimes, Trump is clearly involved in the attempted coverup. Trump may have begun his racist attacks on the Congresswomen as a calculated attempt at creating a distraction, but he’s since taken it so far beyond the pale, and he’s so out of control, it’s clear that he’s acting out because he’s exasperated and scared – and he should be.

Last week Palmer Report told you about how Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes weren’t limited to just New York and Florida, as they also involved his ranch in New Mexico. Sure enough, Epstein’s ranch is now part of the investigation. The expansion of the Epstein probe comes even as more victims continue to come forward in light of his arrest. Again, we don’t know what Trump’s role in this scandal is. But Trump knows, and his behavior tells us that he’s very worried about how the Epstein scandal is expanding.

ny times logoNew York Times, Epstein’s Safe Had ‘Piles of Cash’ and a Fake Passport, Prosecutors Say, Benjamin Weiser and Ali Watkins, July 15, 2019. Prosecutors revealed the safe’s contents as they argued in court that Jeffrey Epstein should be denied bail before his sex-trafficking and conspiracy trial. The judge said he would not rule until Thursday about whether Mr. Epstein should be granted bail.

Investigators discovered a safe in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion that held “piles of cash,” diamonds and an expired passport from a foreign country which had what appeared to be Mr. Epstein’s photo, but was registered to a fake name and listed his residence as Saudi Arabia.

Prosecutors revealed the safe’s contents as they argued in Federal District Court in Manhattan that Mr. Epstein should be denied bail before his sex-trafficking and conspiracy trial because he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. He is accused of abusing dozens of underage girls at his residences in New York City and Palm Beach, Fla.

Two women who say they were sexually abused by Mr. Epstein also spoke at the hearing, urging Judge Richard M. Berman to deny him bail.

“He’s a scary person to have walking the streets,” said Courtney Wild, one of Mr. Epstein’s accusers, who said she was assaulted at age 14. Excerpt continued below.

Judge Berman said he would not rule until Thursday about whether Mr. Epstein should be granted bail while he awaits trial.

Mr. Epstein had proposed in court papers that he be allowed to remain under house arrest in his $56 million mansion on the Upper East Side, and pay for 24-hour security guards who would ensure he did not flee. His attorneys say Mr. Epstein has been law-abiding for more than a decade. “He didn’t re-engage in this activity,” one of his lawyers, Martin Weinberg, told the judge on Monday, adding, “It’s not like he’s an out-of-control rapist.”

But prosecutors, citing what they called Mr. Epstein’s “yearslong scheme to sexually abuse underage girls” and his fortune of at least $500 million, have argued that Mr. Epstein would pose a danger to the community and might flee the country if granted bond.

The government had also said Mr. Epstein might try to obstruct justice if he were given bail. Prosecutors said that last year he wired $350,000 to two people who were potential witnesses against him at a trial.

Mr. Epstein’s lawyers said on Monday that the payment could have been “an act of generosity” to Mr. Epstein’s associates, and that government lawyers were unable to prove otherwise.

Mr. Epstein, 66, who faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted on the charges, has been held since his July 6 arrest in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, a highly secure jail that has housed accused terrorists, mobsters and, recently, the Mexican drug lord El Chapo.

In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to two state charges in Florida as part of a secret deal with federal prosecutors to satisfy a potential indictment on similar charges. He ended up serving a 13-month sentence in a local jail and avoided federal prosecution.

Bigger Picture On Epstein

Palmer Report, Opinion: Rape accusation against Donald Trump comes roaring back into focus, Robert Harrington, July 15, 2019. Let’s get a couple of things straight right off the bat. First, when an adult male has sex with a child it’s not abuse, it’s not molestation, it sure as hell is not prostituiton, it’s rape. Child rape. If we’re going to discuss one of the world’s ugliest crimes, we’re going to define it with one of the world’s ugliest words. Second, a child is not a prostitute by definition. Prostituiton is a victimless crime, an economic exchange for sex between adults. When a child is involved it’s rape. Period. This is my article, them’s my rules.

bill palmer report logo headerWhen federal agents raided the home of serial rapist, pedophile, predatory monster and punk Jeffrey Epstein, they found a stomach-churning landmine of photographs and videos. Every room in Epstein’s house of abomination contains CCTV. Epstein is known for stockpiling videos of famous people in compromised positions with young women, so somewhere in there may be a 1994 video of Donald Trump raping a 13 year old girl.

In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was sued by his victim, identified in court documents as Jane Doe to protect her identity. Her lawsuit includes depositions by two contemporaneous witnesses, one, an employee of Epstein’s and the other a personal friend of the plaintiff. Both acknowledge that the plaintiff informed them in 1994 that Trump raped her. Contemporaneous witnesses make a case against a plaintiff much stronger, because it proves that the allegation is not newly-minted, but has a history that goes back to the incident.

This lawsuit against Trump was dropped in December of 2016 because of the death threats the victim received, death threats that managed to penetrate the elaborate legal web of secrecy surrounding the victim. Clearly, someone very powerful wanted that suit dropped.

Trump has distanced himself from Jeffrey Epstein, of course, as he has done with every scumbag he’s ever known who faces a long stretch in prison, by itself a shockingly large and ever-growing number. But Trump’s biographer tells a different story.

tim obrien twitterTim O’Brien, left, author of TrumpNation, said, “When I worked on my book about Trump, Trump regularly talked to me about Jeff Epstein, and he felt they had lifestyles that were in synch.”

O’Brien thinks there’s a good chance the FBI may find a tape of Trump raping the 13 year old girl. He said, “She withdrew her claim because she got death threats, so the White House says her claims were baseless,” but, “That can be tested very quickly.”

katie johnson jane doe la CustomToday Trump’s victim is in her 30s {shown in a pixelated photo]. She came forward in 2016 as an act of enormous courage, because she did not want to see this monster become president. The courage she displayed is of exactly the same caliber as the young men in Boston who came forward and identified the Catholic priests who raped them. She deserves to enjoy the same credit for bravery, the same credulity, and, above all, the same freedom from demands of why she didn’t come forward sooner, that they did.

Items 10 and 11 of the original court complaint against Epstein and Trump are reproduced below. I warn the reader that the contents may be quite upsetting. If you do read it nevertheless, then, while you’re reading it I want you to remind yourself of two things: first, that the probability that the incident as described is overwhelmingly likely to be true, and second, that the man committing this abomination is now the president of the United States.

10. Defendant Trump initiated sexual contact with Plaintiff at four different parties. On the fourth and final sexual encounter with Defendant Trump, Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff, and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted. Exhs. A and B.

11. Immediately following this rape, Defendant Trump threatened Plaintiff that, were she ever to reveal any of the details of the sexual and physical abuse of her by Defendant Trump, Plaintiff and her family would be physically harmed if not killed. Exhs. A and B.

Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.

ap logoAssociated Press via Houston Chronicle, Inside Epstein network, layer upon layer to protect the boss, Jim Mustian, Michael R. Sisak and Jennifer Peltz, July 15, 2019. A few cells away from drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman at a New York City jail, jet-setting financier Jeffrey Epstein sits accused of running a different kind of criminal network. There was the team of recruiters and enablers bringing Epstein dozens of underage girls to sexually abuse, federal prosecutors allege.

There was the assistant who scheduled those encounters, and the butler who cleaned up afterward and doled out cash and gifts to the girls, authorities contend in court records.

There were the mansions in New York and Florida, the sprawling ranch in New Mexico and the private island in the Caribbean that kept prying eyes at a distance, and the forms his employees had to sign swearing they wouldn't speak about him publicly.

All of it served to insulate Epstein with layer upon layer of secretiveness, investigators say, like a kingpin. And, as eventually happened to Guzman, all of it could be on the verge of collapsing inward on him.

The linchpin of the operation described in the federal indictment against Epstein were the recruiters — some of them victims themselves — who targeted girls as young as 13. Epstein deemed his team so essential that he attempted to shield several of them from federal charges under the same nonprosecution agreement that allowed him to avoid a lengthy federal prison sentence and plead guilty in 2008 to lesser state charges in Florida.

That unusual deal , initially filed in secret, went as far as to bar the federal government from charging "any potential co-conspirators of Epstein."

That agreement could be upended by the indictment unsealed in New York federal court this month that charges Epstein with conspiracy and sex trafficking, which could see the 66-year-old sentenced to up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

washington post logoWashington Post, How the Epstein fortune may be up for grabs, Peter Whoriskey and Abha Bhattarai​, July 15, 2019. While early legal sparring in the sex trafficking case has focused mainly on Jeffrey Epstein’s freedom, a secondary struggle may determine how much money the financier has — and what he will owe and to whom when it’s all over.

daily beast logo

Daily Beast, Epstein’s Coney Island Days: From Nerd to ‘Arrogant’ Prick, Michael Daly, July 15, 2019. “There was absolutely no indication at that time of the vile, disturbed man that he was to become.”

Related story: Daily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein Accusers in Court to Demand He Stay Jailed, Tracy Connor, Kate Briquelet and Pervaiz Shallwani, July 15, 2019.

Bloomberg Markets and Finance, The Wexner and Epstein Connection, Staff report, July 15, 2019 (2:41 min. video). ex trafficking charges against fund manager Jeffrey Epstein have raised questions about how he built his fortune and the people associated with his wealth. Bloomberg's Sonali Basak reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas."

ap logoAssociated Press, Accusers urge judge to hold Epstein until trial, Staff report, July 15, 2019 (2:07 mins.). Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein accusers urged a judge Monday to keep the wealthy financier behind bars until he goes on trial on federal charges that he sexually abused underage girls.

Wall Street on Parade, Tax Filing Suggests Child Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Made His Wealth Flipping Hot IPOs on Wall Street, Pam Martens and Russ Martens, July 15, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein is variously called a “billionaire,” a “hedge fund manager,” or a “financier” in the hundreds of articles that have appeared in print this month. But no one can say with any certainty how Epstein obtained his wealth or exactly how much wealth he actually has. We’ve located a highly interesting ledger from one of his nonprofit tax filings which shows he was able to get his hands on highly preferential hot IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) and flipped them on their first day of trading.

The public’s right to know how Epstein made his money is essential to understanding just how much he has gotten away with under the nose of the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice and a full listing of just whom his co-conspirators are. Powerful men flew on his private planes, one of which was called the Lolita Express, and stayed at his private mansions. Were they paying him to secure young women for them or getting him access to hot IPOs? The Miami Herald investigative reporter, Julie K. Brown, who may have forced New York prosecutors into revisiting the case against Epstein through her in-depth series of articles in November of last year, stated this recently on television:

“We don’t know how much, how deep this went, how far-reaching it went in government, but there have been a lot of names that I could see on these message pads [listing clients] on a regular basis as part of the evidence. These message pads where they would call and leave Epstein messages, such as, ‘I’m at this hotel.’ Why do you do that, unless you’re expecting him to send you a girl to visit you at your hotel? So there are probably quite a few important people, powerful people, who are sweating it out right now. We’ll have to wait and see whether Epstein is going to name names.”

Or Epstein may have been like Bernie Madoff, making money through numerous illegal activities, including a Ponzi scheme. (See JPMorgan and Madoff Were Facilitating Nesting Dolls-Style Frauds Within Frauds.) According to an affidavit filed in court by Epstein’s former business partner, Steven Hoffenberg of Towers Financial, Epstein’s early wealth derives from a Ponzi scheme that put Hoffenberg behind bars for 20 years.

If Epstein was a hedge fund manager, it was a big secret to other well-known hedge fund managers on Wall Street. Doug Kass, who has his ear very close to the street and has managed money on Wall Street for decades, told New York Magazine last week: “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested. Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

But there is some anecdotal evidence that Epstein may have been trading. In the 2016 nonfiction book, Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy – The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein, by James Patterson, John Connolly and contributor Tim Malloy, there is a reference to one of the planes then owned by Epstein, a Boeing 727 that the writers say was “customized with its own trading floor.”

The New York Times reported last week that a person who visited Epstein at his Manhattan mansion last year saw him doing work “while seated at a large dining table that fit 20 people, with multiple computer monitors and a phone alongside.” That sounds like the configuration of a trading desk.

So we did some digging into one of the few financial documents involving Epstein that are not under seal – a Federal 990 tax filing for his nonprofit called…wait for it…Gratitude America. The last page of that document lists dozens of publicly traded stocks that were held in the portfolio, the majority of which were bought and sold on the same day. In the lingo of Wall Street, that’s called “day trading,” and it is virtually unheard of in an investment portfolio for a taxpayer-subsidized nonprofit charity.

There are some modest losses among the day-traded stocks but there are also some eye-popping gains on Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) that spiked on their first day of trading. The average American can’t get their hands on 100 shares of a hot IPO stock let alone in the quantities that Epstein’s ledger suggests he secured. For example, on October 18, 2017, the gain/loss ledger shows that someone representing the charity bought and sold two 2.5 million lots (for a total of 5 million shares) of a Chinese company called Qudian Inc., which trades as an ADR (American Depository Receipt) on the New York Stock Exchange.

Qudian went public at $24 a share on the exact same date that Epstein shows that he both bought and sold the stock – flipping a hot IPO as it is known in the trade. Epstein’s charity made a gain of $35,689 on the two lots. But the dollar amounts listed as to what he paid and what he sold the shares for, indicate that the charity held just two lots of 2500 each or a total of 5000 shares, not the 5 million shares listed under the quantity column of the ledger.

All other dollar amounts for other stock trades indicate the same thing, that three extra zeroes have been added under the quantity column. We don’t know if this is an error in the quantity column or if Epstein was able to actually secure vast amounts of hot IPOs and simply allocated a portion of the profits to his charity.

We can say this, getting any sizeable quantity of a hot IPO means you have some powerful friends somewhere with powerful connections to Wall Street.

A sampling of other hot IPOs shown on his charity’s gain/loss ledger include Roku, the streaming video company that went public on September 28, 2017. Epstein acquired it at its initial listing price of $14 a share and flipped it the next day at approximately $26.33 a share. (It’s not clear if trading commissions have been subtracted from the sales proceeds.) That’s an 88 percent gain for less than a 24-hour holding period.

Another IPO obtained by Epstein was the email marketing company, Sendgrid, which he flipped on its first day of trading on November 15, 2017 for a gain of 13.8 percent – in one day.

The charity’s gain/loss ledger shows that, in dollar terms, his largest profit came from a position in Tencent Holdings, the Chinese Internet company. He bought his position on two dates in 2016 and sold both lots on August 14, 2017 for a gain of $693,412 in a little over a year’s time.

We’ll be reaching out to the accounting firm that filed this tax return to inquire why the quantity column for the shares of stock shows three extra zeros versus the dollar amounts realized in the purchase and sales columns.

July 14

Epstein Scandal

  Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts, then 17, in 2001. He denies they had sex. Roberts claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family and French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel. The California native said the photo at left portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001.

The Sunday Times (UK), US judge unseals files in case of girl, 17, ‘forced to have sex with Prince Andrew,’ Tom Harper and Michael Bilton, July 14, 2019. Documents from a 2015 libel suit linked to the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince, are to be made public. Prince Andrew faces further embarrassment from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal after a judge ordered thousands of secret documents relating to an alleged “sex slave” of the tycoon to be released.

About 2,000 files from a defamation case involving Virginia Roberts, an alleged trafficking victim, are due to be unsealed following a ruling by the US court of appeal this month. Roberts claims she was forced by Epstein to have sex with the Duke of York in London, New York and the Caribbean. Prince Andrew has strongly denied the claims.

The Murdoch-owned Sunday Times is the largest selling UK non-tabloid newspaper and operates under joint ownership with The Times, which is published during the week. .

ny times logoNew York Times, Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Rich and Powerful Still Welcomed Him, Jodi Kantor, Mike McIntire and Vanessa Friedman, July 14, 2019 (print ed.). Jeffrey Epstein, who now faces sex-trafficking charges, served time a decade ago for a sex crime involving a minor. When he returned to New York as a sex offender, he staged a comeback campaign among the elite that largely worked.

A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University In 2010, the year after he got out of a Florida prison, Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos dined at his Manhattan mansion with a British royal. The next year, Mr. Epstein, right, was photographed at a “billionaire’s dinner” attended by tech titans like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. A page popped up on Harvard University’s website lauding his accomplishments, and superlative-filled news releases described his lofty ambitions as he dedicated $10 million to charitable causes.

Powerful female friends served as social guarantors: Peggy Siegal, a gatekeeper for A-list events, included him in movie screenings, and Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a champion of women’s health, maintained a friendship that some felt gave him credibility. Mr. Epstein put up a website showing Stephen Hawking and other luminaries at a science gathering he had organized.

“If you looked up Jeffrey Epstein online in 2012, you would see what we all saw,” Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, said in an interview. He seemed “like an ex-con who had done well on Wall Street,” who was close to the Clintons and gave money to academic pursuits, Dr. Botstein said. That was why, he noted, Bard accepted an unsolicited $50,000 in 2011 for its high schools, followed later that djt epstein headshot Customyear and in 2012 by another $75,000 in donations.

Over a decade ago, when Mr. Epstein (shown with future President Trump) was very publicly accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, he minimized the legal consequences with high-powered lawyers, monetary settlements that silenced complaints, and a plea deal that short-circuited an F.B.I. investigation and led to the resignation announcement on Friday of a Trump cabinet official who had overseen the case as a prosecutor. Socially, Mr. Epstein carried out a parallel effort, trying to preserve his reputation as a financier, philanthropist and thinker.

Some of the respect Mr. Epstein, 66, drew on was manufactured, the accomplishments recycled.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Robert Maxwell set out to build a media empire. He ended up like a John le Carré villain embracing spooks across the world. Even his death is an enigma, Clive Irving, July 14, 2019 (updated). Ghislaine Maxwell, the most elusive figure in the Jeffrey Epstein ménage, grew up in a family of dissemblers. In fact, the family business was built on dissembling.

No charges have been filed against 57-year-old Maxwell but she has been named in civil lawsuits alleging that she acted as a procurer of young women for Epstein. Their relationship has varied over the years from romantic to a more practical partnership in which she used her social connections to introduce Epstein to some notable figures, including Prince Andrew, the raciest member of Britain’s royal family.

Miami Herald, Epstein scandal explodes in Israel as ties to former prime minister under scrutiny, Julie K. Brown, July 14, 2019. Jeffrey miami herald logoEpstein’s arrest is reverberating in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are calling for a criminal probe into former prime minister Ehud Barak’s personal and business ties with the accused sex trafficker, Israeli media is reporting.

israel flagBarak, 77, served as prime minister from 1999 to 2001. This month he formed a new party to run for prime minister against Netanyahu, who called for new elections in September. Once political allies, Barak and Netanyahu have been sparring on social media, with Netanyahu producing a video raising Barak’s relationship to the multimillionaire New York financier, and perversion of justice miami herald logoOhio billionaire Les Wexner, who has given money to Barak, the Times of Israel reported.

Barak was a close friend and business partner with Epstein for years. Now some of those business partnerships are being scrutinized amid questions about Barak’s own source of wealth. The Times reported Saturday that Barak is exploring whether to sever business ties with Epstein, 66, who was charged last week with sex trafficking underage girls.

BuzzFeed, The State Department Once Rented A Townhouse Seized From Iran To Jeffrey Epstein — Then Sued Him For Subletting It, Rosie Gray, July 14, 2019. A weird and forgotten case from the 1990s shows how connected Jeffrey Epstein was to power.

Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion has become notorious for its reportedly macabre interior decor, immense size and monetary value, and as the site of some of his lurid alleged crimes. But Epstein, the financier who has been charged with sex trafficking and accused of sexually abusing young girls, used to live in a different Upper East Side mansion only a few blocks away, a mansion which embroiled him in a dispute which also involved a lawyer for French Connection heroin ring suspects, the State Department, and transitively the government of Iran.

state dept map logo SmallThe now-forgotten case — laid out in newspaper clips from the time and extensive court documents — offers a glimpse into a strange facet of Epstein’s life at the time, and constitutes an early example of Epstein popping up in the media as a rich and connected but mysterious New York figure.

Beginning in February 1992, Epstein rented a former Iranian government building that had been taken over by the State Department during the Iranian revolution, at 34 East 69th Street in one of Manhattan’s most expensive neighborhoods, and at a rate of $15,000 a month. But things went sour when the government sued Epstein in the Southern District of New York, alleging that he had at one point failed to pay the rent on time and had violated the lease by moving out in early 1996 and subletting the place without the State Department’s permission. His subtenant was Ivan Fisher, a New York City criminal defense lawyer who had famously defended members of the French Connection and Pizza Connection drug rings. The government also sued Fisher.

What was Epstein up to? Why had he abandoned the decadent mansion so abruptly and moved out without getting permission to sublet?

Fisher, who reportedly once counseled law students to look into a mirror and practice telling potential clients their retainer was $100,000, was banned from practicing in federal court in the Southern District of New York in 2013 after a court grievance committee ruled that he had stolen money from a client.

July 13

Epstein / Acosta / Trump Scandals

ny times logoNew York Times, Acosta Resigns as Labor Secretary Over Epstein Plea Deal, Annie Karni, July 13, 2019 (print ed.). President Trump said Friday alexander acosta labor omorning that R. Alexander Acosta, right, his embattled secretary of labor, will resign following controversy over a lenient plea deal he made with Jeffrey Epstein when he was a prosecutor in Florida.

Mr. Trump made the announcement as he left the White House for travel to Milwaukee and Cleveland. Mr. Trump said Mr. Acosta called him this morning and that it was Mr. Acosta’s decision to resign. Acosta was plagued by controversy over a plea deal he made with Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of abusing dozens of underage girls.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein Dodged Questions About Sex With His Dalton Prep-School Students, Thomas Volscho, July 13, 2019. As a teacher, Epstein dazzled parents at Dalton with his math genius and piano skills. But in later depositions, he balked at questions about relations with his students.

“I’m teaching a bunch of little brats next year.”—Jeffrey Epstein, 1974-75 Dalton School Yearbook

It took a clandestine FBI-NYPD joint sting operation to arrest the elusive convicted sex offender Jeffrey E. Epstein on Saturday July 6th on the tarmac of Teterboro airport in New Jersey (a story first broken by The Daily Beast). Simultaneously, a sledgehammer was used to break the entry to his massive $77 million New York City townhouse on East 71st Street. Police recovered hundreds, possibly thousands, of nude images of young women and girls — an automatic legal problem for a man who is on multiple sex offender registries. Epstein’s case may be one of the most extreme cases of organized child abuse in modern history.

Writers have noted the interesting coincidence. However, Donald Barr resigned in turmoil in February of 1974 (according to the March 14, 1974 issue of The Daltonian) which was seven months before Jeffrey Epstein began teaching there that fall. While it is possible that Donald Barr may have hired Epstein, if he made personnel decisions long in advance, the Dalton School lost four math teachers (according to The Daltonian) prior to the 1974-75 school year. Therefore the school may have hired Epstein, in part, out of an urgent need to fill vacant positions—even though Epstein did not have a college degree.

“The paper reported Epstein would be starting a 'math-track team' the following year due to his 'unique philosophy of integrating physical exercise with spiritual and mathematical stimulation.'”

Peter Branch was the acting headmaster after Barr’s departure and he may have hired Epstein. Full verification would require access to Dalton’s personnel records, if they still retain them. I put a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request into the State of New York Department of Education and they reported having no teaching license on file for Epstein—this may suggest that he was not planning on a career in teaching. Unlike public schools, it should be noted, a private school like Dalton does not require its teachers to possess a state teaching license or certificate.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein case ramifications extend beyond Manhattan, Wayne Madsen, July 13, 2019 (subscription required). The ramifications of the arrest of the uber-wealthy convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is sending shock waves throughout the world, from islands surrounding Epstein’s privately-owned Little Saint James island in the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Mexico, where Epstein has a ranch, to the lake country of Michigan, where Epstein often vacationed, and Paris, where Epstein maintains an apartment in the city center.

jeffrey epstein dalton yearbook 1975Jeffrey Epstein in the 1975 yearbook of the Dalton School, right.

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Taught at Dalton. His Behavior Was Noticed, Mike Baker and Amy Julia Harris, July 12, 2019 (print ed.). Some students at the esteemed Manhattan prep school recall that Mr. Epstein, now charged with sex trafficking, was willing to violate norms in his encounters with girls.

In the mid-1970s, students at one of New York’s most esteemed prep schools were surprised to encounter a new teacher who pushed the limits on the school’s strict dress code, wandering the halls in a fur coat, gold chains and an open shirt that exposed his chest.

The teacher, Jeffrey Epstein, would decades later face allegations that he coerced and trafficked teenagers for sex. At the Dalton School on the Upper East Side, some students saw Mr. Epstein as an unusual and unsettling figure, willing to violate the norms in his encounters with girls.

Eight former students who attended the prestigious school during Mr. Epstein’s short tenure there said that his conduct with teenage girls had left an impression that had lingered for decades. One former student recalled him showing up at a party where students were drinking, while most remembered his persistent attention on the girls in hallways and classrooms.

“I can remember thinking at the time, ‘This is wrong,’” said Scott Spizer, who graduated from Dalton in 1976.

None of the female students who spoke to The New York Times in recent days remembered Mr. Epstein making unwanted physical contact with them, and he has not been accused of any crimes related to his time at the school.

But a few students said they had been discomfited by a close relationship he had with one of their female peers, a concern that had escalated so much that one of them had raised the issue then to a school administrator.

Dalton has long been known for its rigorous academics, repeatedly ranking among the nation’s best private schools while drawing the sons and daughters of New York titans of finance, media and art. Among the alumni are the CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, the actress Claire Danes and the comedian Chevy Chase.

Mr. Epstein’s time at Dalton was brief, and an administrator said it ended in a dismissal. While Mr. Epstein later developed a reputation in the world of finance as a man of brilliance — “He was a Brooklyn guy with a motor for a brain,” New York magazine wrote in a 2002 profile — the administrator told The Times that he had dismissed Mr. Epstein for poor performance.

But the accounts offer a window into Mr. Epstein’s early adulthood, before he developed extensive private wealth that allowed him to acquire a $56 million mansion just a mile south of the Dalton School. It was there, prosecutors said this week, that Mr. Epstein and his employees paid “numerous” underage girls to engage in sex acts with him.

July 13

Epstein Scandal

OPUS 167, Opinion: Mossad Epstein Connection, Steve Pieczenik (an American writer, former United States Department of State official, psychiatrist, and publisher.), July 13, 2019 (7:18 mins). Israel's intelligence agency, The Mossad, is behind Jeffrey Epstein's crimes.

"Israel not our greatest ally, they're our greatest enemy....The heroes of this picture are not only Trump and the White House [but others exposing corrupt U.S. intelligence agencies].... Israel has been placed on notice....As a Jew, I am not proud of what Jews have done."

mossad seal CustomMore from Pieczenik Wikipedia bio: Dr. Pieczenik was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance and James Baker.[2] His expertise includes foreign policy, international crisis management and psychological warfare.[6] He served the presidential administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the capacity of deputy assistant secretary.[7]

In 1974, Pieczenik joined the United States Department of State as a consultant to help in the restructuring of its Office for the Prevention of Terrorism. In 1976, Pieczenik was made Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for management. At the Department of State, he served as a "specialist on hostage taking". He has been credited with devising successful negotiating strategies and tactics used in several high-profile hostage situations, including the 1976 TWA Flight 355 hostage situation and the 1977 kidnapping of the son of Cyprus' president.

As a renowned psychiatrist, he was utilized as a press source for early information on the mental state of the hostages involved in the Iran hostage crisis after they were freed. In 1977, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Mary McGrory described Stephen Pieczenik as "one of the most 'brilliantly competent' men in the field of terrorism."

Washington Press, Trump’s biographer just dropped an Epstein bombshell that should terrify Trump, Natalie Dickinson, July 13, 2019. he arrest and investigation of notorious billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is making a lot of powerful people very uncomfortable — and someone who has to be quaking in his boots is the President, Donald Trump.

Trump biographer Tim O’Brien dropped a bombshell this morning on MSNBC host Joy Reid’s show that could have huge consequences for the President.

“When I worked on my book about Trump, Trump regularly talked to me about Jeff Epstein (shown in a mugshot) and he felt they had lifestyles that were in synch. But what is happening now with this investigation in the Southern District and they’re going to get access to Jeffrey Epstein’s videos,” said O’Brien.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019“They’re investigating what occurred in Jeffrey Epstein’s townhouse…They should interview every woman who came in and out of that townhouse, including the woman that made this claim against the president right before the election… The other thing is, there is an outstanding claim a Jane Doe claim filed right before the election by a woman in her 30’s who said in the ’90s when she was 13, Donald Trump raped her in Jeffrey Epstein’s townhouse in the Upper East Side. The veracity of that claim can be tested now by the Southern District.”

If Jeffrey Epstein wired his house for video in order to produce blackmail material, as many believe he did, there could potentially be a video of Donald Trump in the act of raping thirteen-year-old Jane Doe, as a serious lawsuit against the president alleged.

We know for sure that Epstein had a treasure trove of categorized CDs and images that featured his unknown partners-in-crime with young women:

The Jane Doe lawsuit was hastily withdrawn under mysterious circumstances and rumors of death threats, but if investigators discover evidence of the allegations — or even evidence that just putting Donald Trump in the same room as an underage girl at Epstein’s house — it’s hard to see how his Republican backers brush that under the rug.

jeffrey epstein julie brown cnn screenshot

The Guardian, Jeffrey Epstein: how US media – with one star exception – whitewashed the story, Ed Pilkington, Miami Herald exposed a vast criminal network and a government cover-up – but why the silence elsewhere? Epstein was arrested earlier this week on new sex trafficking charges. But why for so long did police appeals to the media fall on deaf ears?

When Julie K Brown of the Miami Herald, shown above on a CNN screenshot with Jeffrey Epstein, approached a former police chief of Palm Beach, Florida, in 2017, hoping to get him to open up about his investigation of the child sex crimes for which the wealthy financier Epstein had been fleetingly jailed a decade earlier, she was surprised by how unresponsive he was.

Michael Reiter told Brown he had been down this road many times and was sick of it. As Brown recalled in a WNYC interview last month, Reiter said he had talked to many reporters and told them precisely where to find damning evidence against Epstein. But nothing ever came of it.

“He was convinced that a lot of media had squashed the story and he was fed up,” she said.

Reiter warned Brown what would happen were she to continue digging: “Somebody’s going to call your publisher and the next thing you know you are going to be assigned to the obituaries department.”

Brown did not heed his warning. She flung herself at the investigation and eventually persuaded Reiter to go on record. Her resulting, award-winning three-part series last November exposed a vast operation in which 80 potential victims were identified, some as young as 13 and 14 at the time of the alleged abuse. She persuaded eight to tell their stories.

Brown also exposed a government cover-up in which Epstein got away with an exceptionally light sentence that saw him serve only 13 months in jail. She discovered that a “non-prosecution agreement” had been negotiated secretly in 2008 by the then top federal prosecutor in Miami, Alexander Acosta, that gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution.

July 12

virgina roberts dog

Virginia Roberts, above, was working at Mar-a-Lago when she was recruited to be a masseuse to Palm Beach hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein.She was lured into a life of depravity and sexual abuse. By Emily Michot | Julie K. Brown

Miami Herald, New victims come forward as Epstein asks to be released from jail to his Manhattan mansion, Julie K. Brown and David miami herald logoSmiley, July 12, 2019 (print ed.). Jeffrey Epstein’s victims At least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein even as the multimillionaire money manager tries to convince a federal judge to allow him to await a sex trafficking trial from the comfort of the same $77 million Manhattan mansion where he’s accused of luring teenage girls into unwanted sex acts.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Following Epstein’s arrest Saturday in New Jersey, four women have reached out to New York lawyer David Boies, and at least 10 other women have approached other lawyers who have represented dozens of Epstein’s alleged victims in the past.

Jack Scarola, a Palm Beach attorney, said at least five women, all of whom were minors at the time of their alleged encounters with Epstein, have reached out to either him or Fort Lauderdale lawyer Brad Edwards.

perversion of justice miami herald logo“The people we are speaking to are underage victims in Florida and in New York. They are not individuals whose claims have previously been part of any law enforcement investigation,’’ Scarola said.

ny times logoNew York Times, Epstein’s New Mexico Oasis: A Refuge From Prosecution, Simon Romero and Nicholas Kulish, July 12, 2019 (print ed.). At Zorro Ranch, a palatial home south of Santa Fe, N.M., Jeffrey Epstein avoided having to register as a sex offender. New Mexico’s law is one of the more lenient, and Mr. Epstein’s multi-jurisdiction case highlights issues of states establishing their own registries.

Jeffrey Epstein, the New York financier, managed to evade federal prosecution a decade ago in a Florida sex case involving dozens of teenage girls, in part by agreeing to register as a sex offender. But for a man with many residences, and many high-powered lawyers, registering as a sex offender was not the blanket penalty it might seem.

He did register in Florida, where he pleaded guilty to two state felony charges. But in New York, where he owns one of Manhattan’s most expensive mansions, he managed to avoid check-ins with the authorities by changing his official residence to the Virgin Islands. And in New Mexico, where he owned a palatial residence south of Santa Fe, he was able to avoid inclusion in the state’s registry entirely.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump has bizarre meltdown on White House lawn after Alexander Acosta resigns, Bill Palmer, July 12, 2019. After Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta tried and failed to convince the public that he wasn’t at fault in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Trump began leaking things about Acosta in order to force him out. That meant Acosta’s resignation was inevitable, and sure enough, it finally happened today. Trump decided he had to be the star of the show as usual, and it didn’t exactly go well for him.

bill palmer report logo headerDonald Trump announced today on Twitter that “Alex Acosta informed me this morning that he felt the constant drumbeat of press about a prosecution which took place under his watch more than 12 years ago was bad for the Administration, which he so strongly believes in, and he graciously tendered his resignation.” Okay, so we knew where this was headed even before Trump stood next to Alex Acosta today on the White House lawn while speaking to reporters. Actually, even we didn’t think it would go quite this stupidly.

Trump bent over backward to try to praise Acosta, saying “He’s a tremendous talent. He’s a Hispanic man. He went to Harvard.” Wait, what? This was such a jarringly bizarre remark, “He’s a Hispanic” ended up trending on Twitter as everyone began commenting in disbelief. This is a classic example of a racist man like Trump trying to say something that he thinks will cover up his racism, but only makes it worse. Also, Trump is probably showing his frustration over the fact that he had a token Hispanic man in his racist administration, and now he’s going to need to find another one.

In any case, Alexander Acosta is now gone from the Donald Trump regime. The question going forward is whether Trump’s decision to sacrifice Acosta will be enough for the media and the public to feel satisfied, or if they’ll keep pushing to get to the bottom of the Epstein scandal and expose whatever Trump’s true role might have been.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: This aspect of Jeffrey Epstein’s plea bargain has been largely overlooked, David Von Drehle, July 12, 2019.  The media firestorm touched off by the financier’s tarmac arrest will only get hotter.

Let’s separate the dramatic from the significant in the arrest and jailing of Jeffrey Epstein, mysterious multimillionaire, erstwhile friend of presidents and princes, registered sex offender.

Dramatic was the image of federal agents greeting Epstein’s private jet at Teterboro Airport, the taxiway of moguls and stars, to bundle the old goat off to the hoosegow. Equally cinematic was the nearly simultaneous scene of lawmen taking a crowbar to the towering wooden doors of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.

Significant, on the other hand, was the safe found somewhere behind the splintered doors.

All the millions that Epstein has paid out in settlements offer zero protection against prosecution for subsequent crimes. Locked inside that safe, according to investigators, were “hundreds, and perhaps thousands” of sexually suggestive photographs of young women, and at least some appeared to be minors. With that discovery, Epstein’s defense came crashing down.

Under federal law, it is illegal simply to possess any such pictures of anyone under the age of 18. “Transporting” such pictures “in interstate or foreign commerce” is punishable by up to 20 years in prison for a first offense. And get this: Simply by downloading his photos onto a compact disc manufactured overseas (which prosecutors say was labeled “girl pics nude”), Epstein likely satisfied the “foreign commerce” clause.

You see, while much has been written about the cushy and secretive plea bargain that spared Epstein what might have been a very long stay in prison for the alleged sexual abuse of teenage girls, one aspect of that agreement has been largely overlooked. Epstein agreed not to contest lawsuits filed by his victims. In the ensuing years, he reached untold dozens of settlements with women who were as young as 14 when he drew them into what has been called his sexual Ponzi scheme. In exchange for Epstein’s money, the women agreed to release him from any further responsibility for offenses against them “from the beginning of the world to the day of this release.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Prosecutors say Epstein paid suspected co-conspirators, Matt Zaplosky, July 12, 2019. Soon after The Miami Herald began reporting on his favorable treatment by law enforcement in an early 2000s sex crimes investigation, jet-setting financier Jeffrey Epstein paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to people investigators had identified as possible co-conspirators — payments which federal prosecutors alleged Friday might have been meant to influence them.

The allegation came in a court filing by federal prosecutors in New York, who recently arrested and charged Epstein with sexually abusing dozens of young girls from 2002 to 2005. The arrest set off a chain of events that led to the resignation Friday of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney in Miami during the earlier investigation of Epstein.

In seeking to keep the multimillionaire jailed pending trial, New York prosecutors argued Epstein had a history of trying to obstruct inquiries into his misdeeds, including those from journalists.

Prosecutors wrote they had obtained financial records showing in November 2018, two days after the Herald reported on a favorable plea arrangement Epstein received years prior, Epstein wired $100,000 to someone identified as a possible co-conspirator in the case. Three days after that, he wired $250,000 to another person identified as a possible co-conspirator, prosecutors wrote.

MSN entertainment, Skullduggery TV: Investigating Jeffrey Epstein, July 12, 2019. (82: 37 min. video). Independent investigator Conchita Sarnoff and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead join co-hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman on this episode of “Skullduggery.”

Sarnoff breaks down the Jeffrey Epstein case, having first reported on the matter almost a decade ago. Then Winstead joins to unveil the origin story of the term “fake news,” as well as to discuss her activism with the Abortion Access Front and her battle to save women’s reproductive rights.

conchita sarnoff epstein cover

Deadline, More/Medavoy Options ‘TrafficKing’ Book About The Jeffrey Epstein Case For TV, Denise Petski, July 12, 2019. More/Medavoy has optioned Conchita Sarnoff’s book TrafficKing, which chronicles the Jeffrey Epstein child-trafficking case, along with Sarnoff’s life rights, for television. The project (portrayed above) will be shopped for development as a limited series or television movie.

The project is timely as the Epstein case has received renewed attention following his recent arrest. The billionaire financier was charged with federal sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy of minors in a two-count indictment unsealed Monday in New York. Epstein is accused of trafficking minors in Florida and New York between 2002 and 2005, with each charge carrying a penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

More Sex Charges Against R. Kelly

NBC News, R. Kelly Indicted on Federal Kidnapping, Racketeering and Child Sex-Related Charges in NYC; Jonathan Dienst, July 12, 2019. nbc news logoR&B singer R. Kelly has been federally charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child in a sweeping New York indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Friday, hours after prosecutors filed a 13-count federal indictment charging him r kelly twitterwith new sex crimes in Chicago.

The five-count superseding indictment (read it below) unsealed in 18 pages of court documents alleges Kelly (shown in his Twitter photo_) and members of his entourage recruited women and girls to "engage in illegal sexual activity with the singer.

It says Kelly and his managers, bodyguards and other assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. They also set rules the women and girls had to follow, including not leaving their rooms — even to eat or go to the bathroom — without Kelly's permission, calling the singer "Daddy," and not looking at other men, the indictment alleges. Kelly is the only individual named in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that the criminal acts occurred over two decades dating back to 1999, both in the U.S. and overseas. It accuses Kelly of engaging in sexual acts with girls under 18 and without disclosing that he had a sexually transmitted disease. It also accuses him of producing child pornography, including by asking minors to send him photographs.

"Today that comes to an end," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a statement. "This indictment makes clear that neither fame, power nor status will not shield from prosecution predators who victimize members of our communities for their own sexual gratification."

July 11

Epstein / Acosta / Trump Scandals

nicole junderman johnny vedmore graphic

johnny vedmore twitterThe Swamp, Investigation: The Epstein Associate Nobody's Talking About: The IDF-Linked Bond Girl Infiltrating the UK NHS, Johnny Vedmore (shown in Twitter photo, UK based Singer, Songwriter, Political Investigative Journalist, Legalize Cannabis Advocate and Leader of UWIP -- The United Wales Independence Party), July 11, 2019. FIFA Corruption, the Panama Papers, the Mossad, and Nicole Junkermann.

I have a story to tell you. A story that causes my heart to pound and my blood pressure to rise as I type each and every word. A true story of a woman of great wealth and power, who rode on Jeffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express” private jet on several occasions. She appears to be a German-born Israeli state intelligence operative based in London. An ex-model whose name appeared in the Panama Papers from the Mossack Fonseca leaks and who became embroiled in a FIFA corruption scandal with Sepp Blatter and his family.

She is perhaps the closest example that you could possibly find to a real-life “Bond Girl.” Yet, she is almost completely unknown to the majority of us.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Opinion: Acosta’s Epstein Excuses Are Nonsensical and Self-Serving, Mimi Rocah, Jennifer Rodgers and Berit Berger, July 11, 2019. Three former prosecutors break down the labor secretary’s explanation of the cushy plea deal he cut.

Alex Acosta took the podium Wednesday to try to put to rest a controversial plea deal he reached with accused child-sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida in 2007. Much of what Acosta said sounded somewhat reasonable at first blush: Prosecutors do have a great deal of discretion in charging and resolving cases, so assessing the strength of a case against a defendant, whether he is likely to be convicted, weighed against the possibility of a dangerous defendant walking free, are legitimate and important prosecutorial considerations. But they simply don’t hold up here to explain what Acosta did.

When Acosta’s statements are put up against the facts of this case, they are revealed as the self-serving and often nonsensical excuses of someone who utterly failed to do what he swore to do as U.S. attorney: uphold justice. Congress should now hold a hearing at which Acosta testifies under oath about these matters, so that the victims and all Americans can get answers about why Acosta gave Jeffrey Epstein special treatment.

First and foremost, Acosta claimed that he gave Epstein the now-infamous slap-on-the-wrist non-prosecution deal because state prosecutors in Florida had charged Epstein with a single count of prostitution that would have resulted in no jail time. Acosta claimed that he “wanted to help them [Epstein’s victims], that is why we intervened, and that’s what the prosecutors of my office did…. They insisted that he go to jail and put the world on notice that he was and is a sexual predator."

On its face, that sounds appropriate; Acosta is saying that federal prosecutors stepped in to ensure an outcome that state authorities had failed to reach on their own. But in reality, there was absolutely nothing about Florida’s state prosecution that would have prevented federal authorities from pursuing a full-throttle investigation of Epstein’s crimes—which clearly rose to the level of federal sex trafficking—and aggressively charging that conduct, regardless of what the state did. Neither double jeopardy law nor DOJ policy would have prevented that.

Indeed, during our many years as prosecutors, we were involved in numerous cases in which a state jurisdiction resolved a case unsatisfactorily and we then brought further, more serious charges in federal court. In some cases, there are additional approvals prosecutors have to secure from DOJ when charging a defendant federally after he has faced similar charges in state court.

But it is unfathomable that federal sex trafficking charges would not have been approved in this case notwithstanding a Florida state prosecution (indeed, as we know, such charges have now been brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York), and, in any case, it seems quite clear that Acosta’s office did not even attempt to seek that approval. So while Acosta may want to be seen as the white knight riding in to rescue Epstein’s victims by ensuring a slightly less-bad result than the state of Florida would have given Epstein (even assuming that’s true), that claim rings absolutely hollow.

Another of Acosta’s main themes at the press conference was, the sweetheart deal isn’t my fault because, well, times have changed. “Today’s world treats victims very, very differently,” he said. “Today’s world does not allow some of the victim-shaming that could have taken place at trial.” This is an insulting excuse, concocted after-the-fact to conceal Acosta’s shameful performance as U.S. attorney in this matter.

It is true that societal norms and perceptions about rape and sexual assault victims have changed over the decades, and that more recently the #MeToo Movement has had a role in encouraging victims to speak out about their experiences with abuse. But Acosta greatly exaggerates when he claims that trying a case like this in 2007 would have been significantly more challenging than it would be today.

We were all federal prosecutors in 2007 when this non-prosecution agreement was negotiated. No federal prosecutor or agent we worked with would have ever backed away from a sexual exploitation case involving minors because of the possibility of Acosta’s so-called “victim shaming.” It was 2007, not 1958. Child exploitation and child pornography were believed to be just as abhorrent then as they are now. In all relevant ways, the case would have been charged, tried, and decided exactly the same in 2007 as it would be today.

Moreover, the case against Epstein is, and always was, a compelling one. Acosta stood before reporters and cameras today and claimed that to go to trial would have been “rolling the dice,” as if convicting Epstein of federal charges would have been a matter of sheer chance, making the “sure thing” of two misdemeanor convictions a preferable outcome. Trials do involve an element of risk, of course, but in a case this strong, the risk was minimal. This was another way in which Acosta’s statements today, while having some surface appeal, were actually misleading.

At the time Acosta decided not to prosecute Epstein, dozens of victims already had come forward to tell the FBI what Epstein did to them. Their statements were corroborated by other evidence discovered by investigators. The prosecutors and FBI agents amassed enough evidence to support a 82-page prosecution memo and a 53-page draft indictment for a federal sex trafficking case, according to Doe v. United States, 08-80736-Civ-Marra (SDFL 2019), a civil case in which two of Epstein’s victims are suing because they were not informed of the secret non-prosecution agreement that Epstein received from Acosta’s office.

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New York Post, NYPD let convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein skip judge-ordered check-ins, Elizabeth Rosner, Tina Moore, Larry Celona and Bruce Golding, July 10, 2019. Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein never once checked in with city cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days — and the NYPD says it’s fine with that.

After being labeled a worst-of-the-worst, Level 3 sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday on federal child sex-trafficking charges.

Violating requirements of the state’s 1996 Sex Offender Registration Act — including checking in with law enforcement — is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for a first offense.

Subsequent violations carry a sentence of up to seven years each. But the NYPD hasn’t required the billionaire financier — who owns a $77 million Upper East Side townhouse — to check in since he registered as a sex offender in New York over the controversial 2008 plea bargain he struck in Florida amid allegations he sexually abused scores of underage girls in his Palm Beach mansion.

Several current and former high-ranking NYPD officials were shocked to learn from The Post that the department had given Epstein a pass on his periodic check-ins, with one saying, “It makes no sense.”

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Aftershocks from Epstein arrest reach Washington, DC and Shanghai, Wayne Madsen, July 11, 2019 (subscription required, excerpted with permission). In the wake of the arrest of the uber-wealthy and convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on July 6, there have been some interesting developments. On July 9, Trump, speaking from the Oval Office, said of his relationship with Epstein, “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him . . . I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”

Trump’s relationship with Epstein did not falter over Epstein’s continued sexual molestation of underage girls but was caused by a dispute over Palm Beach real estate.

atlantic logoThe Atlantic, Instead of an Apology, Acosta Offers Epstein’s Victims Implicit Blame, David A. Graham, July 10, 2019. The secretary of labor, under fire for his handling of a sex-trafficking case, spoke for 53 minutes without saying he was sorry. Facing calls for his resignation, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta held a press conference today in Washington to address his handling of the 2007 case against Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire sex offender.

It didn’t go well. Acosta, then a U.S. attorney in Florida, oversaw a sweetheart deal for Epstein, which required him to register as a sex offender and sentenced him to 13 months in prison. Epstein was allowed 12 hours of work release from the prison, six days a week. After a lengthy Miami Herald investigation was published last year, federal prosecutors in New York brought new charges against Epstein this week. That has placed renewed scrutiny on Acosta.

During the nearly hour-long press conference, Acosta declined several opportunities to apologize to Epstein’s alleged victims. Instead, he offered lawyerly, mild answers about his investigation, in essence arguing that while the deal the government cut with Epstein was bad, it was much better than what state prosecutors were requesting, and was better than nothing.

In the most astonishing moment of the press conference, Acosta seemed to shift the blame for Epstein’s light sentence onto the alleged victims for not speaking out. Asked what he’d tell those victims, Acosta said, “The message is you need to come forward. I heard this morning that another victim came forward and made horrendous, horrendous allegations, allegations that should never happen to any woman, much less a young girl. And as victims come forward, these cases can be brought and they can be brought by the federal government, they can be brought by state attorneys, and they will be brought.”

New York Daily News, Jeffrey Epstein proposes staying in his Upper East Side mansion to await trial for sexually abusing girls, Stephen Rex jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Brown, July 11, 2019. Multimillionaire perv Jeffrey Epstein (shown in his latest mugshot) proposed locking himself up in the Upper East Side mansion where he is accused of sexually abusing underage girls while he awaits trial.

The plan for Epstein to remain in the seven-story townhouse on E. 71st St. monitored by private security guards was part of a 16-page memo outlining a possible bail package. The government argues that Epstein is a flight risk and that he should remain in federal lockup on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking.

Attorney Reid Weingarten pointed to Epstein’s compliance with the terms of his sex offender status since 2008, when he pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges in Florida as a result of a controversial deal with the feds.

“During the years since his release from incarceration in connection with his Florida guilty plea, Mr. Epstein has been a law-abiding citizen without a single allegation of criminal misconduct during that period and has focused his efforts on business and philanthropy,” Weingarten wrote in a memo filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

“Mr. Epstein respectfully submits that his conduct over the past 14 years proves that he poses no risk of flight or threat to the safety of the community.”

The financier is now charged with abusing girls between 2002 and 2005. He’s pleaded not guilty and argues that the new charges are “a re-do” of allegations covered by his guilty plea back in 2008. Manhattan prosecutors say they are not bound by that deal.

“If the government is correct that the (non-prosecution agreement) does not, and never did, preclude a prosecution in this district, then the government will have to explain why it purposefully delayed a prosecution of someone like Mr. Epstein, who registered as a sex offender 10 years ago and was certainly no stranger to law enforcement. There is no legitimate explanation for the delay,” Weingarten wrote.

Judge Richard Berman will hold a hearing on the proposed bail package Monday. Trump did not cut ties with Epstein over Epstein’s sexual consorting with minors but over a real estate deal.

washington post logoWashington Post, Jeffrey Epstein’s case was covered in the media. But one Miami reporter made it big news again, Sarah Ellison and Paul Farhi, July 11, 2019 (print ed). An investigation, entitled "Perversion of Justice," began with a simple question: “I wonder what the women think about this?”

As Julie Brown watched the Senate hearings on Alexander Acosta’s nomination to become secretary of labor in 2017, she couldn’t help but talk to the television.

“Why aren’t they asking him this?” she asked. “Why aren’t they asking him that?”

perversion of justice miami herald logoBrown was frustrated by the limited questioning from senators about Acosta’s role in an unusual secret plea deal that, as a U.S. attorney in Florida, he had struck with Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier who had pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of soliciting prostitution from a minor, serving a mere 13-month sentence that allowed him to leave jail for 12 hours a day.

“It seemed like the lawmakers didn’t know the whole story,” Brown said in an interview.

So, after the Senate confirmed Acosta, Brown, an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald, went to her editor with a simple query: “I wonder what the women think about this.”

Brown then set out to tell the full story — not from Acosta’s or Epstein’s point of view but from the perspective of the scores of women who were girls when they were allegedly raped and trafficked by Epstein. They were identified in court filings as Jane Doe 1 or Jane Doe 2 or, as Brown darkly joked, “Jane Doe 102.”

Her search resulted in a blockbuster three-part investigation, published in November, in which she and video journalist Emily Michot were able to identify about 80 of Epstein’s accusers. The stories were a slow-burning fuse that led to an explosion: On Saturday, Epstein was arrested on new sex-crimes charges, leading to calls from leading Democrats for Acosta’s resignation over his handling of the case 11 years ago.

Though there have been surges of media attention about Epstein over more than a decade, no journalist had interviewed the women — now nurses and real estate agents and mothers and professionals — until Brown dove into the story last year. 

djt knauss epstein ghislaine maxwell mar a lago getty full davidoff studios

Donald Trump, Melania Knauss [Trump], Jeffrey Epstein and Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, (left to right at Mar-A-Lago.
Davidoff Studios Photography / Getty Images

Unz Review, Opinion: Did Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Work for Mossad? Philip Giraldi (below at right), July 11, 2019. The extent of Israeli spying directed philip giraldiagainst the United States is a huge story that is only rarely addressed in the mainstream media. The Jewish state regularly tops the list for ostensibly friendly countries that aggressively conduct espionage against the U.S. and Jewish American Jonathan Pollard, who was imprisoned in 1987 for spying for Israel, is now regarded as the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

[A] case involving possible espionage with major political manifestations has just re-surfaced. I am referring to Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire Wall Street “financier” who has been arrested and charged with operating a “vast” network of underage bill clinton twittergirls for sex, operating out of his mansions in New York City and Florida as well as his private island in the Caribbean, referred to by visitors as “Orgy Island.” Among other high-value associates, it is claimed that Epstein was particularly close to Bill Clinton (shown on his Twitter photo), who flew dozens of times on Epstein’s private 727.

Epstein was arrested on July 8th after indictment by a federal grand jury in New York. It was more than a decade after Alexander Acosta, the top federal prosecutor in Miami, who is now President Trump’s secretary of labor, accepted a plea bargain involving similar allegations regarding pedophilia that was not shared with the accusers prior to being finalized in court. There were reportedly hundreds of victims, some 35 of whom were identified, but Acosta deliberately denied the two actual plaintiffs their day in court to testify before sentencing.

israel flagAcosta’s intervention meant that Epstein avoided both a public trial and a possible federal prison sentence, instead serving only 13 months of an 18-month sentence in the almost-no-security Palm Beach County Jail on charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida. While in custody, he was permitted to leave jail for sixteen hours six days a week to work in his office.

Epstein’s crimes were carried out in his $56 million Manhattan mansion and in his oceanside villa in Palm Beach Florida. Both residences were equipped with hidden cameras and microphones in the bedrooms, which Epstein reportedly used to record sexual encounters between his high-profile guests and his underage girls, many of whom came from poor backgrounds, who were recruited by procurers to engage in what was euphemistically described as “massages” for money. Epstein apparently hardly made any effort to conceal what he was up to: his airplane was called the “Lolita Express.”

The Democrats are calling for an investigation of the Epstein affair, as well as the resignation of Acosta, but they might well wind up regretting their demands. Trump, the real target of the Acosta fury, apparently did not know about the details of the plea bargain that ended the Epstein court case. Bill and Hillary Clinton were, however, very close associates of Epstein. Bill, who flew on the “Lolita Express” at least 26 times, could plausibly be implicated in the pedophilia given his track record and relative lack of conventional morals. On many of the trips, Bill refused Secret Service escorts, who would have been witnesses of any misbehavior. On one lengthy trip to Africa in 2002, Bill and Jeffrey were accompanied by accused pedophile actor Kevin Spacey and a number of young girls, scantily clad “employees” identified only as “massage.” Epstein was also a major contributor to the Clinton Foundation and was present at the wedding of Chelsea Clinton in 2010.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderWith an election year coming up, the Democrats would hardly want the public to be reminded of Bill’s exploits, but one has to wonder where and how deep the investigation might go. There is also a possible Donald Trump angle. Though Donald may not have been a frequent flyer on the “Lolita Express,” he certainly moved in the same circles as the Clintons and Epstein in New York and Palm Beach, plus he is by his own words roughly as amoral as Bill Clinton. In June 2016, one Katie Johnson filed lawsuit in New York claiming she had been repeatedly raped by Trump at an Epstein gathering in 1993 when she was 13 years old. In a 2002 New York Magazine interview Trump said “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy… he’s a lot of fun to be with. 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.”

Selective inquiries into wrongdoing to include intense finger pointing are the name of the game in Washington, and the affaire Epstein also has all the hallmarks of a major espionage case, possibly tied to Israel. Unless Epstein is an extremely sick pedophile who enjoys watching films of other men screwing twelve-year-old girls the whole filming procedure smacks of a sophisticated intelligence service compiling material to blackmail prominent politicians and other public figures. Those blackmailed would undoubtedly in most cases cooperate with the foreign government involved to avoid a major scandal. It is called recruiting “agents of influence.” That is how intelligence agencies work and it is what they do.

That Epstein was perceived as being intelligence-linked was made clear in Acosta’s comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” … “Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had ‘been told’ to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ‘I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.’”

Questions about Epstein’s wealth also suggest a connection with a secretive government agency with deep pockets. The New York Times reports that “Exactly what his money management operation did was cloaked in secrecy, as were most of the names of whomever he did it for. He claimed to work for a number of billionaires, but the only known major client was Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of several retail chains, including The Limited.”

cia logoBut whose intelligence service? CIA and the Russian FSB services are obvious candidates, but they would have no particular motive to acquire an agent like Epstein. That leaves Israel, which would have been eager to have a stable of high-level agents of influence in Europe and the United States. Epstein’s contact with the Israeli intelligence service may have plausibly come through his associations with Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said”

Epstein kept a black book identifying many of his social contacts, which is now in the hands of investigators. It included fourteen personal phone numbers belonging to Donald Trump, including ex-wife Ivana, daughter Ivanka and current wife Melania. It also included Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, Tony Blair, Jon Huntsman, Senator Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, David Koch, Ehud Barak, Alan Dershowitz, John Kerry, George Mitchell, David Rockefeller, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomfield, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Elizabeth, Saudi King Salman and Edward de Rothschild.

Mossad would have exploited Epstein’s contacts, arranging their cooperation by having Epstein wining and dining them while flying them off to exotic locations, providing them with women and entertainment. If they refused to cooperate, it would be time for blackmail, photos and videos of the sex with underage women.

It will be very interesting to see just how far and how deep the investigation into Epstein and his activities goes. One can expect that efforts will be made to protect top politicians like Clinton and Trump and to avoid any examination of a possible Israeli role. That is the normal practice, witness the 9/11 Report and the Mueller investigation, both of which eschewed any inquiry into what Israel might have been up to. But this time, if it was indeed an Israeli operation, it might prove difficult to cover up the story since the pedophile aspect of it has unleashed considerable public anger from all across the political spectrum. Senator Chuck Schumer, self-described as Israel’s “protector” in the Senate, is loudly calling for the resignation of Acosta. He just might change his tune if it turns out that Israel is a major part of the story.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

alexander acosta o cropped Custom

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Acosta faces latest test in line of embattled Trump Cabinet secretaries, Jacqueline Alemany​, July 11, 2019.  Some in the president's orbit believe Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta did little to staunch the scrutiny over the handling of allegations against sex offender Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was a prosecutor. 

ny times logoNew York Times, Democrats Demand Briefing and Documents on Epstein Plea Deal, Nicholas Fandos, July 11, 2019. House Democrats waded further on Thursday into a dispute over Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta’s handling of a sex crimes prosecution of the financier Jeffrey Epstein when he was a federal prosecutor more than a decade ago, demanding a briefing from Justice Department officials and access to documents related to the plea agreement he oversaw.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, Democrats on a House judiciary subcommittee on crime said that they wanted access within two weeks to all information on the 2008 nonprosecution agreement, as well as to any accusations of professional misconduct by Mr. Acosta, who was then the United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

“As members of the committee with oversight of the Department of Justice, we believe it is of paramount importance that we learn the basis and rationale for the unusual plea deal and review source documents that shed light on the disturbing agreement,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Representative Karen Bass of California. “We have serious misgivings about Secretary Acosta’s handling of the case and whether the department fairly administered justice.”

Interest in the plea deal and Mr. Acosta’s role in it were reignited this week when Mr. Epstein was indicted in New York on federal charges of sex trafficking that included damning details of luring minors to have sex with him. The authorities subsequently found nude photographs of young girls when they searched his home.

Mr. Epstein had faced similar accusations more than a decade ago, but under a plea agreement with Mr. Acosta’s office, he was shielded from federal prosecution and served only 13 months in jail after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of young women and girls.

Top Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, called on Mr. Acosta this week to resign as labor secretary. And on Wednesday, another House panel, the Oversight and Reform Committee, requested that the labor secretary appear in person on Capitol Hill this month to testify about the case.

Mr. Acosta mounted his own long-winded defense on Wednesday in a televised news conference. He argued that federal prosecutors had acted to ensure that Mr. Epstein would face jail time, rather than holding out for a potentially stiffer sentence by taking the case to trial, where the outcome would have been “a roll of the dice.”

 

cnbc logoCNBC Television, Epstein Case, Kate Kelly, a New York Times reporter covering Wall Street and its influence, joins "Squawk Box" to discuss Jeffrey Epstein's wealth and Wall Street ties, July 11, 2019.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: How to Make Alexander Acosta a Political Martyr, Editorial Board, July 11, 2019. Congress, leave Jeffrey Epstein to the courts. Democratic lawmakers have a few questions for Alexander Acosta. President Trump’s labor secretary has been summoned to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to explain his role in the 2008 plea deal given to Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier accused of sexually abusing and trafficking scores of teenage girls.

Concerns about the degree to which Mr. Epstein received lenient treatment thanks to his affluence and connections have been percolating since November, when an investigative series by a Miami Herald reporter, Julie Brown, revived interest in the case. Mr. Acosta does not come off well as the United States attorney who worked hand-in-glove with Mr. Epstein’s legal team on the secret nonprosecution agreement that shielded him from federal charges, ended a related F.B.I. investigation and granted immunity to any co-conspirators. When a new indictment against Mr. Epstein was unsealed in a federal court in New York on Monday, the resulting outcry spurred the White House to push the labor secretary to hold a news conference Wednesday to defend himself.

Unimpressed by the litany of self-justifications offered by Mr. Acosta, House Democrats are now bringing their oversight authority to bear.

This is a mistake. There’s no doubt that the judicial system must examine the accusations against Mr. Epstein, and that the Justice Department will have many questions about Mr. Acosta’s apparent leniency toward him. Congress digging into this case, however, is a poor use of lawmakers’ limited time and resources. More dangerous, in the midst of the Trump administration’s war on congressional oversight in general, such hearings carry a high risk of turning the Epstein case into a partisan battle — and Mr. Acosta into a political martyr around whom the president and his followers feel moved to rally.

At this point, anyone who has shaken hands with Mr. Epstein in recent decades should be scrutinized. And that list needs to include people of all political persuasions, including the current and a former president. The federal indictment is already surfacing new evidence — like the stash of photos of young women discovered in the raid on the defendant’s Upper East Side mansion — and new accusers.

On a separate but related track, on July 3, a federal appeals court in New York ordered the immediate unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records related to the accusations against Mr. Epstein. There’s also the continuing internal review by the Justice Department — opened in February in response to bipartisan pressure from Congress — into whether there was any “professional misconduct” by department officials, including Mr. Acosta, in the handling of Mr. Epstein’s original case.

Mr. Acosta’s appearance before House members right now is unlikely to bring much more light to the situation. At best, having lawmakers grill him will give the issue a political rather than a criminal cast. And the second a Democratic member suggests that Mr. Acosta is emblematic of the rot at the heart of the Trump presidency, the partisan battle lines will harden.

Already, some Democrats are easing down this path. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, accused the president of “coddling” Mr. Acosta, which she said should surprise no one considering all of the sexual assault allegations facing Mr. Trump. The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, has declared that Mr. Trump must answer for his past relationship with Mr. Epstein, particularly having appointed Mr. Acosta “to such a powerful position.” (Mr. Schumer himself announced on Wednesday that he would donate to charity the equivalent of thousands of dollars Mr. Epstein contributed to his campaigns in the 1990s.)

Various Trump defenders, including Rush Limbaugh and Kellyanne Conway, have complained that Democrats and Trump-haters are focusing on Mr. Acosta rather than Mr. Epstein as a way to get at the president.

Weinstein Case

daily beast logoharvey weinsteinDaily Beast, Weinstein’s Legal Team Falls Apart Again: ‘He’s Impossible to Work With,’ Lachlan Cartwright, July 11, 2019  Lawyer Jose Baez, who once represented Casey Anthony, was granted permission to withdraw from the disgraced movie mogul’s sexual-assault case. Weinstein is shown in a file photo.

Clinton Involvement?

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Bill Clinton Failed to Mention His Intimate 1995 Dinner With Epstein, Pilar Melendez, July 11, 2019 The former president said Monday that he only met ‘briefly’ with the alleged sex-trafficker on two occasions, but a 1995 report shows the pair dined together at a mogul’s home.

Hours after Jeffrey Epstein was arraigned Monday on several sex-trafficking charges, former President Bill Clinton publicly downplayed his relationship with the pedophile financier, saying he knew nothing of his “terrible crimes” since they only met “briefly” on two occasions.

But a 1995 newspaper clipping—first discovered by Snopes—shows Epstein was on the guest list for a “small dinner party” and fundraiser hosted by Revlon beauty mogul Ron Perelman for the Democratic National Committee. The former president’s press shop did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

#MeToo In China

wang zhenhua jail

BBC, Wang Zhenhua: China arrests tycoon linked to child sex allegations, Staff report, July 11, 2019. Chinese billionaire property developer bbc news logo2Wang Zhenhua has been formally arrested in Shanghai, his former firm has said. State media reported last week that Mr Wang had been detained over allegations of child sex offences. Pictures of Mr Wang behind bars have been shown, as above, on state broadcaster CCTV.

In a statement on its official Weibo account on Wednesday, Shanghai police confirmed two people, surnamed Wang and Zhou, had been arrested on charges of child molestation.

Future Land Development Holdings removed Mr Wang, 57, as chairman last week when he was first detained. It confirmed Mr Wang's arrest late on Wednesday without giving details of the charges.

The Global Times newspaper reported last week, citing police, that his initial arrest was linked to allegations of child molestation.

It came after a woman filed a report to police alleging Mr Wang had abused her daughter in a hotel in Shanghai, local police said.

The case has sparked outrage in China.

wang zhenhua portraitMr Wang, shown at right, is still the controlling shareholder of Future Land. He is also chairman of the board of real estate developer Seazen.

"According to the notification from Shanghai Putuo District Procuratorate and the public security authorities, the arrest of Mr Wang Zhenhua ... was approved on July 10, 2019 for an alleged crime. The case is being further processed," Future Land said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

#MeToo Claim By NYC Pastor

ny times logoNew York Times, She Led a Famed Progressive Church. Then She Said She Was Harassed, Rick Rojas, July 11, 2019. When the Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler was hired to lead Riverside Church in Manhattan in 2014, she was hailed as a rising star, the first woman to join a distinguished line of pastors at one of the pre-eminent progressive Protestant congregations in the United States.

Two years into her tenure, an influential former member of the church’s governing council left a bottle of wine and a T-shirt on her desk, both with labels that read “Sweet Bitch,” according to an internal investigation ordered by the church after Ms. Butler filed a formal complaint.

The former governing council member also sent suggestive emails and text messages to Ms. Butler’s female colleagues, the investigation found.

Ms. Butler, 49, went public about the incidents last year, writing a blog post titled “From #MeToo to #ChurchToo to #NeverAtChurch” that said exchanges between her and the former member of the governing council had left her “feeling deeply uncomfortable.”

This month, the governing council dismissed Ms. Butler by not renewing her contract, shocking the 1,750-member congregation and touching off a wrenching debate about sexism, harassment and hypocrisy in a church where past leaders had marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. Political Workdays

washington post logoWashington Post, A candidate for governor says a female journalist can’t shadow him — unless she brings a man along, Deanna Paul, July 11, 2019. Before announcing his campaign to become Mississippi’s governor, state Rep. Robert Foster made a commitment to his wife, Heather. He’d follow the “Billy Graham rule” — which, in his words, means avoiding “any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage.”

His personal policy, which is also used by Vice President Pence, presented a problem for Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell. Citing “the optics,” Foster declined Campbell’s request for a 15-hour ride-along, unless she brought a male colleague. Campbell and her editor objected on the grounds that it was sexist, and it prevented her from completing a story assignment about the Republican contenders for governor.

Term limits prevent incumbent Phil Bryant (R) from seeking reelection, leaving an open seat and a hotly contested election. Three Republicans filed to run in the Aug. 6 primary: Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, former state Supreme Court chief justice Bill Waller Jr. and Foster. There are also eight Democrats running.

July 10

jeffrey epstein sex offender

ny times logoNew York Times, Acosta Defends Role in Brokering Epstein Plea Deal, Katie Rogers, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker, July 10, 2019. Alexander Acosta, the labor secretary, said he got the best deal he could against Jeffrey Epstein (above) in a case in Florida in 2008, ensuring some jail time. President Trump has defended Mr. Acosta, who has faced calls to resign from Democrats.

Mr. Acosta said he had faced a tough choice between accepting a plea deal that was not as tough as he wished and going to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify, in what he described as “a roll of the dice” that might not have resulted in a conviction and prison term.

“I wanted to help them,” Mr. Acosta said of the victims during a nationally televised news conference at the Labor Department headquarters. “That is why we intervened. And that’s what the prosecutors of my office did — they insisted that he go to jail and put the world on notice that he was and is a sexual predator.”

Mr. Acosta’s appearance before cameras was seen as a crucial test of whether he will keep his job, with an audience of one as President Trump watched and weighed a decision. Mr. Acosta said he had spoken with Mr. Trump and believed he had his backing.



abc news logoABC News Nightline, 2 women talk about alleged abuse after Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking, Staff report, July 10, 2019 (9:58 mins.). "Nightline" looks at the fallout from the indictment of Epstein, who allegedly abused "dozens" of underage girls and recruited a "vast network" of victims.

nbc news logoNBC News, Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Shares Story Of Alleged Rape For 1st Time, Savannah Guthrie, July 10, 2019. In a TODAY exclusive, Jennifer Araoz shares her chilling account of alleged sexual assault by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, which she says happened when she was in high school. Araoz is not part of the Southern District of New York’s case against Epstein, who pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.

 alex acosta labor dept building ultraviolet

TheHill.com, 'Acosta Enables Sex Trafficking' projected onto the Labor Department building, Zack Budryk, July 10, 2019. Activists projected condemnations of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on the Department of Labor building Wednesday to protest his role in a controversial non-prosecution agreement with financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested again over the weekend.

Progressive advocacy groups, including CREDO Action, MoveOn, UltraViolet (which took the photo above) and the American Federation of Teachers, projected the words “Acosta Enabled Sex Trafficking” and “Acosta Must Go” on the building.

“Secretary Acosta’s actions in not disclosing the plea deal of a politically well-connected predator to the victims of that predator were illegal and unconscionable. By breaking the law and hiding the deal from victims, he’s shown that we cannot trust him,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.

“A labor secretary is supposed to protect everyday people – Alex Acosta proposed an 80% cut to his department’s bureau that combats human trafficking, and gave a sweetheart deal to a known predator,” she added.

In 2008, as a U.S. Attorney, Acosta approved a deal that allowed Epstein to serve only 13 months and spend 16 hours a day outside of prison. Epstein was arrested on new federal charges of sex trafficking over the weekend. He has pleaded not guilty.

In a press conference Wednesday, Acosta defended the arrangement. “We believe that we proceeded appropriately,” Acosta told reporters at the Labor Department. “We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He needed to go to jail.”

ny times logocyrus vance jrNew York Times, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Sought Reduced Sex-Offender Status for Epstein, Jan Ransom, July 10, 2019 (print ed.). The arrest of Mr. Epstein has renewed scrutiny of how he was treated by the office of Cyrus Vance, right.

#MeToo: Trump

Raw Story, Trump accuser has him on video forcibly kissing her: court documents, Sarah K. Burris, July 10, 2019. President Donald Trump allegedly sexually harassed a campaign staffer in Florida during 2016, doing exactly what he confessed in the “Access Hollywood” tape.

According to the court filings in Alva Johnson v. Donald J. Trump, there is actually a video showing the incident in question.

“The eight and a half hours of video also appear to include footage of the rally from Fox 10 Phoenix, Channel 90, a Youtube channel called FRN Now, ABC 7 Suncoast News from Tampa, and others,” the documents say on page two. “Buried deep in this compilation, at 07:39:44 (i.e., over seven hours into the compilation) is a brief video, taken on a cell phone, showing Mr. Trump kissing Ms. Johnson inside a Campaign RV on August 24, 2016 — just as Ms. Johnson alleged.

While Ms. Johnson remembered some of the minor details incorrectly (for example, Mr. Trump grabbed her by both shoulders before kissing her, and only took her hand after the kiss) it is now undisputable (sic) that Mr. Trump in fact kissed Ms. Johnson.”

Trump bragged on the “Access Hollywood” bus that he could do whatever he wanted to women because he was a celebrity.

#MeToo At Harvard

ny times logoNew York Times, Harvard Suspends Roland Fryer, Star Economist, After Sexual Harassment Claims, Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, July 10, 2019. The move sidelines the researcher without pay for two years, and closes his lab, in a case that has roiled the profession. Roland G. Fryer, a onetime rising star in economics who has been accused by several women of sexual harassment, will lose his Harvard University research lab and be suspended for two years, the university said Wednesday.

Harvard’s actions represent a remarkable fall from grace for an economist who until recently was among the profession’s most admired researchers — and one of Harvard’s highest-paid faculty members. He is also one of the most prominent African-Americans in a field that has long struggled with racial diversity.

Mr. Fryer, 42, has been the subject of several concurrent university investigations, which concluded that he had engaged in “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” against at least five employees over the course of a decade.

In a letter to the economics department on Wednesday, Claudine Gay, a Harvard dean, said Mr. Fryer would be put on administrative leave for two years, during which he cannot teach or conduct research using university resources. The Education Innovation Laboratory, the off-campus space known as EdLabs where he conducted most of his work, will be permanently closed. A Harvard spokeswoman said he would not be paid during his suspension.

July 9

Epstein / Trump / Acosta Scandals

 

Buzzefed AM to DM, Journalist Vicky Ward Was Silenced When Trying To Expose Jeffrey Epstein In 2002, July 9, 2019 (6:54 mins.). vicky ward amygoodma july 8 2019Investigative journalist Vicky Ward joins AM to DM to discuss how her 2002 Vanity Fair piece on Jeffrey Epstein could have exposed him earlier on.

Ward (shown at right on the separate Amy Goodman show Democracy Now!) discusses being silenced, investigating Epstein’s mysterious “Gatsby-like” source of wealth, his victims.

djt justice liberty truth metoo 2017 cartoon by Nick Anderson, Hearst Newspapers

Cartoon by Nick Anderson, Hearst Newspapers

washington post logoWashington Post, Epstein indictment renews questions about ties to Trump Cabinet official, Lisa Rein, Michael Kranish and Josh alexander acosta labor oDawsey, July 9, 2019 (print ed.). As the U.S. attorney in Florida in 2007, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, right, negotiated a minimal sentence for wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The indictment Monday of Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges has reignited questions about the way Alexander Acosta — now President Trump’s labor secretary — handled an earlier case against Epstein that resulted in a minimal sentence.

As U.S. attorney in Florida in 2007, Acosta negotiated a plea deal that led to two felony solicitation charges and 13 months in county jail for Epstein, with the billionaire financier allowed to work from his office six days a week. Epstein had been facing the possibility of life in prison. His alleged victims were not told about the deal.

washington post logoWashington Post, Pelosi, other lawmakers call for Acosta to resign, John Wagner, July 9, 2019. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday night became the highest-profile lawmaker to call for the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, citing his handling as a U.S. attorney of an earlier case against Jeffrey Epstein that resulted in a minimal sentence.

djt knauss epstein ghislaine maxwell mar a lago getty full davidoff studios

Donald Trump, Melania Knauss [Trump], Jeffrey Epstein and Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, (left to right at Mar-A-Lago.
Davidoff Studios Photography / Getty Images

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ girls. Now he denies their relationship, David A. Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard and Kimberly Kindy, July 9, 2019 (print ed.). Outside of the president’s own words, there is clear evidence that he previously socialized with Epstein, now charged with sex trafficking.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Who Protected Jeffrey Epstein? Editorial Board, July 9, 2019 (print ed.). Mr. Epstein is not the only one due a reckoning with justice.

Even in the relatively sterile language of the legal system, the accusations against Mr. Epstein are nauseating. From “at least in or about” 2002 through 2005, the defendant “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls,” some as young as 14 and many “particularly vulnerable to exploitation.”

The girls were “enticed and recruited” to visit Mr. Epstein’s various homes “to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars.” To “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” he paid some of the girls “to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused,” thus creating “a vast network of underage victims.”

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washington post logoWashington Post, Trump praises Acosta as labor secretary faces growing calls to resign over earlier Epstein case, John Wagner​, July 9, 2019. Alexander Acosta, above, who previously served as a U.S. attorney, has come under scrutiny for his handling as a prosecutor of a 2007 sex-crimes case involving billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

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CNBC, Attorney General Bill Barr will not recuse himself from Jeffrey Epstein child sex prosecution, Dan Mangan and Jim Forkin, July 9, 2019. Attorney General William Barr will not recuse himself from involvement in the new federal criminal prosecution of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

But Barr will recuse himself from an internal Justice Department probe of current Labor Secretary’s Alex Acosta involvement in approving a controversial no-prosecution deal with the wealthy financier a decade ago, officials said Tuesday.

Epstein, 66, is accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005 after they were brought to his luxurious residences on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and in Palm Beach, Fla.

Palmer Report, Commentary: The real reason William Barr just un-recused himself in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Bill Palmer, July 9, 2019. Yesterday the Department of Justice let it be known that Attorney General William Barr was recusing himself from the underage sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein, citing the fact that he’s since worked at the law firm that originally represented Epstein during his previous plea deal. Now the DOJ has announced that Barr has changed his mind already.

bill palmer report logo headerPalmer Report pointed out yesterday that William Barr (shown at his swearing-in ceremony at the White House with Chief Justice John Roberts, Trump and Barr's wife) had already refused to recuse himself from other cases where he had far bigger conflicts of interest, so it’s not that he was recusing from the Epstein case out of any real necessity. Instead, he was clearly doing it because he wanted to. It’s not hard to understand why. Barr has ongoing big plans for doing numerous criminal things before his time as Attorney General runs out, and if he’s widely seen as trying to protect Donald Trump’s pedophile friend, his time could run out much more quickly.

william barr new oWe also pointed out yesterday that Donald Trump was going to be very unhappy with William Barr over this because Barr is the only halfway-functional henchman Trump has left when it comes to these kinds of matters. Now it appears Trump has put his foot down already, as that’s the only plausible reason why Barr would turn around and un-recuse himself from the case, just one day after having publicly staked himself to the notion that he wanted nothing to do with this one. So now what?

Contrary to popular belief, William Barr doesn’t have a magic wand. With this much scrutiny on the Epstein case from the media and the public, Barr can’t simply shut the case down and let Epstein go free, unless Barr wants to put himself and Trump on a quick path to impeachment and ouster.

What Barr can do by un-recusing himself is to meddle in the Epstein case in subtle ways, such as keeping Trump up to date on any aspects of the case that might lead back to Trump. This is all the more reason for Barr to be ousted – but this is the rare case where even he can’t put much of a dent in where it’s headed.

michelle goldberg thumbny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Epstein Is the Ultimate Symbol of Plutocratic Rot, Michelle Goldberg, right, July 9, 2019 (print ed.). Powerful elites enabled the financier accused of trafficking underage girls.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Opinion: Trump reacts to Epstein arrest with hubris, Wayne Madsen, July 9, 2019 (Subscription required). The word is that the investigation of Epstein is extending beyond him and three “employees” to several Epstein friends and associates.

On July 6 and 7, FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives seized from Epstein’s midtown Manhattan townhouse mansion a “vast trove” of photographs of nude and partially nude underage girls contained on CDs.

Police also discovered a sophisticated camera system inside the residence, as well as reams of documents, including legal papers dealing with financial settlements reached with Epstein’s victims.

Liberty Blitzkrieg, Bombshell – Alex Acosta Reportedly Claimed Jeffrey Epstein ‘Belonged to Intelligence,’ Michael Krieger, July 9, 2019. To appreciate the significance of what I’m about to share, you really need to go back and read yesterday’s post: The Jeffrey Epstein Rabbit Hole Goes a Lot Deeper Than You Think.

djt epstein headshot CustomIn that piece, I shared many lesser known, but extremely bizarre facts about Jeffrey Epstein [shown in a file photo with Donald Trump] and the people around him. I also noted that it appeared his real job was to run a blackmail operation to ensnare some of the most wealthy and powerful people on earth. I alluded to the possibility that he was collecting this priceless information on behalf of a third party, and then just today we learn the following via the Daily Beast:

“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)…

For almost two decades, for some nebulous reason, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence, his billions of dollars, or his social connections, Epstein, whose alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on women without means or ability to protect themselves is well-known in his circle, remained untouchable.

It should be noted the reason I attach credibility to the above is based on who wrote it, Vicky Ward [shown in a portrait at right below]. She has an extensive history of digging into Epstein, and wrote one of the earliest profiles on him back in 2003. As she notes in today’s article:

vicky ward Custom Custom 2I spent many months on his trail in 2002 for Vanity Fair and discovered not only that he was not who he claimed to be professionally, but also that he had allegedly assaulted two young sisters, one of whom had been underage at the time. Very bravely, they were prepared to go on the record. They were afraid he’d use all his influence to discredit them — and their fear turned out to be legitimate.

As the article was being readied for publication, Epstein made a visit to the office of Vanity Fair’s then-editor, Graydon Carter, and suddenly the women and their allegations were removed from the article. “He’s sensitive about the young women,” Carter told me at the time. (Editor’s Note: Carter has previously denied this allegation.) He also mentioned he’d finagled a photograph of Epstein in a swimsuit out of the encounter. And there was also some feeble excuse about the article “being stronger as a business story.” (Epstein had also leaned heavily on my ex-husband’s uncle, Conrad Black, to try to exert his influence on me, which was particularly unwelcome, given that Black happened to be my ex-husband’s boss at the time.)

Many people had assumed Epstein was untouchable merely because he had so much dirt on so many powerful people, but it increasingly looks far bigger than that. It appears he may have been untouchable because he was systematically collecting this information on behalf of an intelligence agency. If so, we need to find out precisely who he was working for.

This should be the number one story in the country right now. Blackmail at this level is a genuine national security issue.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight, Vicky Ward, July 9, 2019. Vicky Ward is an investigative reporter and New York Times best-selling author of "The Liar’s Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World’s Toughest Tycoons."

How did the New York financier stay nearly untouchable for decades?

A couple of years ago, I was interviewing a former senior White House official when the name Jeffrey Epstein came up.

Unaware of my personal history with Epstein, this person assured me that the New York financier was no serious harm to anyone. He was a good guy. A charming guy. Useful, too. He knew a lot of rich Arabs, including the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and, further, he had clever ideas about creating bond issues for them. “OK, so he has a girl problem,” this person threw on, almost as an afterthought.

Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.

Artnet News, Jeffrey Epstein’s Latest Accuser Is an Artist Who Claims the Billionaire Sex Offender Lured Her in With Promises to Help Her Career, Rachel Corbett, July 9, 2019. When Maria Farmer met Epstein at her art opening in 1995, he dangled his powerful connections—and asked for a discount.

The fallout from the Saturday arrest of Jeffrey Epstein continues to grow—and the latest allegations touch the art world. Among the latest accusations are those made by 49-year-old Maria Farmer, who, in an affidavit filed in April, claims that Epstein leveraged her dreams of becoming an artist to lure her into his web. She says that Epstein went on to sexually assault both her and her younger sister, who was 15 at the time.

Farmer’s claims appeared as part of another woman’s defamation lawsuit against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who has been accused of participating in Epstein’s trafficking operation. Dershowitz has also served as Epstein’s lawyer over the years.

Farmer was a 25-year-old graduate student at the New York Academy of Art when she met Epstein at her art opening in 1995, according to the affidavit. “Epstein said that if I sold him one of my paintings for half price he would help me with my career,” Farmer wrote. She agreed, and sold him a work for $6,000.

Epstein reportedly attended the event with Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who has been accused of soliciting young girls on Epstein’s behalf, including the plaintiff in the Dershowitz lawsuit, Virginia Giuffre. (Giuffre says she was a 16-year-old locker-room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort when Maxwell recruited her to work as a masseuse for Epstein. She says that Epstein later “lent” her out for sex with his friends, including Dershowitz.)

Media / Trump Watch

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, appeals court rules, Ann E. Marimow​, July 9, 2019. The case has twitter bird Customimplications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media.

President Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court donald trump twittersaid Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media.

The decision from the New York-based appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users who were critical of the president or his policies.

Public officials who take to social media for official government business, the court said Tuesday, are prohibited from excluding people “from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” wrote Judge Barrington D. Parker in the unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

July 8

Epstein Arrest, Trump Connection

  • Jeffrey Epstein pleads not guilty to sex trafficking charges
  • Feds say they have 'devastating evidence' against Jeffrey Epstein
  • Nude photos of underage girls found at Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan home: feds
  • FBI urges Jeffrey Epstein victims to call hotline

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein accuser: I was 14 years old and still in braces when abuse began, Kate Sheehy, July 8, 2019. One of multimillionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers described Monday being just 14 and still in braces when he began sexually abusing her. “I remember standing in his kitchen, and he also had a lot of girls there at the time,’’ Courtney Wild, now in her 30s, told ABC News. “I was 14. I had braces on.’’

jeffrey epstein at harvard universityEpstein, right, — who already served time in Florida after Wild and dozens of other then-underage accusers said he sexually assaulted them — now faces new federal charges in Manhattan involving different girls. Michelle Licata — who, like Wild, had previously accused Epstein, 66, of forcing her into sex acts as a teen — told ABC that she’d been recruited by a high school pal to give the perverted financier “massages.’’

During an interview with authorities, part of which was aired by ABC, the victim revealed, “Then he wanted me to rub his back.
And then he kept asking me to go lower and lower. He was kind of talking to me, like trying to get to know me, about my sex life.”

Wild has previously admitted that she eventually helped recruit young girls for Epstein. “By the time I was 16, I had probably brought him 70 to 80 girls who were all 14 and 15 years old,” she told the Los Angeles Times in February.

Democracy Now! Where did Jeffrey Epstein's money come from? Amy Goodman interviews longtime Epstein biographer Vicky Ward, July 8, 2019 (4:58 mins.).

New York Daily News, Millionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking, kept nude pics of underage girls: prosecutors, Stephen Rex Brown, July 8, 2019. Multimillionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, right, kept nude photos of underage girls in his Upper East Side townhouse of horrors, Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor said Monday.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman revealed Epstein kept the perverted stash of pictures during a press conference announcing conspiracy and sex trafficking charges against the wealthy financier.

Epstein is accused of sexually abusing minors, some as young as 14 years old, between 2002 to 2005 at his seven-story mansion on E. 71st St. and his Palm Beach estate. The FBI seized the nude photos on Saturday, as Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport, said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman (below left). See indictment here.

“Jeffrey Epstein abused underage girls for years, operating a scheme in which girls he victimized would recruit others for Epstein to exploit and abuse. Epstein exploited girls who were vulnerable to abuse, enticed them with cash payments, and escalated geoffrey berman sdnyhis conduct to include sex acts, often occurring at his residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, the victims — then children and now young women — are no less entitled to their day in court,” Berman said.

The bombshell 14-page indictment in Manhattan Federal Court against the hedge funder comes 11 years after he received a slap on the wrist for similar charges. Berman said his office was not bound by the plea deal with federal prosecutors in southern Florida.

Epstein “enticed and recruited” dozens of minor girls to engage in sex acts with him, “after which he would give the minor girls hundreds of dollars in cash,” the indictment charged. “In order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.”

djt melania epsteinDonald Trump, Melania Knauss [Trump], Jeffrey Epstein At Mar-A-Lago
Epstein poses for a photo with some powerful friends.
Davidoff Studios PhotographyGetty Images

Esquire, Commentary: Jeffrey Epstein Allegedly Shows There's an Even Darker Side to the Masters-of-the-Universe Mentality, Charles P. Pierce, July 8, 2019. Who else at the top of politics and big business represents the same? It took me a couple of tries to wade through the muck of the indictment that the Southern District of New York dropped on Jeffrey Epstein on Monday. Every time I got sort of rolling, I'd run into a sentence like this: "Epstein typically would also masturbate during these sexualized encounters, ask victims to touch him while he masturbated, and touch victims' genitals with his hands or with sex toys."

It is impossible that Epstein's many influential friends and houseguests didn't know about this. Apparently, Epstein was not shy about his predilections. The current President* of the United States was a frequent running buddy, and he said in New York magazine back in 2002: "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."

And before the flying monkeys take wing, let me say that, if any Democratic politician was involved in these late Roman Empire hootenannys, that person should be convicted and buried under the jail as well.

This is not a stick-to-politics moment. This is going to screw up the political moment good and proper, though. Unless Epstein cuts a quick deal at the encouragement of all those people who suddenly don't know him anymore, this is going to be a long and garish public spectacle. It's going to devour news cycle after news cycle.

And if anything emerges connecting the president* directly to Epstein's alleged crimes, there isn't going to be a news cycle anymore. There will be only this story, over and over again.

 wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), "Pedosadism" at heart of new charges against Epstein, Wayne Madsen, July 8, 2019 (subscription required). New details began to emerge about the individual Donald Trump once publicly claimed to be his friend.

Before boarding the helicopter to return to the White House from a weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, Trump replied to a reporter’s question about Epstein’s arrest Saturday evening at Teterboro Airport, located less than an hour’s drive from Trump’s golf club. Trump said, “I don’t know anything about it.”

 alexander acosta o cropped Custom

Above the Law, Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest Forces Us To Ask: Which Dirtbag Lawyers In This Case Will Face Their Own Music? Joe Patrice, July 8, 2019.  Along the way, Epstein's conduct was enabled by a who's who of lawyers we've called out.

Jeffrey Epstein was ostensibly a hedge fund manager who molested underaged girls and allegedly ran a human trafficking operation for the rich and powerful. A few years back, he pleaded guilty to a watered down version of his crimes and served 13 months in the Palm Beach County Jail. Or at least some of the 13 months… he was allowed to leave and go to his office for 12 hours a day. Epstein even got a non-prosecution agreement that stifled evidence of the wide-ranging nature of his activity.

With his arrest at the behest of the SDNY USAO, Epstein may finally face some measure of justice. There aren’t any statutes of limitations to deal with when it comes to child exploitation, and the way the original plea went down may itself be cause for charges.

The accused always deserve a robust defense, and while lawyers have to be cognizant of their competing obligations or protect their credibility with clients, generally speaking lawyers shouldn’t be knocked for zealously representing clients within the bounds of the law. Yet what the Epstein case reveals is the sickening quasi-law created by the outsized and largely unchecked power of prosecutors. A world where the rich and powerful and their professional mouthpieces spend less time arguing the finer points of law and fact, and more time negotiating how “we can all just get along” with pedigreed perpetrators. If this case goes forward, every single one of these lawyers should face scrutiny — if not legal repercussions — for their role in enabling Epstein all these years.

What’s really amazing is how the Venn diagram of “lawyers who enabled a sexual predator” and “lawyers we routinely blast here at Above the Law” is a perfect circle.

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta: At least someone else is getting prosecuted over this and the odds are it’s Trump’s alexander acosta o cropped CustomSecretary of Labor. The case belongs to the Public Corruption Unit instead of the folks who routinely prosecute child exploitation. The last time I remember a sex case inexplicably ending up in the hands of PCU, NY Governor Eliot Spitzer got tangled up in a prostitution bust. So some government official is getting tagged in this matter and since Acosta has already been flagged for potential criminal conduct in the way he handled Epstien’s original plea, he’s the best bet.

As the local U.S. Attorney in the first attempt to bring Epstein to justice, Acosta (shown at right) conspired with Epstein’s legal team to keep the case out of the public eye, sealing records right and left and not even allowing the victims any input into the deal. A deal that, as a reminder, just gave the guy a half-day county lockup for a year. A judge has already deemed the agreement founded upon material omissions from Acosta’s office.

One might think having a cabinet secretary tied to a child predator would be a tremendous black eye for Trump personally, but the White House has some other problems in this case. Like the way Donald Trump himself shows up in Epstein’s “Little Black Book” or how his public takes on Epstein amount to this:

Alan Dershowitz: Dersh [shown at right with Epstein] served as one of the high-end counsel who secured the sweetheart deal from Acosta. Again, there’s nothing Jeffrey Epstein and Alan Dershowitzwrong with zealously representing the accused, if you really consider leaning on a weak-willed social climber of a prosecutor to give your client a slap on the wrist “representing” in the way our ethical rules conceive of that term.

Of course, Dershowitz also has his own ongoing issues stemming from the Epstein matter, having been accused by some of Epstein’s victims as a willing participant who had sex with underaged girls. Dershowitz vigorously denies these claims and recently demanded that the women accusing him sue him for defamation so he can have the whole matter settled in a court of law. Since then, he’s been working very hard to keep this whole matter from being settled in a court of law.

Even if Dershowitz is entirely cleared of any direct involvement in the scheme — and we’ll be watching that case closely — Epstein’s arrest should be an occasion for everyone to revisit how unsavory this deal was and how it should taint everyone involved.

Cy Vance: In a shock to no one, Manhattan’s bumbling, star-f**ker DA is also knee deep in this travesty. Vance, right, who routinely squelches cyrus vance jrcriminal probes into the rich and powerful — like when his own people told him they had an open-and-shut case against the Trump children or when he let Harvey Weinstein go for years after the NYPD got Weinstein on tape seemingly admitting to crimes — oversaw Epstein’s sex offender status in New York. For a jurisdiction so committed to its stock portfolio-based brand of law and order that it stuffs Riker’s to capacity and holds kids in there awaiting trial for years, when it came to a guy accused of pimping almost 100 underaged girls, Vance wanted people to know this rich guy couldn’t possibly be a threat.

In typical Vance fashion, his office is shoving the individual prosecutor under the bus and proclaiming Vance was merely asleep at the switch, but a lot of folks aren’t buying it.

Some law enforcement sources don’t believe Vance had no clue that his office had a sex-offender case involving a Manhattan mogul with close ties to Democrats.

“This is very unusual,” one said. “There is no way Vance didn’t know. The question is why — and who asked for the favor.”

ken starr baylorKen Starr: The man who wasted millions of government resources on tracking down an affair and then turned Baylor into a disgraceful safe haven for rapists was also on Epstein’s dream team of attorneys securing that plea deal.

Ironically, Bill Clinton is among those accused of having taken multiple trips on Epstein’s private plane known as the “Lolita Express,” presumably not because of a deep Nabokov appreciation. Who knows if Clinton was really involved in illegal activity or just using the plane during its “off-underaged-brothel-hours,” but it’s astounding that once there’s an actual allegation of criminality against Clinton, Starr is the one involved in keeping it under wraps.

Bill Barr: This brings us to the current Attorney General, right, who will presumably try to scuttle the SDNY investigation if it starts to creep william barr new oanywhere near Acosta or Trump. He is, after all, the head of the Justice Department and has that power, but it would involve a wild reversal on one of the few commitments he made during his confirmation hearings. Back then, Barr declared that he would recuse himself from decisions that directly implicated his former firm, Kirkland & Ellis.

You’ve probably already guessed this, but do you know which Biglaw firm did the heavy lifting for Dershowitz and Starr in their efforts to get Acosta to bail out Epstein? That’s right! Kirkland & Ellis partner Jay Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz was old buddies with Acosta, so he seemed like the perfect person to lean on his friend to get a favorable deal.

Everywhere you turn, there’s another lawyer ensnared by Epstein — both the established criminal behavior and the allegations he’s facing now. Attorneys making a mockery of the criminal justice system by turning it into a country club locker room, prosecutors going along with this farce to keep themselves in good stead with a rich and politically connected abuser, and potentially another run at obstruction from the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

No matter where this case goes from here, there are a lot of lawyers who deserve heaps of scorn.

July 7

MSNBC Video of lawyers Cynthia Alksne and Lisa Bloom commenting to Joy Reid on Jefrrey Epstein's arrest (8:24 min. video).

Crooks and Liars, Former Federal Prosecutor: Barr Could Interfere In Epstein Case, Heather, July 7, 2019. But There 'Would Be Hell To Pay.' Former Federal Prosecutor Cynthia Alksne is less worried about William Barr interfering in the Epstein case, and more concerned that he might make bail.

Epstein Arrest, Trump Connection

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein, Billionaire Long Accused of Molesting Minors, Is Charged, Patricia Mazzei and William K. Rashbaum
jeffrey epstein at harvard universityJuly 7, 2019 (print ed.). Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire New York financier long accused of molesting dozens of girls, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, an extraordinary turn of events in a long and sordid criminal case. Mr. Epstein, right, who was charged with sex trafficking, had avoided federal criminal charges a decade ago in a widely criticized plea deal.

Mr. Epstein, 66, had avoided federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2008 in a widely criticized plea deal whose lenient terms continue to roil the Justice Department and are facing new scrutiny in the #MeToo era.

Before the plea deal, Mr. Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager, had been friendly with Donald J. Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

He pleaded guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitution, served 13 months in a county lockup and registered as a sex offender. His jail arrangement allowed him to get out of the Palm Beach County Stockade six days a week to work out of his office.

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein busted by feds at New Jersey airport, Wayne Madsen, July 8, 2019 (subscription required). Epstein, who, according to a joint report by WMR and the Justice Integrity Project in Washington, allegedly raped a 12-year old girl named Maria and a 13-year old, Katie Johnson, the latter a pseudonym, has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Secret UK View Of Trump Revealed

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump gets slam dunked by UK Ambassador to the United States, Bill Palmer, July 7, 2019. The Daily Mail published secret memos in which UK Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch used words like “inept” and “insecure” and “incompetent” to describe Trump. The Daily Mail is a tabloid, but the UK government has since confirmed to CNN that the leaked memos are in fact the real thing. So now what?

bill palmer report logo headerDarroch is a professional diplomat, so it’s literally his job to pretend in public that an idiot like Donald Trump is not an idiot. He’s the last person who would publicly criticize Trump, no matter how he felt. These memos reveal that he felt compelled to document Trump’s idiocy in private, while discussing with his government how to deal with Trump. Darroch may or may not lose his job over this leak, as it could be difficult for him to continue interfacing with the U.S. government now that it’s been exposed that he thoroughly insulted the President of the United States. But to be clear, Darroch was just doing his job.

This incident serves as the latest reminder that Donald Trump is so uniquely and cartoonishly bad at this, America’s allies have been placed in a no-win situation when it comes to trying to work with him or work around him. On the other hand, America’s enemies have had little problem figuring out how to use Trump’s ineptness and idiocy to gain a leg-up on the United States.

#MeToo Book

washington post logoWashington Post, The trailblazers and turning points along the road to #MeToo, Danielle Kurtzleben (politics reporter at NPR), July 7, 2019 (print ed.). Book review: Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Linda Hirshman. How did we get here?

In Reckoning, Linda Hirshman tantalizingly offers to answer those questions. She starts in 1968 in Chappaquiddick, Mass., with Ted Kennedy’s infamous car wreck that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, and journeys through a packed half-century of feminist history — the earliest harassment cases, Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, the 2008 primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Donald Trump’s election, the #MeToo movement, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh — landing at the 2018 midterm elections.

July 6

Epstein Arrested For Trafficking: Report

Daily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein Arrested For Sex Trafficking of Minors: Sources, Pervaiz Shallwani, Kate Briquelet, Harry Sieg, July 6, 2019. daily beast logoBillionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. The arrest comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida.

For more than a decade, Epstein’s alleged abuse of minors has been the subject of lawsuits brought by victims, investigations by local and federal authorities, and exposés in the press. But despite the attention cast on his alleged sex crimes, the hedge-funder has managed to avoid any meaningful jail time, let alone federal charges.
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jeffrey epstein at harvard universityThe new indictment, which will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court, will allege that Epstein, right, sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for "massages" and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors—which could put him away for a maximum of 45 years. 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.

Several employees and associates allegedly recruited the girls for Epstein's abuse, and some victims eventually became recruiters themselves, according to law enforcement. The girls were as young as 14, and Epstein knew they were underage, according to details of the arrest and indictment shared by two officials.

Epstein's attorney Martin Weinberg declined to comment when reached by The Daily Beast on Saturday night.

“It’s been a long time coming—it’s been too long coming,” said attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome. “It is an important step towards getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise.

“We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible," he told The Daily Beast.

July 5

Politics-linked Sex Scandal CLaims

Miami Herald, Dershowitz v. Boies: Jeffrey Epstein case unleashes war between two legal Goliaths, Emily Michot and Julie K. Brown, July 5, 2019. A Miami Herald investigation into Palm Beach hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein's sexual pyramid scheme targeting underage girls – miami herald logoand why he's a free man today (video background by Emily Michot and Julie K. Brown).

It’s a high-stakes war between two of the country’s most powerful lawyers. Their feud, simmering for years, involves accusations of extortion, surreptitious recordings, unethical conduct and underage sex trafficking.

Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz has filed four bar complaints in three states — all of which have been dismissed — in a quest to disqualify lawyer David Boies and one of his partners who represent a woman accusing Dershowitz of sexually abusing her when she was underage, newly filed court records show.

The pugnacious Dershowitz, 80, and the equally zealous Boies, 78, have been sparring for decades. In recent years, both have suffered damage to their storied legacies, making this latest clash between the two legal titans one of the most important of their half-century careers.

perversion of justice miami herald logoDershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard law school and one of the nation’s most iconic civil libertarians, has defended such notorious clients as Claus Von Bulow, Mike Tyson and O.J. Simpson. But after four decades of legal accolades, he is now facing a sex scandal and is forced to clear his own name at a time when he’s being confronted by a barrage of attacks on social media as one of the most fervent legal defenders of President Donald Trump.

Boies has embraced high-profile liberal causes and made history with landmark court cases: He represented Al Gore in the Florida recount dispute in the 2000 election, which he lost; successfully defended press freedom in a lawsuit involving “60 Minutes;” and in 2013 secured a Supreme Court victory overturning a California ban on same-sex marriage.

But Boies’ image has also been tarnished in recent years by his aggressive, and often ruthless, representation of controversial clients such as Hollywood film mogul and accused sex predator Harvey Weinstein and Elizabeth Holmes, founder of a blood-testing company that allegedly defrauded investors and clients.

Dershowitz’s bar complaints — disclosed here for the first time — provide a window into the behind-the-scenes legal drama between two of the world’s most brilliant lawyers. It also reveals new details about an explosive sex trafficking case involving Dershowitz’s former client, Jeffrey Epstein, a New York multimillionaire who, according to investigators, molested more than three dozen girls in Palm Beach in the years 1999-2006.

Daily Beast, Proud Boys Rally Rocked by Sex, Cocaine Allegations, Will Sommer, July 5, 2019. Top speakers are fleeing and one-time allies are feuding as the gathering of MAGA faithful teeters. A far-right rally scheduled for downtown Washington on Saturday has been thrown into disarray by dramatic allegations centering on cocaine, a love triangle, and the far-right Proud Boys men’s group. “The Proud Boys? More like the Joke Boys,” Republican congressional candidate Omar Navarro, a key player in the bizarre feud, told The Daily Beast.

The drama has torn apart one-time allies prominent on the pro-Trump internet and cost the so-called “Demand Free Speech” rally at least one speaker, after other prominent right-wing celebrities already cited other reasons for not appearing. While the rally was meant to protest the banning of conservative figures from social media, the surrounding drama has cast a shadow over the event.

On one side of the fight: Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) whose losing campaigns against the liberal stalwart have become a cause celebre on the right.

On the other: the Proud Boys, the all-male group of self-described “Western chauvinists,” and DeAnna Lorraine, a self-styled MAGA relationship expert and Navarro’s ex-girlfriend.

The clash became public late on Wednesday night, when Navarro tweeted that Lorraine had been using cocaine and “sleeping with the proud boys.” Navarro declared that he would no longer speak at Saturday’s rally, which was organized in part by top Proud Boy leaders.

“I found this girl I dated is doing cocaine and sleeping with the proud boys I cannot agree with the drug lifestyle they follow,” Navarro tweeted.

Navarro’s withdrawal from Saturday’s rally comes after the event has already lost other speakers. Former Pizzagate conspiracy theory promoter Mike Cernovich had also been on the event’s bill, but said earlier this week that he wouldn’t attend. Fellow former Pizzagate advocate Jack Posobiec has also suggested he may not attend, despite being listed as a speaker on the rally’s website.

In his tweets, Navarro made a series of allegations, claiming that Lorraine had, through the Proud Boys, threatened him “because I said I would expose the cocaine use including hers.” (Lorraine has denied using cocaine, while the Proud Boys describe themselves as “pro-drug.”)

In his tweets, Navarro made a series of allegations, claiming that Lorraine had, through the Proud Boys, threatened him “because I said I would expose the cocaine use including hers.” (Lorraine has denied using cocaine, while the Proud Boys describe themselves as “pro-drug.”)

July 3

jeffrey epstein sex offenderMiami Herald, An appeals court seemed poised to unseal Jeffrey Epstein records. So where are they?, Julie K. Brown, July 3, 2019 (print ed.). Three months have passed since a judicial panel in New York heard arguments to unseal documents that could reveal whether federal prosecutors covered up evidence that New York financier Jeffrey Epstein (shown above) and others were running an underage sex trafficking operation.

miami herald logoIn March, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit seemed poised to release some documents in the case. The records involve Epstein’s one-time partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of helping him recruit and sexually exploit girls and young women in various locations around the United States and abroad in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The appeals panel gave all parties in the case until March 29 to file additional pleadings. Several challenges were subsequently filed, but the court has yet to make a final ruling.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe Miami Herald — one of the intervenors in the case — has submitted a letter to the court urging the judges to follow through on the case in the wake of a controversial Justice Department decision last week. In a 35-page motion, filed June 24, federal prosecutors in Georgia declared that they would not set aside Epstein’s federal non-prosecution agreement.

The Georgia decision dealt another blow to Epstein’s victims who have been fighting for a decade to have the deal thrown out and to pressure the Justice Department to prosecute the 66-year-old multimillionaire on sex trafficking charges. It also means that the Justice Department has no intention of allowing Epstein’s victims and the public to examine the facts of Epstein’s case and reach their own conclusions, the Herald argues in the letter.

perversion of justice miami herald logoMiami Herald, Epstein Scandal Video Summary, Marta Oliver Craviotto, Emily Michot, Julie K. Brown, July 3, 2019 (5 min. miami herald logovideo). The girls who were abused by Jeffrey Epstein and the cops who championed their cause remain angry over what they regard as a gross injustice, while Epstein's employees and those who engineered his non-prosecution agreement have prospered.

July 2

 ny times logoNew York Times, Teenager From ‘Good Family’ Deserves Leniency in Rape Case, Judge Says, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, July 2, 2019. The 16-year-old girl was visibly intoxicated, her speech slurred, when a drunk 16-year-old boy sexually assaulted her in a dark basement during an alcohol-fueled pajama party in New Jersey, prosecutors said.

The boy filmed himself penetrating her from behind, her torso exposed, her head hanging down, prosecutors said. He later shared the cellphone video among friends, investigators said, and sent a text that said, “When your first time having sex was rape.”

But a family court judge said it wasn’t rape. Instead, he wondered aloud if it was sexual assault, defining rape as something reserved for an attack at gunpoint by strangers.

He also said the young man came from a good family, attended an excellent school, had terrific grades and was an Eagle scout. Prosecutors, the judge said, should have explained to the girl and her family that pressing charges would destroy the boy’s life.

So he denied prosecutors’ motion to try the 16-year-old as an adult. “He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college,” Judge James Troiano of Superior Court said last year in a two-hour decision while sitting in Monmouth County.

Now the judge has been sharply rebuked by an appeals court in a scathing 14-page ruling that warned the judge against showing bias toward privileged teenagers.

June

June 28

Rape Charge Against Trump

washington post logoWashington Post, Friends of Trump accuser go public with recollections of her description of alleged assault, Colby Itkowitz, June 29, 2019 (print ed.). Two friends of magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll spoke on the record this week about their memories of her telling them that she’d been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.

lisa birnbach twitterLisa Birnbach (as shown on Twitter photo) planned to take her friend’s secret to the grave. When E. Jean Carroll called more than two decades ago to tell her that she’d just been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump in a Manhattan department store dressing room, Birnbach said she begged Carroll to go to the police. When her friend resisted, Birnbach swore she’d never tell anyone.

Even after more than a dozen women came forward in 2016 to accuse the then-presidential candidate of kissing and groping them without consent, Birnbach said she didn’t think about the episode again until Carroll told her last year that she had decided to write about it in a new book.

“I know a lot of women he has hassled,” Birnbach said. Trump has vehemently denied the claim by Carroll, a longtime Elle magazine columnist who went public last week with her description of the alleged assault. She is one of 16 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, allegations he says are untrue.

“I told the truth not as a political observer — I told what happened to my friend 23 years ago,” said author Lisa Birnbach, pictured in 2007. (Louis Lanzano/AP)

Birnbach, a New York-based author, was one of two friends who told The Washington Post that Carroll had described the assault to them shortly after it allegedly happened. They both spoke on the condition of anonymity at the time to protect their privacy.

After Trump and his allies attacked Carroll and her account, Birnbach and the second friend, former New York television anchor Carol Martin, decided to come forward this week, first speaking on the record to the New York Times.

“Apparently my validation makes E. Jean more believable, and my only goal is to be an honest person who tells the truth,” Birnbach said. “I told the truth not as a political observer — I told what happened to my friend 23 years ago.”

Italian Foster Child Trafficking

Agence France-Presse via The Guardian, Italian police arrest 18 for allegedly brainwashing and selling, Staff report, June 27, 2019. Children were made to believe they had been sexually abused and were sold to foster parents.

Italian police have arrested 18 people, including a mayor, doctors and social workers, for allegedly brainwashing vulnerable children into thinking their parents had abused them so they could then be sold to foster parents.

italy flagPolice in the northern city of Reggio Emilia made the arrests after an investigation, started in 2018, revealed an alleged network of carers who used methods including electroshock to make the children believe they had been sexually abused.

The network then allegedly gave the children to foster families in exchange for cash, while keeping gifts and letters sent to the children by their real parents hidden in a warehouse that was discovered by police.

The alleged abuse was reported by Italian media and confirmed to AFP by police in Bibbiano, near Reggio Emilia, on Thursday.
Italian 'Satanic panic' case returns to court two decades later

guiseppe conte“These accusations, if confirmed, are frightening and shocking,” said Giuseppe Conte, right, the Italian prime minister, at the G20 meeting in Japan.

The accused include psychotherapists working for a social work association in Moncalieri, near Turin, and the mayor of Bibbiano.

To brainwash the children, those arrested allegedly forged child-like drawings with sexual connotations and used electroshock therapy as a “little memory machine” to create fake abuse memories, while the therapists are accused of dressing up as “wicked” children’s story characters.

The investigation, codenamed “Angels and Demons”, revealed a scheme to “pass off as a model welfare system for abused minors what was in reality an illegal business to the children’s detriment,” La Repubblica newspaper reported.

“According to investigators, the aim of the arrested group was to take children away from families in difficult social situations and to give them, for money, to other parents,” said the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Some of the foster parents have been accused of sexually abusing the children they paid money for, according to La Repubblica. Police declined to say how many children were involved, or of what age. Hundreds of thousands of euros were involved, Italian media reported.

June 27

ny times logoNew York Times, The Daily, E. Jean Carroll's two confidantes corroborate the account of her alleged sexual attack by Trump, Megan Tuohy hosted by Michael Barbaro, June 28, 2019 [29:35 min. podcast). 

e jean carrollThe writer E. Jean Carroll, left, came forward last week with explosive accusations that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. Today, the two women she confided in after the alleged attack discuss it publicly for the first time.

Megan Twohey, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, spoke with Ms. Carroll, Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin. With Jessica Bennett and Alexandra Alter, she has published an investigative profile of Ms. Carroll, in which her friends and confidantes speak publicly for the first time.

Roll Call, Former Hill staffer alleges Rep. Duncan Hunter grabbed her behind while drunk, Chris Marquette, June 27, 2019. A former Capitol Hill staffer accused Rep. Duncan Hunter of drunkenly asking for her number and putting his hand on her behind in 2014, an allegation adding to a list of issues the indicted California Republican faces [as reported earlier this week in Duncan Hunter Used Campaign Money for Multiple Affairs, Prosecutors Say].

duncan hunter oRory Riley-Topping told RT Wednesday the incident happened at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner while she was working for the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Hunter, right, apparently approached her, and said he wanted to talk about Agent Orange — a topic Riley-Topping said the committee was handling at the time.

Riley-Topping said she would follow up on it and reach out to his staff.

“And he leaned into me very closely and said, ‘No, I want to talk to you,’” Riley-Topping said. “And I felt very uncomfortable and tried to back up and he reached around and put his hand on my behind and said ‘let me give you my cell phone number.’”

republican elephant logoRiley-Topping told RT she then backed up and pushed Hunter away before going to former New Jersey Congressman John Runyan, who helped her leave the situation.

The incident prompted her to leave the job, she said.

“I actually left my position on the committee shortly thereafter because it was not an environment that I felt comfortable working in after that,” Riley-Topping said. She told RT she was coming forward now because she didn’t feel comfortable coming forward five years ago, and feared retaliation.

Hunter is scheduled for trial in September on 60 charges that include conspiracy, theft of campaign funds and wire fraud for allegedly using his campaign committee as a personal fund. The congressman plans to go to trial and fight the charges.

June 25

Rape Charge Against Trump

 donald trump ny daily pussy

Then and Now: The front page of a 2016 New York Daily News edition contrasts with President Trump's claimed innocence.

washington post logoe jean carroll headshotWashington Post, ‘Not my type’: Trump denies allegations of woman who said he assaulted her, John Wagner, June 25, 2019 (print ed.). President Trump’s comments came hours after E. Jean Carroll (shown in a file photo from Twitter) voiced frustration that he has not faced consequences for a string of previous misconduct allegations.

U.S Courts, Crime

jeffrey epstein sex offender

Law & Crime, Federal Prosecutors Say There’s No Legal Basis to Invalidate Jeffrey Epstein’s Sweetheart Deal, Jerry Lambe, June 25, 2019.  The Department of Justice on Monday rejected efforts by the victims of Jeffrey Epstein (above) to get a sweetheart non-prosecution deal thrown out so that Epstein can be prosecuted for alleged abuse of dozens of underage girls.

In a 35-page motion first reported by the Miami Herald, federal prosecutors claimed that Epstein’s victims have no legal basis to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement — the same agreement the judge in the case previously said broke the law. Many of Epstein’s victims were middle school and high school girls between the ages of 13-16 who were recruited from the local south Florida area.

According to prosecutors, despite a judge’s earlier ruling that the plea deal violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), Epstein’s victims cannot demand that the government take any additional action because the CVRA did not enumerate any mandatory criminal penalties at the time of its passing.

In Monday’s DOJ filing by U.S. Attorney Byung Pak, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, the government admits that the victims were treated unfairly but says that prosecutors were within their rights to do so:

In the filing, federal prosecutors did concede that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Florida failed to treat Epstein’s victims — most of whom where 13 to 16 years old when they — fairly, but they said that the law gives prosecutors discretion in deciding how to dispose of a case. Victims have a right to confer with prosecutors, but no rights beyond that.

Pak also warned the judge overseeing the case, Kenneth Marra, against taking action to overrule Acosta’s original decision not to prosecute Epstein.

“Courts are not to interfere with the free exercise of the discretionary powers of the [United States attorneys] in their control over criminal prosecutions,’’ Pak said. “The decision whether to prosecute Epstein lies solely within the executive branch, and any order today, by this court, as to what the government must do in the future would be wholly inappropriate.”

The Herald did note, however, that Pak said Epstein’s victims would be given the chance to meet with prosecutors in private and, if they desired, to be heard at a public hearing. He also said he would agree to give federal prosecutors additional training on dealing with victims of crimes of this nature.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, the controversy surrounding Epstein’s plea deal dates back to 2007, when federal prosecutors in Florida, under the leadership of current U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Acosta’s prosecutors quietly entered into a secretive non-prosecution agreement with the billionaire which ensured that Epstein and his co-conspirators would not be prosecuted federally in exchange for Epstein’s guilty plea to much less serious state prostitution charges. Epstein served only 13 months in a county jail.

June 23

 washington post logoWashington Post, Trump compares himself to Kavanaugh in latest sexual assault allegation, Colby Itkowitz, Beth Reinhard, David Weigel, June 23, 2019 (print ed.). “You can’t do that for the sake of publicity,” the president says of such accusations, in general. resident brett kavanaughTrump compared himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, right, on Saturday morning, following a fresh allegation that Trump sexually assaulted a woman in the mid-1990s.

Trump vehemently denied the accusation and said it was akin to the claims of sexual assault that roiled Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court in 2018.

“People have to be careful because they are playing with very dangerous territory,” Trump told reporters outside the White House before departing to Camp David. “When they do that, and it’s happening more and more, when you look at what happened to Justice Kavanaugh and you look at what happened to others, you can’t do that for the sake of publicity.”

e jean carrollE. Jean Carroll, left, a magazine writer and advice columnist, alleges that in 1995 or 1996, she encountered Trump at a high-end department store in Manhattan and agreed to help him shop for a gift for a woman. It was there, she says, that Trump attacked her in a dressing room.

She is telling her story for the first time in a new book, excerpts of which were published in New York magazine.

June 22

Rape Claim Against Trump

Donald Trump

New allegations echo Trump's words in "Hollywood Access" videotape, reported upon above, that arose during the 2016 presidential campaign.

washington post logogeorge conway twitterWashington Post, Opinion: The GOP believed Juanita Broaddrick. This rape allegation against Trump is more credible, George Conway, right, June 22, 2019. Republicans and conservatives rallied to her cause then, and they did so once again in 2016. Democrats and liberals, not so much — although in the wake of the #MeToo movement, some have since acknowledged the credibility of Broaddrick’s claim.

e jean carroll twitterBut today there’s another woman with a similar allegation, against a different powerful man. Her name is E. Jean Carroll (shown left in a file photo). She, too, says that she was raped — by Donald Trump

Trump called Broaddrick “courageous,” and if Broaddrick was courageous, then certainly Carroll is as well. For Carroll’s story is at least as compelling as Broaddrick’s — if not more so.

And that is because Carroll’s claim, for a number of reasons, actually rests upon a significantly stronger foundation than Broaddrick’s.

For one thing, before she went public with her story, Broaddrick had repeatedly denied that Clinton had assaulted her, even under oath: In an affidavit she had submitted in Paula Jones’s sexual harassment case against Clinton, Broaddrick had sworn that the allegations “that Mr. Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward me in the late seventies … are untrue,” that the press had previously sought “corroboration of these tales,” but that she had “repeatedly denied the allegations.” (Disclosure: I provided behind-the-scenes pro bono legal assistance to Jones’s lawyers.)

Republicans or conservatives who promoted Broaddrick’s charges would be hypocritical if they fail to champion Carroll and condemn Trump.

June 21

Another Assault Claim Against Trump

New York Magazine, E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman,” Sarah Jones, June 21, 2019 (excerpted). The cover story New York published today details an encounter the writer E. Jean Carroll had over two decades ago with Donald J. Trump, in which the then–real-estate mogul allegedly assaulted her in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan. Trump is shown in a graphic by A Banana Peeled.

donald trump monster abananapeeledcom dcmaThe episode is one of six incidents Carroll details in the article of attacks on her by men over the course of her life. Another episode involves the disgraced former CEO of CBS, Les Moonves. The cover story is an excerpt from her newest book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, which will be published on July 2 by St. Martin’s Press.

When Carroll meets Donald Trump in Bergdorf Goodman, the encounter starts as a friendly one. Trump recognizes her as “that advice lady”; Carroll recognizes him as “that real-estate tycoon.” Trump tells Carroll that he’s there to buy a gift for “a girl,” and though we don’t learn the identity of this mystery woman, Carroll places the ensuing incident in late 1995 or early 1996, during which time Trump was married to Marla Maples.

When Trump asks Carroll to advise him on what to buy, she agrees, and the two eventually make their way to the lingerie section. Trump suggests a lace bodysuit and encourages Carroll to try it on; she, deflecting, jokingly suggests that he try it on instead. After they reach the dressing rooms, e jean carroll twitterevents turn violent. In Carroll’s account, Trump shoves her against a wall inside a dressing room, pulls down her tights, and, “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.”

Carroll, 75 (shown in her Twitter photo), is a venerated Elle advice columnist. At the time of the attack, she was well known in her own right. A frequent feature writer for magazines like Playboy and Esquire, she had her own television show on America’s Talking, the precursor to e jean carroll cover new york magazineMSNBC.

Carroll is now at least the 16th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct and the 14th to accuse Moonves of similar offenses. The incidents, which date from the 1990s, are highly specific and related with dark humor.

Carroll says that she disclosed the Trump incident to two friends at the time. New York has verified that Carroll did disclose the attack to these friends at the time, and has confirmed that Bergdorf Goodman kept no security footage that would prove or disprove Carroll’s story. New York has also sought comment from Moonves and Trump. Through his representative, Moonves told New York that he “emphatically denies” the incident occurred. A senior White House official said in a statement, “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”

PBS NewsHour, All the assault allegations against Donald Trump, recapped, Lisa Desjardins, Oct. 14, 2016, updated on June 21, 2019.  Sixteen women have come forward with allegations against President Donald Trump, each accusing him of inappropriate conduct. The most recent, from writer and columnist E. Jean Carroll, appeared in NY Magazine on Friday.

The women’s charges range from unwanted touches and aggressive, sudden kissing to the latest accusation against Trump — that he attacked a woman in a dressing room and forced his penis inside her. Donald Trump, his campaign and the Trump White House have insisted all of the stories are fabricated and politically motivated.

So far: "16 women have accused Donald Trump of various forms of sexual assault, including one accusation of rape and another, in which the accuser has not used the word “rape” but whose description meets the legal definition of rape. This figure includes standing accusations from both before and after the release of the Access Hollywood tape on October 7, 2016."

Four other women have publicly said Mr. Trump walked in on them and other pageant contestants while they were undressing.

The Hill.com, Prosecutors examining whether Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy offered clients access to inauguration: report, John Bowden, June 21, 2019. Federal prosecutors are elliott broidyinvestigating whether Elliott Broidy, the top GOP fundraiser who previously served as the Republican National Committee's (RNC) deputy finance chairman, used his position to improperly offer access to President Trump's inaugural team.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that investigators are looking at whether Broidy,  right, was paid by his clients, including an intelligence firm, for access to inaugural events at his invitation, which would violate campaign finance laws or possibly statutes against money laundering.

According to the Journal, Broidy invited several officials from Angola and Romania to inaugural events, introducing some of them to members of Congress despite not being registered as a lobbyist for foreign countries. Weeks later, his company would be paid $6 million by Angolan officials for his services.

A spokesman for Broidy's company, Cirinicus, told the Journal that the guests were approved by the State Department and did not comment further on the investigation. The Trump inaugural committee reportedly told the Journal that it had responded to a request for information on the case from prosecutors in April.

rnc logoBroidy resigned from the RNC last April after it was revealed that he had paid a woman $1.6 million after she became pregnant with his child. He was also accused late last year of physical abuse by a former Playboy model. He has denied those allegations.

“This person tried to extract money from me by making up false, malicious and disgusting allegations," Broidy said in a statement last year. "I have acknowledged making the mistake of having an affair, and I entered a confidential agreement to protect my family’s privacy.

"I honored my agreement until her lawyer breached it—and then, when I failed to pay her demands, she did what blackmailers do and went public with her lies. I will vigorously defend myself against these false and defamatory allegations, and I will seek all relief available to me under the settlement agreement against her and her attorneys.”

boris johnson tieThe Guardian, Police called to loud altercation at Boris Johnson's home, Jim Waterson, June 21, 2019. Neighbour records shouting and banging at flat potential PM shares with Carrie Symonds. Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.

The argument could be heard outside the property where the potential future prime minister is living with Symonds, a former Conservative party head of press.

A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to united kingdom flag“get off me” and “get out of my flat”.

The neighbour said that after becoming concerned they knocked on the door but received no response. “I [was] hoping that someone would answer the door and say ‘We’re okay’. I knocked three times and no one came to the door.”

The neighbour decided to call 999. Two police cars and a van arrived within minutes, shortly after midnight, but left after receiving reassurances from both the individuals in the flat that they were safe.

June 20

U.S. Politics

roy moore 8 accusers Custom

washington post logoWashington Post, Roy Moore announces bid for U.S. Senate in Alabama despite GOP opposition to his candidacy, Colby Itkowitz​, June 20, 2019. The former judge fell short in his 2017 race amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s, losing to Democrat Doug Jones in a solidly Republican state.

Roy Moore, the Alabama judge whose Senate bid fell short over allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls in the 1970s, announced Thursday that he will run again for the seat, ignoring President Trump and top Republicans who argue he can’t win.

“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020,” Moore said, kicking off his campaign in Montgomery, Ala. “Can I win? Yes, I can win. They know I can. That’s why there’s so much opposition.”

Moore lost a Senate race in the solidly Republican state to Democrat Doug Jones in a 2017 special election to fill the vacancy created when Trump tapped Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.

About a month before that election, The Washington Post published accounts from four women who said Moore pursued them romantically in the 1970s when they were between the ages of 14 and 18. Moore has acknowledged contact with the women but denied any sexual contact.

Moore lost to Jones by a little more than 1 percent of the vote — becoming the first Democrat in 27 years to win a U.S. Senate seat in the state — and has been eyeing a rematch since.

Abortion / Custody Case History

Legal Schnauzer, Investigative commentary: Missouri GOP lawyer Douglas L. Healy refers to his son as a "bastard child in Poplar Bluff," but he then threatens to take the boy, age 4, from the only parent he's known after failing to pay child support for 3 years, Roger Shuler, June 20, 2019.  A prominent Republican lawyer in Missouri, who has a biological son in Butler County, refers to the boy in an email as a "bastard child," and -- despite making no attempt to see the boy (now 4 years old) and paying zero child support for three years -- has threatened to take the child from his mother.

douglas healyDouglas L. Healy, the proprietor of Healy Law Offices LLC -- which has locations in Springfield and Jefferson City, Missouri, and Little Rock, Arkansas -- even refers to himself as "the unwilling sperm donor . . ., not the dad." Almost in the same breath, Healy threatens to "do whatever it takes to gain sole custody."

In a 2014 email, Healy refers to his "girlfriend and soon to be wife," be we can find no public records that indicate he is married. Did the girlfriend vanish? That's not clear, but she was a major part of Healy's communication with DeAnna Kelley, his son's mother, who refused Healy's request to have an abortion and is raising the child on her own in Poplar Bluff, MO.

What are Healy's feelings toward his own son -- and he has acknowledged in court documents that the child is his? They are somewhat short of loving, downright nasty perhaps. From the 2014 email (which is embedded at the end of this post):

From the email:

You seem to be insisting that I have a relationship with both you and the child. I have been very clear that is not going to happen. I have also been clear that I am not starting a family here, and also maintaining one in Poplar Bluff. You have ignored my advice and wishes, and now seemingly want to guilty me into supporting your bad decisions. Your disrespect and disregard for me is harming my relationship with my girlfriend, and soon to be wife. She reads all of your texts, and is convinced that the only reason you are keeping this pregnancy is in a hope of having a relationship with me; she sees you as a selfish person intent on destroying the happiness we have, and in embarrassing me publicly, and as a threat to her.

Healy seems to have no sense of obligation toward his son or the child's mother -- and his decision to skip out on three years of child-support payments appears to reflect that ; he has been making court-ordered child-support payments for roughly the past year.

With that, Healy's tone turns ugly, threatening, and vindictive:

If you do continue to seek my involvement, in any manner, either by telling other people that I am the father, through the courts, or through attempts to contact me directly, I will do whatever it takes to gain sole custody. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you never see it again, and me and my wife will raise it without it ever knowing it wasn't ours.

June 18

Legal Schnauzer, Local Investigation: Missouri GOP lawyer Douglas L. Healy got a female acquaintance pregnant and repeatedly pushed her to have an abortion, despite his apparent "pro life" stance, roger shuler and murphyRoger Shuler, shown at right, June 18, 2019. A prominent Republican attorney in Missouri got a female acquaintance pregnant and pressured her to have an abortion in 2014, sources tell Legal Schnauzer. The mother refused to terminate the pregnancy and is raising her son (now almost 5 years old) on her own in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, but the attorney has hired multiple private investigators to track her and has threatened court action to seek custody, even though he never has seen the child.

Douglas L. Healy is the proprietor of Healy Law Offices LLC, which has locations in Springfield and Jefferson City, Missouri, and Little Rock, Arkansas. The Healy firm specializes in work with utility companies and regulatory agencies, including the Missouri Public Service Commission. Doug Healy is a member of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) and is active with the Greene County Republicans, especially with the county's Young Republicans.

Healy reportedly has political ambitions, and his story surfaces as Missouri recently passed one of the strictest anti-choice abortion laws in the country. His biography suggests he is conservative and strongly "pro life"; his twin brother, David Healy (also a lawyer) serves on the board of directors of the Springfield Pregnancy Care Center (PCC), even though he has been a paying subscriber to the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site.

Which of the Healy brothers is the biggest hypocrite? That appears to be a close call, but we might have to give the "honor" to Doug Healy. He seems to be "pro life" only as long as an unplanned pregnancy doesn't hit close to home for him personally. According to public records, Doug Healy, 42, has never been married.

DeAnna Kelley, 41, of Butler County, Missouri, is the mother of Healy's child. She said he repeatedly encouraged her to have an abortion -- or to give the child up for adoption. This is from an email that Healy wrote on August 18, 2014: (The full email is embedded at the end of this post.)

June 14

ny times logokeith raniere nxivmNew York Times, How a Sex Cult Leader Seduced and Programmed His Followers, Colin Moynihan, June 14, 2019. Former members of the group Nxivm testified that they were brainwashed, branded and assigned to have sex with the group’s leader, Keith Raniere. Their remarks provide a window into how the group indoctrinated people, undermined their beliefs and convinced them to blindly follow Mr. Raniere.

ny times logoNew York Times, A St. Louis Prosecutor Took On the System. She Made Enemies, Richard A. Oppel Jr., June 14, 2019. Kimberly Gardner was one of a wave of prosecutors who promised to challenge the establishment. Now she is being scrutinized in a manner that is virtually unheard-of for an elected prosecutor.

kimberly gardnerKimberly Gardner, right, was elected chief prosecutor by a wide margin in 2016, one of two dozen district attorneys across the country who campaigned to overhaul the criminal justice system.

Like a lot of them, she made quick enemies. She angered the powerful police union in St. Louis, saying repeatedly that she would hold officers more accountable. She indicted the sitting governor, Eric Greitens, shown below at left with Vice President Mike Pence and a rising star in national Republican politics.

Now her adversaries have turned the tables: Ms. Gardner’s professional actions are being scrutinized in a manner that is virtually unheard-of for an elected eric greitens mike penceprosecutor.

In the Greitens case, she has become a focus of a special prosecutor who was appointed to investigate a former F.B.I. agent. The prosecutor has had her office’s email server seized by the police, giving them access, her lawyers say, to active criminal investigations of the department itself. He has been fishing for incriminating information on her administration, according to an affidavit by the agent’s lawyer. Her aides have been called before a grand jury.

The investigation has been conducted in secrecy, with a gag order on the parties involved. But that has not stopped allegations that it is riddled with serious conflicts of interest. Nor has it stifled a sense, among Ms. Gardner’s supporters, that the police and the city’s clubby legal establishment have joined forces in an attempt to embarrass one of the few black officials with truly independent power in St. Louis.

National advocates of remaking the criminal justice system have watched as like-minded prosecutors in places like Boston, Chicago and Dallas won the support of voters but ran headlong into opposition from police unions and other local powers. Though all of them have been criticized, Ms. Gardner’s situation — facing possible criminal charges — is the most extreme.

See related story, St. Louis American, Under attack, Kim Gardner fights back, Rebecca Rivas, March 13, 2019. Police, special prosecutor take, then return, circuit attorney’s server.

June 11

Radar, ‘I Want You’: Arizona Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sexually Molesting 13-Year-Old Boy, Staff report, June 11, 2019. Sixth-grade educator texted teen she wanted to have sex with him 'every day. An Arizona middle school teacher accused of repeatedly sexually molesting a 13-year-old student has pled guilty to the crime, RadarOnline.com has learned. Brittany Zamora, a sixth-grade teacher at Las Brisas Academy in the Phoenix Opens a New Window. suburb, Goodyear, pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child and public sexual indecency, after the boy’s parents discovered the explicit relationship and contacted authorities.

Records obtained by The Arizona Republic describe how Zamora, 27, and the boy had sex several times in her car and even in her classroom — once with another male student in the room. The two even sexually touched each other during class, while other students watched a video, records showed. Zamora is also accused of sending naked pictures of herself to the student.

According to reports, the boy’s step-mother became suspicious after the teen spent time at home with his door shut. After installing a parental monitoring app Opens a New Window. on his phone, she discovered several inappropriate and sexually graphic texts from the educator. In one exchange, the boy texted Zamora, saying that he wanted to have sex with her. “I know baby!” she responded, according to court records. “I want you every day with no time limit.”

In another exchange, she texted him, “If I could quit my job and [have sex with] you all day long, I would,” according to records. Zamora is set to be sentenced on July 12. The boy’s parents are seeking $2.5 million in damages, according to a civil lawsuit filed in January against Zamora, her husband and the Liberty Elementary School District.

June 10

Rapists' Custody Rights Protected

washington post logoWashington Post, In Alabama — where lawmakers banned abortion for rape victims — rapists’ parental rights are protected, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, June 10, 2019 (print ed.). Alabama is one of only two states that doesn’t bar rapists from having custody of children conceived by their assaults.

When a young woman came to the Family Services of North Alabama office last year for help with trauma, saying she had been raped by her step-uncle when she was 15, rape crisis advocate Portia Shepherd heard something that “killed me, shocked me.”

The step-uncle, who was getting out of jail after a drug conviction, wanted to be a part of their child’s life. And in Alabama, the alleged rapist could get custody.

“It’s the craziest thing I ever heard in my life,” said Shepherd. “On the state level, people were shocked. How could Alabama even be missing this law?”

Alabama is one of two states with no statute terminating parental rights for a person found to have conceived the child by rape or incest, a fact that has gained fresh relevance since its lawmakers adopted the nation’s strictest abortion ban in May. That statute even outlaws the procedure for victims of sexual assault and jails doctors who perform it, except in cases of serious risk to the woman’s health.

June 7

ny times logoNew York Times, Linda Fairstein Dropped by Her Publisher After TV Series on the Central Park 5, Elizabeth A. Harris and Julia Jacobs, June 7, 2019. A Penguin Random House imprint ended its relationship with the prosecutor-turned-novelist after “When They See Us” drew attention to her role in the case. Ms. Fairstein called her portrayal “grossly and maliciously inaccurate” and threatened legal action.

Linda Fairstein, below at left, a prominent sex-crimes prosecutor who became a successful crime novelist, was dropped by her publisher this week after a Netflix mini-series renewed focus on her role in the wrongful conviction of five teenagers for a brutal rape.

linda fairstein 2009Since the series, “When They See Us,” premiered last week, Ms. Fairstein, 72, has been the target of tremendous public outrage, including online petitions and a #CancelLindaFairstein hashtag. This week, she resigned from a number of prominent boards, including that of Vassar College, her alma mater.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for Dutton, the Penguin Random House imprint that published Ms. Fairstein, said that she and Dutton “decided to terminate their relationship.” A person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were confidential, said that Dutton was buying out Ms. Fairstein’s contract.

In 1989, a white woman was savagely raped and beaten in Central Park, where she had been out for a jog. Five black and Latino teenagers — Korey Wise, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam, who became known as the “Central Park Five” — were convicted based on confessions that were full of contradictions and lacking in crucial information, and which the boys said were coerced. No forensic evidence connected them to the crime, and DNA evidence that was collected did not match any of the five.

In 2002, a man named Matias Reyes confessed to the crime, an admission confirmed by DNA, and he said that he had acted alone. The convictions against the other men — each of whom had already served several years in prison — were overturned.

Associated Press via Moline Dispatch & Rock Island Argus, 'Free hugs' and margarita machine in office? Navy probing claims against war college leader, Jennifer McDermott and Michelle R. Smith, June ap logo7, 2019. The military is investigating the president of the U.S. Naval War College amid allegations that he spent excessively, abused his hiring authority and otherwise behaved inappropriately, including keeping a margarita machine in his office.

Multiple current and former college employees told the Associated Press they have raised serious concerns for over a year about Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley's conduct at the helm of the elite school that grooms future admirals and generals.

Dozens of emails and other documents obtained by the AP show the college has struggled to make payroll under Harley's leadership and spent about $725,000 annually on raises while facing an annual shortfall of $5 million or more.

Harley has also sent a series of emails to hundreds of students, faculty and staff that raised eyebrows, including offers of "free hugs" and games of Twister in his office. In an interview with the AP last month, Harley blamed the fiscal strain on the Navy not fully funding new missions the college has taken on. And he said the emails merely reflected his lighthearted leadership style.

A small group of longtime college employees filed an anonymous complaint in April 2018 with the Navy's office of the inspector general. The group members said they "hold no ill-will" toward Harley but that "his destructive and ethically challenged leadership style is destroying the college," according to a copy shared with the AP by two of the workers.

Two of them told the AP that they and others were interviewed by investigators in September, but nothing happened. The group contacted the inspector general again in January with additional allegations of Harley flouting Navy rules and norms. "The drinking continues. Morale is at an all-time low," the employees wrote in a January email. "Your biggest concern should be, however, the financial situation at the college."

June 6

ny times logoNew York Times, Linda Fairstein, Once Cheered, Faces Storm After ‘When They See Us,’ Elizabeth A. Harris and Julia Jacobs, June 6, 2019. A Netflix series about the Central Park jogger case has led to intense criticism of the famous prosecutor-turned-novelist who oversaw the investigation. For much of her life, Linda Fairstein was widely viewed as a law enforcement hero.

linda fairstein 2009As one of the first leaders of the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes unit, later the inspiration for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she became one of the best known prosecutors in the country. She went on to a successful career as a crime novelist and celebrity former prosecutor, appearing on high-profile panels and boards.

But since last Friday and the premiere of When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series about the Central Park jogger case, Ms. Fairstein (shown in a 2009 photo) has become synonymous with something else: The story of how the justice system wrongly sent five black and Latino teenagers to prison for a horrific rape.

Ms. Fairstein ran the sex crimes division when, in 1989, a white woman jogging in Central Park was viciously raped, beaten, and left for dead. In the four-part series, Ms. Fairstein’s character is shown as the driving force in the case, urging on a prosecutor who had doubts and finding ways to explain away facts that pointed to the teens’ innocence.

In the last few days, online petitions and a hashtag, #CancelLindaFairstein, have called for a boycott of her books and her removal from prominent board positions. After a barrage of criticism directed at her on Twitter, she took her own account down. And she resigned this week from the boards of several organizations including Safe Horizon and the Joyful Heart Foundation, which aid victims of sexual violence, and Vassar College, her alma mater.
Back in 1993, Glamour named her one of its women of the year. But on Tuesday, it published a letter from the editor saying, “Unequivocally, Glamour would not bestow this honor on her today.”

Ms. Fairstein’s conduct during the case has been a matter of intense debate and criticism since a man named Matias Reyes surfaced in 2002 to confess that he committed the crime. Ms. Fairstein continued to write books and serve on important boards even after the convictions were overturned, as the case faded into memory for many.

But the Netflix series has placed the prosecution back on center stage, where the power of television’s narrative focus, the lightning speed of online reaction and the villainous characterization of Ms. Fairstein have made her a target of public outrage.

June 5

Associated Press via Alabama Public Radio, Former Alabama councilman pleads guilty to sodomy, Staff report, June 5, 2019.  A one-time leader from a southeast Alabama town has pleaded guilty to a sex crime. Former Daleville City Council member Marvin Wise pleaded guilty to second-degree sodomy during a court appearance Tuesday. Other charges including possession of child pornography were dismissed.

Wise was arrested in 2017 after serving a few years on the five-member town council. A judge sentenced him to seven years in prison, but prosecutor Kirke Adams says Wise is asking for probation and remains free on bond. Wise's plea came after prosecutors had asked a judge to revoke the man's bond because he allegedly sent a birthday card to his victim. Daleville is a city of around 5,000 people about 100 miles south of Montgomery

May

May 31

washington post logoWashington Post, Navy launches review after Missouri governor who resigned amid scandal gets new military assignment, Dan Lamothe, May 31, 2019. Adm. John Richardson told The Post he wants to know whether the Navy needs more agility to handle cases of alleged misconduct that fall short of criminal matters. The year was just beginning when eric greitens oa Trump administration official contacted the Navy with a question about former Missouri governor Eric Greitens, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who had resigned from office amid a sex scandal and criminal investigation.

Joseph D. Kernan, a retired admiral and Navy SEAL, knew Greitens, right, from their time in the military. Now the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Kernan wanted to know if there was a way in which Greitens could return to military life, according to documents and emails obtained by The Washington Post.

It was not a simple question for the service. Greitens, 45, admitted to having an extramarital affair, but denied accusations that he coerced the woman involved into a sexual act and threatened to publicize a photo of her partially nude if she ever went public with their relationship.

Idaho State Journal, The former chairman of the Idaho Republican Party was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stalking, Staff report, May 31, 2019. Jonathan Parker, 39, was booked into the Ada County Jail at 10:44 p.m. on suspicion of first-degree stalking, according to the jail’s online roster. The charge is a felony in Idaho and is punishable by up to five years in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine.

jonathan parker former idaho gop chairParker, right, who formerly served as the director of government affairs for the Holland and Hart law firm, was elected chairman of the party in 2017. He resigned in February, according to the Idaho GOP website. In March, his wife, Kelly, filed for divorce, according to the Idaho online courts repository.

According to the criminal complaint prosecutors filed against him Friday, Jonathan Parker went to his wife's apartment complex multiple times between May 16 and May 30. Prosecutors believe he stalked her by "repeatedly hiding in bushes, masturbating, disguising himself with a wig." In doing so, according to the complaint, he violated a protection order in place against him.

During Parker's arraignment Friday afternoon, a prosecutor said Boise police arrested Parker after responding to the apartment complex on reports of a republican elephant logoman staring windows and fondling himself.

An Idaho Press phone call seeking comment from Frank Terraferma, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party was not immediately returned Friday morning.

In his Feb. 18 resignation letter, Parker wrote, “Serving as your Chairman, while maintaining a full-time job and being a fully engaged father has been harder than I imagined, so much so that I have reluctantly decided that I should no longer continue to serve as Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party so that I can focus on the priorities I place above all others.”

Jennifer Locke of Hayden has been serving as the acting state GOP chairwoman since Parker resigned. The party will elect a new chair at its summer meeting in Boise on June 29.

May 30

WYMT (Prestonsburg, KY), Sources: Kentucky man accused of asking minor for sex is a pastor, business owner, Staff report, May 30, 2019. Sources tell WYMT that a man who faces child sexual exploitation charges is a local pastor and business owner,

bobby blackburn mugBobby "BJ" Blackburn, right, is charged with using an electronic device to try to get a minor to engage in sexual activities. Police said he messaged an employee, who was a minor, and asked her to engage in a "threesome" with another minor, among other obscene messages.

Sources confirmed that Blackburn is the pastor of Elevate Church of Prestonsburg. He also owns the Giovanni's. Blackburn turned himself in to police Wednesday but has already bonded out at $5,000.

WYMT interviewed Blackburn in 2016 about his restaurant, which played Christian music and put Bible verses on receipts. Blackburn is scheduled to appear in court June 19. The minors were employees of a business Blackburn manages.

On May 25, police said Blackburn followed a third minor to the station where she tried to give a statement saying she sent the obscene messaged from Blackburn's phone. But when they questioned her further, she took back her statement and admitted that Blackburn told her to say it or she would lose her job. When police officers got an arrest warrant, they tried to collect Blackburn's phone. Family members said the phone was thrown into the river in Pike County.

Miami Herald, Prosecutors demand Cindy Yang records from Mar-a-Lago, Trump campaign, Jay Weaver, Sarah Blaskey, Caitlin Ostroff, and Nicholas Nehamas, miami herald logoMay 29, 2019. Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., this week sent subpoenas to Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, and Trump Victory, a political fundraising committee, demanding they turn over all records relating to Republican Party donor Li “Cindy” Yang and several of her associates and companies, the Miami Herald has learned.

djt li yang super bowlYang, right, shown with Trump, a South Florida massage-parlor entrepreneur, is the target of a public corruption investigation seeking to determine if she funneled money from China to the president’s re-election campaign or otherwise violated campaign-finance laws. She became a GOP donor in the 2016 election cycle and opened a consulting company that promised Chinese businesspeople the chance to attend events at Mar-a-Lago and gain access to Trump and his inner circle. Some of those events were campaign fundraisers that required guests to buy tickets for entry, payments that are considered political contributions. Foreign nationals are prohibited from donating to U.S. political campaigns.

Investigators are seeking evidence from Mar-a-Lago and Trump Victory as they build a potential case against Yang and possibly others close to her. The president’s club and the fundraising committee are not the targets of the investigation. The subpoenas cover records from January 2017 to the present. A spokeswoman for Yang did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One subpoena, issued by a federal grand jury in West Palm Beach, compels Mar-a-Lago to turn over all documents, records and communications relating to Yang, as well as 11 other people, one charity and seven companies affiliated with her, according to a person familiar with the investigation who asked for anonymity to discuss an ongoing probe. The people named in that subpoena include Yang’s family members, former employees at her massage parlors and several donors to Trump Victory. Prosecutors were trying to serve the subpoena to Mar-a-Lago through a South Florida law firm, the source said.

The second subpoena, for Trump Victory, was served to attorneys at a Washington, D.C., law firm. It seeks campaign-finance records relating to Yang and her associates.

Mar-a-Lago is owned by the Trump Organization, the president’s family company. Trump Victory is a joint fundraising committee for the president and the Republican National Committee. It supports his re-election efforts.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday. A Trump Victory official said: “Trump Victory makes every effort possible to ensure that all contributions are made in accordance with the law. While we can’t comment on any possible ongoing investigations, of course our committee would comply with any request from law enforcement to ensure all contributions are made legally.”

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The investigation is being handled by the FBI and the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section in Washington. While special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election has ended, the new probe examining Chinese money may add to growing concerns over foreign influence heading into the 2020 election. (In a separate matter, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami have been investigating possible Chinese espionage operations in South Florida targeting Mar-a-Lago.)

May 24

$44 Million Weinstein Civil Deal: Report

ny times logoharvey weinsteinNew York Times, Harvey Weinstein Is Said to Reach $44 Million Deal Over Sexual Misconduct Claims, Brooks Barnes and Jan Ransom, May 24, 2019 (print ed.). Under the proposed terms, about $30 million would go to women who have accused Mr. Weinstein,right,  and to creditors and some former employees. The outcome of the settlement talks will be notable because the lawsuits are one of the main avenues by which he could be held responsible for his alleged actions.

Epstein Victims Seek Acosta Testimony

Miami Herald, Epstein sex abuse victims tell court it’s time for Acosta to explain his actions, Julie K. Brown, May 24, 2019. Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey miami herald logoEpstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. His victims have never had a voice, until now. By Emily Michot | Julie K. Brown

alexander acostaSecretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, left, already under federal investigation for a secret immunity deal he gave to a suspected sex trafficker of underage girls, may have to face some of those victims — who are now adult women — in a federal courtroom.

In a new court filing, two victims, molested as teenagers a decade ago, are asking a federal judge to hold a hearing for all the women who were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire financier who received a non-prosecution agreement from Acosta when Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Miami in 2007.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University The request for a hearing is one of a litany of possible remedies proffered by the victims, who have been waging a decade-long legal battle to put Epstein in prison for his crimes and to hold prosecutors — mainly Acosta — accountable for violating their rights.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe controversial agreement negotiated by Acosta allowed Epstein to escape federal sex trafficking charges, even though evidence showed that Epstein had molested more than three dozen girls at his Palm Beach mansion in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The victims were never told about the deal, which Acosta then sealed — thereby making it impossible for anyone, including his victims, to find out what crimes Epstein had committed and whether there were any other victims or accomplices involved.

May 20

washington post logoWashington Post, Va. Democratic Party turns to freshman congresswomen after Richmond scandals, Jenna Portnoy, May 20, 2019 (print ed.). Reps. Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria are stumping for state legislative candidates in a pivotal election year.

May 19

 kay ivey abortion cartoon donkey hotey whowhatwhy CC BY SA 2.0jpg

"This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. This will become ordinary." — Kay ‘Aunt Lydia’ Ivey (Alabama governor). Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution in story below.

WhoWhatWhy, Opinion: The Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Politicians, Klaus Marre and DonkeyHotey, May 19, 2019. It’s one thing for backward-thinking politicians to impose their ideology on a populace that views them as extreme. But they should at least be consistent. A clear-minded look at the abortion debate.

washington post logoWashington Post, Is revenge porn protected by the Constitution? Some states might say yes, Deanna Paul, May 19, 2019. Forty-five states have revenge-porn laws in place, and appeals courts are beginning to take up cases involving the constitutionality of these statutes.

May 17

#MeToo: Ohio State Men

washington post logoWashington Post, Ohio State team doctor sexually abused 177 students over decades, report finds, Rick Maese​, May 17, 2019. A former Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students from 1979-96, according to an investigative report released Friday.

ohio state buckeyes logoThe abuse included athletes from at least 16 school sports teams and also encompassed other students who saw Dr. Richard Strauss at the school's student health center and an off-campus clinic.

According to the report, the school “had knowledge” of sexually abusive treatment from Strauss as early as 1979, “but reports about Strauss' conduct were not elevated beyond the Athletics Department or Student Health until 1996."

Strauss died in 2005. He was employed by the university from 1978-98 but was suspended from his work as a treating physician in January 1996 after a patient accused Strauss of fondling him during a genital examination. Strauss continued in his role as a tenured faculty member, though. The school said it has initiated the process to revoke the faculty emeritus status that was conferred upon Strauss.

• Washington Post, Rep. Jim Jordan says report confirms his denials of knowledge of sexual abuse at Ohio State, May 17, 2019.

 keith raniere nxivm

ny times logoNew York Times, Sex Cult ‘Grandmaster,’ Colin Moynihan, May 17, 2019.  Lauren Salzman, a senior member of the group, described how women would array themselves naked in front of the group’s founder as he sat in a chair and lectured. At the start of the meetings, female members of the so-called sex cult Nxivm — the “slaves” — would offer a tribute to their “master,” Keith Raniere, the group’s leader.

The women would remove their clothes and array themselves on the floor in front of him, while he sat in a chair and spoke to them about philosophy and other topics. If he was not in attendance, they would pose for a group photo and send it to him, making sure that parts of their body that had been branded with a symbol related to the group were visible.

That is how Lauren Salzman, one of the women present at certain meetings, described them in graphic testimony on Friday during the racketeering and sex trafficking trial of Mr. Raniere.

The brief testimony by Ms. Salzman offered insight from a senior member of Nxivm about the ways in which Mr. Raniere, who was known as Vanguard or sometimes Grandmaster, exerted control over the women in the group, including high-ranking ones.

Mr. Raniere, 58, co-founded Nxivm (pronounced Nex-e-um) in the 1990s as a self-help organization based in a suburban town in upstate New York. He is now on trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, facing charges of racketeering conspiracy, identity theft, extortion, forced labor, money laundering, wire fraud and sex trafficking.

Over the last several weeks, five women who were charged as his co-defendants, including Ms. Salzman, pleaded guilty to various charges. Prosecutors have said that while Mr. Raniere purported to be a mentor to troubled people, he was really a “con man” who exploited their desire to improve their lives.

The meetings, according to Ms. Salzman, were for senior members of an ultra-clandestine group within Nxivm called The Vow, or D.O.S., which supposedly stood for a Latin phrase meaning “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” and took place in a house near Albany called the Sorority House.

In her testimony, Ms. Salzman explained the pyramid structure of masters and slaves inside the group. She also identified senior members of Nxivm, known as the Inner Circle, and high-ranking members of D.O.S., including Allison Mack, an actress from the TV show “Smallville.”

May 14

Palm Beach Post, Judge sets rapid pace to end fight over Jeffrey Epstein ‘sweetheart’ deal, Jane Musgrave, May 14, 2019. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, right, set a brisk kenneth marra open jurist croppedschedule for prosecutors and the young women’s attorneys to help him unravel an unprecedented legal mess that was created in 2007.

By August, the federal judge should have the information he needs to decide whether to throw out a controversial agreement that allowed billionaire Jeffrey Epstein to escape federal prosecution for having sex with teens at his Palm Beach mansion. Marra in February ruled that federal prosecutors violated the women’s rights by not conferring with them before deciding to shelve a 52-page federal indictment accusing Epstein, 66, of having sex with minors. However, while finding that prosecutors violated the federal Crime Victims Rights Act, Marra didn’t fashion a remedy.

Attorneys representing two of the politically-connected money manager’s more than three dozen victims have long said they want the non-prosecution agreement to be thrown out. Marra gave them 30 days to file court papers explaining how that could be done and suggesting others ways to compensate the women.

Federal prosecutors will have 30 days to refute or support the request from the victims’ lawyers. Then, the women’s attorneys will have another 15 days to respond to the prosecutors’ arguments, Marra said.

May 10

Pope Issues Abuse Reporting Rules

ny times logoNew York Times, Pope Issues First Rules for Catholic Church Worldwide to Report Sex Abuse, Jason Horowitz, May 10, 2019 (print ed.). Pope Francis on Thursday issued the pope francis W croppedfirst law obligating officials in the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to report cases of clergy sexual abuse — and attempts to cover it up — to their superiors. The decree was Francis’ long-anticipated concrete response to address a crisis that has devastated the church and clouded his legacy.

Vatican officials said the pope was trying to enshrine accountability for bishops into church law. Until now, responses to accusations of sexual abuse have differed widely from country to country, and even from diocese to diocese. In some countries where church officials have denied the existence of abuse, there have often been no procedures at all.

The new law does not universally require church officials to report abuse accusations to the police and prosecutors, a decision that was immediately criticized by abuse survivors and their advocates. Vatican officials have argued that a global requirement to report to civil authorities would, in some places, result in victims being ostracized or priests being persecuted. However, the new rules say that church officials should not interfere with investigations by civil authorities.

May 3

ny times logowoody allen tribeca festival 2009 david shankboneNew York Times, Woody Allen Pitched a Memoir. Publishers Weren’t Interested, Alexandra Alter and Cara Buckley, May 3, 2019 (print ed.). Woody Allen has been largely shunned by Hollywood. Celebrities who once vied for roles in his films now say they regret working with him. Amazon has backed out of a multimovie distribution deal with him.

Now, Allen (shown at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival) appears to be losing stature in another quarter of the entertainment industry: publishing.

In the last year, Allen quietly tried to sell a memoir, according to executives at four major publishing houses, only to be met with indifference or hard passes. Before the #MeToo movement roared to life, Allen’s memoir would probably have set off a bidding war and commanded six or seven figures, given his cultural status. But with his career all but derailed by resurfaced allegations that he molested his daughter Dylan Farrow nearly three decades ago — allegations that Allen denies and that have left Americans unsure whom to believe — the prospect of publishing his memoir seems to hold little appeal.

Executives at multiple publishing houses said that an agent representing Allen approached their companies about the memoir late last year, but that they made no offers, largely because of the negative publicity that working with Allen may have generated.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Mormon Church Accused of Shielding Itself From Sex-Abuse Claims With Victims Hotline: Report, Staff report, May 3, 2019. Court documents have revealed that calls from the Mormon Church’s 24-hour helpline, used by church officials to report suspected abuse, are being transferred to a law firm that defends the church in abuse-related lawsuits, VICE News reports. Helpline calls are first answered inside the Salt Lake City offices of a Mormon Church-sponsored agency known as LDS Family Services, where staffers are then instructed to transfer callers to the law firm Kirton McConkie.

The law firm is technically independent from the church, but has legally advised and defended them for decades. The Mormon Church is Kirton McConkie’s largest client. Directing abuse-related calls to church lawyers allows the church to classify them as “attorney-client” communications, protecting them from disclosure in lawsuits and other forums, according to legal experts. Mormon leaders have long insisted that the helpline’s sole purpose is to advise church officials about compliance with local abuse-reporting laws; but court documents reviewed by VICE News, suggests that in reality, the system serves to shield the church from potential lawsuits.

May 2

washington post logoWashington Post, Reports of sexual assaults in the military spiked nearly 38 percent last year, Pentagon says, Frances Stead Sellers and Dan Lamothe​, May 2, 2019. The statistics show about 20,500 instances of “unwanted sexual contact,” a category that includes rape, forcible sodomy, groping and other offenses.

washington post logostephen moore twitterWashington Post, Stephen Moore abandons bid for Federal Reserve seat, Trump says, Felicia Sonmez​, May 2, 2019. Moore, right, had faced Republican opposition in the Senate as he faced criticism over writings from the 2000s, in which he made derogatory statements about women.

May 1

keith raniere nxivm

ny times logoNew York Times, Once Idolized, Guru of Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ to Stand Trial Alone, Barry Meier, May 1, 2019. Keith Raniere, who led a group in which women were branded, is on trial in Brooklyn. Testimony is expected to be prurient, bizarre and nauseating, court filings suggest.

It seems a fitting final act to a strange saga: On Tuesday, Keith Raniere, who once led a cultlike group in which women were branded and taught to idolize him, will face trial alone, abandoned not only by the women he subjugated and abused, but by those who served him loyally for years.

For two decades, Keith Raniere, 58, was referred to as “Vanguard” by his followers in a group called Nxivm (pronounced Nex-e-um).

He ordered women to maintain near-starvation diets to achieve the type of body he found desirable and punished those who disobeyed his edict to have sex only with him, former followers said. In recent years, some women were branded on their pelvis with a symbol containing Mr. Raniere’s initials, an act he described in a text message as a “tribute” to him.

During his trial in Brooklyn federal court, which is expected to last six weeks, jurors will hear testimony that will be prurient, bizarre and nauseating, court filings suggest. Among the graphic details: Prosecutors plan to use pictures of a naked 15-year-old girl in Mr. Raniere’s bed to prove that he exploited underage women.

April

April 30

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘CLOSE THE RAPE ATTIC’: Swarthmore students occupy fraternity after disturbing documents public campus events where alcohol is served, Allyson Chiu, April 30, 2019. “I would sprint up the stairs that lead to the bedroom that’s referred to as the ‘rape attic’ because I knew that there was only one woman up there and a bunch of fraternity brothers,” Henry said.

The alleged reference to a “rape attic” is just one of the troubling details recently revealed about the culture within the selective Pennsylvania college’s fraternities that was made public in internal documents leaked to two campus publications. Redacted versions of the documents, published earlier this month by the Phoenix and Voices, have since sparked fierce protests from students, including an ongoing sit-in that started Saturday on the campus located west of Philadelphia.

Over the weekend, the growing outcry prompted administrators to suspend all fraternity activity pending the results of an investigation.

The 116 pages of documents reportedly came from the “historical archives” of Swarthmore’s chapter of Phi Psi, which is not nationally affiliated, and contains meeting minutes and details of pledge tasks. The documents feature graphic descriptions of members’ sexual encounters, including a reference to a “rape tunnel.” It also describes their conversations about women, minority groups and sexual assault that often contained offensive language, such as homophobic and racial slurs. The documents chronicle activities between 2010 and 2016, the Phoenix reported.

April 29

KHOU-TV (Watertown, NY.), No jail time for school bus driver who admitted to raping 14-year-old girl, Andrew Krietz, April 29, 2019. The 26-year-old will also not be included in online sex offender databases because he is considered a low risk offender. A judge handed down 10 years' probation last week to a former New York school bus driver after he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl.

Shane Piche, 26, will be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, according to the Waterford Daily Times. The judge reportedly said because he had no prior arrests and there was one victim, the sentence was appropriate. Level 1 is considered the lowest risk level out of three, and Piche will not be included in online sex offender databases.

He pleaded guilty in February to raping a 14-year-old girl who he met through his job as a bus driver with the city's school district, the newspaper reports.

Piche also was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly gave the girl alcohol. The Times reports Piche is required to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges, plus a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee.

ABA Journal, Fired BigLaw paralegal must pay $35K sanction in dropped suit against law firm, 7th Circuit says, Debra Cassens Weiss, April 29, 2019. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a sanction requiring a paralegal who filed a $200 million bias suit against Baker McKenzie to pay the law firm’s attorney fees.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago upheld an order requiring the paralegal, Elena Stephens, to pay about $35,000. In a per curiam opinion, a 7th Circuit panel said Stephens could be sanctioned for dismissing the lawsuit to avoid answering discovery questions on two matters. One matter concerned how Stephens acquired the law firm’s confidential email discussion list of firm employees that she used to email criticism of her supervisors. The other asked Stephens to account for her asserted damages.

Stephens had alleged that she was sexually harassed and mocked because of her Russian heritage and accent during the year she worked at the law firm. Stephens said she was fired in 2017 after she reported the discrimination.

April 26

washington post logoWashington Post, Joe Biden was in charge of the Anita Hill hearing. Even he says it wasn’t fair, Elise Viebeck, April 26, 2019. About 90 minutes into Anita Hill’s estimony on Oct. 11, 1991, Joe Biden had a choice to make.

anita hill clarence thomas time scandalTo cast doubt on her sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee planned to ask her about a former acquaintance named John Doggett, who said in an affidavit that Hill was prone to romantic delusions and had “a problem being rejected by men she was attracted to.”

Doggett had not been vetted by the committee, as the rules of the hearing required, and Biden said it would be best not to air his claims until aides interviewed him. But as Republicans applied pressure, Biden was unsure what to do — changing his mind five times as colleagues, witnesses and a national television audience watched.

Biden’s handling of Hill’s allegations against Thomas and the hearings they incited in 1991 remains one of the most revealing and controversial episodes of his career. In an era when bipartisan support for Supreme Court nominees was more common, the senator from Delaware wanted to run a process that was seen as fair by both sides.

But for decades, Democrats have been angered by Hill’s treatment by the GOP and conflicted about Biden’s performance as chairman. The issue has even more resonance for some Democrats now in the wake of allegations of sexual assault against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh last year, which led to a similar hearing. Both he and Thomas denied wrongdoing.

Interviews with a dozen people with firsthand knowledge and a review of the written record and interviews published with participants over the past three decades reinforce that Biden failed to use the powers afforded to Senate committee chairmen to conduct a judicious and thorough inquiry into Hill’s allegations. He did not give full consideration to witnesses whose allegations seemed to corroborate her testimony or curb the attacks and innuendo leveled at her during the hearing. A former Biden lawyer told The Washington Post this month that the Democrats were outmaneuvered by Republicans, whose purpose was to damage Hill.

Biden called Hill earlier this month to express regrets over her experience, but Hill was unsatisfied with the conversation and did not characterize his comments as an apology, the New York Times reported Thursday. Hill did not respond to calls and emails about their conversation, and Biden’s campaign told the Times it would have no further comment.

The former Biden lawyer, Cynthia Hogan, said in an interview that he approached his role during the Thomas hearings as if he were a neutral arbiter.

“What happened is we got really politically outplayed by the Republicans,” said Hogan, now vice president for public policy for Americas at Apple. “They came with a purpose, and that purpose was to destroy Anita Hill. Democrats did not coordinate and they did not prepare for battle. I think he would say that that’s what should be done differently.”

Keith Henderson, a friend of Hill’s who spent time with her as the hearings unfolded, wondered in an interview this month why Biden had not personally apologized to her.

April 16

New Accuser Of Epstein, Dershowitz

miami herald logoMiami Herald, New Jeffrey Epstein accuser goes public; defamation lawsuit targets Dershowitz, Julie K. Brown, April 16, 2019. A new victim has gone public in the Jeffrey Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Epstein case, filing a sworn affidavit in federal court in New York Tuesday, saying that she was sexually assaulted and her then-15-year-old sister molested by Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, in 1996.

Maria Farmer, then 26, claims she was employed by Epstein (right), a multimillionaire financier who lived in a vast mansion on New York’s Upper East Side, and that she frequently saw “school-age girls’’ wearing uniforms come into the mansion and go upstairs. She was told that the girls were auditioning for modeling work, according to her affidavit.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThen an art student in New York, Farmer said she reported her assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. FBI documents released April 1 make a reference to Farmer having been interviewed in 2006 or 2007. However, Farmer, now 49, said the FBI did not take any action against Epstein and Maxwell.

“To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI. It took a significant amount of bravery for me to make that call because I knew how incredibly Jeffrey Epstein and Alan Dershowitzpowerful and influential both Epstein and Maxwell were, particularly in the art community,’’ she wrote.

Farmer’s affidavit is one of 15 exhibits attached to a defamation complaint filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, against Alan Dershowitz, one of Epstein’s most vocal and powerful attorneys.

Giuffre claims in the lawsuit, as she has in past court filings, that Dershowitz, 80 (shown with Epstein in a file photo), knew about and participated in a sex-trafficking operation involving underage girls and run by Epstein and Maxwell, and that she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz and other prominent, wealthy men when she was underage.

Dershowitz has railed against the allegations for years, maintaining that he has never met Giuffre. He also says he has documents and other evidence that prove she is lying.

Alternet, Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been secretly funneling cash to celebrities and universities, Brad Reed, April 16, 2019. Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has set up a secret charity foundation that he’s been using to funnel money to assorted celebrities and elite universities. The Daily Beast reports that Epstein has created a private foundation called Gratitude America, Ltd. that has been shelling out cash to nonprofit groups founded by Deepak Chopra, Elton John and even a doctor with connections to President Donald Trump.

Additionally, the Daily Beast’s review of the foundation’s tax filings has found that it helped fund “an all-girls school in Manhattan, a youth tennis program, cancer charities, Harvard’s famous theater troupe, posh New York arts societies at Lincoln Center and the Met, and a nonprofit linked to the wife of a former Harvard president who flew on Epstein’s private jet.”

The foundation does nothing to publicize its existence and the only traces of its activity are found through its tax filings. Epstein launched the organization in 2012, three years after he had served an 18-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage prostitute.

Epstein received such a light sentence even though dozens of women have accused him of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra’s ruled that current Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta broke the law when he crafted a plea deal for Epstein that did not inform his multiple female accusers.

National Enquirer Sold

ny times logoNew York Times, National Enquirer to Be Sold to James Cohen, Heir to Hudson News Founder, Edmund Lee, April 18, 2019. A new buyer for the tabloid swooped in after talks between its publisher, American Media, and the billionaire Ron Burkle fell apart. The National Enquirer, President Trump’s favorite supermarket tabloid, is about to have a new owner: James Cohen, a son of the founder of the Hudson News franchise. American Media Inc., The Enquirer’s publisher, announced the deal Thursday.

The money-losing title was put up for sale several weeks ago, after its principal owner decided it no longer wanted to be associated with the magazine, according to several people familiar with the matter. The publication attracted the scrutiny of federal investigators for its role in the 2016 presidential campaign.

American Media had been in talks with several potential buyers, including the California billionaire Ronald W. Burkle. After those talks fell apart last week, Mr. Cohen, whose father started the chain of Hudson News shops, swooped in to buy the troubled tabloid.

david pecker croppedAs part of the deal, American Media, led by David J. Pecker, left, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, has also agreed to sell two of its other tabloids: the Globe and the National Examiner. The Washington Post first reported the sale, which it pegged at $100 million.

The principal owner of American Media, the hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, led by Anthony Melchiorre, pushed Mr. Pecker to sell The Enquirer after the publication found itself under federal investigation. Mr. Melchiorre no longer saw an upside in being associated with the tabloid, whose financial losses and falling circulation numbers provided further motivation for a sale.

Mr. Pecker is said to have helped Mr. Trump’s candidacy through a deal American Media struck with Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who said she had an affair with the president. The company acquired her story for $150,000 and never published it, a practice known in the tabloid business as catch-and-kill. Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York gave Mr. Pecker an immunity deal in its investigation of the arrangement.

American Media also signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors. As part of the agreement, the company affirmed that it had made the payment to Ms. McDougal to “influence the election.” The deal, signed in September, also stipulated that American Media “shall commit no crimes whatsoever” for three years and that, if it did, the company “shall thereafter be subject to prosecution for any federal criminal violation of which this office has knowledge.”

That agreement put American Media in a ticklish position, now that federal prosecutors have started investigating claims by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, that he was threatened by the company. Mr. Bezos was the subject of an 11-page Enquirer investigation headlined “Bezos’ Divorce! The Cheating Photos That Ended His Marriage.” In a lengthy blog post a month after the article appeared, Mr. Bezos accused American Media of extortion.

Hudson News, founded by Mr. Cohen’s father, Robert B. Cohen, was sold to the Swiss retail company Dufry in 2008. Mr. Cohen is no longer involved in the chain of newspaper and magazine shops but sits on the board of the new parent company.

April 16

Above the Law, Dershowitz Wanted A Trial Over Sex Trafficking Accusations — He’s Getting One, Joe Patrice, April 16, 2019. Last month, Harvard Law’s Alan Dershowitz proclaimed, “I hereby accuse my false accusers of committing the felony of perjury and challenge them to sue me for defamation.” As Paragraph 22 of a complaint filed today in the Southern District of New York put it: "Mr. Dershowitz now has what he claims to have been looking for."

For the last several years, Dershowitz has faced allegations that his best buddy and ultimate “Florida Man” Jeffrey Epstein — a billionaire who used his wealth to lure underaged girls into a sex trafficking operation — loaned out his victims to have sex with Dershowitz.

Boies Schiller, in papers signed by Sigrid McCawley, with assistance from Meredith Schultz, has now sued Dershowitz for defamation on behalf of Virginia (Roberts) Guiffre. Dershowitz has publicly called Guiffre a liar and extortionist based on the Epstein victim’s claim that Dershowitz had sex with her as part of Epstein’s scheme.

April 15

Hill.com, Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field, Reid Wilson, April 16, 2019. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (right) leads the field of potential Republicans roy moore cowboy hat no gun Customvying for the chance to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D, below at left)), a year and a half after Moore lost what was supposed to be an easy election in a deep-red state.

A new poll shows Moore leading a still-evolving field of Alabama Republicans competing for the nomination. He is the top choice of 27 percent of Alabama Republican voters, according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. survey.

doug jones flag wThe state’s three Republican members of Congress finish well behind Moore: Rep. Mo Brooks would take 18 percent, Rep. Bradley Byrne clocks in at 13 percent and Rep. Gary Palmer would take 11 percent. So far, Byrne is the only Republican candidate among those tested to have formally entered the race.

Moore, who captured the Republican nomination in 2017 by appealing to the state’s most conservative evangelical voters, came undone amid multiple allegations that he harassed or pursued women who were in their teens when he was in his 30s.

Jones, a former U.S. attorney, won the December special election by 1.7 percentage points, or about 22,000 votes. He became the first Democrat in more than a generation — since Sen. Richard Shelby, who has since changed his party affiliation — to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

April 11

ny times logoNew York Times, University Discouraged Reporting of Rape Allegation, Woman Says, Marc Tracy, April 11, 2019 (print ed.). A woman who accused three basketball players and sued Michigan State spoke publicly about her case for the first time.

Robin and David Kowalski barely recognized their daughter Bailey when she was visiting home in White Lake, Mich., in the spring of 2015.

Their perennially positive daughter, who was about to finish her freshman year at Michigan State, was sullen. She had suddenly decided to abandon her long-held dream of being a sports journalist, and she refused to tell her mother, in whom she typically confided everything, why.

It was not until October, after months of erratic behavior, that Ms. Kowalski told her parents that she had been raped by three Michigan State basketball players that April. The incident left her depressed and considering harming herself. She dropped out of college for a while and received counseling. She gave up sports journalism for good.

Last year, Ms. Kowalski, 22, who is speaking publicly about her case for the first time, sued Michigan State in federal court for violating her rights under Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equity in higher education, as a Jane Doe. The lawsuit asserts that Michigan State mishandles sexual misconduct complaints against athletes. One woman said two football players raped her in 2009, but she was not advised of her Title IX rights, the lawsuit said, and another woman said three basketball players raped her in 2010, after which the accusations were not reported outside the athletic department.

Manhattan DC Role In Epstein Scandal

New York Post, DA knew Jeffrey Epstein was a dangerous pedophile when arguing for leniency, Susan Edelman and Rebecca Rosenberg, April 11, 2019. The Manhattan DA’s office had graphic and detailed evidence of pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s depravity when a prosecutor inexplicably argued for leniency during his 2011 sex offender registry hearing, The Post has learned.

In advance of the hearing, then-deputy chief of Sex Crimes, Jennifer Gaffney, had been given a confidential state assessment that deemed Epstein to be highly dangerous and likely to keep preying on young girls, the DA’s office admitted in its own appellate brief eight months after the hearing.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University The brief has been sealed since 2011, but The Post obtained it Thursday after suing to get it unsealed.

It describes a state assessment’s findings that Epstein (right) should be monitored in New York as a level three offender — reserved for the most dangerous.

In making its assessment, the NY state Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders evaluated the sworn, corroborated accounts of numerous young girls who had been lured into Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., compound in 2005 and 2006.

Girls aged 14 to 17 years old were recruited and paid $200 to $1,000 to give Epstein erotic massages that included sexual contact, intercourse and rape, Palm Beach cops found.

Epstein pleaded guilty in Palm Beach to abusing just one of these young victims, and was required to register as a sex offender in New York since he had an Upper East Side home.

Manhattan prosecutors were aware the state board had assigned Epstein a risk assessment of 130, a number that is “solidly above the 110 qualifying number for level three,” with “absolutely no basis for downward departure,” the brief notes.

U.S. Crime / Courts

washington post logoWashington Post, Michael Avenatti charged with 36 federal crimes, including tax fraud and bank fraud, Lindsey Bever, April 11, 2019. Attorney Michael Avenatti (shown below) faces 36 criminal charges after he was indicted by a grand jury in Southern California.

michael avenatti twitter photoAvenatti, known for representing Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Trump, was arrested last month in New York for allegedly attempting to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Separately, he was charged in a case in California for allegedly using a client’s settlement money to pay for his personal expenses.

The grand jury indictment, which was handed down late Wednesday, charges the attorney with wire fraud, bank fraud and tax fraud, among other things.

Specifically, it alleges that Avenatti stole from his clients, including from a paraplegic man, and took payroll taxes from employees at his Seattle-based coffee chain, Tully’s, according to the AP. The AP reported that the attorney is also charged with failing to pay taxes, lying in bankruptcy proceedings and committing bank fraud.

Pope Emeritus Decries Gay 'Cliques'

washington post logoWashington Post, In letter on abuse crisis, Pope Benedict describes seminaries filled with ‘homosexual cliques,’ Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli​, April 11, 2019. The pope emeritus attributed the clerical sex abuse crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching, a markedly different explanation than that offered by Pope Francis.

April 9

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Kick Kavanaugh off campus’: Students decry George Mason’s decision to hire Supreme Court justice, Isaac Stanley-Becker, April 9, 2019. Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh will beat the Washington heat this summer and head for Runnymede, England, a bucolic borough 20 miles from London along the River Thames. At the site where the Magna Carta was sealed 804 years ago, laying the groundwork for constitutional democracy, the judge will teach a course on the origins of the U.S. Constitution to students at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School — 3,600 miles from the Arlington, Va., campus.

brett kavanaughHe will be joined in the English countryside by Jennifer Mascott, an assistant professor of law at George Mason. One of Kavanaugh’s former clerks on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Mascott came to his defense when his nomination was threatened last year by allegations of sexual misconduct, which he vehemently denied. “He has acted with the utmost character and integrity,” she told “PBS NewsHour.”

Some students at the university’s main campus in Fairfax City see matters differently. After news of his hire surfaced at the end of March in the undergraduate newspaper, the Fourth Estate, survivors of sexual assault mobilized to demand that he be terminated.

The judge (right), who was first nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush and to the nation’s top court by President Trump, used to teach at Harvard Law School. But administrators in Cambridge, Mass., informed students last fall that he had decided not to return this year to teach his course, “The Supreme Court Since 2005.” The announcement followed calls on Harvard, by hundreds of its students and alumni, to revoke his status as a lecturer.

The contest over Kavanaugh’s nomination became a flash point in the #MeToo movement, as well as an illustration of the polarization and distrust poisoning American politics. Now, the dispute at George Mason has become the latest front in the campus culture wars, reflecting broader upheaval over sexual violence, political correctness, free speech and sensitivity.

April 8

keith raniere nxivm

ny times logoNew York Times, Allison Mack of ‘Smallville’ Pleads Guilty in Case of Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Where Women Were Branded, Michael Gold and Colin Moynihan, April 8, 2019. Ms. Mack wept as she took responsibility in federal court in Brooklyn for recruiting women into the Nxivm organization.Allison Mack’s Hollywood ties boosted the case’s profile and grabbed headlines.

allison mackAllison Mack (shown in a file photo) tearfully told a judge on Monday that she first joined the cultlike group known as Nxivm to “find purpose.” She was unsatisfied with her acting career, she said, despite her role on the successful television series “Smallville.”

Led by Keith Raniere, the group, based in Albany, billed itself as a self-help organization. It offered workshops and classes that promised participants greater self-fulfillment.

Ms. Mack became so involved, federal prosecutors said, that she began recruiting other women into a secret sect within Nxivm in which women were branded with Mr. Raniere’s initials and were forced to have sex with him.

“I was lost,” Ms. Mack said on Monday, while pleading guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges related to her role in the group.

In a lengthy, tear-filled confession at Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Ms. Mack admitted to luring women into Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um), where they were extorted and coerced into following Mr. Raniere’s orders.

“I must take full responsibility for my conduct,” Ms. Mack, 36, said.

The racketeering counts were among the least lurid ones that Ms. Mack faced. When the actress was arrested last year, she was also charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor.

Her arrest was part of a larger federal case against high-ranking members of Nxivm, including Mr. Raniere and four others. Federal authorities had begun investigating the organization after The New York Times published an article in late 2017 detailing the inner workings of the secret sorority within Nxivm.

Ms. Mack’s Hollywood ties boosted the case’s profile and grabbed headlines. After prosecutors announced the charges against her, other actresses said that Ms. Mack had tried to get them to join her “women’s group.” Several female journalists also shared that they had received emails from Ms. Mack trying to pitch them on joining a female empowerment organization.

Prosecutors said the secret sect’s purpose within Nxivm was to groom sexual partners for Mr. Raniere, who is 58. It was called D.O.S., an acronym for a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” court papers said.

In court on Monday, Ms. Mack admitted she recruited women into the group by telling them they were going to become members of a female mentorship program.

Ms. Mack said that to become members of the secret D.O.S. group, women were required to offer up “personally damaging or ruinous” information. The group also collected explicit photos and videos from members as well as rights to their properties, she said.

Prosecutors have said that the women were warned that the damaging or embarrassing information would be made public if they revealed the existence of the group.

Ms. Mack admitted on Monday that she wielded the information to blackmail the women into performing services for her and the group. The organization was set up to make women think “they could suffer serious harm” if they did not follow orders, she said.

The D.O.S. group was organized into circles of women “slaves” that were led by “masters,” prosecutors said. When Ms. Mack was arrested last year, officials said that she had recruited women into the society as “slaves” and had required them to have sex with Mr. Raniere.

Ms. Mack sobbed so much as she gave her statement that Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis interrupted to ask if she was all right. Ms. Mack then apologized to those that she hurt through her “misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings.”

Others charged in the case include Mr. Raniere and Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune.

Ms. Mack faces up to 20 years in prison on each count to which she pleaded guilty. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

April 5

ny times logoNew York Times, Sexual misconduct claims against Herman Cain, Mr. Trump’s pick for the Fed’s board, are causing anxiety for the G.O.P., Alan Rappeport and Kenneth P. Vogel, April 5, 2019. Payments to women who complained of sexual harassment.  Accusations of groping. Allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair. As President Trump herman cain wmoves ahead with his plan to nominate Herman Cain, right, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, for a seat on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, Republican lawmakers are being forced to confront a fresh round of uncomfortable allegations of sexual misconduct against women as the 2020 campaign begins.

A day after Mr. Trump made the choice of Mr. Cain official, Senate Republicans expressed quiet anxiety over the prospect of another #MeToo minefield even as the White House exalted the decision.

“President Trump’s statement that Herman Cain is ‘a truly outstanding individual’ is a message that the president of the United States is willing to ignore the gloria allred 2012 Customallegations of a number of women who alleged that Herman Cain either sexually harassed them or had an affair with them,” said Gloria Allred, left, a lawyer who represented two of Mr. Cain’s accusers. “This message is an insult to women and should be condemned by the Republican Party and all those who care about respect and dignity for women.”

The choice of Mr. Cain comes as Mr. Trump’s other pick to fill an open seat on the seven-member Fed board, the conservative economist Stephen Moore, has been under fire for ethical and financial lapses that emerged from his divorce records. In both cases, the White House has publicly backed Mr. Trump’s selections despite criticism that he was installing loyalists with questionable credentials in two of the country’s top economic policy jobs.

bo dresnerSan Marcos Record, Former Hays County GOP official arrested for sexual assault of a child, Robin Blackburn, April 5, 2019. A precinct chair and former sergeant-at-arms for the Hays County Republican Party is in jail on a $250,000 bond after being arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Bo Michael Dresner was booked into the Hays County Jail on April 3. There had been reports of sexual abuse involving Dresner (shown in a mugshot) and the same victim going back seven years.

HuffPost, Dahvie Vanity Raped A Child. Police Gave Him A Warning. Now 21 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Assault, Jesselyn Cook and Sebastian Murdock, April 5, 2019. The Blood on the Dance Floor singer (shown at right in a Twitter photo) is an expert at winning teenage girls’ trust — and their silence.

One Sunday night in June 2007, 14-year-old Dianna Farrell sat alone in her bedroom in the dark, listening to a Christian radio show where teens discussed their troubles on-air. The host, a man named Dawson McAllister, seemed kind: he spoke to callers empathetically and even gave them advice. Farrell picked up the phone and dialed in. When McAllister asked her what was wrong, she took a deep breath, then told him about the man who had sexually assaulted her at her home eight days earlier. A show staffer called the police.

The next evening, a patrol car appeared outside Farrell’s house in Pinellas County, Florida. She was terrified. She hadn’t meant to cause any problems — she just wanted someone to talk to. A shy eighth grader who was bullied throughout middle school, Farrell didn’t have many friends. She spent most of her free time on the computer by herself, creating digital artwork and learning how to edit photos online. Just a few weeks earlier, she’d celebrated her acceptance to a high school with a special visual arts program.

Farrell paced as a police officer asked questions about the man she’d described on the radio. She frantically explained that she didn’t know his real name, or how old he was. He just went by “Dahvie.” She’d met him a while ago on Myspace, where he had a popular page as an Orlando-based hairstylist. Dahvie had told Farrell that he wanted to give her a new look, so he drove across the state to dye her hair at her house. The girl’s mother, a single parent with two nursing jobs, had to leave for an evening shift shortly after Dahvie arrived, several hours late. Farrell performed oral sex on him that night.

As the officer pressed for details about the encounter — Farrell’s first sexual experience — she started to cry. The 14-year-old was confused about what had happened and afraid of getting Dahvie into trouble. They’d started chatting online in the weeks leading up to her hair appointment, and he would often sign off with messages declaring his love for her. They were friends, she reminded herself, and Dahvie cared about her. What would happen to him if she told police that after finishing with her hair, he had forced himself into her mouth?

“Are you going to call him? You can’t!” Farrell pleaded through tears. “It was no big deal,” she insisted. Everything was consensual, she said.
In a police report, 14-year-old Dianna Farrell asked an officer if her sexual abuser would get in trouble.

In a police report, 14-year-old Dianna Farrell asked an officer if her sexual abuser would get in trouble.

After speaking to Farrell and her mother, Captain Kurt Romanosky, a detective from the Crimes Against Children squad of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, called 22-year-old Jesus David Torres, the man known on Myspace as “Dahvie the Elite Hair God.” Romanosky informed Torres that he was aware of the sexual contact with Farrell, and that her mother would not ask cops to arrest Torres if he cut off contact with her daughter. Torres claimed he didn’t know how young Farrell was, said he was sorry and promised not to talk to her again.

Lewd and lascivious battery — sexual penetration of a child between the ages of 12 and 15 by an adult, for which Torres was briefly investigated — is a form of statutory rape and a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Ignorance of the victim’s age is not an admissible defense under Florida law, and 14-year-olds cannot legally consent to sex with 22-year-olds in the state, but police let Torres off anyway.

Torres moved on. Later that year, he started Blood on the Dance Floor (BOTDF), an electro-pop band that quickly took off among kids and teens. Under the stage name Dahvie Vanity, the singer went on to amass close to 2 million online followers while touring all over the country. And in the 12 years since police gave him a warning for assaulting Farrell, Torres has allegedly sexually assaulted nearly two dozen women and underage girls.

  daily beast logoDaily Beast, Porn Stars Find 2020 Democratic Candidates ‘Extremely Depressing,’ Aurora Snow, April 5, 2019. With the presidential election approaching, many constituents in the adult industry are struggling to forgive Democratic candidates’ past voting record. Less than a year ago, most of the 2020 frontrunners voted in favor of two bills: “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” and “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (commonly known as FOSTA/SESTA), legislation that has negatively impacted sex workers more than the sex trafficking it purports to stop. The new legislation pushes responsibility, and thus legal consequences, to the online platforms that “promote or facilitate prostitution” without distinguishing consenting sex work from coerced sex trafficking.

In an attempt to excuse some of the candidates for their uneducated voting faux pas in passing FOSTA/SESTA, porn star Nina Kayy offers a rather empathetic view. “They probably signed it blindly without talking to anyone in the industry or talking to sex-trafficking victims,” she says. “Sure, a lot of sex workers are mad about it but you have to look at the bigger picture: yes, it’s part of the candidate’s job to reach out and educate themselves, but imagine if they didn’t sign a bill against sex trafficking? How would that look to the people that voted for them?”

According to Kayy, all of the congresspeople vying for the 2020 ticket—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Corey Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, etc.—are guilty of doing what the majority of voters do at the polls: voting for the header. Hence a bill even the DOJ expressed uncertainty over was passed, 97-2 in the Senate and 388-25 in the House.

Independent contractors (i.e. sex workers) use online forums to discuss clients, post reviews and warn fellow co-workers of potential dangers. Those options have now largely been removed, with sites—fearing prosecution for “sex trafficking”—hesitating to allow consenting sex workers a platform to validate the safety of clients or independently advertise and book work. It’s thus driven many consenting sex workers off-line and underground, endangering them.

Politicians frequently conflate consensual sex work and sex trafficking despite their drastic differences, whether to push moral agendas or due to ignorance. As seen in the recent massage parlor sting ensnaring New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, the police have repeatedly referred to it as a “sex trafficking” operation, yet no trafficking charges were filed and even the Palm Beach District Attorney admitted "there’s no allegation that any defendant engaged in human trafficking.” Many have speculated that “trafficking” is a term loosely used by law enforcement to sanction prostitution busts.

From the prosecutor’s office to defense attorney, Judge Herb Dodell has argued both sides and calls the trumped-up Kraft sting ridiculous. Sex work and sex trafficking are separate issues, he argues. “There are criteria that have been established on what represents human trafficking versus something else—even in California. Though you don’t have to show there was a force of coercion, human trafficking is basically where you take people and you make them slaves,” explains Dodell. “Prostitution is very, very different—an example clearly represented within the brothels in Nevada.”

April 3

alexander acosta o cropped Custom

washington post logoWashington Post, Acosta confronted by lawmakers over plea deal in Jeffrey Epstein sexual misconduct case, Kimberly Kindy, Felicia Sonmez and Lisa Rein, April 3, 2019. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta (above) was confronted by Democratic lawmakers Wednesday over his decision as a federal prosecutor to sign off on a plea deal in a sex trafficking case involving multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The exchange at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing marked the first time Acosta has been questioned publicly about the case since a judge ruled in February that the 2008 arrangement he oversaw as a U.S. attorney in South Florida had broken the law because his office failed to properly notify victims.

“You chose wealthy and well-connected people, child rapists, over the victims in this case,” said Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.), who noted that “the hideous truth has come out” about Acosta’s role in the case.

Clark cited the Epstein case as she questioned Acosta on his department’s decision to propose cutting the budget for one of its divisions tasked with combating human trafficking from $68 million to $18.5 million.

“This isn’t the first time you have ignored human trafficking,” Clark said. “If you as U.S. attorney could not fight for these girls, how, as secretary of labor, can you tell this panel and the American people that you can responsibly oversee this budget [and] the Department of Labor, including human trafficking?”

Acosta responded that human trafficking is “an in­cred­ibly important issue” and said the Justice Department had long defended the plea deal.

“Epstein was incarcerated,” Acosta said. “He registered as a sex offender. The world was put on notice that he was a sex offender, and the victims received restitution.”

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThe 2008 plea deal stemmed from a federal investigation of Epstein (right) focused on alleged sex trafficking and molestation of dozens of underage girls. Before the deal, prosecutors drafted a 53-page federal indictment that included sex trafficking charges, which could have placed Epstein in prison for life.

Epstein’s plea agreement allowed him to instead plead guilty to two state felony solicitation charges, casting the victims as prostitutes. The deal led to a 13-month stay in county jail during which Epstein was allowed to leave custody six days a week, 12 hours a day, for work.

Acosta, 50, has received support from his boss, President Trump, who in February called him a “fantastic labor secretary.” On Wednesday, Acosta argued that Epstein would have faced even lighter punishment had the plea deal not been struck.

“I understand the frustration,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to know he was going to get off with no jail time or restitution. It was the work of our office that resulted in him going to jail. It was the work of our office that resulted in him having to register as a sex offender.”

kenneth marra open jurist croppedThe deal has received renewed media and legal scrutiny in recent months. In February, Judge Kenneth A. Marra (left) of the Federal District Court in West Palm Beach ruled that the failure by Acosta’s office to notify victims in advance of the deal prevented the victims from being able to exercise their legal right to object before the deal took effect. Marra has set a deadline of May 10 for attorneys for two victims, who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling, and attorneys for Epstein to propose an alternative deal.

The ruling could ultimately nullify the plea deal.

The Justice Department in February opened an investigation into its handling of the Epstein case after a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), pressed for answers about the plea agreement.

In March, The Washington Post reported that, although Epstein’s alleged victims were as young as 14, the only minor he was convicted of soliciting was 16 when the offenses began. The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. For example, Epstein does not have to register in New Mexico, where he owns a ranch, because his victim was not under 16.

April 2

meredith watson cbs

washington post logoWashington Post, In first TV interview, Meredith Watson details sex assault allegation against Va. Lt. Gov. Fairfax, Fenit Nirappil, April 2, 2019. Meredith Watson (above), one of two women who have accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, on Tuesday urged the state legislature to hold a public hearing on the allegations during her first televised interview.

“I want action from the Virginia legislature,” Watson told interviewer Gayle King on “CBS This Morning”. “There is no amount of money that could ever compensate what he did to me or what I live with every day. I want the people of Virginia to know the truth and I would like the Virginia legislature to do the right thing.”

Watson says Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2000 when both were undergraduate students at Duke University. Her television appearance comes a day after the CBS program aired an interview with Vanessa Tyson, who accused the lieutenant governor of forcing her to perform oral sex during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

April 1

vanessa tyson meredith watson justin fairfax

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Fairfax accuser Vanessa Tyson details allegations against lieutenant governor in TV interview, Mel Leonor, April 2, 2019 (print ed.). Vanessa Tyson, one of two women who have publicly accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, tearfully described her allegations in an interview with CBS’ Gayle King, which aired Monday. Tyson, a political science professor at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., told King that her encounter with Fairfax in a Boston hotel room in 2004 began as consensual kissing, but quickly turned violent when Fairfax restrained her by the neck.

Using her hand, Tyson mimicked being pushed down by the neck to perform oral sex.

“I couldn’t feel my neck. I couldn’t hold my head up,” Tyson told King.

In a statement, Fairfax again denied the allegations by Tyson and second accuser Meredith Watson. A news release from his office Sunday said Fairfax had submitted to a polygraph with a former FBI expert that showed he was being truthful when he said the encounters were consensual.

Tyson’s first televised interview on the alleged assault comes days before Virginia lawmakers gather in Richmond on Wednesday to consider Gov. Ralph Northam’s vetoes and proposed budget amendments.

The interview could increase pressure on lawmakers to heed Tyson’s calls for a public hearing on the matter.

washington post logojonathan oldaleWashington Post, Md. man sentenced to 20 years after hiding tiny cameras in bathrooms to record nude children, Dan Morse, April 2, 2019. A Maryland man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Monday after prosecutors said he hid tiny video cameras in his bathrooms, invited neighborhood children to backyard “splash parties” and secretly recorded more than 50 of them when they were nude and changing clothes.

Jonathan Oldale, 55, (right) had been a fixture in the town of Somerset, an affluent enclave of 1,200 just outside Washington. With two children of his own, he also was involved in the lives of other kids in the neighborhood. He led a Cub Scout pack, took photos for the elementary school yearbook and volunteered as a room parent at school.

 

March

March 29

#MeToo Scandal Claims

washington post logoWashington Post, College student accuses former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder of sexual harassment, Jenna Portnoy, March 28, 2019. A student who worked with L. Douglas Wilder at the Virginia Commonwealth University school named for the former governor reported to the university and police that Wilder sexually harassed her by kissing her without consent.

douglas wilder memoir coverThe woman, Sydney Black, 22, said Wilder, shown right on the cover of his memoir, 88, also suggested she could live at his house and offered to take her on foreign trips and pay for her law school in 2017, while she still worked as an office assistant at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

VCU officials cited privacy concerns and declined to answer a series of detailed questions.

“VCU seeks to protect the privacy of students and employees, in accordance with state and federal law,” university spokesman Mike Porter said in a statement. “Likewise, VCU does not disclose information about university investigations including whether or not an investigation is underway.”

But VCU sent Black a letter formally notifying her that the school’s Title IX office intended to investigate.

Associated Press via San Diego Union-Tribune, Oklahoma ex-senator David Boren accused of sexual misconduct, Sean Murphy, March 29, 2019. A former University of Oklahoma ap logostudent alleges he was touched and kissed inappropriately by former university President David Boren on several occasions almost a decade ago when the man worked as a teaching aide for the onetime governor and senator.

The allegations by Jess Eddy, now 29, appear to be at the center of an investigation being conducted for the university by Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, into david borenwhether Boren sexually harassed male subordinates. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has also opened an investigation.

Boren, right, now 77, has denied any inappropriate conduct in statements released by his attorneys, who have confirmed the Jones Day investigation. Boren was a Democratic governor in the 1970s before serving in the U.S. Senate for more than 15 years. He was OU president from 1994 until stepping down last year and has been married to his second wife for more than 40 years. He has denied requests to be interviewed, citing poor health.

Boren’s attorney, Clark Brewster, said Eddy’s newest account of his encounter with Boren, which he detailed in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, contradicts previous statements he gave to Jones Day investigators and to Brewster. In those earlier statements, he said he was not aware of any inappropriate behavior.

Eddy acknowledged the discrepancy with his initial accounts and said he was untruthful in an effort to protect Boren.

joe biden headshotNew York Magazine, Personal Essay: An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden, Lucy Flores, March 29, 2019.In 2014, I was the 35-year-old Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada. The landscape wasn’t looking good for my party that year. There were no high-profile national races to help boost turnout, and after the top candidate bowed out of the governor’s race, “None of the Above” ended up winning the Democratic primary.

So when my campaign heard from Vice-President Joe Biden’s office that he was looking to help me and other Democrats in the state, I was grateful and flattered. His team offered to bring him to a campaign rally in an effort to help boost voter turnout. We set the date for November 1, just three days before election day.

I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.

March 23

ap logoAssociated Press via Newsmax, Barbra Streisand Under Fire for Michael Jackson Remarks, Staff report, March 23, 2019. Barbra Streisand apologized Saturday for her remarks about Michael Jackson (shown in a file photo) and two men who have accused him of sexual abuse, saying that she should have chosen her words more carefully and that she admires the accusers for "speaking their truth."

michael jacksonStreisand had received bitter criticism online after she was quoted in The Times of London as saying that Jackson's accusers were "thrilled to be there" during the alleged abuse, which "didn't kill them."

After an initial statement Saturday to the Associated Press in which she sought to clarify her remarks, the superstar of song, stage and screen posted an apology online that went further.

"I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims," she wrote.

"I didn't mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way," she wrote. "Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth."

The apology went far beyond the earlier statement to the AP, in which she elaborated on her published remarks, saying she felt "nothing but sympathy" for the men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accuse the late star of molesting them as children.

She wrote in that earlier statement: "To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone."

The remarks in question came deep into a wide-ranging interview with The Times. Asked about Jackson, Streisand was quoted as saying she "absolutely" believed Robson and Safechuck, who make their allegations in the recent HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland."

Jackson's estate has condemned the HBO documentary. Jackson, who died in 2009, was found not guilty in 2005 of charges he molested a 13-year-old boy.

Streisand was asked about the documentary, which she called "too painful."

She then said that Jackson, when she met him, was "very sweet, very childlike." Asked how she reconciled that man with the one portrayed in the documentary, she replied: "His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say 'molested,' but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them."

March 21

ny times logoNew York Times, They Sought a Billionaire’s Support. He Made Sexual Requests in Response, They Say, Sharon Otterman and Hannah Dreyfus March 21, 2019. Michael Steinhardt, a leading donor to Jewish nonprofits, was accused of a pattern of sexual harassment. He denied many of the actions attributed to him.

Sheila Katz was a young executive at Hillel International, the Jewish college outreach organization, when she was sent to visit the philanthropist Michael H. Steinhardt, a New York billionaire. He had once been a major donor, and her goal was to persuade him to increase his support. But in their first encounter, he asked her repeatedly if she wanted to have sex with him, she said.

Mr. Steinhardt, 78, a retired hedge fund founder, is among an elite cadre of donors who bankroll some of the country’s most prestigious Jewish nonprofits. His foundations have given at least $127 million to charitable causes since 2003, public filings show.

But for more than two decades, that generosity has come at a price. Six women said in interviews with The New York Times and ProPublica, and one said in a lawsuit, that Mr. Steinhardt asked them to have sex with him, or made sexual requests of them, while they were relying on or seeking his support. He also regularly made comments to women about their bodies and their fertility, according to the seven women and 16 other people who said they were present when Mr. Steinhardt made such comments.

“Institutions in the Jewish world have long known about his behavior, and they have looked the other way,” said Ms. Katz, 35, a vice president at Hillel International. “No one was surprised when I shared that this happened.”

Mr. Steinhardt declined to be interviewed for this article. In a statement, he said he regretted that he had made comments in professional settings through the years “that were boorish, disrespectful, and just plain dumb.” Those comments, he said, were always meant humorously.

March 19

PA Rep. Quits After Scandal Charge

nbc news logoNBC News, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Ellis resigns after allegations of sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman, Farnoush Amiri, March 19, 2019. A Pennsylvania state representative resigned on Monday, days after a woman made a complaint to the state's Republican caucus alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 2015 when she was blacked out.

"It is with immense gratitude to the sacrifices made by my family, the support of my constituents, and the friendship of my colleagues that I have concluded that it is in the best interest of my family, the residents of the 11th House district, and my own health that I resign from the General Assembly," State Rep. Brian Ellis wrote in his resignation letter submitted on Monday.

Ellis' resignation came after House Republicans in January called on him to step down when the Dauphin County district attorney began to investigate allegations that Ellis had sex with a woman without her consent in October 2015, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"It truly has been a new day for survivors," the woman's lawyer, Christine Wechsler told NBC News on Tuesday. "This is an acknowledgment of the credibility of the allegation."

She added that her client feels "vindicated" after hearing of Ellis' resignation from public office.

The woman said that she had been out "casually drinking" in a Harrisburg bar when she began to have "scant memories." The next thing she remembers is waking up "in pain, injured and naked" in bed with Ellis, according to a formal complaint she addressed to an attorney representing the state's GOP caucus and its members on the Ethics Committee on March 12.

The law firm representing Ellis, Myers, Brier & Kelly LLP, described the accusations as "just plain false," in a statement to NBC News.

March 18

Epstein Cover-Up Scandal

jeffrey epstein sex offender

washington post logoWashington Post, Age of victim in Jeffrey Epstein case eased his obligations to register as a sex offender, Beth Reinhard, Kimberly Kindy and Julie Tate, March 18, 2019 (print ed.). The case has been scrutinized after a judge ruled that the prosecution team led at the time by Alexander Acosta (right), who is now labor secretary, violated the rights of alleged victims.

alexander acosta o cropped CustomA federal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein (shown above) had flagged scores of potential underage victims, including the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police.

But when he pleaded guilty in state court in 2008, the only minor Epstein was convicted of soliciting was 16 years old at the time the offenses began, according to information obtained by The Washington Post.

The younger girl who initially notified police has long believed that hers was the case referenced in the guilty plea, her attorney said. Some media accounts said as much. Publicly available charging documents contained no name or age, however. Pressed to resolve the ambiguity, state prosecutors in Florida recently provided The Post with the victim’s date of birth.

The decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen — part of a plea deal that has already been criticized as overly lenient — has eased his obligations to register as a sex offender. In New Mexico, for instance, where Epstein has a 7,600-acre property called Zorro Ranch, he is not required to register because his victim was not under 16, state officials said.

March 16

#MeToo Suit Against Trump

donald trump apprentice color nbc

Donald Trump from a publicity photo for his TV show "The Apprentice" (NBC TV).

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: ‘The President … Is Not Above the Law,’ Editorial Board, March 16, 2019. A New York court rules that the Constitution does not shield President Trump from allegations of misconduct before he took office. The legal travails of President Bill Clinton may soon haunt President Trump. A New York appeals court on Thursday ruled that Mr. Trump, like Mr. Clinton before him, is not protected by the presidency from answering civil charges.

The five-judge panel in Manhattan said that the Constitution’s supremacy clause does not bar state courts from hearing claims over “alleged unofficial misconduct” — that is, claims of improper or illegal action before a president took office.

The decision expands on the precedent set in Clinton v. Jones, in which a unanimous Supreme Court in 1997 ruled that a federal court had jurisdiction over a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, a former low-level Arkansas state employee, against Mr. Clinton.

Yes, the presidency is important and its occupant may have important duties to attend to other than to produce documents or sit for depositions in a civil suit alleging sexual misconduct and defamation, the court explained, but “the President is still a person, and he is not summer zervosabove the law.”

Two judges dissented, observing that the threat of contempt, should Mr. Trump resist the legal process, would put a state court in “direct control” over the president.

A former contestant on Mr. Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice,” Summer Zervos (shown at right) went public during the 2016 campaign with accusations that Mr. Trump kissed and groped her without her consent. She is suing the president for defaming her shortly after she came forward, calling her charges a “hoax.” She filed her suit days before Mr. Trump took the oath of office.

March 15

Los Angeles Times, Congress requests former Fox News reporter’s notebooks regarding Trump’s hush money, Stacy Perman, March 15, 2019 fox news logo Small(print ed.). Congress requests former Fox News reporter’s notebooks regarding Trump’s hush money.Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, on Wednesday requested former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone turn over all documents relating to her reporting on President Trump’s “debts and payments to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with him prior to the 2016 presidential election.”

djt stormy daniels 2006The request comes a week after the New Yorker published an investigation on Fox News that disclosed Falzone had reported an article about Trump making hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels (shown with Trump) prior to the 2016 presidential election in order to keep her quiet about their alleged affair. According to the New Yorker, Fox killed the story because Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, wanted Trump to win the election.

Ken LaCorte, Falzone’s editor at Fox, published a response in Mediate disputing her version of events, saying the piece didn’t meet journalistic standards and was not killed because of any political agenda.

Falzone, who has since left Fox, sued the company for gender and disability discrimination in May 2017. However, as part of her settlement, she signed a nondisclosure agreement and has not been able to rebut LaCorte’s claims or any matter arising out of her time at Fox.

March 14

Miami Herald, Jeffrey Epstein prosecutor was previously rebuked for handling of a child sex case, Julie K. Brown, March 14, 2019. Nine months before cutting a covert plea deal with sex trafficking suspect Jeffrey Epstein, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was notified that the lead prosecutor in Epstein’s case had concealed victim information in another underage sex crimes case, the Miami Herald has learned.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaña, was harshly rebuked by a federal judge in January 2007 for what he called her “intentional and/or serious lapse in judgment’’ when she failed to explicitly inform him that the defendant, a Texas man who traveled to Florida to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, had a prior history of predatory behavior with minors, court records show.

Acosta, her boss at the time, not only knew about Villafaña’s breach — records show that he subsequently defended it. Acosta assigned another prosecutor in his office to write a treatise for the judge in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade him to soften the stinging language in his order.

washington post logoWashington Post, District employee charged with welfare fraud, trading cash and sex for benefits, Clarence Williams, March 14, 2019 (print ed.). A worker at the Department of Human Services allegedly received nearly $400,000 to dispense fraudulent benefits valued at more than $1.4 million, according to court documents.

March 13

St. Louis American, Under attack, Kim Gardner fights back, Rebecca Rivas, March 13, 2019. Police, special prosecutor take, then return, circuit attorney’s server. St. Louis Circuit kimberly gardnerAttorney Kimberly Gardner, right, said last week that a search warrant demanding thousands of records from her office would put countless people’s privacy at risk. On Tuesday, March 12, Circuit Court Judge Michael K. Mullen rejected Gardner’s motion to quash the search warrant, after claiming last week that Gardner’s office was “playing games.”

The warrant relates to a grand jury case reviewing whether Gardner’s investigator William Tisaby lied under oath last spring during then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ felonious invasion of privacy case.

Gardner’s attorneys appealed within hours of Mullen’s decision. In the short amount of time it took for them to file the appeal, the police and special prosecutor overseeing the grand jury case on Tisaby seized the circuit attorney’s email server – knowing an appeal was underway, according to Gardner. The Court of Appeals ordered a halt to the search warrant that evening.
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“In my decades of work in the criminal justice system, I have never seen a chief prosecutor treated this way by a court or a police department,” said Roy L. Austin Jr., Gardner’s attorney.

He said he believes Special Prosecutor Gerard Carmody, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and even Mullen are trying to “intimidate and humiliate” Gardner and “strip her of the powers granted to her by the people of the City of St. Louis.”

This is the second search warrant that Carmody has issued in the grand jury case. Gardner’s office complied with the first search warrant in January. But the second search warrant, issued on February 21, is so broad that it would require the circuit attorney to hand over “every file in the office,” attorneys representing Gardner told a judge at a hearing on March 5. The warrant asks for all files stored on the office’s server that contain 31 common terms, including “notes,” “tape,” and “recording.”

A spokesman for Carmody’s office said he could not comment because of a gag order that Mullen issued on March 5. However, the appellate court also concluded on March 12 that the Gardner is not party to the Tisaby investigation and therefore not bound by Mullen’s gag order, according to Gardner.

The police and Carmody’s actions on March 12 temporarily interrupted the prosecutor’s entire email system “that is central to its efforts to keep the citizens of our city safe,” Gardner said.

Gardner said no information was retrieved from the server before it was returned. “They were unsuccessful,” her attorney said.

The grand jury case came out of the contentious legal battle to prosecute Greitens for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015 and then allegedly transmitting it so it could be viewed on a computer. Greitens’ felony charge was ultimately dropped.

There are still a lot of “personal feelings” and “water under the bridge” left over from that case, according to comments made between Gardner’s attorneys and Carmody’s team at the March 5 hearing addressing Gardner’s motion.

Gardner hired Tisaby, a former FBI agent, in January 2018 to investigate Greitens because she claimed the police department refused her requests to investigate the governor. The department denied that they were asked.

See related story: New York Times, A St. Louis Prosecutor Took On the System. She Made Enemies, Richard A. Oppel Jr., June 14, 2019. Kimberly Gardner was one of a wave of prosecutors who promised to challenge the establishment. Now she is being scrutinized in a manner that is virtually unheard-of for an elected prosecutor.

Kimberly Gardner was elected chief prosecutor by a wide margin in 2016, one of two dozen district attorneys across the country who campaigned to overhaul the criminal justice system.

Like a lot of them, she made quick enemies. She angered the powerful police union in St. Louis, saying repeatedly that she would hold officers more accountable. She indicted the sitting governor, Eric Greitens, shown below at left with Vice President Mike Pence and a rising star in national Republican politics.

Now her adversaries have turned the tables: Ms. Gardner’s professional actions are being scrutinized in a manner that is virtually unheard-of for an elected eric greitens mike penceprosecutor.

In the Greitens case, she has become a focus of a special prosecutor who was appointed to investigate a former F.B.I. agent. The prosecutor has had her office’s email server seized by the police, giving them access, her lawyers say, to active criminal investigations of the department itself. He has been fishing for incriminating information on her administration, according to an affidavit by the agent’s lawyer. Her aides have been called before a grand jury.

The investigation has been conducted in secrecy, with a gag order on the parties involved. But that has not stopped allegations that it is riddled with serious conflicts of interest. Nor has it stifled a sense, among Ms. Gardner’s supporters, that the police and the city’s clubby legal establishment have joined forces in an attempt to embarrass one of the few black officials with truly independent power in St. Louis.

National advocates of remaking the criminal justice system have watched as like-minded prosecutors in places like Boston, Chicago and Dallas won the support of voters but ran headlong into opposition from police unions and other local powers. Though all of them have been criticized, Ms. Gardner’s situation — facing possible criminal charges — is the most extreme.

March 11

Miami Herald, Federal court moves to unseal documents in Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, Julie K. Brown, March 11, 2019.​ A federal court of appeals in New York on Monday took the first step in unsealing documents that could reveal evidence of an international sex trafficking operation allegedly run by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein (shown below) and his former partner, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

jeffrey epstein at harvard universityThe three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave the parties until March 19 to establish good cause as to why they should remain sealed and, failing to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public. The court reserved a ruling on the balance of the documents in the civil case, including discovery materials.

“We’re grateful that the court ruled the summary judgment papers are open and they are moving to expedite having them unsealed,’’ said Sanford Bohrer, the attorney representing the Miami Herald, which filed the motion last year to have the entire case file opened. The Herald’s appeal is supported by 32 other media companies, including the New York Times and Washington Post.

Ghislaine Maxwell was sued for slander after calling Virginia Roberts Giuffre (shown below at right), one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, a liar. Maxwell, a close associate of Epstein, sought to have documents from the court case remain sealed.

virginia robertsThe case, which was settled in 2017, contains more than 1,000 documents, lawyers said during oral arguments in New York on Wednesday. Maxwell is the sole party fighting to keep the case sealed.

Most of the documents, including court orders and motions, were filed under seal or heavily redacted, similar to other cases in New York and Florida involving Epstein, a wealthy, politically connected money manager. Epstein, 66, was not a party to the lawsuit, which was filed against Maxwell in 2015 by Giuffre.

Giuffre claimed in the lawsuit that she was recruited by Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, when she was 16 years old. Giuffre had been working at the resort’s spa when Maxwell approached her and asked her whether she perversion of justice miami herald logowanted to become a masseuse for Epstein. Giuffre claimed that the massages were a ruse for Epstein and Maxwell to sexually abuse her and other underage girls, some of whom were trafficked to other influential people, from 1999 to 2002.

During the tense court session, all three judges sounded receptive to the arguments for unsealing, which faced resistance only from Maxwell's attorneys.

alexander acosta labor o

The Epstein saga jumped back into the headlines last month when a federal judge in Florida ruled that federal prosecutors, including then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, violated the rights of victims by hiding plans to foreclose a federal prosecution of Epstein in exchange for his guilty pleas to prostitution-related offenses in a state court.

Acosta, right, now labor secretary, has defended his handling of the case. See related story below:

Politico, Appeals court moves toward unsealing in Jeffrey Epstein-related underage sex suit, Josh Gerstein, March 11, 2019. A federal appeals court has moved to quickly unseal long-secret court filings related to financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual contact with underage girls, but one judge is expressing some disagreement with the plan.

March 9

ny times logoNew York Times, On CBS, R. Kelly Was Trapped in the Camera Eye, James Poniewozik, March 9, 2019 (print ed.). Gayle King’s explosive r kelly twitterinterview with the R&B singer (shown on his Twitter feed), accused of preying on women and girls, pitted fire against ice cool, our critic writes.

“Is this camera on me?” R. Kelly’s line, in the midst of his 80-minute interview with CBS’s Gayle King about his charges of sexual abuse, was the opening lyric of one of the most bizarre and unhinged performances of the R&B singer’s career.

He shrieked into the camera: “You’re killing me, man!” He smacked his fist into his palm. He beat his chest. He paced gayle king 2010 time 100 shankbone wand stabbed the air and seemed as if he might lose physical control. (Ms. King (shown in a file photo) later said that she didn’t worry that the singer would harm her, but she thought that “I might get accidentally clobbered.”)

The obvious question, after Mr. Kelly’s Tuesday meltdown replayed for days, finally becoming a CBS prime time special Friday night, was: Why would he agree to this? How could he imagine this might possibly help him?

Earlier this year, the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which laid out an extensive case that Mr. Kelly preyed upon women and underage girls, showed how he used the intimate investment of fandom to escape consequences. (Mr. Kelly has denied all sexual abuse allegations.)

But a network-TV interview while you’re facing criminal charges is not the same as performing a tribute ballad at Whitney Houston’s funeral. (Last month in Chicago Mr. Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse; he has pleaded not guilty.)

The raging, self-pitying R. Kelly on this stage only recalled the threatening, controlling R. Kelly described in “Surviving,” which CBS’s special drew heavily on (including an interview with its producer Dream Hampton).

March 8

Spas, Sports, Massages and Trumps

Daily Mail, Founder of massage parlor where Robert Kraft was arrested is a Trump donor, frequent Mar-a-Lago partygoer and White House djt li yang super bowlguest who was seen watching the Patriots win the Super Bowl with the president, Chris Spargo, March 8, 2019. The Chinese entrepreneur who founded Orchids of Asia Day Spa & Massage was seen rooting for the New England Patriots at Mar-a-Lago alongside President Donald Trump early last month.

Li Yang (at left in photo via Facebook) shared a photo of herself and a friend sitting directly behind President Trump at the event, which took place just two weeks before Patriots owner Robert Kraft would matt gaetz li yangbe charged with two counts of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution for incidents that allegedly transpired at that spa.

She is shown above left with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a "family values" hard-right Trump supporter representing Florida's Panhandle, and below with the President's sons Eric (at left) and Donald Jr. in other photos via Facebook. 

Kraft is accused of visiting the spa on two consecutive days in January, with a worker performing a manual sex act on the billionaire during his first appointment while another worker performed an oral sex act during his second sojourn.

eric trump li yang facebookHe is planning to fight those charges and denies claims he was the recipient of any sexual act at the spa, despite police claiming there is video evidence in the case.

Kraft is one of Trump's closest friends, while Yang is one with deep pockets. Records obtained by DailyMail.com show donald trump jr li yang facebookthat she donated $8,100 to the Trump Victory Fund in 2018, listing her occupation on federal election forms as Chairman of the Women's Charity Foundation

She is also a Trump Republican, having been an inactive voter with no declared political party for the decade before the current president ran for office.

Miami Herald, Trump cheered Patriots to Super Bowl victory with founder of spa where Kraft was busted, Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas, miami herald logoand Caitlin Ostroff, March 8, 2019. Li Yang, 45, posed with Donald Trump during the Super Bowl while rooting for the Patriots. Two weeks later, authorities would charge the team owner, Robert Kraft, with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter that Yang had founded.

Seated at a round table littered with party favors and the paper-cutout footballs that have become tradition at his annual Super Bowl Watch Party, President Donald Trump cheered the New England Patriots and his longtime friend, team owner Robert Kraft (shown in a file photo), to victory robert kraft twitterover the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3.

Sometime during the party at Trump’s West Palm Beach country club, the president turned in his chair to look over his right shoulder, smiling for a photo with two women at a table behind him.

The woman who snapped the blurry Super Bowl selfie with the president was Li Yang, 45, a self-made entrepreneur from China who started a chain of Asian day spas in South Florida. Over the years, these establishments — many of which operate under the name Tokyo Day Spas — have gained a reputation for offering sexual services.

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigation: Billionaires’ solicitation of H-B2 visa sex slaves tip of huge EB-5 visa swindle, Wayne Madsen, March 4, 2019 (subscription required, excerpted with permission).

Jupiter, Florida -- Across U.S. Highway 1 from the now-closed Orchids of Asia “Day Spa,” which provided owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, as well as John Childs, a hedge fund owner and major GOP donor, and John Havens, a former president of Citigroup, with illegal prostitution services, is ground zero for a swindle and scandal involving EB-5 visas to wealthy Chinese investors.

President Donald Trump officialThe EB-5 visa is formally known as an “investment visa.” Foreign citizens who invest a minimum of $500,000 in the United States that create ten U.S. jobs per investor, qualify for an EB-5 visa. The EB-5 is a fast track program for obtaining a “Green Card,” which is permanent residency in the United States.

Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Securities and Exchange Commission investigators began closely examining the activities of Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, who was touting her brother’s access to President Trump to convince Chinese business people in Beijing to invest $500,000 each in a Kushner-owned residential complex in New Jersey.

Ms. Meyer, who has assumed control of Kushner Companies from her brother Jared, guaranteed the investors a fast-track to permanent residency and probable citizenship through the EB-5 visa investments in the Kushner property at One Journal Square in Jersey City on the Hudson River, just opposite lower Manhattan.

March 7

ny times logoNew York Times, Senator Martha McSally Says Superior Officer in the Air Force Raped Her, Emily Cochrane and Jennifer Steinhauer, March 7, 2019 (print ed.). She paused to maintain her composure as she spoke. She recalled the attacks, and how her reports of them were handled. The despair, she said, almost made her leave the military.

Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona and the first woman in the Air Force to fly in combat, told a hushed Senate hearing room on Wednesday that she had been raped by a superior officer, one of multiple times she was sexually assaulted while she served her country.

martha mcsally o“I thought I was strong, but felt powerless,” Ms. McSally (left) said during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on sexual assault in the military. “The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways.”

In sharing her experience — pride in her historic military service, betrayal over the assault and determination to help find a solution — the junior senator from Arizona offered one of the most powerful testimonies to date in the growing and heated debate on Capitol Hill over how to adjudicate claims of sexual assault in the military.

Ms. McSally, a former member of the House who lost an Arizona Senate race last year and then was appointed to the seat once held by Senator John McCain, did not offer any details about the assaults or name the senior officer.

A Pentagon report for fiscal year 2017, the most recent available, found that the Defense Department received 6,769 reports of sexual assault involving service members as either victims or subjects of criminal investigation, which was nearly a 10 percent increase over the 6,172 reports made the previous year. But according to figures gathered in 2016, annual rates of sexual assault over the past decade have decreased by half for active-duty women and by two-thirds for active-duty men.

March 6 jeffrey epstein alan dershowitz

Jeffrey Epsein, left, a wealthy Harvard donor and convicted serial sexual abuser of underage girls, speaks with his friend and counsel Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, as shown in a file photo. A hearing is scheduled in New York City Wednesday on whether authorities must release records (File photo by Rick Friedman). 

Daily Beast, Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, and Pals Accused of Sex-Trafficking Ring, Kate Briquelet, March 7, 2019. A lawyer for one of daily beast logoEpstein’s victims claims he was part of sex-trafficking ring with Dershowitz and others—but the Harvard attorney says sealed documents will prove his innocence.

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz was accused of involvement in billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring by an attorney for one of Epstein’s victims, who claimed in federal court on Wednesday that the release of sealed documents will prove it.

Paul Cassell, who represents Virginia Roberts Giuffre, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the testimony of other witnesses will show Dershowitz’s involvement in the alleged trafficking of “his close friend Jeffrey Epstein.”

“When all the records come out it will show that Epstein and [Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine] Maxwell were trafficking girls to the benefit of his friends, including Mr. Dershowitz,” Cassell said in oral arguments for a case filed by the Miami Herald to unseal a collection of court documents relating to Giuffre’s now settled lawsuit against Maxwell.

The hearing came nearly two weeks after a Florida judge ruled federal prosecutors violated the law when they inked a non-prosecution deal with Epstein in 2007—and concealed that agreement from more than 30 of Epstein’s victims. The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the secret deal, which was handled by Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who was U.S. Attorney in Miami at the time.

Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, was one member of Epstein’s legal team that helped broker the unusual non-prosecution agreement.

For his part, Dershowitz and his lawyers are also requesting the court release the trove of documents to the public—but they say it’s in order to prove his innocence.

virginia robertsOutside the courtroom, Dershowitz railed against Giuffre (right) and her attorneys, accusing them of fabricating Giuffre’s claims that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz. He alluded to emails between Giuffre and a friend that he claims will reveal Giuffre made up the claims against Dershowitz at the behest of her lawyers.

“I’ve denied ever meeting her or even knowing who she was,” Dershowitz said.

Moments later, he added of Giuffre, “She is hurting the #MeToo movement terribly. This was all about money and undercuts the many people who are victimized.”

perversion of justice miami herald logoA recent Miami Herald investigation ("Perversion of Justice") identified more than 80 women who claim they were molested by Epstein via a “sex pyramid scheme” from 2001 to 2006, at his Palm Beach mansion and elsewhere, though the number of victims is likely in the hundreds. Indeed, Epstein’s former butler kept a black book containing the names of hundreds of girls and young women that the billionaire recruited for sex and massages, the Herald reported.

March 3

#MeToo / Michael Jackson Film
michael jackson wade robson leaving neverland hbo

The late pop star Michael Jackson with a young fan, Wade Robson, in a scene from the HBO "Leaving Neverland" premiering March 3.

ny times logoNew York Times, HBO Film Revives Lurid Claims, Imperiling Thriving Michael Jackson Estate, Ben Sisario, March 3, 2019. Michael Jackson’s damaged reputation began to recover the day he died. The lurid accusations of child molestation that had dogged him for years fell to the background as fans around the world celebrated the entertainer who had gone from pop prodigy to global superstar over a four-decade career. Flash mobs from Stockholm to the Philippines re-enacted his video scenes, and his music sales again broke chart records.

Now, nearly 10 years after his death, the dark side of Mr. Jackson’s legend has returned through a documentary that rocked the Sundance Film Festival and is being championed by Oprah Winfrey. In addition to delivering a hit to his mended reputation, the film poses a significant risk to the Jackson estate, which has engineered a thriving posthumous career, including a Broadway-bound jukebox musical.

The four-hour documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” to be broadcast on HBO in two parts on Sunday and Monday, focuses on the wrenching testimony of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Mr. Jackson abused them for years, starting when they were young boys. While the accusations are not new, their revival in the #MeToo era, with its momentum of accountability for figures like R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, gives them new meaning.

The estate has already begun its war on “Leaving Neverland.” It issued a series of fiery statements around the time of the film’s Sundance debut in January and has filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court for arbitration, seeking $100 million in damages from HBO.

In Leaving Neverland, Mr. Robson, 36, and Mr. Safechuck, 41, tell parallel stories of being drawn into Mr. Jackson’s inner circle as boys. Mr. Robson met Mr. Jackson on tour in Australia at age 5 and moved to the United States two years later to be near his idol. Mr. Safechuck was 8 when he was cast in a Pepsi commercial and met Mr. Jackson.

ny times logoNew York Times, ‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: Sexual Violence on the Border, Manny Fernandez, March 3, 2019. One of the most ubiquitous and devastating hazards for migrant women along the southwest border is sexual assault. The Times found more than 100 reports of sexual assault along the border in the past two decades, a number that likely only skims the surface.

It was dark in the stash house where they kept her, the windows covered so no one could see inside. At first, the smugglers had her cook for the other migrants who had recently crossed illegally into the United States. Then they took her to a room upstairs, locked the door and began taking turns with her.

It was the summer of 2014, and Melvin, a 36-year-old mother of three, had just completed the journey from her native Guatemala, crossing the Rio Grande on a raft before being led to the house in the Texas border city of McAllen.

For weeks in that locked room, the men she had paid to get her safely to the United States drugged her with pills and cocaine, refusing to let her out even to bathe. “I think that since they put me in that room, they killed me,” she said. “They raped us so many times they didn’t see us as human beings anymore.”

March 4

Medium, Don’t Stop Talking About the Trump Sex Assault Allegations, Jessica Valenti, March 4, 2019. The President took a verbal lashing last week, but some of his past actions were missing. Last week, Michael Cohen laid bare the president’s many failings in front of Congress. The former lawyer called Donald Trump a racist, claimed that then-businessman would ask Cohen to cheat small-business owners, pay people off, and lie for his benefit.

Missing from Cohen’s testimony, however —  and from the national conversation lately  —  is his well-documented history of treating women poorly.

The president of the United States has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by nearly two dozen women. Jill Harth, for example, claims Trump tried to rape her in 1997. Kristin Anderson says Trump reached under her skirt, out of nowhere, to touch her vagina in the 1990s. Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, accused him of rape during a divorce deposition. (She later said she wasn’t raped “in the criminal sense,” but that “as a woman, I felt violated.”) And Jessica Leeds says Trump groped her on a plane. Trump responded by claiming Leeds was too unattractive to assault. Just days ago, yet another woman, Alva Johnson, came forward to claim that Trump forcibly kissed her — a story, like so many before it, that has seemingly faded into the ether overnight.

When it comes to women’s issues, and especially sexual assault, cultural memory and outrage wane quickly.

This memory gap tells a very different story about women’s progress than the one we see in mainstream culture. Here we are, in a moment when feminism is more popular than ever, when more women are running for office (and winning) than ever, and women-led and women-created films and television dominate the zeitgeist.

And yet, even if another dozen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the lead up to the 2020 election, I have a hard time believing it will result in anything more than defeated sighs.

In part, it’s a predictable broken line of progress: For however many men have been held accountable by the era of #MeToo, just as many accused men have cruised to lucrative exit deals, continued career success  —  and one even landed on the Supreme Court.

In a perfect world, two dozen women accusing the president of sexual wrongdoing would be a scandal that dominated the front page every day. But as is often the case — especially when there’s a long list of awful political wrongs that command our attention  —  women come last.

I’d like to believe that as much sexism plays a role, so does the fact that many on the left are dealing with an incredible amount of overwhelm. And that we don’t realize just how powerful these women’s stories could be if we talked about them over and over, wrote about them consistently, and didn’t let Trump off so easy with these allegations.

With so many Democratic women running, my hope is that these candidates will give voice to the stories of women who have been brave enough to come forward again and again. That they will point out that a man who says you can “grab ‘em by the pussy” likely has no problem doing just that.

If not for votes or election strategy, simply because this matters. And because it’s too soon to move on.

March 2

Alleged U.S. Sex Traffickers

jeffrey epstein alan dershowitz

Jeffrey Epsein, left, a wealthy Harvard donor and convicted serial sexual abuser of underage girls, speaks with his friend and counsel Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, as shown in a file photo. A hearing is scheduled in New York City Wednesday on whether authorities must release records (File photo by Rick Friedman). 

Miami Herald, Press access may be curbed at hearing on Epstein sex abuse, Julie K. Brown, March 2, 2019 (print ed.). A court hearing on miami herald logowhether to unseal sensitive documents involving the alleged sex trafficking of underage girls by Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein — and the possible involvement of his influential friends — will play out in a New York City courtroom next week.

But it may happen behind closed doors, with the news media and public barred — at least in part.

An attorney for lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote a letter to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday, asking whether the media should be excluded from the proceeding because his oral arguments on behalf of his client could contain sensitive information that has been under seal.

republican elephant logoThe appeals court had not responded to his concern as of Friday, but if the hearing is closed during his lawyer’s argument, it would represent the latest in a long history of successful efforts to keep details of Epstein’s sex crimes sealed.

Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard, constitutional law expert and criminal defense attorney, represented Epstein, who in 2008 received what many consider an unusually light sentence for sexually abusing dozens of girls at his Palm Beach mansion.

perversion of justice miami herald logoTwo women — one of whom was underage — have said Epstein and his partner, British socialite and environmentalist Ghislaine Maxwell, directed them to have sex with Dershowitz, 80, and other wealthy, powerful men. Dershowitz and Maxwell have denied the claims.

Oral arguments are scheduled Wednesday to hear an appeal by the Miami Herald and other parties seeking to unseal a 2015 court case involving Epstein and Maxwell. The Herald, as part of an ongoing investigation into Epstein’s case, hopes to shed more light on the scope of Epstein’s crimes, who was involved and whether there was any undue influence that tainted the criminal justice process.

A legal brief supporting the Herald’s appeal was filed in December by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 32 other media companies, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Dow Jones, Fox News, Gannett, Politico, Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting and Tribune Publishing Co.

virginia robertsThe case — which was settled in 2017 — involved Virginia Roberts Giuffre (right), who sued Maxwell in federal court in the Southern District of New York in 2015. Giuffre had asserted that Maxwell and Epstein trafficked her and other underage girls, often at sex parties that Epstein hosted at his homes in New York, New Mexico, Palm Beach and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Maxwell called her a liar. Giuffre sued for defamation.

As the case was litigated, the judge allowed a vast trove of documents, including testimony by witnesses, to be sealed. Dershowitz, having been publicly implicated in Epstein’s crimes by Giuffre, tried unsuccessfully to get the judge to unseal a select number of documents that he says will exonerate him. Blogger Michael Cernovich also filed a motion to release a portion of the sealed documents.

The judge denied their motions in 2016, as the case was still ongoing, saying release of the documents could taint a potential jury pool.

After the case was settled, the Herald filed a more extensive motion, arguing that with the case now closed, all the documents should be made public. The motion, filed in April 2018, came as the Herald was working on an investigative series, Perversion of Justice, which detailed how Epstein and his lawyers manipulated federal prosecutors to obtain one of the most lenient sentences for a child sex offender in history.

Justice Integrity Project editor's note: The project has reported extensively on the Roberts and related Epstein cases, with a photo and caption excerpted below:

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Roberts claimed that Epstein farmed her out to other men, including Prince Andrew of the British royal family and French modeling scout Jean Luc Brunel.

The California native said the photo at left portrays her at center with Prince Andrew, also known as the Duke of York, on a trip to London when she was 17 in 2001. At right was Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of the corrupt newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991 after toppling overboard from his yacht Lady Ghislaine. The death left one of the world's largest media empires with a reported $3 billion in debts.

Roberts alleged that the Ghislaine Maxwell was girlfriend of the never-married Epstein's who helped him both maintain contacts to top levels of society, recruited teenage sex consorts, and sometimes participated in the sex abuse, including of Roberts.

Maxwell, Epstein, Andrew, and Dershowitz are among those who have denied the major allegations by Roberts. Epstein, in his first formal remarks on the revived scandal, condemned the “media frenzy” surrounding the case. He wrote that he and his associates “have been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations, and plain inventions.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Behind Illicit Massage Parlors Lies a Vast Crime Network, Nicholas Kulish, Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei, March 2, 2019. It has exploded into a $3 billion-a-year sex industry that ensnares tens of thousands of mostly foreign women in a form of modern indentured servitude. Many women stay on as prostitutes in order to pay debts to smugglers, spa owners and lawyers.

She was 49, a recent immigrant and deeply in debt to a loan shark back home in China when she answered an employment ad three years ago that promised thousands of dollars a month, but offered no job description. She realized too late that she had been tricked into working at a massage parlor in Flushing, Queens, where besides kneading backs, she was expected to sexually service up to a dozen men a day.

In strip malls across the country, neon signs and brightly colored placards promise hot stones, acupuncture and shiatsu with photos of women or couples receiving relaxing shoulder rubs. But a traditionally Asian form of therapeutic relaxation with deep roots in big-city Chinatowns has spun off a different kind of massage parlor that has little to do with traditional remedies. It has exploded into a $3 billion-a-year sex industry that relies on pervasive secrecy, close-knit ownership rings and tens of thousands of mostly foreign women ensnared in a form of modern indentured servitude.

robert kraft twitterThe recent arrest warrant filed against Robert K. Kraft (shown in a file photo), owner of the New England Patriots — and the solicitation charges filed against nearly 300 men in multiple jurisdictions as part of the same case — riveted national attention to a stretch of Highway 1 along Florida’s Treasure Coast dotted with strip malls, gas stations and sapphire ocean views. Across the region, parlors were empty and many frequent clients were phoning their lawyers, wondering if more warrants were going to drop.

Law enforcement officials said there were an estimated 9,000 illicit massage parlors across the country, from Orlando to Los Angeles.

The epicenter of this national underground is the bustling Chinatown in Flushing, in the New York City borough of Queens. Women — typically Chinese, but also Korean, Thai and East European — arrive at Kennedy International Airport, learn the trade and are sent out to places like Virginia, Iowa, Texas and Florida. Women are recruited locally through ads in Chinese-language newspapers or over the social network WeChat.

 

February, 2019

Feb. 28

ny times logoNew York Times, Ryan Adams Tour Is Canceled Weeks After Allegations Emerge, Alex Marshall, March 1, 2019.  Ryan Adams’s planned ryan adams rolling stonetour of Britain and Ireland, due to start March 30 in Dublin, has been canceled, two weeks after allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer-songwriter emerged.

On Friday, SJM Concerts, the tour’s promoter, issued a statement saying the tour had been canceled and that full refunds would be issued to ticket holders by Monday.

On Feb. 13, The New York Times reported allegations that Mr. Adams, right, had repeatedly manipulated and harassed women in the music industry, offering to jump-start their careers only to pursue them sexually and in some cases retaliate if they spurned him.

The F.B.I. began an investigation into one of the allegations: That Mr. Adams exchanged sexually explicit images with an underage teenager.

ny times logoNew York Times, Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says, Matthew Haag, Feb. 27, 2019. A Justice Department report, released by Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, said that there were 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual harassment and abuse of immigrant children in United States custody.

The federal government received more than 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual abuse of immigrant children who were being held at government-funded detention facilities, including an increase in complaints while the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border was in place, the Justice Department revealed this week.

The records, which involve children who had entered the country alone or had been separated from their parents, detailed allegations that adult staff members had harassed and assaulted children, including fondling and kissing minors, watching them as they showered, and raping them. They also included cases of suspected abuse of children by other minors.

From October 2014 to July 2018, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a part of the Health and Human Services Department that cares for so-called unaccompanied minors, received a total of 4,556 allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment, 1,303 of which were referred to the Justice Department. Of those 1,303 cases deemed the most serious, 178 were accusations that adult staff members had sexually assaulted immigrant children, while the rest were allegations of minors assaulting other minors, the report said.

Feb. 26

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, The Sexual Assault Crisis Facing Native American Women, Elyse Notarianni, Feb. 26, 2019. In the US, one in six women will become a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime. For women in Native American communities, that likelihood doubles.

When she was a senior in high school, Kerry Hawk Lessard invited some friends to her home, like many seniors do. They drank all night. Before everyone left, one of the men unlocked the back door and taped the lock open. Later that night he returned and sexually assaulted her. She was 19 years old.

Axios, Thousands of migrant youth allegedly suffered sexual abuse in U.S. custody, Caitlin Owens, Stef W. Kight, Harry Stevens, Feb. 26, 2019. Thousands of allegations of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors (UAC) in the custody of the U.S. government have been reported over the past 4 years, according to Department of Health and Human Services documents given to Axios by Rep. Ted Deutch's office.

Allegations against staff members reported to the DOJ included everything from rumors of relationships with UACs to showing pornographic videos to minors to forcibly touching minors’ genitals.

ted deutch fl dem oBy the numbers: From October 2014 to July 2018, the HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement received 4,556 complaints, and the Department of Justice received 1,303 complaints. This includes 178 allegations of sexual abuse by adult staff.

What they're saying: Deutch (D-FL) said these documents were included in HHS' response to a House Judiciary Committee request for information made in January.

"This behavior — it's despicable, it's disgusting, and this is just the start of questions that HHS is going to have to answer about how they handle these and what's happening in these facilities," Deutch told Axios.

CNN, HHS docs show thousands of alleged incidents of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors in custody, Sophie Tatum, Feb. 26, 2019. The Department of Health and Human Services received more than 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors from 2014-2018, according to internal agency documents released Tuesday by Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch.

alex azar o cropped CustomIn addition, 1,303 complaints were reported to the Justice Department during that same time frame, according to the documents. HHS Secretary Alex Azar is shown at left in an official photo. A chart showed that most of the abuses occurred during the Trump Administration.

Deutch addressed the documents during a high-profile House hearing Tuesday on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents.

hhs seal CustomHe said that the documents "demonstrate over the past three years, there have been 154 staff on unaccompanied minor, let me repeat that, staff on unaccompanied minor allegations of sexual assault."

"This works out on average to one sexual assault by HHS staff on unaccompanied minor per week," he added. Axios first reported the documents. "I am deeply concerned with documents that have been turned over by HHS that record a high number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement," Deutch said. "Together, these documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied children."

Feb. 25

washington post logoWashington Post, Former campaign staffer alleges in lawsuit that Trump kissed her without her consent. The White House denies the charge, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites​, Feb. 25, 2019. In interviews with The Post, and in the lawsuit, Alva Johnson said Donald Trump grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips as he exited an RV outside the rally in Tampa on Aug. 24, 2016. Johnson said she turned her head and the unwanted kiss landed on the side of her mouth, which she called “super-creepy and inappropriate.”

While more than a dozen other women have publicly accused Trump of touching them in some inappropriate way, Johnson is the only accuser to come forward since he took office and the only one to allege unwanted contact during the campaign. Trump faces a defamation lawsuit in New York brought by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” reality TV contestant, who claims he forcibly kissed and groped her in 2007.

She met Trump at a November 2015 rally in Birmingham, Ala., where Johnson said the candidate looked her up and down. “Oh, beautiful, beautiful, fantastic,” he said, according to the lawsuit.

She said she looked past the comment and, two months later, took a job as the campaign’s director of outreach and coalitions in Alabama. Johnson said she thought she could put her background in human resources and event planning to use on a political campaign.

wayne madsenSex Trafficking Crackdown

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigative Commentary: More VIP heads to roll in Chinese massage parlor sting, Wayne Madsen (right), Feb. 25, 2019 (Subscription required; excerpted with permission).  Is the massage parlor prostitution ring a tale of "Spas and Spies?"

Expect more VIP heads to roll in Florida's statewide crackdown on a chain of "day spas" that provided their male clientele with sexual gratification instead of body massages.

Bloomberg, John Childs Retires From Namesake Firm in Wake of Prostitution Sting, Hema Parmar, Feb. 25, 2019.  John Childs, the buyout veteran who co-founded J.W. Childs Associates, retired just days after being charged with soliciting prostitution. Childs, who started the private-equity firm in 1995, stepped down as chairman, Boston-based J.W. Childs said in a statement Monday. The firm has invested about $3.7 billion of equity capital in more than 50 businesses, according to its website.

john childsChilds (right), 77, isn’t currently active in the management of the firm, according to the statement. The firm will continue to be led by Adam Suttin, managing partner, and partners David Fiorentino, Jeff Teschke and Bill Watts.

Childs was one of 165 people charged by the Vero Beach Police Department in Florida as part of a multijurisdiction criminal investigation into massage parlors in Florida. A probe by the Jupiter Police Department ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who could face as long as a year in jail, and former Citigroup Inc. executive John Havens.

Childs couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. But in a telephone interview on Friday, he said he was innocent and hadn’t been contacted by the republican elephant logopolice department about the charge. “The accusation of solicitation of prostitution is totally false,” he said. “I have retained a lawyer.”

Childs has owned a home in Vero Beach for more than a decade, according to public records. Related story: Washington Post, Here’s who pays the bills for Ted Cruz’s crusade, Jia Lynn Yang, Oct. 11, 2013. 

ny times logoNew York Times, Robert Kraft Facing First Degree Misdemeanors in Prostitution Case, Ken Belson, Victor Mather and Patricia Mazzei, Feb. 25, 2019. New England Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft has been charged as part of a prostitution sting in Florida. Three weeks and a day after he watched his team win its sixth Super Bowl championship, Robert K. Kraft was formally charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

robert kraft twitterMr. Kraft (shown in a file photo), who lives in Massachusetts but has owned property in Palm Beach, Fla., for a number of years, was one of 25 men caught in a sting operation at a spa called Orchids of Asia, a small storefront business in a strip mall in Jupiter, Fla.

On Friday, Jupiter police filed two second-degree charges against Mr. Kraft, but State Attorney Dave Aronberg of Palm Beach County increased the severity of the charges to two first-degree misdemeanors. If convicted, Mr. Kraft could face up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service, Mr. Aronberg said. He added that it was unlikely a first-time offender would spend time in jail.

“Human trafficking is evil in our midst,” Mr. Aronberg said. “It is fueled on the demand side.”

The charges are the latest crisis for the Patriots and Mr. Kraft, who is one of the N.F.L.’s most powerful owners, a trustee emeritus and longtime benefactor of Columbia University and a friend of President Trump’s. Mr. Aronberg made it clear that Mr. Kraft would not receive special treatment because of his prominence.

 Feb. 24

pope francis uncropped 3 13ny times logoNew York Times, Pope Francis Calls for ‘All-Out Battle’ to Fight Scourge of Sexual Abuse, Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias, Feb. 24, 2019. Pope Francis ended a landmark Vatican meeting on clerical sexual abuse with an appeal “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors,” which he compared to human sacrifice, but his speech did not offer concrete policy remedies demanded by many of the faithful.

In the speech at the end of a Mass in the Apostolic Palace’s frescoed Sala Reggia hall, Francis (shown at right in a file photo) argued that “even a single case of abuse” in the Roman Catholic Church — which he said was the work of the devil — must be met “with the utmost seriousness.” He said that eradicating the scourge required more than legal processes and “disciplinary measures.”

Francis argued that more was required than legal processes and “disciplinary measures” from the Roman Catholic Church.
But his speech ending a landmark meeting offered no policy remedies.

  ny times logoNew York Times, 'The Monsters Are the Men’: Inside a Thriving Sex Trafficking Trade in Florida, Patricia Mazzei, Feb. 24, 2019 (print edition). Beyond the link to Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner charged with soliciting sex, lies the story of women forced to work in alarming conditions. Lured from China by false promises of new lives, they found themselves trapped in the back rooms of strip-mall brothels, investigators said.

Something was amiss at a massage parlor near one of the wealthiest barrier islands in Florida.

First, a health inspector spotted several suitcases. Then she noticed an unusual stash of clothing, food and bedding. A young woman who was supposed to be a massage therapist spoke little English and seemed unusually nervous.

The inspector reported her findings to police. They would eventually learn that her suspicions were right: The women were not just employees: They were living in the day spa, robert kraft twittersleeping on massage tables and cooking meals on hot plates in the back. Some of them had had their passports confiscated.

The inspector’s suspicions prompted a sprawling investigation across four Florida counties and two states — Florida and New York — over nearly eight months, resulting in the disruption of what authorities say was a multimillion-dollar human-trafficking and prostitution operation.

The sweep led to criminal charges last week against several rich, prominent men, including Robert K. Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots (shown in a file photo); John Havens, former president and chief operating officer of Citigroup; and John Childs, founder of the private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates.

Feb. 22

Epstein / Acosta / Trump Scandal

alexander acosta o cropped Custom


President Trump's Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, now under fire for his sweetheart plea deal in 2007 for the billionaire accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Miami Herald, Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules, Julie K. Brown, Feb. 22, 2019 (print edition). A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — kenneth marra open jurist croppedamong them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed it from more than 30 of his underage victims.

jeffrey epstein at harvard universityU.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra (right), in a 33-page opinion, said that the evidence he reviewed showed that Jeffrey Epstein (right) had been operating an international sex operation in which he and others recruited underage girls — not only in Florida — but from overseas, in violation of federal law.

“Epstein used paid employees to find and bring minor girls to him.,’’ wrote Marra, who is based in Palm Beach County. “Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others.’’

Instead of prosecuting Epstein under federal sex trafficking laws, Acosta (right), then the U.S. attorney in Miami, helped negotiate a non-prosecution agreement that gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution. Epstein, who lived in a Palm Beach mansion, was allowed to quietly plead guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and served just 13 months in the county jail. His accomplices, some of whom have never been identified, were never charged.

Justice Integrity Project Editor's Notes: President George W. Bush nominated Marra to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Jan. 23, 2002. Marra was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 82-0. He assumed senior status on Aug. 1, 2017.

The Justice Integrity Project and the Wayne Madsen Report reported extensively on how Acosta's actions helped protect such accused fellow pursuers of underage girls as his friend Donald Trump, who has been accused in withdrawn lawsuits of together raping two underage girls in New York City. Senate and House investigators have threatened to demand answers from Acosta in separate oversight hearings. See extensive coverage on our updated subsite: #MeToo News, which repors on allegations of such abuses and related crimes including blackmail and other threats.

Politico, White House 'looking into' Alexander Acosta's prosecution in billionaire pedophile case, Rebecca Morin, Feb. 22, 2019. The White House is "looking into" a decade-old Florida case in which Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, then a federal prosecutor, potentially violated the law by keeping underage female victims of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein in the dark about his plea deal to avoid federal prosecution.

alexander acosta"We’re looking into the matter, I’m not aware of any changes on that front," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters when asked whether President Donald Trump's confidence in Acosta (shown at left) has changed. "My understanding is that’s a very complicated case ... but that they made the best possible decision and deal they could have gotten at that time."

In addition, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog for attorney misconduct, the Office of Professional Responsibility, earlier this month announced it had opened an investigation into the government's conduct in the case.

Despite key details of the case being known when Acosta was confirmed as labor secretary, an extensive report by the Miami Herald with new interviews with Epstein's victims brought fresh attention to the case and prompted Democratic lawmakers to demand an investigation.

More On Acosta/Epstein/Trump

The Hill, Dems call on Trump to fire Acosta, Juliegrace Brufke, Feb. 22, 2019. Three House Democrats are collecting signatures for a letter calling on President Trump to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. The push comes a day after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors acted illegally in making a plea deal with accused child sexual abuser and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein before speaking with his victims.

alexander acosta“Despite abundant evidence and multiple witnesses still willing to come forward, then-U.S. Attorney Acosta (left) failed to charge Epstein under federal trafficking laws, which could have put Epstein away for life,” the letter states. “Instead, he pleaded guilty to far lesser prostitution-related charges and served only 13 months in a private wing of a county jail but was able to leave 6 days a week for 12 hours at a time.”

The letter is being organized by Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Lois Frankel (Fla.).

“This despicable unjust plea deal that was arranged by Acosta showed no respect for the suffering of the victims and credible accounts of human trafficking and was a clear abuse of power for political gain,” the lawmakers write.

The letter says Acosta’s mishandling of the situation shows he's unfit to serve in the administration, arguing he “succumbed to the pressure” from Epstein’s legal team while disregarding the law.

washington post logoWashington Post, Va. Republicans plan public hearings into sex assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Laura Vozzella, Feb. 22, 2019. Republicans plan to invite two women who say they were sexually assaulted by Fairfax to publicly testify, despite Democrats’ objections that it would turn into a “political, partisan show.”

cbs news logoCBS News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution, Staff report, Feb. 22, 2019. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged in Palm Beach County after being caught in a sex sting, according to police. Jupiter police said Friday he's being charged with the solicitation of a prostitute, CBS Miami reported. It stems from a months-long investigation into the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, where two women were arrested earlier this week, according to police. The spa was among 10 shut down in Orlando, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast after a several-month investigation revealed women there were in "sexual servitude," according to arrest records.

robert kraft djt"We're as equally stunned as anyone else," Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said during a Friday morning news conference. Police also confirmed they have video evidence capturing the sex act.

Kraft's name is on a list of 25 people who will face charges in connection to a crackdown on human trafficking and spa sex acts. He is facing two counts, meaning police have evidence of him inside the spa on two separate occasions, CBS Miami reported.

Police said Kraft (a Mar-a-Lago member shown in a meme with his friend Donald Trump) was driven to the spa by a chauffeur. The average cost per visit for services is $59 or $79 per hour, according to police. He has four sons. His wife Myra died in 2011.

"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a spokesperson for Kraft said Friday in a statement. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further." Kraft, 77, has owned the Patriots for 25 years. The Patriots have won six Super Bowls during that time, most recently Super Bowl LIII earlier this month in Atlanta.

 ny times logoNew York Times, R. Kelly Charged With Sexual Abuse in Chicago, Elizabeth A. Harris, Feb. 22, 2019. Chicago prosecutors charged the R&B singer with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to local news reports. Mr. Kelly, who has been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct for two decades, will have his first court date on March 8.

r kelly twitterMr. Kelly (shown on his Twitter feed), who has been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct for two decades, has been under renewed scrutiny since the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” was broadcast on Lifetime in January.

The celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti said last week that he had obtained a video showing Mr. Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl, and given it to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago. He has said that Mr. Kelly and the girl refer to her age multiple times in the video, which is more than 40 minutes long.

BuzzFeed News, The President Of The Time's Up Movement Resigned Over Allegations Of Sexual Assault Made Against Her Son, Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, Feb. 22, 2019. Lisa Borders served as the organization's first-ever president and CEO. The president of Time's Up, the legal defense fund created more than a year ago to fight systemic sexual harassment in workplaces across the country, has resigned after her son was accused of sexual assault.

Lisa Borders announced she was leaving her post on Monday after four months on the job "to address family concerns that require my singular focus." She did not provide further details at the time.

Feb. 21

Law and Crime, Fmr GOP Candidate to Plead Guilty After Allegedly Spending $1M in Donations on Strip Clubs, ‘Escort Services,’ and More, Ronn Blitzer, Feb. 21, 2019. A former Rhode Island Republican congressional candidate is facing charges of wire fraud and violating federal election law, and is expected to plead guilty. Federal prosecutors said in court documents that they reached a plea agreement with H. Russell Taub, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016.

Feb. 18

ny times logoNew York Times, The Vatican’s Secret Rules for Priests Who Have Children, Jason Horowitz and Elisabetta Povoledo, Feb. 18, 2019. Vincent Doyle, a psychotherapist in Ireland, was 28 when he learned from his mother that the Roman Catholic priest he had always known as his godfather was in truth his biological father.

The discovery led him to create a global support group to help other children of priests, like him, suffering from the internalized shame that comes with being born from church scandal. When he pressed bishops to acknowledge these children, some church leaders told him that he was the product of the rarest of transgressions.
But one archbishop finally showed him what he was looking for: a document of Vatican guidelines for how to deal with priests who father children, proof that he was hardly alone.

“Oh my God. This is the answer,” Mr. Doyle recalled having said as he held the document. He asked if he could have a copy, but the archbishop said no — it was secret.

Feb. 17

ny times logoNew York Times, ‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out, Elizabeth Dias and photographs by Gabriella Demczuk, Feb. 17, 2019. The crisis over sexuality in the Roman Catholic Church goes beyond abuse. It goes to the heart of the priesthood, and creates an impossible contradiction for thousands of men.

For years, church leaders have driven gay congregants away in shame and insisted that “homosexual tendencies” are “disordered.” And yet, thousands of the church’s priests are gay. The stories of gay priests are unspoken, veiled from the outside world, known only to one another, if they are known at all.

Fewer than about 10 priests in the United States have dared to come out publicly. But gay men likely make up at least 30 to 40 percent of the American Catholic clergy, according to dozens of estimates from gay priests themselves and researchers. Some priests say the number is closer to 75 percent.

Two dozen gay priests and seminarians from 13 states shared intimate details of their lives in the Catholic closet with The New York Times over the past two months. They were interviewed in their churches before Mass, from art museums on the weekend, in their apartments decorated with rainbow neon lights, and between classes at seminary. Some agreed to be photographed if their identities were concealed.

Feb. 16

ny times logoNew York Times, Pope Defrocks Theodore McCarrick, Ex-Cardinal Accused of Sexual Abuse, Elizabeth Dias and Jason Horowitz, Feb. 16, 2019. Pope Francis (shown at right in a file photo) expelled Pope FrancisTheodore E. McCarrick (below at left), a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, from the priesthood, after an expedited canonical process that found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians over decades. It appears to be the first such penalty for a U.S. cardinal or bishop.

theodore mccarrickIt appears to be the first time that a cardinal or bishop in the United States has been defrocked, or laicized, from the Roman Catholic Church, and the first time any cardinal has been laicized for sexual abuse. Laicization, which strips a person of all priestly identity, also revokes church-sponsored resources like housing and financial benefits.

While the Vatican has laicized hundreds of priests for sexual abuse of minors, few of the church’s leaders have faced severe discipline. The move to defrock Mr. McCarrick is “almost revolutionary,” said Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America.

Feb. 15

ny times logoWashington Post, Mel Watt attempted to ‘coerce’ relationship with employee while FHFA director, investigation finds, Renae Merle, Feb. 15, 2019. Former congressman Mel Watt misused his position as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency by attempting to “coerce or induce” a relationship with a female employee seeking a promotion, according to a previously unreleased inspector general’s report.

The inspector general’s investigation was completed in late November and sent to the White House, but President Trump took no action against Watt. He retired at the end of his term in January and Trump has nominated a replacement. The results of the IG investigation, released to The Washington Post after a Freedom of Information Act request, have not been previously disclosed.

Watt implied he could use his position as head of a powerful financial regulator to help Simone Grimes obtain an executive position, the report found. He was also not “candid” with investigators and attempted to explain away his conversations with Grimes, some of which were recorded, as jokes or part of an attempt to mentor her, according to the report.

Feb. 13

VA, NJ Bishops List Accused Pedophiles

washington post logoWashington Post, Catholic bishops in Va. release names of 58 priests they say were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Feb. 13, 2019. Since a new Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded last year, dioceses around the country have released lists. Virginia’s two Catholic dioceses on Wednesday released lists of clergy who officials say were deemed “credibly accused” of sexually abusing youth, the latest in a slew of U.S. dioceses to make public such names amid a national crisis over clerical abuse and coverups.

The Diocese of Arlington, which covers the northeastern corner of Virginia, released a list of 16 names. It said the list was the product of two former FBI agents contracted by the diocese and given access to clergy files and information dating to its founding in 1974. It was not immediately clear whether any of the names of the accused were not previously known to Catholics of the diocese.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said in a letter that he ordered the list be released to help “victims and survivors of clergy abuse to find further healing and consolation.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Roman Catholic bishops in New Jersey named almost 200 priests who were accused of sexually abusing children, Rick Rojas, Feb. 14, 2019.

washington post logoWashington Post, Woman who says Fairfax sexually assaulted her to meet with law enforcement officials, Fenit Nirappil, Jenna Portnoy and Laura Vozzella​, Feb. 13, 2019.  Vanessa Tyson accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of assault during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The statute of limitations for sexual assault in Massachusetts is 15 years

Feb. 11

ny times logooscar arias sanchez croppedNew York Times, A High-Profile #MeToo Case in Costa Rica Shows the Hurdles to Being Heard, Elisabeth Malkin and Frances Robles, Feb. 10, 2019. A former Miss Costa Rica says Óscar Arias Sánchez, a former president and Nobel laureate, attacked her. Telling her story was hard. Finding a lawyer was harder. The case of Mr. Arias, who faces accusations from at least nine women, is emerging as the most significant of the #MeToo era in Latin America.

Feb. 8

Support For Sex Crime Accuser

ny times logoNew York Times, Vanessa Tyson Draws Support for Assault Allegation Against Justin Fairfax, Stephanie Saul and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Feb. 8, 2019. Last fall, after Vanessa C. Tyson began a prestigious fellowship at Stanford, she told a gathering of colleagues in a behavioral sciences program that she had been sexually assaulted years earlier, citing vanessa tyson scripps college via appersonal experience to illustrate a larger point involving sexual violence.

Vanessa Tyson, right, is an associate professor in politics at Scripps College in California (Photo Credit:Scripps College, via Associated Press)

As several fellows shared lunch on a patio, Dr. Tyson expressed the sense of having been blindsided by her assailant, a man she worked with at the 2004 Democratic National Convention whose political career had since taken off, according to Elizabeth A. Armstrong, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who was part of the lunch group.

“What she told us was pretty much exactly what was in the statement that she released but with vastly less detail,” said Dr. Armstrong, a fellow in the Stanford program.

Another fellow, Jennifer J. Freyd, a University of Oregon professor known for her work in sexual violence, also remembers the conversation, relaying how Dr. Tyson described how the incident was “clearly a traumatic experience.”

Bezos Claims Enquirer Extortion

washington post logoWashington Post, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer’s parent of ‘extortion’ over ‘intimate’ photos, Paul Farhi​, Feb. 8, 2019 (print edition). Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, said the blackmail threat was made after he began looking into how the Enquirer acquired text messages that revealed his relationship with a former TV anchor.

jeffrey bezos washington postAmazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos (left) said Thursday that he was the target of an extortion attempt by the National Enquirer, which he said threatened to publish embarrassing photos of him if he didn’t halt his investigation into how the tabloid obtained private texts and photos between him and his mistress.

Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, said the Enquirer made the blackmail threat after he began looking into how the tabloid acquired text messages that revealed his relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor.

In a rare and revealing statement posted to the online publishing platform Medium, Bezos said the National Enquirer wanted him to make a false public statement to the news media that he and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage [of the affair] was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.” (AMI is American Media, the parent company of the National Enquirer.)

Background: Daily Beast, Bezos’ Investigators Question the Brother of His Mistress, Lauren Sanchez, in National Enquirer Leak Probe, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, Jan. 31, 2019. Michael Sanchez is an outspoken Trump supporter with ties to Roger Stone and Carter Page. Jeff Bezos’ top personal security consultant has questioned his mistress’ brother as part of the probe into how the couple’s text messages wound up in the hands of the National Enquirer.

Gavin de Becker, the Amazon chief’s longtime personal security consultant and the point person for the investigation, confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that his probe has scrutinized Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos mistress Lauren Sanchez and a personal and business associate of Trumpworld figures including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes.

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast first reported the existence of that investigation, which is taking place independent of Amazon and being funded by Bezos personally. Three sources familiar with the inquiry said it was increasingly probable that whoever leaked the text messages to the Enquirer, which ran a conspicuously large 12-page spread on Bezos’ affair, harbored political animosity towards Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.

Michael Sanchez’s name bubbled up on the British celebrity news and gossip website Popbitch last week in the context of the Enquirer story. Stone also mentioned Sanchez in an interview with conspiracy theory site Infowars on Wednesday that sought to preempt The Daily Beast’s reporting by falsely claiming that it would accuse him of conspiring with the Trump administration to hack Bezos’ phone.

More Evidence On Saudi Murder?

ny times logoNew York Times, Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi, Mark Mazzetti, Feb. 8, 2019 (print edition). Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed in October, if Mr. Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and end his criticism of the Saudi government, according to current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports.

jamal khashoggi western suitThe conversation, intercepted by American intelligence agencies, is the most detailed evidence to date that the crown prince considered killing Mr. Khashoggi (right) long before a team of Saudi operatives strangled him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and dismembered his body using a bone saw. Mr. Khashoggi’s murder prompted weeks of outrage around the world and among both parties in Washington, where senior lawmakers called for an investigation into who was responsible.

mohammad bin salman cropped file smallThe Saudi government has denied that the young crown prince played any role in the killing, and President Trump has publicly shown little interest in trying to get the facts about who was responsible. Prince Mohammed, left, the next in line to the Saudi throne behind his ailing father, King Salman, has become the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and a close ally of the Trump White House — especially Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

The conversation appears to have been recently transcribed and analyzed as part of an effort by intelligence agencies to find proof of who was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death. The National Security Agency and other American spy agencies are now sifting through years of the crown prince’s voice and text communications that the N.S.A. routinely intercepted and stored, much as the agency has long done for other top foreign officials, including close allies of the United States.

Media: More Scandal Claims

ronan farrowHuffpost, Ronan Farrow Says Jeff Bezos Isn’t The Only One AMI Tried To Blackmail, Liza Hearon, Feb. 8, 2019. Ronan Farrow’s allegation comes after the Amazon CEO accused tabloid publisher American Media Inc. of blackmail and extortion. Journalist Ronan Farrow (shown in a file photo) said tabloid publisher American Media Inc. sent him blackmail threats over his reporting on President Donald Trump and the National Enquirer.

Farrow tweeted about the “stop digging or we’ll ruin you” efforts shortly after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in a bombshell blog post on Medium, said AMI CEO David Pecker threatened to publish embarrassing photos of him if he didn’t stop investigating the company.

U.S. Politics: Virginia

washington post logoWashington Post, Pressure to oust Virginia governor is easing as scandals engulf other top officials, Gregory S. Schneider, Dan Balz, Laura Vozzella and Paul Kane, Feb. 8, 2019 (print edition). Most Democrats now want Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to stay in office at least until there is clarity on the issues involving Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D). Related story: How Va.’s top three Democrats dug deeper holes for themselves,

Feb. 7

World's Richest Man Claims Extortion

Medium, Opinion: No thank you, Mr. Pecker, Jeff Bezos, Feb. 7, 2019. Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called “Catch and Kill” process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. Mr. Pecker and his company have also been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.

And sometimes Mr. Pecker mixes it all together:

“After Mr. Trump became president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker’s loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media executive brought a guest with important ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker was pursuing business there while also hunting for financing for acquisitions…”

Palmer Report, Opinion: The sheer genius of what Jeff Bezos just did to Donald Trump, Bill Palmer, Feb. 7, 2019. Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos found himself in the ultimate no-win situation. National Enquirer and its boss David Pecker had already exposed his affair and ruined his marriage. Bezos tried to investigate whether his enemy and Pecker’s friend Donald Trump was behind the whole thing.

bill palmer report logo headerSo what did Jeff Bezos do in response to this no-win situation? He screamed as loudly as possible, for all to hear, that the National Enquirer had compromising photos of him.

By going public about the whole thing, Jeff Bezos has ensured that David Pecker will go to prison for a long time because this extortion attempt will blow up his immunity plea deal with the SDNY. Further, Pecker’s lawyers are surely explaining to him right now that if he does sell or publish these pictures, it’ll ensure that Pecker will go to prison for even longer.

Virginia Scandals

ny times logoNew York Times, Woman Accusing Justin Fairfax of Sexual Assault Comes Forward, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Feb. 7, 2019 (print edition). Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, has denied that he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004. The woman who has accused Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax of Virginia of sexual assault came forward on Wednesday, issuing a statement through a law firm that described a 2004 encounter at the Democratic National Convention in Boston that, she said, began with kissing but quickly turned into an episode of forced oral sex.

justin fairfaxMr. Fairfax, who has retained lawyers to assist him, has emphatically denied the allegation and argued that there is no corroborating evidence to support it.

Late Wednesday night, aides to a prominent Democratic Virginia congressman, Bobby Scott, said that the woman told him a year ago that she had made an allegation of sexual assault against Mr. Fairfax.

The woman identified herself on Wednesday as Dr. Vanessa C. Tyson, an associate professor of politics and expert in black history at Scripps College in California. She has also spent years advocating for victims of sexual assault and has spoken openly about being molested by her father when she was a child.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Democrats rallied around Christine Blasey Ford. Will they do the same with Vanessa Tyson? Karen Tumulty, Feb. 7, 2019 (print edition). She has decided we should know her name. It is Vanessa Tyson. And she has decided we should know her story. It is that, according to her, a man who is poised to become the governor of Virginia sexually assaulted her more than 14 years ago.

Now comes a test for the rest of us — one that shows what was learned, if anything, as the country processed hauntingly similar allegations last year against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh.

christine blasey ford headshot croppedDemocrats and women’s groups rallied in support of Christine Blasey Ford (shown in a file photo), when she claimed that Kavanaugh had tried to force himself on her during a drunken encounter at a party of high schoolers in the early 1980s.

Will Tyson get the same reception, given that the target of her allegation is Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a rising star in the Democratic Party and the man many hope will replace embattled Gov. Ralph Northam? All of this comes as the entire Democratic leadership in Virginia is engulfed in overlapping scandals.

washington post logoWashington Post, Northam reaches out to Herring and Fairfax as all 3 weather calls for resignation amid scandals, Gregory S. Schneider, Laura Vozzella and Paul Kane​, Feb. 7, 2019. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said the state’s Democratic congressional delegation, which had called for Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign, is withholding judgment on Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D), who is trying firm up support from black leaders.

Meanwhile, for the first time Thursday, unflattering revelations spread to a powerful Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) was managing editor of the VMI yearbook in 1968 when it featured several photos of people in blackface and included a number of racial slurs, including one use of the n-word.

“The use of blackface is abhorrent in our society and I emphatically condemn it,” Norment said in the statement. “As one of seven working on a 359-page yearbook, I cannot endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page. However, I am not in any of the photos referenced on pages 82 or 122, nor did I take any of the photos in question.”

Epstein Scandal Whitewash

jeffrey epstein sex offender

ny times logoNew York Times, The Justice Department is investigating how President Trump’s labor secretary handled a sexual abuse case in 2007, Liam Stack, Feb. 7, 2019 (print edition). The Justice Department said Wednesday that it had opened an investigation into a 2007 plea deal negotiated by a prosecutor who is now a member of President Trump’s cabinet that kept the financier Jeffrey E. Epstein (above) from facing federal charges related to accusations that he molested dozens of underage girls.

ben sasse o croppedThe inquiry came in response to requests from Senator Ben Sasse (right) of Nebraska, who on Wednesday posted a letter on his website from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd informing him of the investigation.

alexander acostaThe plea deal, which was negotiated by the labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta (left), when he was the top federal prosecutor in Miami, was the subject of a Miami Herald investigation that was cited by both Senator Sasse and Mr. Boyd.

The letter does not mention Mr. Acosta by name. In the letter, Mr. Boyd said the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibilities would look “into allegations that Department attorneys may have committed professional misconduct in the manner in which the Epstein criminal matter was resolved.”

Feb. 5

Washington Post, Turmoil surrounds Va. leaders as Northam considers resigning and Fairfax denies assault claim, Gregory S. Schneider and Laura Vozzella, Feb. 5, 2019 (print edition). The state Capitol hit a new level of chaos Monday as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) asked staffers to stand by as he decided his fate, while the man who would succeed him, Lt. ralph northam file headshotGov. Justin Fairfax (D), denied a sexual assault allegation that appeared on a conservative website.

Northam (shown in a file photo) gathered Cabinet members and staffers Monday to apologize for the pain caused by a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page and told them he was still weighing options, according to several people who attended.

The governor urged staffers not to quit and promised to decide his fate soon, but how soon was left unsaid, according to three people familiar with what transpired, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to decribe a private meeting. It could take days, according to one person familiar with his thinking.

ny times logoNew York Times, Justin Fairfax, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Denies Sexual Assault Allegation, Jonathan Martin, Feb. 5, 2019 (print edition). Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia issued a statement Monday morning denying an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual assault that a right-wing media site published amid extraordinary political turmoil in the state that has raised the possibility of Mr. Fairfax becoming the next governor.

justin fairfaxIn a statement issued at 2:55 a.m., aides to Mr. Fairfax (right) — a Democrat who has drawn national attention as Gov. Ralph Northam considers resigning over past racist behavior — said the allegation was “false” and that Mr. Fairfax had “never assaulted anyone — ever — in any way, shape or form.” The aides said that Mr. Fairfax is considering “appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation.”

The Times has reached out to intermediaries for the woman who has made the allegation. They did not immediately comment on Monday.

The Fairfax aides said The Washington Post investigated the allegation around the time of the lieutenant governor’s inauguration in January 2018 and chose not to publish a story.

The Post published a story on Monday that partially disputed the Fairfax statement. According to the Post story, the woman contacted the newspaper after Mr. Fairfax won election in November 2017 and alleged that he had sexually assaulted her in 2004 soon after they met in Boston at the Democratic National Convention.

The Post had been unable to corroborate her allegations, which Mr. Fairfax had denied, according to Monday’s story. The Post, however, disputed the Fairfax statement’s assertion that the newspaper had found inconsistencies and red flags in the woman’s allegation; the newspaper labeled those assertions as incorrect.

As Mr. Northam met Monday with advisers in the state capitol complex here to discuss his future, stunned legislators arrived to word of the middle-of-the-night statement by the Fairfax aides after the publication of the story by the right-wing website, Big League Politics.

The allegation threw Virginia’s government into a deeper state of chaos, just two days after Mr. Northam admitted that in 1984 he had used shoe polish to darken his face for a Michael Jackson-themed dance party but denied in the same year that he had appeared in blackface or a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Feb. 4

washington post logoWashington Post, Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denies sex assault allegation from 2004, Theresa Vargas, Feb. 4, 2019. Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax issued a statement early Monday denying a sexual assault allegation that appeared on the same conservative website that posted a racist photograph from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page.

“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” read the statement from his chief of staff and communications director. “He has never assaulted anyone — ever — in any way, shape or form.”

The statement came after the online publication Big League Politics ran a story under the headline: “UPDATE: Stanford Fellow Hints At Possible Justin Fairfax Sex Assault.”

The story was based on a private Facebook post from the woman, which the publication said it had obtained from a friend of hers who had permission to share it.

martin baron at 2018 pulitzers wikimedia commonsFairfax and the woman told different versions of what happened in the hotel room with no one else present. The Washington Post could not find anyone who could corroborate either version. The Post did not find “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations,” as the Fairfax statement incorrectly said.

Martin Baron (shown in a photo at the 2018 Pulitzer Prize awards ceremony distributed via WikiMedia), executive editor of The Post, said the news organization had an obligation to publish.

“Lt. Gov. Fairfax is a public official who may well rise to the position of governor,” Baron said in a statement. “He began the morning by issuing a statement regarding allegations against him, making specific representations about Post reporting that had not resulted in publication. We then had an obligation to clarify the nature of both the allegations and our reporting. “

January

Jan. 30

washington post logoWashington Post, Teachers sexually abused girls decades ago at Md. private school with ‘toxic culture,’ report shows, Justin Wm. Moyer, Jan. 30, 2019 (print edition).Ten adults took advantage of at least 16 students at the Key School in Annapolis, an investigation found.

The Key School in Annapolis launched the investigation after a former student said she was abused by two Key teachers starting when she was 13 and similar accounts were shared on social media. Seven former students interviewed by The Washington Post in an article last year said they were abused while enrolled at the school.

The investigation, which the Key School launched in February 2018, concluded that faculty members, administrators and board members who were aware of the abuse chose not to intervene and failed to protect students. The report does not allege any recent incidents at the school.

Jan. 24

 ny times logoNew York Times, Texas Democrat Leaves Posts Over Lawsuit by Former Aide Who Reported Assault, Nicholas Fandos, Jan. 24, 2019 (print sheila jackson leeedition). Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, right, facing fallout from a lawsuit that claims she fired an aide who said she was sexually assaulted by a supervisor at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, resigned on Wednesday as the foundation’s chairwoman.

democratic donkey logoAt the same time, Ms. Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat in her 13th term, also elected to step aside temporarily from an important House Judiciary subcommittee chairmanship.

The congresswoman made the decision to step aside from both roles as pressure was growing within her own party to account for the claims in a Jan. 11 lawsuit brought by a woman who worked in her congressional office and who said she was sexually assaulted by a Black Caucus Foundation supervisor. Ms. Jackson Lee has adamantly denied that she fired the woman for retribution after the woman indicated she wanted to pursue legal action.

Jan. 21

ernest angley official headshotAkron Beacon Journal, The Rev. Ernest Angley admitted sexual encounter, Bob Dyer, Jan. 20, 2019 (updated). First of two parts. In 1996, internationally known televangelist Ernest Angley (shown in an official photo) admitted to his assistant minister that he had had sexual relations with a man who was employed by their church, Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls.

The telephone conversation was tape-recorded and made available to the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com last month.

The person who provided the tape did so for a promise of anonymity. That person felt called to action after reading about an exchange of lawsuits between Angley and another former Grace Cathedral pastor, the Rev. Brock Miller. Miller sued Angley in August, claiming that sexual abuse Angley inflicted upon him has caused permanent damage. Angley has countersued for defamation.

The source believed releasing the tape would show that Angley, who has preached vehemently against the “sin” of homosexuality, has a history of sexual abuse involving his employees.

Jan. 17

Congressional Photo Directory

ny times logoNew York Times, Special Section -- Redefining Representation: The Women of the 116th Congress, Staff report, Photographs by Elizab eth D. Herman and Celeste Sloman, Jan. 17, 2019. Just over 100 years ago, the first woman won a seat in the House of Representatives. Now a record 131 women are serving in both chambers of Congress.

For most of recorded American history, political power has looked a certain way. Portraits of power call certain images to mind — those of older, white men, dressed in suits and depicted in formal settings. The 2018 midterm elections ushered in a change in representation; for the first time, more than 100 women serve in the House of Representatives — out of 435 seats — and members of color were elected in more states than ever before.

This portraits series documents the women of the 116th Congress in their totality. Like the work of Kehinde Wiley, who painted Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait, these photographs evoke the imagery we are used to seeing in the halls of power, but place people not previously seen as powerful starkly in the frames.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “It gives me pride to be the woman Speaker of the House of this Congress, which marks 100 years since women won the right to vote, and as we serve with more than 100 women.”

Jonie Ernst R-Iowa): “Being a woman in power means knowing it’s O.K. to be fierce.”

Jan. 16

washington post logoWashington Post, Michigan State’s president to resign after he said sexual abuse victims enjoyed the spotlight, Susan Svrluga​, Jan. 16, 2019. John Engler’s resignation makes him the university’s second leader to step down under pressure in the scandal surrounding Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State sports medicine doctor who is serving a prison sentence of at least 40 years.Jan. 9

washington post logotheodore mccarrickWashington Post, The Vatican moves quickly toward punishing ex-cardinal McCarrick for sexual abuse, Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Chico Harlan, Jan. 9, 2019. The former prominent archbishop (right) of Washington now faces the prospect of soon being defrocked — meaning he would no longer be a priest of the Catholic Church and would lose his church housing and financial support.

Jan. 7

washington post logoWashington Post, Opus Dei paid $977,000 to settle sexual misconduct claim against prominent Catholic priest, Michelle Boorstein​, Jan. 7, 2019. The Catholic order Opus Dei in 2005 paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct suit against the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a priest well-known for preparing for conversion big-name conservatives -- Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow and Sam Brownback, among others.

john mccloskey priestThe survivor is a devout, D.C.-area Catholic who was among the many who received spiritual direction from McCloskey through the Catholic Information Center, a K Street hub of Catholic life in downtown D.C. She told the Post McCloskey groped her several times while she was going to pastoral counseling with him to discuss marital troubles and serious depression.

The guilt and shame over the interactions sent her into a tailspin and, combined with her existing depression, made it impossible for her to work in her high-level job. She spoke to him about her “misperceived guilt over the interaction” in confession and he absolved her, she said.

I love Opus Dei but I was caught up in this cover-up – I went to confession, thinking I did something to tempt this holy man to cross boundaries,” she said.

The complaint was not made public by the order until Monday but behind the scenes the ministry of the well-known priest had been sharply curtailed. A lot of D.C.-area Catholics have wondered for years what happened to McCloskey, who was the closest thing to a celebrity the Catholic Church had in the area.

One other woman told the order that McCloskey’s touches had made her uncomfortable, an Opus Dei spokesman said Monday night. He said Opus Dei is also investigating a third claim -- so far unsubstantiated -- that spokesman Brian Finnerty called potentially “serious.” He declined to provide details.

McCloskey, who is now in his 60s, recently moved back to the D.C. region, where he has family. The order said Monday that he “suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s. He is largely incapacitated and needs assistance for routine daily tasks. He has not had any pastoral assignments for a number of years and is no longer able to celebrate Mass, even privately.”

Jan. 4

Alex Jones Show Infowars, Opinion: Alex Jones Debates Journalist Promoting Trump Epstein “Connection,” Jan. 4, 2019 (35:10 mins). Wayne Madsen was once a supporter of the Trump candidacy in comparison with other candidates. However, after the election, Madsen believes Trump to be dangerous for America. Alex goes head to head with Wayne unscripted and uncensored!

Alex Jones Show Infowars, Opinion: Roger Stone Responds To Fake Trump-Epstein Connection, Roger Stone, Jan. 4, 2019 (12:42 mins). Roger Stone addresses the false narrative circulating regarding Donald Trump's business relationship with American financier and registered sex offender, Jeffery Epstein.

December

Dec. 31

 washington post logoWashington Post, Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass women: ‘Everybody is a potential target,’ Drew Harwell, Dec. 31, 2018. “Deepfake” creators are making disturbingly realistic, computer-generated videos with photos taken from the Web, and ordinary women are suffering the damage.

The video showed the woman in a pink off-the-shoulder top, sitting on a bed, smiling a convincing smile.

It was her face. But it had been seamlessly grafted, without her knowledge or consent, onto someone else’s body: a young pornography actress, just beginning to disrobe for the start of a graphic sex scene. A crowd of unknown users had been passing it around online.

She felt nauseous and mortified: What if her co-workers saw it? Her family, her friends? Would it change how they thought of her? Would they believe it was a fake?

• How fake-porn opponents are fighting back
• Video: How the technology works

U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUSblog, The chief justice’s 2018 year-end report: The federal judiciary and #MeToo, Amy Howe, Dec. 31, 2018. Chief Justice John Roberts released his annual report on the john roberts ofederal judiciary today, focusing on the judiciary’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Roberts had discussed this issue in his 2017 report, after several female law clerks accused Judge Alex Kozinski – then a prominent judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – of inappropriate sexual conduct.

A working group created to review the safeguards in place to protect law clerks and other employees concluded, Roberts reported, that “inappropriate workplace conduct is not pervasive within the Judiciary, but it is also not limited to a few isolated instances involving law clerks” and “frequently goes unreported.” Roberts endorsed the recommendations made by the group, which included making changes to the codes of conduct for both judges and employees to make clear that both harassment and retaliation against employees who report misconduct are prohibited.

Roberts observed that he was “pleased” that the judiciary has “mobilized to ensure that” it is “the exemplary workplace that we all want,” but he added that “the job is not finished until we have done all that we can to ensure that all of our employees are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.”

Dec. 27

More #MeToo

Miami Herald, An Epstein sex case is settled; Dershowitz denies latest allegation, Julie K. Brown, Dec. 19, 2018, updated Dec. 27. Accused sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have settled a federal civil lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was ordered under threat of violence to have sex with them and other influential individuals when she was in her early 20s, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Sarah Ransome, who now lives in Barcelona, claimed that she was recruited and trafficked for sex by the pair in 2006 and 2007 — at the same time that Epstein, a wealthy New York hedge fund manager, was under federal investigation for molesting dozens of underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion.

perversion of justice miami herald logoAccording to a recent court transcript, among those people Ransome claims she was directed to have sex with was Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who helped negotiate a controversial plea deal that gave the eccentric multimillionaire — and co-conspirators employed by Epstein — federal immunity in 2008.

Dershowitz, 80, told the Miami Herald that he has never met Ransome nor has he ever had sex with her. He accused Ransome’s attorney, powerhouse lawyer David Boies, of inventing the story and using her and another woman, Virginia Roberts, to frame him. Roberts asserted in a federal court affidavit in 2015 that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz when she was 16 years old.
Nowhere in the court case or the transcript does Ransome or anyone else allege that Ransome had sex with Dershowitz — only that she was directed to.

The Ransome settlement, which is confidential, comes two weeks after Epstein settled another lawsuit in Palm Beach, filed by an attorney who represented several women who said they were coerced into sex acts with Epstein when they were underage. As part of the settlement, Epstein, 65, issued an apology to Fort Lauderdale attorney Bradley Edwards, admitting that he leveled false claims in a lawsuit as part of an effort to intimidate Edwards into abandoning his aggressive advocacy for the women, who are now in their late 20s and early 30s.

The developments follow a series of stories published by the Miami Herald in late November that detailed how state and federal prosecutors worked with Epstein’s lawyers to conceal the extent of Epstein’s crimes, and secretly negotiated an unusual plea agreement that allowed him to escape federal sex trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life. The agreement, by design, was kept from his victims so that they could not appear at his sentencing.

Last week, more than two dozen lawmakers in Washington demanded a federal investigation into that plea deal, which was negotiated, signed and sealed by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor.

Acosta has not commented on the Herald story or on the calls for a probe into how he handled the Epstein case.
Ransome claimed that, in her early 20s, she was recruited to work as a masseuse for Epstein who, in exchange, promised he would help her get into fashion design in New York, according to her civil lawsuit, filed in January 2017. Epstein and Maxwell then kept her passport and threatened to ruin her life and physically harm her if she didn’t have sex with them and others in 2006 and 2007, Ransome said in the complaint.

The complaint alleges that this all occurred at the same time as Epstein’s lawyers were negotiating with Acosta and other federal prosecutors for a deal to avoid federal sex trafficking charges in connection with a scheme in which he lured underprivileged girls, mostly 13 to 16, to his home in Palm Beach under the pretense that he would pay them $200 to $300 for massages. Instead, police in Palm Beach found that he had been molesting and sexually abusing dozens of girls between 2001 and 2007.

Dershowitz, in interviews with the Herald, and in recent public statements, said he has never met Ransome. He also said she initially tried to interest the New York Post in her story, but a reporter whom he said he spoke with told him Ransome was not credible. He said he has a trove of emails between Ransome and the reporter that prove she is a “lunatic.’’

“There are hundreds of emails in which she claimed to have sex with everybody in the world and also claimed she has video of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and others having sex with underage girls — but she never ever accused me in these emails,’’ Dershowitz said.

The emails are under seal, he said, and therefore cannot be made public. Dershowitz said he has asked the court to unseal them but his efforts thus far have been unsuccessful.

Dec. 21

Telegraph, Martina Navratilova in 'transphobic' row over comments about women's sport, Anita Singh, Dec. 21, 2018. Martina Navratilova has angered the transgender community by claiming that people who were born male should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports events. The former Wimbledon champion and LGBT campaigner made the statement on social media, and was swiftly accused of being “transphobic.”

Responding to a question from one of her followers about transgender womenin sport, Navratilova said: “Clearly that can’t be right. You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

She also said: “For me it’s all about fairness. Which means taking every case individually… there is no cookie cutter way of doing things.”

Her comments were seized upon by Dr Rachel McKinnon, a transgender activist and competitive cyclist who this year controversially won a women’s event at the UCI Masters Track World Championship. McKinnon, a Canadian, was born biologically male but transitioned in her 20s. She told her followers that Navratilova was “transphobic” and called on her to apologize, sending a stream of critical tweets.

She also told Navratilova, who won Wimbledon nine times and is regarded by many as the greatest female tennis player of all time: “You realize I’m a world champion trans woman athlete?”

Initially, Navratilova said: “I am sorry if I said anything anywhere near transphobic - certainly I meant no harm. I will educate myself better on this issue but meantime I will be quiet about it.” She also deleted the original tweet.

However, after receiving a stream of critical messages from McKinnon, Navratilova hit back: “Rachel, you might be an expert on all things trans but you are one nasty human being.”

She added that she did not regret her remark and would not be “bullied” into silence, but would bow out of the conversation “because it seems to be my decades of speaking out against unfairness and inequality just don’t count with you at all”.

An assistant professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, McKinnon told the BBC that she received an estimated 100,000 hate messages on Twitter <https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/46453958>after winning the championship title.

A picture of her on the podium, dwarfing third-placed Jen Wagner-Assali, fueled the debate about transgender women in sport. Wagner-Assali said she thought it was unfair that McKinnon was allowed to compete, but later apologized for her comments.

Navratilova’s friend and former coach is Renee Richards, who was born Richard Raskind and competed in the US Open as a man before having gender reassignment surgery and competing as a woman. Navratilova ‘came out’ as a lesbian in 1981 and campaigns for LGBT rights.

In 2017, she wrote an open letter criticizing Margaret Court, the former world number one, for “demonizing trans kids and trans adults” by claiming that gender dysphoria was the work of the devil. Navratilova is also an avowed feminist, saying in one interview: “Of
course! How can a woman not be?”

Media / Suspected Trafficking

sacha baron cohen as gio monaldo in who is america

Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Gio Monaldo (Showtime)

Newsweek, Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Who Is America?’ deleted scene may have exposed elite, Andrew Whalen, Dec. 20, 2018. In Sacha Baron newsweek logoCohen’s latest series, Who Is America?, the character comedian and provocateur nudged former and current Republican members of Congress into endorsing armed kindergartners, revealed anti-Muslim racism and got Dick Cheney to autograph a waterboarding kit. But there was one scene the Showtime series captured on camera that was too dark and extreme, even for Baron Cohen.

In a new interview with Deadline, Baron Cohen describes how the election of Donald Trump inspired him to get back into costume (“I realized, I have to do something else to deal with this kind of anger and total disgust at what was going on”) and explained the agonizing detail that went into fictional characters like former Mossad agent Erran Morad and far-right conspiracy theorist Billy Wayne Ruddick.

Along the way, Baron Cohen was astounded by the increase in open American racism. “When we were shooting Borat, if somebody said something anti-Semitic or homophobic, we were surprised and we knew that it would make the cut,” Baron Cohen told Deadline. “Now, going out all these years later, you realize that the political dialogue that’s come from the top has made an extremely negative impact on other politicians and to the populace. People are saying things that they never would have dreamed of saying publicly, prior to Trump.”

The interview also gives some new insight into how Baron Cohen gained Cheney’s confidence. “I think he felt happy and almost excited to sit in a room next to my character, because I had done the one thing that he hadn’t actually done. He’d ordered people to be killed but he never actually killed someone with his bare hands,” Baron Cohen said. “It’s a bit like a virgin sitting next to a womanizer and being enamored by them.”

But more than Cheney or the man he convinced to “murder” three people at the Women’s March (the interview subject triggered a fictional bomb), Baron Cohen’s most shocking encounter came when, in character as Italian playboy Gio Monaldo, he convinced a concierge to help him find an underaged boy to molest.

“We wanted to investigate how does someone like Harvey Weinstein gets away with doing what…get away with criminality, essentially. And the network that surrounds him. We decided that Gio would interview a concierge in Las Vegas,” Baron Cohen describes.

During the interview, believing the admission would drive the concierge from the room, Baron Cohen, as Gio, reveals that he’s molested an eight-year-old boy.

“This guy starts advising Gio how to get rid of this issue. We even at one point talk about murdering the boy, and the concierge is just saying, ‘well, listen, I’m really sorry. In this country, we can’t just drown the boy. This is America we don’t do that,’” Baron Cohen describes.

After the concierge offers to put Gio in touch with a lawyer who can help “silence the boy,” Baron Cohen asked for his help securing a date for the night.

“He says, ‘what do you mean, a date?’ I go, you know, like a young man. He says, ‘well, what kind of age?’ I say, lower than Bar Mitzvah but older than eight. And he says, ‘yeah, I can put you in touch with somebody who can get you some boys like that.’”

Rather than airing the segment, Baron Cohen and his production team turned the footage over to the FBI, “because we thought, perhaps alexander acosta labor othere’s a pedophile ring in Las Vegas that’s operating for these very wealthy men. And this concierge had said that he’d worked for politicians and various billionaires.”

While Baron Cohen judged the interview too “dark” and “extreme” to be included in the show, it’s a revealing look at how the powerful can get away with decades-long sexual abuse, including pedophile sexual abuse, such as in the massive cover-up of the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein, orchestrated by President Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, right.

New York Post, Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein settles another lawsuit, Kaja Whitehouse and Lia Eustachewich, Dec. 20, 2018. Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein settles one case, avoiding victim testimony. Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has settled yet another lawsuit — this time with a woman who claimed she was recruited by the renowned pedophile as a sex slave more than a decade ago.

The woman, Sarah Ransome, sued Epstein and alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell in Manhattan federal court last year for forcing her into sex acts in 2006 and 2007, when she was in her 20s.

She more recently claimed they directed her to have sex with Epstein’s powerful friends, including notable lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, the Miami Herald reported. Ransome, who now lives in Barcelona, withdrew the lawsuit on Thursday due to the settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed.

“We are pleased with the settlement. It provides as much compensation as money can provide for the horrific damage done by sex trafficking,” said her lawyer, David Boies.

Epstein, a wealthy hedge fund manager, is a registered sex offender tied to his 2008 conviction for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.
Before his conviction and since, he has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of mostly underage girls at his mansion in Palm Beach
https://nypost.com/2016/10/09/the-sex-slave-scandal-that-exposed-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epstein.

Dershowitz represented Epstein in the 2008 plea deal with Florida federal prosecutors that resulted in 13 months in jail. On Thursday, he denied Ransome’s allegations. “Of course she didn’t have sex with me. I never had sex with anyone except my wife,” Dershowitz told The Post. “I’ve never met this woman, I don’t know her, I never heard of her. She just made it up completely.”

Ransome’s lawsuit said Epstein and Maxwell promised her paid tuition to the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan in exchange for her “continued sexual cooperation with Epstein,” the complaint said.

Maxwell had hired Ransome to give Epstein massages at his townhouse in New York and his private island in the US Virgin Islands — and the two threatened the young woman if she didn’t comply, the suit said.

“Each time she was so instructed she was also required to perform a sexual act with Epstein,” court papers said.

Dec. 18

washington post logoWashington Post, Man sentenced to 357 years for 1995 sexual assault on four Va. women, Justin Jouvenal​, Dec. 18, 2018. A Fairfax County jury sentenced a 50-year-old man to 357 years in prison Tuesday for a brutal 1995 sexual assault targeting four roommates in Reston, a prosecutor said. Jude Lovchik, formerly of Springfield, Va., was convicted of 17 counts of abduction, sodomy and other charges on Monday, following a two-week trial that featured harrowing accounts of the women’s ordeal.

The crime went unsolved for over two decades, before Lovchik’s ex-wife went to authorities in 2016 and told them he had confessed to sexually assaulting about 20 women when he was younger. The woman testified Lovchik asked her to re-enact the attacks and she obliged. DNA evidence later tied Lovchik to the Reston case.

Dec. 17

  ny times logoNew York Times, CBS Says Les Moonves Will Not Receive $120 Million Severance, Edmund Lee and Rachel Abrams, Dec. 17, 2018. The CBS Corporation, battered by cbs logoscandal and facing a leadership vacuum, said its former chief executive, Leslie Moonves, misled the company about multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and tried to hide evidence as he made a frenzied attempt to save his legacy and reap a lucrative severance. As a result, the company said Mr. Moonves would not receive his $120 million exit payout.

washington post logoWashington Post, Jesuit order names priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing children since the 1950s, Julie Zauzmer​, Dec. 17, 2018.The Maryland Province of Jesuits, a Catholic religious order with priests serving from Pennsylvania to Georgia, named five living Jesuits, three who left the order, and five who have died.

Dec. 16

 james grazioplenewashington post logoWashington Post, A soldier rose to become a general. His daughter says he abused her for years, Dan Lamothe, Dec. 16, 2018. For retired Maj. Gen. James J. Grazioplene, right, getting arrested and photographed in an orange jumpsuit in Northern Virginia this month was the latest humiliation following a lengthy military investigation in which the Army charged him with rape, only to have the case dismissed on a technicality.

For his daughter and military prosecutors, it was something else: a second chance at seeing whether a court will convict Grazioplene of rape.

Jennifer M. Elmore, 47, said in an interview that she first reported to the Army in 2015 that her estranged father had sexually abused her when she was a child. The service investigated for two years before bringing a case against Grazioplene in April 2017.

“Sometimes, it’s just easier to shut your mouth,” said Elmore, a senior vice president with Abbot Downing, a division of Wells Fargo focused on wealthy clients. “But if I stay silent and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, where are we?”

Dec. 15

'Consent' No Excuse

washington post logoWashington Post, Catholic U. fires professor for relationship with subordinate, Nick Anderson, Dec. 15, 2018 (print edition). Catholic University fired a veteran professor this week for having sex with an employee he supervised in 2013. The university in Northeast Washington said it took action against Stephen J. McKenna after getting a tip in 2017 that he had a relationship with an employee who worked for him.

McKenna, a tenured associate professor of media and communication studies, was chair of his department at the time. He acknowledged Friday to The Washington Post that he had an improper relationship for several months during 2013 with a woman whom he hired as an assistant. The university said the woman was 24 at the time and a graduate student in another department. Shortly after she started the job in February 2013, the university said, the two became “sexually involved.” The woman left the position in October 2013.

“I think people would look at the dismissal differently if they knew that this relationship lasted for four years after we were no longer co-workers at the university,” he said. McKenna said the two had talked about getting married before their relationship ended about a year ago.

He said the woman “has repeatedly told the university that the relationship was fully mutual and consensual, and furthermore, that she didn’t want any adverse action taken against me, or any harm to come to me and my family.”

Dec. 14

ny times logoNew York Times, Lists of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Are Spilling Out Across the Country, Campbell Robertson, Dec. 14, 2018. Facing aggressive investigations into sex abuse scandals, Catholic dioceses around the country are releasing their own lists of accused priests. Many of the priests named on the lists are dead, but not all. Many had already been known as abusers, but scores of names are new, even to activists who have been closely following the scandals for years.

It was a list Charles L. Bailey Jr. had wanted to see for years: the names of the priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Mr. Bailey, 67, a longtime local advocate for survivors of abuse by priests, had heard excuses for why such a list was impossible to release. The last bishop said naming accused priests would be a violation of the Ten Commandments. The current bishop said he would not disclose the names, citing the request of unnamed victims.

But then on Dec. 3, Mr. Bailey got a call from a local reporter. It was up, on the diocesan website. Fifty-seven priests. None were still in ministry and most were deceased, including, there on Page 4, the priest who had repeatedly raped Mr. Bailey when he was not yet a teenager.

As the Catholic Church faces a wave of federal and state attorney general investigations into its handling of sex abuse, bishops around the country have struggled with how to react. Some have locked down defensively. Others are waiting on guidance from the Vatican, which instructed American bishops last month to wait on taking any collective action until the new year.

Dec. 13

ny times logoNew York Times, Behind CBS’s Secret $9.5 Million Settlement With the Actress Eliza Dushku, Rachel Abrams and John Koblin, Dec. 13, 2018. Ms. Dushku, who was on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” told investigators she was written off “Bull” after enduring sexual harassment on the set. Details of the settlement emerged during an investigation of “cultural issues” at CBS after the network’s former chief, Leslie Moonves, was accused of misconduct.

cbs logoIn March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.

Her time on the set began promisingly. The show’s star, Michael Weatherly — a mainstay of CBS’s prime-time lineup for 15 years — seemed friendly. And a producer and writer on “Bull,” Glenn Gordon Caron, told Ms. Dushku she would be more than a love interest.

Then came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on “Bull” came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation.

After she went through mediation with CBS, the company agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.

ny times logoNew York Times, Troubled Girls Were Sent to This Town to Heal. Many Were Lured Into the Sex Trade Instead, Nikita Stewart and Benjamin Weiser, Dec. 13, 2018. Nineteen people were charged in a sex-trafficking ring that exploited young women and girls as young as 13 years old, federal prosecutors said.

Tucked inside a neighborhood in a small town just north of New York City, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls was on idyllic, green grounds. It was landscaped to give some peace and stability to the emotionally troubled teenagers who were placed there.

But in recent years, Hawthorne, located in the town of Mount Pleasant, began experiencing unusually high rates of teenagers going missing from its campus. Staff, law enforcement officials and advocates for children said they knew that some of the missing residents had fallen victim to sex traffickers. Many of the girls in the rehabilitation center had been placed there in the first place to rescue them from the sex trade.

On Thursday, the breadth of a pipeline carrying young women out of Hawthorne and into prostitution became clearer. Nineteen people were charged in a sex-trafficking ring that exploited young women and girls as young as 13 years old, federal prosecutors said.

At least 15 victims were in the child welfare system, including nine who were residents of Hawthorne, the prosecutors said.

Dec. 9

Baptist Sex Scandal

McClatchy News / Star-Telegram, Hundreds of sex abuse allegations found in fundamental Baptist churches across U.S., Sarah Smith, Dec. 9, joy evan rider yearbook2018. Joy Evans Ryder (shown in a yearbook photo) was 15 years old when she says her church youth director pinned her to his office floor and raped her.

“It’s OK. It’s OK,” he told her. “You don’t have to be afraid of anything.” He straddled her with his knees, and she looked off into the corner, crying and thinking, “This isn’t how my mom said it was supposed to be.”

The youth director, Dave Hyles, was the son of the charismatic pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, considered at the time the flagship for thousands of loosely affiliated independent fundamental Baptist churches and universities.

At least three other teen girls would accuse Hyles of sexual misconduct, but he never faced charges or even sat for a police interview related to the accusations. When he got in trouble, Hyles was able to simply move on, from one church assignment to the next. Hyles’ flight to safety has become a well-worn path for ministers in the independent fundamental Baptist movement.

For decades, women and children have faced rampant sexual abuse while worshiping at independent fundamental Baptist churches around the country. The network of churches and schools has often covered up the crimes and helped relocate the offenders, an eight-month Star-Telegram investigation has found.

More than 200 people — current or former church members, across generations — shared their stories of rape, assault, humiliation and fear in churches where male leadership cannot be questioned.

“It’s a philosophy — it’s flawed,” said Stacey Shiflett, an independent fundamental Baptist pastor in Dundalk, Maryland. “The philosophy is you don’t air your dirty laundry in front of everyone. Pastors think if they keep it on the down-low, it won’t impact anyone. And then the other philosophy is it’s wrong to say anything bad about another preacher.”

The Star-Telegram discovered at least 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 independent fundamental Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions, spanning 40 states and Canada. Twenty-one abuse allegations were uncovered exclusively by the Star-Telegram, and others were documented in criminal cases, lawsuits and news reports. But victims said the number of abused is far greater because few victims ever come forward.

One hundred and sixty-eight church leaders were accused or convicted of committing sexual crimes against children, the investigation found. At least 45 of the alleged abusers continued in ministry after accusations came to the attention of church authorities or law enforcement.

Compounding the problem is the legal statute of limitations. For many alleged offenders, the statutes on the crimes have expired.

Many of the allegations involve men whose misconduct has long been suspected in the independent fundamental Baptist community. But most of their victims have not publicly come forward, on the record, until now. Even pastors have for the first time — in interviews with the Star-Telegram — acknowledged they moved alleged abusers out of their churches rather than call law enforcement.

From Connecticut to California, the stories are tragically similar:

Dec. 6

wayne madesen report logo

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Investigation: The laughable fraud called "Pizzagate" diverts from actual child trafficking tied to Trump, Wayne Madsen (investigative reporter, author and former Navy intelligence officer), Dec. 6, 2018 (subscription required). Trump and his cronies are involved in covering up an international sex trafficking ring involving underage girls and boys.

Dec. 4

ny times logomichelle goldberg thumbNew York Times, Opinion: Why Does Alex Acosta Still Have a Job? Michelle Goldberg, Dec. 4, 2018 (print edition). The cabinet official’s connection to a shady deal for an alleged child molester. It is the perverse good fortune of Alexander Acosta, left, Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, to be part of an administration so spectacularly corrupt that it’s simply impossible to give all its scandals the attention they deserve.

alexander acosta labor oLast Wednesday, The Miami Herald published a blockbuster multipart exposé about how the justice system failed the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a rich, politically connected financier who appears to have abused underage girls on a near-industrial scale. The investigation, more than a year in the making, described Epstein as running a sort of child molestation pyramid scheme, in which girls — some in middle school — would be recruited to give Epstein “massages” at his Palm Beach mansion, pressured into sex acts, then coerced into bringing him yet more girls. The Herald reported that Epstein was also suspected of trafficking girls from overseas.

What’s shocking is not just the lurid details and human devastation of his alleged crimes, but the way he was able to use his money to escape serious consequences, thanks in part to Acosta, then Miami’s top federal prosecutor. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Acosta took extraordinary measures to let Epstein — and, crucially, other unnamed people — off the hook.

The labor secretary, whose purview includes combating human trafficking, has done nothing so far to rebut The Herald’s reporting. (A spokesman for his department has referred reporters to his previous statements about the case.) It should end his career. The story might have been overshadowed by last week’s cascading revelations in the Trump-Russia scandal, or the news that acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker knew of numerous fraud complaints against a company he advised, to take just two examples of administration lawlessness. But while Acosta’s record covering up for a depraved plutocrat makes him a good fit for the Trump administration, it should disqualify him from public service.

ny times logourban meyer 2017New York Times, For Urban Meyer and Ohio State, a Parting Months in the Making, Marc Tracy, Dec. 4, 2018. From the moment the university suspended the coach, shown at right, in August for three games, a special relationship was irrevocably severed.

Dec. 2

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Opinion: Trump Labor Secretary cited in pedophile sweetheart deal, Dec. 2, 2018. The rumored nomination of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, right, as Attorney General in the wake of Jeff Sessions's firing is apparently what spurred the Miami Herald to publish a detailed three-part series look at the sweetheart plea agreement worked out by Acosta with convicted child molester and Donald Trump's close friend Jeffrey Epstein.

alexander acosta labor oThe Miami Herald story resulted in a public rebuke for the story's reporter, Julie Brown, from former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who appears to have taken over as Trump's "muscle" to attack journalists who investigate Trump and those tied to him.

November

Nov. 30

National Review, Hollywood Is a Sex-Grooming Gang, Kyle Smith, Nov. 30, 2018. Where the ‘price of admission’ is stripping on camera, or worse. If you’re tempted to turn away from the torrent of squalid news that continues to flow out of Hollywood, resist the temptation. The more of these revolting exposes you read, the more clearly you will see the underlying monstrosity in Hollywood, as clearly as the hero of John Carpenter’s They Live sees aliens disguised as everyday people when he puts on the sunglasses.

Former CBS chief Les Moonves’s career had already ended in disgrace for repeated instances of alleged sexual harassment and assault uncovered last summer by The New Yorker. Yet until this week the board that fired him for preying on women was planning to beg His Majesty’s forgiveness for decoupling him from his kingdom, pressing into his hands a $120 million payoff.

Maybe not anymore.

The New York Times, with the cooperation of a washed-up talent manager who, at 75, decided to open his mouth about Moonves, reported on how the triangular sex trade works in Hollywood. Innocent young sweet pea from some place like South Carolina hits town, desperate for a break. Managers and agents and suchlike human succubi latch on to her with an eye toward turning her out. Knowing very well what will happen, they send her in to “take a meeting,” alone, behind closed doors, with some old lech in a designer suit. After two minutes of pleasantries, the expensive pants are suddenly down around the ankles. The young thing has just about two seconds to grow up. She has to decide on the spot whether to react with the expected sangfroid, and advance to the next step in the game of Hollywood, or, do what Bobbie Phillips did and react adversely. She contemplated picking up a baseball bat and going all Al Capone on her attacker, but instead merely “ankled,” as the trades would put it.

Phillips says Les Moonves, then the head of Warner Bros. television just as its shows Friends and ER were becoming blockbusters, grabbed her and forced her to perform oral sex when she met with him to seek an appointment with a casting director. She fled the office. Then she had to decide whether to say something, which would brand her a “troublemaker.” If so, nothing good would happen. She’d be ushered out to pursue the career opportunities at Denny’s, and another young honey would take her place.

Phillips’s life was pretty much ruined. Going to audition meetings made her queasy. Once she vomited in an alley at the prospect of running into Moonves. No one cared. She was another expendable female body. Twenty-three years later, Moonves was suddenly interested in casting her again. Texts between Moonves and Phillips’s manager, as reported by the Times, are frankly transactional: The manager needed to get back in the game, Moonves needed the manager to keep schtum with the Times reporters who kept calling him, Phillips would be expected to remain silent in exchange for a lousy $1,500 one-day gig. “A central teaching in my life is forgiveness,” Phillips told the Times. But this was insulting. And she was upset that Moonves was still denying, even in private, what she says he did. Moonves says “I strongly believe” the encounter was consensual. Which is a bit different from saying, “It was consensual.”

“Nobody knows anything” was the Hollywood mantra popularized by the late screenwriter William Goldman.

Yet in a town that does nothing more assiduously than it does gossip, we’re expected to believe nobody knew anything about what was happening in Les Moonves’s office, and in Harvey Weinstein’s, and in Bryan Singer’s? It beggars belief. They knew. They all knew. The men knew. The women knew.

Nov. 29

The Hill, Miami Herald reporter hits back at Scaramucci over criticism of Epstein story, John Bowden, Nov. 29, 2018. Miami Herald rejected accusations from former White House Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University communications director Anthony Scaramucci that her newspaper “planted” a story linking Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, right.

Julie Brown, an investigative reporter for the Herald, fired back at Scaramucci on Thursday afternoon after the former Trump aide wrote that the Herald tried to “do a number” on Acosta because of his success in the Trump administration.

“1. I'm not in D.C. and have very few D.C. connections 2. 'Planted' ? Hmm. I don't even know what that means,” Brown wrote on Twitter.

“3. This was honest to god, shoe leather reporting & digging through dense court documents for a year,” she added. “No one contacted me to do this story. No one. It was totally my idea.”

miami herald logoAcosta did not respond to requests to comment from the Herald on the story, which detailed his work as a U.S. attorney to secure a lighter punishment for Epstein via a plea agreement despite evidence that the billionaire was involved in bringing underaged girls to the U.S. for prostitution.

Despite his conviction, Epstein was allowed under the agreement to leave jail during his 13-month sentence for 12-hour periods six days a week to commute to his private office for work. The agreement was kept secret from his accusers.

ny times logoNew York Times, Years After Plea Deal in Sex Case, Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Will Get Their Day in Court, Patricia Mazzei, Nov. 29, 2018.  The sordid case against Jeffrey E. Epstein, who was accused of paying dozens of underage girls for sexual massages in Florida, appeared to end a decade ago. The wealthy New York financier struck a deal to avoid any federal criminal charges, enraging some of his victims who got no say in the agreement, which they deemed far too lenient.

But the victims and their lawyers have continued to fight in civil court, long after Mr. Epstein, who pleaded guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting prostitution, completed his sentence in a county lockup, registered as a sex offender and became a free man.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin next week in a West Palm Beach, Fla., courtroom for a civil trial that — for the first time — could give Mr. Epstein’s victims, who are now adults, a chance to publicly testify about their attempts to win justice after the sexual abuse they endured as children.

Mr. Epstein’s accusers could take the witness stand just days after a local investigative report published new details on how Mr. Epstein preyed on young teenage girls — and how prosecutors appeared to buckle to pressure from Mr. Epstein’s high-powered defense lawyers to keep him from ever doing serious time in prison.

The report published Wednesday by The Miami Herald reached all the way to the nation’s capital: The former chief federal prosecutor in Miami who signed off on Mr. Epstein’s plea deal, then-United States Attorney R. Alexander Acosta, is now President Trump’s labor secretary. Mr. Acosta had recently been mentioned as a long-shot candidate to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mr. Acosta’s critical role in accepting the 2007 nonprosecution agreement that protected Mr. Epstein from any federal charges was documented before Mr. Acosta’s Senate confirmation hearing last year. But The Herald report, which quoted victims and police investigators who had never spoken publicly before, brought fresh scrutiny in the #MeToo era to the government’s actions 11 years earlier.

On Thursday, a Labor Department spokesman pointed to Mr. Acosta’s past remarks on the Epstein case, including during his confirmation hearing in March 2017, and directed new questions to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, which did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Acosta said at his confirmation hearing that the plea deal was the result of a “broadly held” consensus among prosecutors. “At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decide that a plea that guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally, and that guarantees other outcomes is a good thing,” he said.

In Florida, though, there was fresh outrage over the new interviews, in which young women described how Mr. Epstein had solicited girls as young as 14 and 15 for nude massages, which sometimes ended in masturbation, oral sex or, in at least one case, forcible rape.

washington post logoWashington Post, Stormy Daniels says Michael Avenatti filed defamation suit against her wishes, Felicia Sonmez, Nov. 29, 2018 (print edition). In a statement, the adult-film actress said she is debating whether to part ways with the attorney, whom she also accused of launching a crowdfunding campaign without her permission.

stormy daniels 2010 83 w“I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward,” Daniels said in a statement. “Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice. But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client.”

In a statement Wednesday, Avenatti defended his work on behalf of Daniels and said he had “always been an open book” with her, although he did not specifically address Daniels’s allegation that he had filed the defamation suit against her wishes.

He said that the agreement Daniels signed in February stipulated that she would pay him $100 and that “any and all other moneys raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs.”

“Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses,” Avenatti said. “The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses.”

Daniels had said in a CNN interview last month that she and Avenatti were in contact “every single day,” sometimes “three or four times” a day.

Nov. 28

#MeToo Scandals In Prosecution

JIP Editor's Note: The Miami Herald published a multi-part investigative project — "Perversion of Justice" — on Nov. 28 reporting how top officials gave a sweetheart deal to billionairre perversion of justice miami herald logomiami herald logopervert Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of future President Trump and past president Clinton, along with a promise not to investigate Epstein's friends and accomplices in a ring allegedly involving hundreds sex victims, many of them high school and junior high schoolers.

The Justice Integrity Project also has extensively covered this case, Jeffrey Epstein (shown below at right), and his enablers, who include prominent prosecutors and other lawyers, including President Trump's Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University But this Miami Herald series goes far beyond all previous news reports, which now number in the hundreds. The Herald credited reporter Julie K. Brown and visual producer Emily Michot with the series. The Herald obtained thousands of FBI and court records, lawsuits, and witness depositions, and went to federal court in New York to access sealed documents in the reporting of "Perversion of Justice." The Herald also tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims, some of whom had never spoken of the abuse before.. 

Miami Herald, Perversion of Justice: A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break, Investigative project, Nov. 28, 2018.

  • Part One: How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
  • Part Two: Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break
  • Part Three: Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark
  • Interactive: Sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein was surrounded by powerful people. Here’s a sampling
  • Timeline: For years, Jeffrey Epstein abused teen girls, police say. A timeline of his case
  • Overview: How Miami Herald journalists investigated Jeffrey Epstein

miami herald logoMiami Herald, Epstein's Connections: They were little girls. Their stories were almost identical. The evidence was substantial, Julie K. Brown and Aaron Albright, Nov. 28, 2018.

Jeffrey Epstein had a little black book filled with the names and personal phone numbers of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, from Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to actors, actresses, scientists and business tycoons. A money manager for the super-rich, Epstein had two private jets, the largest single residence in Manhattan, an island in the Caribbean, a ranch in New Mexico and a waterfront estate in Florida.

But Epstein also had an obsession.

For years, Epstein lured an endless stream of teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion, offering to pay them for massages. Instead, police say, for years he coerced middle and high school girls into engaging in sex acts with him and others.

As evidence emerged that there were victims and witnesses outside of Palm Beach, the FBI began an investigation in 2006 into whether Epstein and others employed by him were involved in underage sex trafficking.

But in 2007, despite substantial evidence that corroborated the girls’ stories of abuse by Epstein, the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a secret deal for the multimillionaire, one that ensured he would never spend a day in prison.

Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, agreed to seal the agreement so that no one — not even Epstein’s victims — would know the full extent of his crimes or who was involved.

This is the story of that deal — and how his victims, more than a decade later, are still fighting a criminal justice system that has stubbornly failed to hold wealthy, powerful men accountable for sexual abuse.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break (Part 1), Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018. A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

Palm Beach, Florida / November 2004

Jane Doe No. 2

Michelle Licata climbed a narrow, winding staircase, past walls covered with photographs of naked girls. At the top of the stairwell was a vast master bed and bath, with cream-colored shag carpeting and a hot pink and mint green sofa.

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe room was dimly lit and very cold.

There was a vanity, a massage table and a timer.

A silver-haired man wearing nothing but a white towel came into the room. He lay facedown on a massage table, and while talking on a phone, directed Licata to rub his back, legs and feet.

Michelle Licata says she was 16 when she first visited Jeffrey Epstein’s home on El Brillo Way to give him a massage. She says he tried to penetrate her with his fingers.

After he hung up, the man turned over and dropped his towel, exposing himself. He told Licata to get comfortable and then, in a firm voice, told her to take off her clothes.

At 16, Licata had never before been fully naked in front of anyone. Shaking and panicked, she mechanically pulled off her jeans and stripped down to her underwear. He set the timer for 30 minutes and then reached over and unsnapped her bra. He then began touching her with one hand and masturbating himself with the other.

“I kept looking at the timer because I didn’t want to have this mental image of what he was doing,’’ she remembered of the massage. “He kept trying to put his fingers inside me and told me to pinch his nipples. He was mostly saying ‘just do that, harder, harder and do this. …’ ”

After he ejaculated, he stood up and walked to the shower, dismissing her as if she had been in history class.

It wasn’t long before a lot of Licata’s fellow students at Royal Palm Beach High School had heard about “a creepy old guy” named Jeffrey who lived in a pink waterfront mansion and was paying girls $200 to $300 to give him massages that quickly turned sexual.

Eventually, the Palm Beach police, and then the FBI, came knocking on Licata’s door. In the police report, Licata was referred to as a Jane Doe 2 in order to protect her identity as a minor.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break (Part 2), Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018.

Palm Beach County Courthouse / June 30, 2008

perversion of justice miami herald logoJeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably in a blue blazer, blue shirt, jeans and gray sneakers. His attorney, Jack Goldberger, was at his side.

At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier — accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls — was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida.

But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation.

Ten years before the #MeToo movement raised awareness about the kid-glove handling of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, Epstein’s lenient sentence and his extraordinary treatment while in custody are still the source of consternation for the victims he was accused of molesting when they were minors.

Beginning as far back as 2001, Epstein lured a steady stream of underage girls to his Palm Beach mansion to engage in nude massages, masturbation, oral sex and intercourse, court and police records show. The girls — mostly from disadvantaged, troubled families — were recruited from middle and high schools around Palm Beach County. Epstein would pay the girls for massages and offer them further money to bring him new girls every time he was at his home in Palm Beach, according to police reports.

The girls, now in their late 20s and early 30s, allege in a series of federal civil lawsuits filed over the past decade that Epstein sexually abused hundreds of girls, not only in Palm Beach, but at his homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and in the Caribbean.

alex acosta swearing in mike pence c spanIn 2007, the FBI had prepared a 53-page federal indictment charging Epstein with sex crimes that could have put him in federal prison for life. But then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta (shown with his being sworn by Vice President Pence as Labor Secretary last year) signed off on a non-prosecution agreement, which was negotiated, signed and sealed so that no one would know the full scope of Epstein’s crimes. The indictment was shelved, never to be seen again.

Epstein instead pleaded guilty to lesser charges in state court, and was required to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 18 months incarceration.

But Epstein — who had a long list of powerful, politically connected friends — didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. Instead, the multimillionaire was assigned to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, where he was able to hire his own security detail. Even then, he didn’t spend much time in a cell. He was allowed to go to his downtown West Palm Beach office for work release, up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, records show.

miami herald logoMiami Herald, How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime, Julie K. Brown, Nov. 28, 2018. A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

perversion of justice miami herald logoOn a muggy October morning in 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz.

It was an unusual meeting for the then-38-year-old prosecutor, a rising Republican star who had served in several White House posts before being named U.S. attorney in Miami by President George W. Bush.

Instead of meeting at the prosecutor’s Miami headquarters, the two men — both with professional roots in the prestigious Washington law firm of Kirkland & Ellis — convened at the Marriott in West Palm Beach, about 70 miles away. For Lefkowitz, 44, a U.S. special envoy to North Korea and corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical.

Nov. 25

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Even as the Catholic Church claims to come clean, something is not right, Elizabeth Bruenig, Nov. 25, 2018 (print edition).  A list of accused predatory priests in the Washington archdiocese arouses suspicion that senior clergy are still holding back.

Nov. 23

washington post logotom jackmanWashington Post, Explosive report on clergy sex abuse spawns wave of inquiries as Catholic church stalls, Tom Jackman, right, Michelle Boorstein and Julie Zauzmer, Nov. 23, 2018 (print edition). A Pennsylvania grand jury report in August set off an unprecedented wave of investigations over the last several months, with attorneys general in 14 states and the District of Columbia announcing probes and demanding documents from Catholic officials.

The swift and sweeping response by civil authorities contrasts sharply with the Vatican’s comparatively glacial pace. While some U.S. dioceses have published lists of priests they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and two cardinals have been ousted, the Vatican this month put on hold a vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on measures to hold bishops more accountable until after a global synod in early 2019. In the meantime, Rome has done little to address the crisis.

washington post logotheodore mccarrickWashington Post, Four months after McCarrick’s resignation, silence from the Vatican on his fate, Julie Zauzmer, Nov. 23, 2018. The ex-cardinal, right, whose conduct scandalized the church is living in Kansas and has not faced a trial.

Nov. 19

TheWrap, Jacob Wohl Files Police Report After Michael Avenatti Tweets: ‘I Am Coming for You,’ Jon Levine, Nov. 19, 2018. Police spoke to Wohl but have taken no other action. Right-wing provocateur Jacob Wohl escalated a fight with Michael Avenatti, right, by filing an incident report with police after Avenatti said he was “coming after” Wohl.

The incident report came after Avenatti suggested in a tweet Friday that Wohl played a part in Avenatti’s arrest on domestic violence charges. Avenatti, best known for representing Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, suggested that Wohl was also behind baseless accusations against special counsel Robert Mueller.

“First Mueller and now me. When we are fully exonerated I am coming for you Jacob Wohl aka Surefire,” Avenatti wrote, referring to Wohl’s opposition research company.

Avenatti has continued tweeting about Wohl, a 20-year-old blogger who says he lives in Irvine. “I have located someone more dishonest with less of a moral compass and lower standards than Donald Trump. His name is Jacob Wohl. And I am going to make it part of my life’s work to bring him to justice,” Avenatti tweeted on Sunday.

In a statement to TheWrap, Wohl denied any involvement in Avenatti’s arrest and said he looked forward to attending the attorney’s court appearance in December.

“I had nothing to do with Avenatti’s arrest. I’ve not been served with any papers. He would be well advised to stop threatening me. He is attempting to deflect blame away from the very serious charge he is facing,” Wohl told TheWrap. On Monday, actress Mareli Miniutti filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Avenatti. Avenatti tweeted Monday evening: “I look forward to a full clearing of my name and disclosure of all of the facts. I have NEVER abused a woman or committed domestic violence against anyone. Any claim to the contrary is completely bogus and fabricated. I am a target. And I will be exonerated.”

Wohl — a former Gateway Pundit writer — received public attention recently when he and lobbyist Jack Burkman attempted to snare Robert Mueller in a #MeToo scandal. The plot swiftly unraveled after media scrutiny and bizarre press conference the pair held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 1.

Nov. 16

Roll Call, Ruben Kihuen Harassed Women, Ethics Committee Finds, Katherine Tully-McManus, Nov. 16, 2018. Rep. Ruben Kihuen harassed women who worked with him and violated the House’s official code of conduct, according to a House Ethics Committee report released Thursday.

“Kihuen made persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities,” the report says. The advances included kissing, grabbing and comments about underwear.

The release comes after a nine-month inquiry by an investigative subcommittee empaneled in December, 2017. The Nevada Democrat refused to resign following allegations of harassment by women who worked for and with him, even after top Democrats called on him to step down. But Kihuen decided not to seek re-election, making the announcement a day after the Ethics Committee launched its investigation.

Nov. 15

ny times logoNew York Times, 7 Women Accuse Dartmouth Professors of Sexual Abuse in Lawsuit, Anemona Hartocollis, Nov. 15, 2018. A lawsuit has accused three professors at Dartmouth College of turning the human behavior research department “into a 21st-century Animal House.”

For over a decade, the professors — Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen — “leered at, groped, sexted, intoxicated and even raped female students,” according to the court papers, which were filed Thursday in federal court in New Hampshire.

The lawsuit, which seeks $70 million in damages, says this behavior went back as far as 2002, and accuses the college administration of looking the other way for more than 16 years.

Dartmouth, an Ivy League university in Hanover, N.H., announced in October 2017 that it was conducting a sexual misconduct investigation of the men, who were tenured professors in the school’s psychology and brain sciences department. That inquiry concluded that the professors should be stripped of their tenure and lose their jobs. All three were allowed to either resign or retire.

Nov. 14

#MeToo, Sexual Assault, Universities

ny times logoNew York Times, For University of Minnesota, Chinese Tycoon’s Arrest Shines Light, Again, on Sexual Assault, Tiffany Hsu, Raymond Zhong and Carolyn Zhang, Nov. 14, 2018 (print edition). When the Chinese billionaire Richard Liu was arrested two months ago in Minneapolis on suspicion of rape, he wasn’t in town for business. Mr. Liu, a 45-year-old internet tycoon, was a student at the University of Minnesota, taking in lectures by day and enjoying dinner parties by night.

As prosecutors weigh whether to charge Mr. Liu, the case represents a setback for a university that has made progress on how it handles sexual misconduct. In recent years, the university has dealt with a series of sexual assault and harassment episodes involving students and faculty members, which have prompted a state audit and new campus policies. Now, the university is once again in the national conversation, and the focus this time is on a relatively new and lucrative academic program.

Mr. Liu, who has denied wrongdoing, was in Minnesota for a global business program, aimed at Asian executives, that is on track to generate over $10 million for the school in tuition since starting last year. His accuser, who has not been publicly identified, is a young Chinese student at the university who volunteered for the program.

The case “puts the university administration in an impossible situation” as it tries to simultaneously protect its students and its reputation, said Kristen Houlton Shaw, the executive director of the nonprofit Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis.

Nov. 12

ny times logoNew York Times, They Were Stopped at the Texas Border. Their Nightmare Had Only Just Begun, Manny Fernandez with photographs and video by Caitlin O’Hara, Nov. 12, 2018. After crossing the Rio Grande, three immigrant women were picked up by a Border Patrol agent. Their relief soon turned to terror.

Nov. 10

The Afro via Black Press USA, Commentary: Let us say #SheToo for women who can’t, E. Faye Williams, Nov. 10, 2018. Since the World Bank is exempt from US laws and courts, women in the World Bank can be sexually harassed and assaulted without any legal recourse. Bank report (The Stern Report) attributed sexual harassment in the World Bank to “cultures with different standards for male-female relationships.” Women who challenge the status quo risk getting fired and losing their World Bank sponsored visa. This entails uprooting their family and leaving the US within 60 days.

In 1999, a US Congressional report found the Bank’s internal justice system that is supposed to protect women from sexual harassment unfit to adjudicate sexual harassment claims. The World Bank pushed back, stating that “The report fails to capture the unique challenges of a large inter-governmental organization composed of 181 member countries.” Chief among the challenges was the Bank’s obligation to “take into account the institution’s multicultural needs.”

A 2001 World Bank report gave further explanation. “While unwelcome behaviors are seen from the perspective of the person on the receiving end, the standard for judging whether a behavior is inappropriate is not purely subjective.” Situations which initially may appear to constitute sexual harassment may not rise to the level of legal offense when “the particular sensitivities required in the World Bank multicultural environment” are factored in.

What “cultural sensitivities” are factored in? In 2016, a comprehensive World Bank study of 173 countries found that over 100 of them have three or more discriminatory laws against women. For example, take Iran where, according to the Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran, Article 209 of their constitution stipulates that “a woman’s life is valued only half as much as a man’s life.

In Nigeria, the penal codes dictate that “unlawful assault of any male person is a felony.” By contrast, “Unlawful assault of a woman or girl is a misdemeanor!” In March 2016, the Nigerian Senate rejected a bill introduced to grant women equality under law. Sound familiar?

When such “cultural sensitivities” are factored, coercive sexual harassment is merely regarded as a manifestation of the Bank’s multicultural environment.

This is disclosed in the Stern Report that identifies a rampant culture of “General sexual harassment,” including “unwelcome touches, repeated requests for dates, and posters and jokes demeaning women.”

Of those who were interviewed for the Stern Report, 325 revealed they were subjected to “unwelcome sexual advances” and 75 said they were victims of “coercive sexual harassment.” The Report concluded that its findings “may seem laughable, but they are a reality to many women at the World Bank.”

The Report stated: “Women generally are not willing to complain about such behavior for fear of retribution. Most simply try to escape their situations as soon as possible. The lack of attention to the issue, the absence of secure and supportive channels to discuss problems, and the uncertainty that remedial action will be taken are seen as official tolerance of such behavior.”

Little has changed since the Stern Report was released in 1992. In 2016, in DN v. World Bank, the Bank’s Administrative Tribunal reviewed a case involving a male staff member who was terminated for placing his iPhone “under the skirt of a female staff member to take inappropriate photographs and/or record a video of her, without her consent.” The Tribunal established that “the Applicant’s misconduct has been established” with sufficient evidence; yet, it ordered the World Bank to reinstate him because “the disciplinary sanction of termination was significantly disproportionate” to the offense he committed or the peculiar culture he manifested!

The only protection his victim has is coming to the office wearing pants! I call upon you to say #SheToo for every woman everywhere when she can’t. The World Bank is one of those places.

Nov. 9

wsj logoWall Street Journal, Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, Joe Palazzolo, Nicole Hong, Michael Rothfeld, Rebecca Davis O’Brien and Rebecca Ballhaus, Nov. 9, 2018. Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of president’s participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws.

david pecker croppedAs a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request.

What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.

djt Karen McDougal Donald Trump youtubeLess than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair. Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal (shown with Trump at left), to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance.

The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

 ny times logofacebook logoNew York Times, Facebook to Drop Forced Arbitration in Harassment Cases, Daisuke Wakabayashi and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Nov. 9, 2018. Facebook said on Friday that it would no longer force employees to settle sexual harassment claims in private arbitration, making it the latest technology company to do away with a practice that critics say has stacked the deck against victims of harassment.

Facebook acted one day after Google announced similar plans. Last week, 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout from the company’s offices around the world to demand that it change the way it handled sexual harassment incidents. Microsoft changed its arbitration policy about a year ago, as did the ride-hailing company Uber six months ago.

Nov. 8

ny times logoeric schneiderman oNew York Times, Schneiderman Will Not Face Criminal Charges in Abuse Complaints, Alan Feuer, Nov. 8, 2018. After a six-month investigation, prosecutors said Thursday that they would not pursue criminal charges against Eric T. Schneiderman, right, the former New York State attorney general who resigned in May after four women accused him of assaulting them.

The decision not to file charges was announced in a statement issued by Madeline Singas, the Nassau County district attorney, who was asked by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to investigate the case shortly after Mr. Schneiderman left his post.

Ms. Singas said the women who accused Mr. Schneiderman of abuse were credible, but there were legal hurdles to bringing charges. She did not elaborate on those obstacles, except to say that some of the accusations were too old to pursue under state law.

rudy giuliani recentNew York Observer, Rudy Giuliani Has Spent $286,000 on His Mistress in Six Months, According to his Wife, Davis Richardson, Nov. 8, 2018. According to his third wife, Judith Nathan, Rudy Giuliani, right, has two very expensive habits: Cigars and mistresses.

Court filings from the pair’s divorce proceedings in Manhattan claim Giuliani dolled out $286,536 to his mistress, Maria Rosa Ryan, over the last six months. The two began an affair earlier this year, prompting Nathan to file for divorce. Like Giuliani, Ryan is also married.

When President Trump’s attorney wasn’t bankrolling his affair, he was reportedly spending $447,938 on activities “for his own enjoyment” and $165,165 on travel, per NBC. Nathan also alleges Giuliani spent $12,012 on cigars and $7,131 on pens. All expenses are said to have occurred since April.

Nov. 7

keith ellison o smallMinneapolis Star-Tribune, Keith Ellison defeats Doug Wardlow in Minnesota attorney general race, Stephen Montemayor, Nov. 7, 2018. Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will be Minnesota’s next attorney general, defeating Republican Doug Wardlow after a bitter campaign marked by allegations of domestic abuse and an intense spotlight on both candidates’ pasts.

Ellison, right, helped deliver the DFL Party a sweep of the statewide elected offices and was met by a raucous room of supporters chanting his name at the party’s election night celebration in St. Paul. Ellison acknowledged the difficulty of the race but said his campaign persevered thanks to his supporters.

Ellison, who is also deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has risen to national political prominence since becoming the nation’s first Muslim congressman in 2006. In June, he surprised supporters by announcing that he would give up a safe Democratic House seat to pursue the Attorney General’s Office after Lori Swanson filed to run for governor. Ellison won the DFL Party’s primary just days after ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan alleged that he emotionally and physically abused her.

Ellison, 55, of Minneapolis, has denied Monahan’s claim, and an investigation commissioned by the DFL Party concluded that it could not substantiate the allegations. Republicans dismissed the investigation because the attorney who led the probe works for a law firm that has represented DFL Party interests.

The election promises to usher in a new era for an office led by Swanson since 2006. Ellison has said that he would approach the office as a tool to challenge certain Trump administration policies in court as other state attorneys general have since Donald Trump’s election.

Ellison said recently he would make as his “first legislative priority” safeguarding staff attorneys from being fired based on their politics — a proposal that was in direct response to a recording of Wardlow pledging to a group of Republican donors that he would purge the office of 42 DFL attorneys.

Before launching his campaign, Wardlow also worked for the national Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit legal group behind numerous court challenges to same-sex marriage and transgender rights.

Nov. 2

gary hart donna rice monkey business

Model Donna Rice and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, a Colorado senator taking a cruise on a yacht named Monkey Business.The photo, allegedly a political dirty trick set up against Hart, was taken during the campaign by Rice's friend Lynn Armandt and provided to the news media

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Trump and the Hart-less Presidency, Maureen Dowd, Nov. 2, 2018. After 30 years, Gary Hart still wonders what might have been.

While the rest of us obsess on what happened in 2016 and what will happen on Tuesday, Gary Hart is bedeviled by what happened in 1987, and whether the tabloid mania sparked by his liaison with Donna Rice led down a rattlesnake-filled path straight to our tabloid president.

gary hart the front runner jason reitman directorHart, and a new Jason Reitman movie about the Rice imbroglio, The Front Runner, both pose the question: Is there a direct connection between Hart’s fall and Trump’s rise?

If reporters had not hidden in the bushes, would there have been any Bushes?

“I bear a very heavy burden of responsibility,” Hart says, picking at a “game plate” of elk, buffalo and quail at The Fort restaurant outside of Denver. “If all that stuff had not happened and if I had been elected, there would have been no gulf war. H.W. wouldn’t have been president. W. wouldn’t have been president. Everything would have changed. I don’t say that to aggrandize myself. It’s just, history changed.

“And that has haunted me for thirty years. I had only one talent and it wasn’t traditional politics — I could see farther ahead than anybody.’’

Hart maintained that “there was no relationship” with Rice. Rice — who became an evangelical and supports Trump — told People this week, “I’m just not discussing it.” But a married candidate can’t have a gorgeous young model fly up to D.C. from Miami for the weekend to visit his house — “the infamous townhouse,’’ as Hart’s son dryly calls it — and not attract questions if they are seen.

A recent piece by James Fallows in The Atlantic reported that Lee Atwater, the Republican dirty trickster and Poppy Bush party chief, confessed before his death that he had set up Hart for his weekend of doom on “Monkey Business.”

“That’s the only way that 48-hour period makes any sense,’’ Hart told me.

See also for background:

  • miami herald logoMiami Herald, The Gary Hart Story: How It Happened, by Jim McGee, Tom Fiedler and James Savage, May 10, 1987. This article was prepared by Jim McGee, Tom Fiedler and James Savage. It was first published in the Miami Herald on May 10, 1987. It is reprinted with permission of The Miami Herald. Note: This article is from  the University of North Carolina “AFS” site, which is being close on Nov. 13, 2018.
  • The Atlantic, Was Gary Hart Set Up? James Fallows, Oct. 16, 2018. November 2018 issue, What are we to make of the deathbed confession of the political operative Lee Atwater, newly revealed, that he staged the events that brought down the Democratic candidate in 1987?

October

Oct. 31

washington post logopakistan flag wavingWashington Post, Pakistan’s highest court spares the life of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, Shaiq Hussain, Meagan Flynn and Pamela Constable, Oct. 31, 2018 (print edition). Pakistan’s highest court has spared the life of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in a long-awaited ruling Wednesday, prompting celebration among human rights activists and countrywide protest by religious parties. Asia Bibi, a mother and farmer, had spent eight years seeking mercy from appeals courts while imprisoned on death row.

The supreme court acquitted Bibi on charges of making “derogatory remarks” about the Muslim prophet Muhammad, ruling that the evidence against her appeared fabricated and insufficient.

If she had been found guilty and not received presidential clemency, Bibi would have been the first person hanged under Pakistan’s strict anti-blasphemy law, which carries a mandatory penalty of death.

“It is ironical that in the Arabic language the appellant’s name Asia means ‘sinful’ but in the circumstances of the present case she appears to be a person, in the words of Shakespeare’s King [Lear], ‘more sinned against than sinning,’” Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa wrote in a concurring opinion.

Looking Back: Dirty Tricks or Scandal?

gary hart donna rice monkey business

Model Donna Rice and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, a Colorado senator taking a cruise on a yacht named Monkey Business.The photo, allegedly a political dirty trick set up against Hart, was taken during the campaign by Rice's friend Lynn Armandt and provided to the news media

People, 31 Years After Gary Hart Sex Scandal, Donna Rice Hughes Can Feel PTSD from Old Media Firestorm, Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, Oct. 31, 2018. At first, she hoped she could remain anonymous.

When The Miami Herald‘s bombshell front-page headline — “Miami woman is linked to Hart; Candidate denies any impropriety” — hit newsstands on May 3, 1987, the 29-year-old woman in question thought her name could be kept out of what quickly spun into the first big political scandal of its kind. Hart, of course, was Gary Hart, the married U.S. senator from Colorado who, at the time, seemed to be coasting toward the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

The woman, spied by Herald reporters who staked out Hart’s Washington, D.C., home to investigate his reputation for womanizing, was Donna Rice, then a pharmaceutical sales rep and model-actress living in Miami.

miami herald logoKnown today by her married name, Donna Rice Hughes spoke exclusively to PEOPLE for the new issue on newsstands Friday, ahead of the Nov. 21 nationwide opening of The Front Runner, director Jason Reitman’s big-screen retelling of the 1987 sex scandal that shut down Hart’s campaign and tarred Hughes, in her words, as a “bimbo, homewrecker, sleaze.”

“The Miami Herald didn’t know my identity. Somebody in the Hart campaign released my name to the media and so within the day the story broke, my name and other things were released,” Hughes, now 60, recalls in an interview at the kitchen table of the D.C.-area home she shares with her husband, Jack, a tech-industry businessman.

See also: The Atlantic, Was Gary Hart Set Up? James Fallows, Oct. 16, 2018. November 2018 issue, What are we to make of the deathbed confession of the political operative Lee Atwater, newly revealed, that he staged the events that brought down the Democratic candidate in 1987?

Oct. 26

washington post logoWashington Post, Personal Commentary: Homeless women are the sexual assault survivors no one talks about. Here’s my story, Lori Yearwood, Oct. 26, 2018.Within months, the writer lost her house, her family and business, and wound up, traumatized, on the streets of Salt Lake City. She spent two years enduring brutality as a homeless woman before she found the strength to pull herself out.

Oct. 26

ny times logoNew York Times, Google Shielded Executives Accused of Misconduct. One Got $90 Million Exit Deal, Daisuke Wakabayashi and Katie Benner, Oct. 25, 2018. Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, a hero’s farewell when he left the company in October 2014.

“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Larry Page, Google’s chief executive then, said in a public statement. “With Android he created something truly remarkable — with a billion-plus happy users.”

google logo customWhat Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge of the episode. Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible, said the people, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, citing confidentiality agreements. Mr. Rubin was notified, they said, and Mr. Page asked for his resignation.

Google could have fired Mr. Rubin and paid him little to nothing on the way out. Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package, paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years, said two people with knowledge of the terms. The last payment is scheduled for next month.

Mr. Rubin was one of three executives that Google protected over the past decade after they were accused of sexual misconduct. In two instances, it ousted senior executives, but softened the blow by paying them millions of dollars as they departed, even though it had no legal obligation to do so. In a third, the executive remained in a highly compensated post at the company. Each time Google stayed silent about the accusations against the men.

The New York Times obtained corporate and court documents and spoke to more than three dozen current and former Google executives and employees about the episodes, including some people directly involved in handling them. Most asked to remain anonymous because they were bound by confidentiality agreements or feared retribution for speaking out.

washington post logoWashington Post, While Stormy Daniels publicly battles Trump, Summer Zervos’s defamation suit against him quietly advances, Elise Viebeck, Oct. 25, 2018. Three days after adult-film star Stormy Daniels’s libel case against President Trump was dismissed in federal court, the lawyer for another woman suing Trump for defamation argued to a panel of New York appellate judges why they should allow her case to proceed.

summer zervos“The president does not stand above the law,” Mariann Wang, an attorney for former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos (shown in a file photo), said last week during a little-noticed hearing in Manhattan.

“He is also a human being who engaged in unofficial conduct and acts that hurt my client very seriously. We have — she has — the right to bring this action.”

Amid the focus on Daniels’s conspicuous and ugly battle with Trump, Zervos’s case has quietly advanced as a possibly more serious legal threat.

Trump’s lawyers are attempting to block her suit by arguing that the president is immune from such lawsuits in state court, a constitutional law dispute that could produce new precedent if it rises to the Supreme Court.

So far, Zervos’s case has overcome multiple efforts by Trump’s attorneys to kill or stall it in New York state. Lawyers for Zervos have started gathering pretrial evidence — including written answers from Trump — and may get the chance to depose him in the coming months.

Oct. 24

#MeToo Priest Probe

washington post logoWashington Post, Virginia attorney general launches investigation into Catholic clergy sex abuse, Michelle Boorstein and Laura Vozzella​, Oct. 24, 2018. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced Wednesday that his office is running an “ongoing investigation” into the state’s two Catholic dioceses and whether there has been any sexual abuse and coverup. The announcement comes a day after D.C.'s top prosecutor made a similar announcement.

In a late morning news conference, Herring said the probe was launched in response to a massive Pennsylvania grand jury report released this summer, and not with specific knowledge of unreported abuse or a coverup in Virginia. However, he told reporters, after reading the report: “Like so many Americans … I felt sick.”

Wife Accuses Nationalist In #MeToo Claim

washington post logoWashington Post, White nationalist Richard Spencer accused of physically abusing wife throughout their marriage, Eli Rosenberg, Oct. 24, 2018. White nationalist Richard Spencer’s wife, Nina Koupriianova, accused him of physically, emotionally and verbally abusing her over the course of their eight-year marriage, according to documents and exhibits filed in court as part of their divorce proceedings.

richard spencer CustomKoupriianova said the abuse, which she documented in the form of transcribed conversations, emails, photographs and even a chat with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, continued throughout the course of their eight-year marriage and included incidents that occurred while she was pregnant.

Spencer, right, is perhaps the most prominent white nationalist from the crop of racially motivated extremists who came into public view during the 2016 election and events such as the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Often quick to return a reporter’s phone call or email, Spencer has been readily covered by the media as the public face of the loose collection of political ideologies revolving around racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and racial purity that make up the so-called alt-right.

Oct. 23

washington post logokarl racineWashington Post, D.C. attorney general launches investigation of clergy sex abuse in Washington archdiocese, Peter Jamison and Michelle Boorstein, Oct. 23, 2018.  D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine, right, said Tuesday that his office has begun an investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the archdiocese of Washington, the latest in a string of state-level law enforcement officials now looking into the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse complaints.

The investigation, announced by Racine at a regularly scheduled breakfast among the District’s elected officials, will bring scrutiny to Catholic leaders who have cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullcome under intense criticism in recent months.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, left, resigned this month as Washington’s archbishop amid an uproar over a Pennsylvania grand jury report that depicted systemic abuse across the state’s Catholic Church, including in Pittsburgh, where Wuerl had been a bishop. Wuerl’s D.C. predecessor, former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, was removed from ministry in June following allegations that he had sexually abused a teenager decades ago while serving as a priest in New York.

Racine has limited power to prosecute crimes in the District, where felony cases are handled by the U.S. attorney’s office. However, he is opening the investigation under his authority to enforce D.C. law governing nonprofit organizations, as well as District law regarding the mandated reporting of sexual abuse.

ny times logoNew York Times, #MeToo Brought Down 201 Powerful Men. Women Are Nearly Half of Their Replacements, Audrey Carlsen, Maya Salam, Claire Cain Miller, Denise Lu, Ash Ngu, Jugal K. Patel And Zach Wichter, Oct. 23, 2018. A New York Times analysis shows that the #MeToo movement shook, and is still shaking, power structures in society’s most visible sectors. In the year preceding the Weinstein report, fewer than 30 high-profile people made the news for resigning or being fired after public accusations of sexual misconduct.

P#MeToo / Press Freedom / Libel Law

ny times logomichelle goldberg thumbNew York Times, Opinion: Revenge of the Right-Wing Snowflakes, Michelle Goldberg, Oct. 22, 2018. Angry men go to court to silence their critics.One minor sordid subplot of the Trump era has been the ugly custody battle between Jason Miller, senior communications adviser on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and A.J. Delgado, a former Trump campaign surrogate.

jason miller aj delgadoMiller and Delgado (shown at left) started an affair during the presidential race; Delgado became pregnant while Miller’s wife was pregnant as well. Now Miller and Delgado are involved in a vicious custody battle over their son, which Delgado chronicles on her Twitter feed.

For all its squalor, this is a story of public interest. It’s reportedly the reason Miller didn’t become White House communications director, instead signing on to defend Trump as a CNN contributor.

So it was news when Delgado claimed, in a court filing, that Miller had made a previous girlfriend pregnant and then put abortion-inducing medication in her smoothie. In September the website Splinter, part of Gizmodo Media, reported on the filing, noting that Miller denied the allegations.

In response, Miller made an aggressive legal move that’s becoming more common on the right, suing the report’s author, Katherine Krueger, and Gizmodo Media for $100 million. When Krueger’s boyfriend, a co-host of the cult left-wing podcast Chapo Trap House, called Miller a “rat-faced baby killer” in a tweet, Miller added him to the suit.

There is an air of dark absurdity about this saga. Miller is unlikely to prevail, because there are broad protections for journalists to report on claims made in legal filings, whether or not they are true. But it’s still worth taking seriously, because it’s part of a mounting conservative assault on free speech.

Oct. 12

washington post logoWashington Post, Pope accepts Wuerl’s resignation amid criticism of handling of abuse claims, Michelle Boorstein, Oct. 12, 2018. Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullof Washington’s archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl (shown at right), a trusted papal ally who became a symbol among many Catholics for what they regard as the church’s defensive and weak response to clerical sex abuse.

But even as Wuerl becomes one of the highest-profile prelates to step down in a year of prominent abuse scandals, Pope Francis offered the cardinal a gentle landing, praising him in a letter and allowing him to stay on as “apostolic administrator” in the Washington archdiocese until a successor was found.

In his letter, Francis suggested he had accepted Wuerl’s resignation reluctantly, and said he saw in the cardinal’s request the “heart of a shepherd.” Francis did not criticize Wuerl’s handling of abuse cases, and wrote that Wuerl had “sufficient elements” to defend his actions.

Oct. 11

Oct. 11

Justice Integrity Project, Courts Continue Voter Suppression As Trump Celebrates With His Justice In Partisan White House Gala, Hatefest

By Andrew Kreig

The U.S. Supreme Court helped launch the Brett Kavanaugh era on Oct. 10 by curtailing the voting of Native Americans in North Dakota, where a tight Senate race threatens a Democrat who voted against Kavanaugh's recent confirmation.

brett kavanaugh white house promoThe court enabled a new state rule barring voters who use for election purposes Post Office boxes instead of street addresses. Many Native Americans living on reservations use only PO Boxes and have heavily supported Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, below, the incumbent Democrat who is now an underdog in her race.

heidi heitkamp oThe court's refusal to intervene follows its recent practice of avoiding review for the most part of voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts by Republican state officials who have taken major steps recently to reduce voter registrations and polling place en masse in ways that heavily disadvantage Democrats in November.

In the North Dakota case, five votes were needed from the nine justices. Kavanaugh, shown in a White House-promoted political-type photo of a kind unusual for a sitting justice, did not participate for unexplained reasons, presumably because of his busy schedule getting installed onto the court.

Several columns this week describe a looming legal crisis regarding election-rigging in next month's elections and beyond.

Update: Trump Administration Seeks to Stifle Protests Near White House and on National Mall.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast, who documented for the BBC in 2001 how Republicans had stolen the 2000 presidential election by eliminating the names of more than 100,000 suspected Democrats from voter rolls (and not by the few ballots with hanging "chads" described by the American media), published several investigations regarding secret cutbacks in 2018 voter rolls by Republican secretaries of state seeking to tilt next month's elections.

For example, he wrote for Truthout in GOP’s Brian Kemp Purged 1 in 10 Georgia Voters: I’ve Got the Names:

"My lawyer had to threaten Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp with a federal lawsuit to force him to turn over the names of over half a million voters whose citizenship rights he quietly extinguished," Palast began. "This past week, I released the name of every one of these Georgia voters Kemp flushed from voter rolls in 2017."

Yet all such legal actions and reporting is based on the increasingly quaint theory that federal courts will honestly address the election issues and not just endorse Republican vote suppression by 5-4 party line votes by justices installed like Kavanaugh after long involvement in extreme partisan politics, including dirty tricks at election time.

brett kavanaugh election fraud wmr graphicTaking another broad view, investigative reporter Wayne Madsen linked Kavanaugh with presidential election rigging in the United States with Karl Rove and in the Ukraine with Paul Manafort in 2004, as portrayed at right and as described in his column Exclusive Investigative Commentary: Bush backed Kavanaugh to keep election thefts of 2000 and 2004 a secret.

The column, based on Madsen's years of covering election frauds, linked Kavanaugh and Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee to the Bush dynasty and its election-rigging operation headquartered in Chattanooga, TN,  where Corker was mayor before his 2006 election to the senate.

Madsen thereby explained the all-out Bush team pressure that kept such supposed "moderates" as Corker and former Bush appointee Susan Collins as strong Kavanaugh supporters despite their supposed willingness to weigh evidence fairly about  allegations against the nominee. Collins is married to Thomas Daffron, a lobbyist with deep ties to the Bush administration and powerful corporations.

Also, Ohio-based investigative reporters/authors Robert Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman published Will the Trump GOP Strip and Flip America's 2018 Election While the Democrats Fail to Protect the Vote?

djt brett kavanaugh anthony kennedy oct 8 2018 white houseEarlier this week, President Trump invited the newest justice and his family to the White House to reenact the official weekend swearing-in ceremony.

With Trump front and center and denouncing Democrats, the White House ceremony became a highly partisan attack by the president on "mobs" of protesters against the nominee.

Democrats and other protesters must be defeated at the polls in next month's elections to maintain law and order, the president urged as the new justice looked on during the celebration — thereby horrifying both Democrats and others who think presidents and judges should at least pretend to be non-partisan on formal occasions.

The spectacle was an especially flagrant disregard of norms for a non-partisan judiciary independent of party or president. That's because Kavanaugh, doubtless now deeply indebted to Trump, has argued that a president should not have to undergo civil or criminal litigation.

Oct. 9

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Seeks to Make Furor a Campaign Asset, Not a Liability, Peter Baker, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). As he prepared to hold a ceremonial swearing-in of Justice Kavanaugh, President Trump dismissed sexual misconduct accusations as “fabricated.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump stokes tensions over Kavanaugh confirmation battle, Ashley Parker and John Wagner, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). At a White House ceremony, President Trump apologized to Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his family for the “terrible pain and suffering” they endured after his confirmation was marred by accusations of sexual misconduct.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Christine Ford’s Corroborating Evidence, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 9, 2018. Throughout the controversy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, some people were saying that Christine Blasey Ford did not produce “corroborating evidence” to support her accusation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Therefore, since Kavanaugh was denying that he committed the assault, the argument went, he should be given the benefit of the doubt in what seemed to be a “he-said, she-said” controversy.

But actually Ford did provide corroborating evidence to support the accusation she leveled at Kavanaugh, very powerful corroborating evidence, evidence that was largely ignored by the Senate Judiciary Committee, especially in the haste by Republican committee members to get the controversy over with by rushing to a quick confirmation vote.

Part of the problem, of course, lies in how some people perceive the term “corroborating evidence.” For many who aren’t lawyers, the term means eyewitnesses to the incident in question. What such people fail to realize, however, is that the law provides that there can be corroborative evidence that does not consist of eyewitness testimony.

One thing is for sure though: Contrary to popular opinion, Christine Blasey Ford did provide corroborating evidence to the U.S. Senate that buttressed her accusation against Brett Kavanaugh — powerful corroborating evidence in the form of prior consistent statements that were previously made to several different people and all of which statements were made long before Kavanaugh was even nominated.

brett kavanaugh protest sign veronica monet dcma

Anti-Kavanaugh protester in front of the U.S. Capitol (Veronica Monet photo via DCMA)

OpEdNews, Opinion: The Cultural Conflict of the Century: Conservative Politics and the #MeToo Backlash, Veronica Monet, Oct. 9, 2018. Many of us were horrified to witness how the Republican controlled Senate dealt with Dr. Ford's claims of sexual assault during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Some of us were shocked by the "boys will be boys" and "it's in the past so why talk about it now" assertions from those conservatives who unapologetically stood by their man, Brett Kavanaugh.

As important as Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court was, could it be that we are in the midst of a cultural war that transcends the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in its scope and implications? Might his confirmation be seen as a backlash against the #MeToo movement? Might we be in the midst of an epic conflict between old cultural belief systems and a newly emerging cultural paradigm?

Kavanaugh played by the rules of the conservative culture he ascribes to. According to those rules, male emotions other than anger and self-righteous indignation are a liability and even a self-centered indulgence. There is little empathy for the suffering of self or of others and a lot of disdain for anyone who "breaks the rules."

ny times logopaul krugmanNew York Times, Opinion: The Paranoid Style in G.O.P. Politics, Paul Krugman, right, Oct. 9, 2018 (print edition). Republicans are an authoritarian regime in waiting.

Many people are worried, rightly, about what the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh means for America in the long term. He’s a naked partisan who clearly lied under oath about many aspects of his personal history; that’s as important as, and related to, the question of what he did to Christine Blasey Ford, a question that remains unresolved because the supposed investigation was such a transparent sham. Putting such a man on the Supreme Court has, at a stroke, destroyed the court’s moral authority for the foreseeable future.

But such long-term worries should be a secondary concern right now. The more immediate threat comes from what we saw on the Republican side during and after the hearing: not just contempt for the truth, but also a rush to demonize any and all criticism. In particular, the readiness with which senior Republicans embraced crazy conspiracy theories about the opposition to Kavanaugh is a deeply scary warning about what might happen to America, not in the long run, but just a few weeks from now.

Oct. 8

Supreme Court Swearing-in

djt brett kavanaugh anthony kennedy oct 8 2018 white house

Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, ceremonially swears-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as President Donald Trump looks on, in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 8, 2018. Susan Walsh / AP

abc news logoABC News, Trump apologizes 'on behalf of the nation' to Kavanaugh during swearing-in, claims he was 'proven innocent,' Adam Kelsey and Meridith McGraw, Oct. 8, 2018. President Donald Trump apologized to incoming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Monday evening "for the terrible pain and suffering" that he and his family endured during his confirmation process, going so far as to claim that Kavanaugh was "proven innocent" of the sexual assault allegations made against him.

Trump's comments, which he acknowledged as outside of the norm just prior to making them, came at a ceremonial swearing-in event for Kavanaugh in the East Room of the White House, two days after Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate and formally sworn-in as a member of the court by Chief Justice John Roberts.

"On behalf of the nation, I'd like to apologize to Brad and the entire a Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you've been forced to endure," Trump said. "Those who stepped forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation. Not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception."

Trump addressed the controversy head-on characterizing the heated political debate over sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh by California professor Christine Blasey Ford and several other women as "violat[ing] every notion of fairness, decency and due process."

"[In] our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," the president continued. "And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent."

nbc news logoNBC News, Hillary Clinton calls Kavanaugh's ceremonial swearing-in a 'political rally,' Adam Edelman, Oct. 9, 2018. Trump's remarks at the White House event "further undermined the image and integrity of the court," the former secretary of state said.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday ripped President Donald Trump’s unusual handling of the ceremonial swearing-in for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling the display a "political rally" that "further undermined the image and integrity of the court."

hillary clinton gage skidmore peoria azIn an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, parts of which aired Tuesday morning on the network, Clinton (shown in a file photo by Gage Skidmore) said that the way Trump carried out the event "troubles me greatly."

"What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court," Clinton said, "and that troubles me greatly. It saddens me because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government."

"So I don't know how people are going to react to it. I think given our divides it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against," she added, calling Trump “true to form.”

"He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign. Really for many years leading up to the campaign — and he's continued to do that inside the White House," Clinton said.

Trump responded on Tuesday to Clinton's comments, saying, "I guess that's why she lost. She never got it."

GOP Election Scandals

brett kavanaugh election fraud wmr graphic

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Exclusive Investigative Commentary: Bush backed Kavanaugh to keep election thefts of 2000 and 2004 a secret, Wayne Madsen, Oct. 8, 2018 (Subscription required, $30 annually; excerpted with permission.)

karl rove HR"Bush White House aides Brett Kavanaugh and Karl Rove, left, closely coordinated their election fraud operations with two experienced Washington campaign advisers for Republican candidates, Rick Davis, and Davis's partner, Paul Manafort."

wayne madsen trumps bananas coverNote: Former Navy intelligence officer, NSA analyst and defense contractor computer scientist Wayne Madsen for many years has exposed techniques to rig U.S. and international elections, electronically and by other methods. He is the author of 16 books, including the just-published "Trump's Bananas Republic," which portrays administration scandals through the lens of iconic Hollywood movies.

Climate Change

washington post logoWashington Post, World has just over a decade to get control of climate change, U.N. scientists say, Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis. Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). “There is no documented historic precedent" for the scale of changes required, the body found.

The report warns of dire consequences if nations do not cut their carbon emissions by more than 1 billion tons per year, a figure that is larger than the annual emissions of nearly every country on the planet.

Supreme Court Battle

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: We need to stay angry about Kavanaugh, E.J. Dionne Jr., Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). But even more, we need to vote, organize and think boldly after this travesty.

Republicans rushed through Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to avoid the possible consequences of an election. They aborted a full investigation because they feared what it might find. They made themselves complicit in a presidential attack on Christine Blasey Ford, a brave woman who asked only that her case against Kavanaugh be taken seriously.

After all these outrages, there will be calls for a renewal of civility, as if the problem is that people said nasty things about one other. But the answer to this power grab cannot be passive acceptance in the name of being polite. The causes and consequences of what just happened must be acknowledged frankly.

brett kavanaugh.judgeLThe conservative struggle for the court began in the 1960s, but it hit its stride in the Bush v. Gore decision after after the 2000 election. Five conservative justices violated the principles they claimed to uphold on states’ rights and the use of equal-protection doctrine to stop a recount of votes in Florida requested by Al Gore, the Democratic nominee. They thus made George W. Bush president.

The pro-Bush justices made abundantly clear that they were grasping at any arguments available to achieve a certain outcome by declaring, “our consideration is limited to the present circumstances.” Translation: Once Bush is in, please forget what we said here.

washington post logoWashington Post, Justices move to repair Supreme Court’s image after fight over Kavanaugh, Robert Barnes, Oct. 8, 2018 (print edition). As Brett M. Kavanaugh prepared for his debut on the high court, his colleagues already had moved quickly to paper over the damage from the bitter and tumultuous confirmation battle.

Oct. 7

 

brett kavanaugh swear in oct 6 2018 ashley

Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as his wife Ashley and two daughters look on, is sworn onto the court by Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Kavanaugh recommended for the court as Bush Administration White House Staff secretary (Supreme Court photo, Oct. 6, 2018). A political precedent used during the Republican installation of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas was to rush the swear-in in order to limit the impact of new scandal and protest for the lifetime appointment.

ny times logorepublican elephant logoNew York Times, Kavanaugh Is Sworn In After Close Confirmation Vote in Senate, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday by one of the slimmest margins in American history, locking in a solid conservative majority on the court and capping a rancorous battle that began as a debate over judicial ideology and concluded with a national reckoning over sexual misconduct.

He was promptly sworn in by both Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy — the court’s longtime swing vote, whom he will replace — in a private ceremony.

brett kavanaugh zina bash c span sept 2018

washington post logoWashington Post, Divided Senate confirms Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, Seung Min Kim and John Wagner, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). The Senate voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court’s 114th justice on Saturday by one of the narrowest margins in the institution’s history, as police stood guard and protesters’ shouts of “shame, shame” echoed through the Senate chamber.

The 50-to-48 vote capped a brutal confirmation fight that underscored how deeply polarized the nation has become under President Trump, who has now successfully placed two justices on the nation’s highest court, cementing a conservative majority.

With Vice President Pence presiding, senators sat in their chairs and rose to cast their votes, repeatedly interrupted by protesters in the visitors’ gallery who yelled out and were removed by Capitol Police. The Supreme Court announced Kavanaugh would be sworn in later Saturday.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Rock bottom’: Supreme Court fight reveals a country on the brink, Michael Scherer and Robert Costa​, Oct. 7, 2018 (print edition). In the battle over Brett M. Kavanaugh, few of the players emerged from the process unchanged or unblemished, underscoring the uncharted territory of deepening distrust and polarization that now defines the American system.

Oct. 6

GOP Wins Court Battle republican elephant logo

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘Ultimate fighter’: How Trump helped shift momentum in favor of Kavanaugh, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Relying on a hardball approach that left Democrats shaken and defeated, Republican leaders plowed through the chaos of the last few weeks to bring the Supreme Court nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the cusp of confirmation.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The High Court Brought Low, The Editorial Board, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Don’t let Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh have the last word about American justice.

The task of plugging the holes and patching the rents in the court’s legitimacy now falls to the justices themselves, mainly to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. (shown at left) He john roberts omust know that every decision of political significance rendered by a 5-to-4 majority that includes a Justice Kavanaugh will, at the very least, appear to be the product of bias and vengeance. If he cares about the integrity of the court as much as he claims to, the chief will do everything in his power to steer the court away from cases, and rulings, that could deepen the nation’s political divide.

There’s work the rest of us can do as well.

We can, for one thing, find ways in our own workplaces and communities to assure victims of sexual assault that they will be respected if they come forward, even if so many national political figures are dismissive of them.

And if we disapprove of the direction of the courts, we can put the lessons Mitch McConnell taught us to work — and vote.

It’s worth noting that, of the five justices picked by Republicans, including Judge Kavanaugh, four were nominated by presidents who first took office after losing the popular vote. And the slim majority of senators who said they would vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh on Saturday represent tens of millions fewer Americans than the minority of senators who voted to reject him. The nation’s founders were wise to design the court as a counter-majoritarian institution, but they couldn’t have been picturing this.

Most Americans are not where this Senate majority is. They do not support President Trump. They do not approve of relentless partisanship and disregard for the integrity of democratic institutions. And they have the power to call their government to account.

chuck grassley screams at patrick leahy confidential records screenshot

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) screams at his longtime Democratic colleague Pat Leahy of Vermont during the Kavanaugh hearing, in which Leahy and other Democrats have accused the nominee of perjuring himself by denying use of stolen Democratic Senate documents (screenshot).

washington post logoWashington Post, Grassley suggests absence of GOP women on Judiciary Committee is due to its heavy workload, Paul Kane, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s inability to attract Republican women might be caused by its heavy workload, a remark the panel’s chairman tried to retract a few minutes later.

“It’s a lot of work — maybe they don’t want to do it,” Grassley told the Wall Street Journal, NBC News and other outlets, as he headed toward the Senate floor for a speech by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

The committee, which has turned into a partisan hotbed in the past five years, has never had a Republican woman serve on it, even as the Senate’s ranks have doubled from three to six female GOP senators in recent years.

That omission drew more scrutiny during the second round of hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, during which committee Republicans hired a female prosecutor from Arizona to question Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago.

washington post logomitch mcconnell2Washington Post, The politicians and players whose legacies will be shaped by the Kavanaugh fight, Amber Phillips, Oct. 6, 2018 (print edition). How they navigated the emotionally fraught Supreme Court nomination battle could define their careers. This was a Supreme Court nomination that will go down in the history books. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will have overcome accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, questions about his judicial temperament and surprise delays to his confirmation.

Roll Call, Brett Kavanaugh to Be Rare Beneficiary of Senate Paired Voting, Niels Lesniewski, Oct. 6, 2018. Votes of Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Steve Daines will be offset [With 50-48 confirmation margin projected and no GOP "no" votes].

When the Senate votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, two senators will engage in a practice that’s all but died out. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the only member of the Republican Conference opposed to elevating the current D.C. Circuit Court judge to the Supreme Court, announced Friday that ordinarily she would vote “no.” Instead, Murkowski intends to vote “present” in order to offset the absence of Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who will be in Montana to attend to his daughter’s wedding.

The vote on confirmation is expected late afternoon on Saturday.

lisa murkowski oMurkowski said in her floor speech that she hoped after the bitter debate over Kavanaugh that the Senate could take a few steps back toward a more respectful tone.

“While I voted no on cloture today, and I will be a no tomorrow,” she said Friday evening, “I will, in the final tally, be asked to be recorded as present, and I do this because a friend, a colleague of ours, is in Montana this evening and tomorrow at just about the same hour that we’re going to be voting; he’s going to be walking his daughter down the aisle and he won’t be present to vote, and so I have extended this as a courtesy to my friend.”

“It will not change the outcome of the vote, but I do hope that it reminds us that we can take very small, very small, steps to be gracious with one another and maybe those small, gracious steps can lead to more,” Murkowski said.

Oct. 5

Nobel Peace Prize

denis mukwege nadia murad nobel

washington post logoWashington Post, Nobel Peace Prize awarded to two figures bringing attention to sexual violence in conflicts, Chico Harlan and Max Bearak, Oct. 5, 2018. Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi who was kidnapped and raped by Islamic State militants, has become an outspoken activist on sexual slavery and human trafficking. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, has treated thousands of victims of gang rape at his hospital.

#MeToo Goes Global?

washington post logoWashington Post, A year after it began, has #MeToo become a global movement? Karla Adam and William Booth, Oct. 5, 2018. In some countries, the conversation about sexual harassment — and worse — has toppled powerful men. In others, the movement has all but fizzled out — or never took off to begin with.

Supreme Court Battle

Roll Call, Kavanaugh Nomination Clears Key Hurdle, Final Vote Teed Up, John T. Bennett, Oct. 5, 2018. Embattled federal judge Brett Kavanaugh moved one step closer to becoming the ninth Supreme Court justice and providing a decisive fifth conservative vote Friday when the Senate voted to tee up a final up-or-down vote.

lisa murkowski oIn a vote that broke mostly along party lines after several deeply partisan weeks that culminated with a FBI investigation into sexual misconduct charges against Kavanaugh dating to his high school days, the chamber voted to end debate on his nomination, 51-49.

There were a couple of party defections. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, right, voted against cutting off debate, while Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., voted “yes” to cut off debate. The result means the Senate is poised to decide his fate in a high-stakes Saturday vote.

Roll Call, Susan Collins Will Vote ‘Yes’ on Kavanaugh Nomination, Staff report, Oct. 5, 2018. Maine Republican had kept her position on the Supreme Court nomination under wraps. Sen. Susan Collins will vote “yes” on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, one of the last remaining hurdles to the high court susan collins ofor President Donald Trump’s nominee.

Earlier on Friday, the Maine Republican, left, voted to cut off debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination, helping her leadership clear a key hurdle and setting up a final confirmation vote on Saturday. Collins is one of only two Republicans senators serving who voted to confirm Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom were nominated by former President Barack Obama. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is the other one.

Roll Call, Joe Manchin a Yes on Kavanaugh Nomination and Might Be Only Democrat, Staff report, Oct. 5, 2018. Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to joe manchin othe Supreme Court, and might end up the only Democrat to do so.

“I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently democratic donkey logocompleted FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him. I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court,” Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin announced his decision moments after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, virtually guaranteeing the federal circuit court judge’s ascent to the high court.

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, Exclusive: Kavanaugh Father-Son Cancer Powder Keg, Doug Vaughan, Oct. 5, 2018. If Justice Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, sooner or later he may be asked to weigh some damning evidence — that his own father advocated for a product that he knew was carcinogenic to both mothers and fetuses. Unless he recuses himself.

The ironies are piquant: While the son attended private, single-sex religious schools and adopted the traditional Catholic opposition to abortion, and even birth control, on the grounds the government should regulate women’s use of their own bodies and reproduction, the father made millions from the industry that marketed and sold female personal hygiene products — while keeping the government from guarding the consumers’ health and safety.

It’s no exaggeration that, if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, stuff like baby powder will have smoothed his slide into a seat on the highest court in the land.

More than 10,000 active claims in US courts, mostly by women, allege that they got cancer from regular use of talcum products like baby powder. In one case last summer, a jury in Missouri awarded $4.7 billion to a group of 20 such women who sued the biggest manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson — for promoting its products while hiding evidence of the risks to women, their reproductive organs, and their babies.

Sooner or later, one of these cases is likely to come to the Supreme Court. If he’s confirmed by the Senate, and if he fails to recuse himself, Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be asked to consider evidence that his father, Ed, helped J&J market such products — even though they knew they were carcinogenic. Kavanaugh Sr.’s former employer is one of the named defendants in some of the biggest class-action cases filed so far.

ny times logoNew York Times, Senate Moves Toward Showdown Vote on Kavanaugh Confirmation, Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 5, 2018. Republican leaders were increasingly confident that the Senate would narrowly vote to cut off debate on Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination and move to a final confirmation on Saturday. But with four senators, including three Republicans, still undecided, Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was still not assured.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, The Looming Degradation of the Supreme Court, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 5, 2018. With Republican senators dutifully lining up to support President Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, it is increasingly likely that conservative lawyer and judge Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. At the same time, in its determination to “win,” the Republican Party will have brought not only shame to itself but also a degradation in prestige to the highest court of the land.

A couple of days ago, more than 500 law professors from more than 160 law schools across the nation had signed a public letter opposing Kavanaugh’s appointment. As a trial lawyer for 12 years before I joined the libertarian movement and who still is authorized to practice law in my home state of Texas, I was absolutely stunned. In all my life, I had never seen that happen. Sure, law professors have their own political philosophies and affiliations but I had never seen so many of them come together to take a public stand against a particular Supreme Court nominee, especially one who sits as a judge on the federal court of appeals.

Imagine my shock when that number increased a couple of days later to 2,400 law professors opposing the Kavanaugh nomination! The term used by the New York Times expressed my reaction: “Incomprehensible!”

That was on top of the withdrawal of support for Kavanaugh’s nomination immediately after he testified by the American Bar Association, which has 400,000 members, and the dean of the Yale Law School, where Kavanaugh got his law degree. What was phenomenal about this was that both the ABA and the Yale law school dean had previously supported Kavanaugh’s appointment.

Then, in what I believe is also an unprecedented act, a retired Supreme Court justice, John Paul Stevens, came out and declared that Kavanaugh lacks the required temperament to be a Supreme Court justice, which is what those 2,400 law professors are also saying.

Contrary to what conservative supporters of Kavanaugh have maintained, the primary issue in the Kavanaugh controversy does not revolve around the issue of whether a lawyer’s actions as a teenager should disqualify him from later serving on the Supreme Court. That, of course, is a interesting issue, but it isn’t the issue at hand. If Kavanaugh had confessed to sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford as a 17-year-old, expressed remorse for it, apologized, and sought forgiveness, then the Senate would be faced with that issue: Should what he did 36 years ago disqualify him from serving on the highest court in the land?

christine blasey ford high schoolInstead, there are three primary issues in this controversy: (1) Did Kavanaugh commit the sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford (shown as a schoolgirl) and, if so, should that make a difference with respect to his appointment to the Supreme Court? (2) Did he commit perjury with his denial of having committed the offense and, equally important, with respect to other matters in his sworn testimony and, if so, should that make a difference to his appointment to the Supreme Court? and (3) Does Kavanaugh have the necessary temperament to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court?

As the controversy has unfolded, it has become painfully clear that perjury just isn’t important to conservatives, at least to conservatives who aren’t lawyers. Time and time again, in addressing the controversy, they ether have glossed over the possibility that Kavanaugh committed perjury or made it clear that it just doesn’t matter to them. It’s no big deal. Let’s just have a quick, 3-day, cursory, sham investigation, confirm the guy, and then “move on.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: If Kavanaugh is confirmed, impeachment could follow. Here’s how, Deanna Paul, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). Whether Kavanaugh returns to the D.C. Circuit or, as appears increasingly likely, is confirmed to the Supreme Court, impeachment proceedings could follow. They would be contingent on Democrats regaining control of the House, the only body that can bring an article of impeachment.

brett kavanaugh“Much of Washington has spent the week focusing on whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Lisa Graves wrote in a Slate column on Sept. 7, more than a week before the New Yorker published the then-anonymous sexual assault claims of Christine Blasey Ford. “After the revelations of his confirmation hearings, the better question is whether he should be impeached from the federal judiciary. I do not raise that question lightly, but I am certain it must be raised.”

Graves wrote that Kavanaugh, right, had misled the Judiciary Committee about the stolen documents that Graves had written as chief counsel for nominations for Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) when he was the chairman of the committee. Kavanaugh, she wrote, “lied. Under oath. And he did so repeatedly.” Therefore, she concluded, “he should not be confirmed. In fact, by his own standard, he should clearly be impeached.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh: I said things I ‘should not have said’ at hearing, Eli Rosenberg, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the judge tacitly acknowledges the questions being raised about his conduct and emotions. john paul stevens scotus photo portrait

washington post logoWashington Post, Retired Justice Stevens calls Kavanaugh’s hearing performance disqualifying, Robert Barnes, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Thursday that he no longer believes Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, citing Kavanaugh’s heated performance during a Senate hearing last week.

Stevens, 98 (shown in a file photo), made the comments in Boca Raton, Fla., before a group of retirees, according to the Palm Beach Post and the journalist who interviewed Stevens at the event.

washington post logoWashington Post, The rise and the reckoning: Inside Brett Kavanaugh’s circles of influence, Marc Fisher, Ann E. Marimow and Michael Kranish, Oct. 5, 2018 (print edition). The story of President Trump’s embattled choice for the Supreme Court is a classic Washington tale of a young man who grew up surrounded by people in high places, keenly aware of protecting his image. He told a friend in college that he didn’t plan to buy stocks as an adult because he had to avoid conflicts if he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a judge.

brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookKavanaugh’s story is also one of the power and insularity of wealth. He grew up in an idyll of country clubs and beach retreats, private schools and public prominence. The only child of a lobbyist and a judge, he had parents who pushed him hard, teachers who assured him that he faced no limits, and friends whose families knew the art of making problems go away quietly.

That Kavanaugh (shown in a prep school yearbook photo) would achieve greatness seemed certain. Some of his classmates called him “The Genius.” They liked him because he was smart and fun. Women found him thoughtful and empathetic. Men said he was a guy’s guy — a walking encyclopedia of sports, a good pal, always up for a beer.

More On Susan Collins Vote

george hw bush and son

ryan grim CustomThe Intercept: Analysis: Sen. Susan Collins and Brett Kavanaugh Are Both in the Bush Family Inner Circle. That Helps Explain Her Vote, Ryan Grim, right, and Akela Lacy, Oct., 5, 2018. The announcement Friday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was about family. Namely, the Bush family.

George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush [shown above in a file photo] have both been welcomed into the ranks of the resistance to President Donald Trump, but their most consequential action since his election has been to help lift Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court.

susan collins oCollins, left, is an honorary member of the Bush family. She got her start in politics as a congressional aide to Rep.-turned-Sen. William Cohen. The Maine Republican was close to George H.W. Bush, who has long maintained a presence in the state. At the end of the first Bush administration, Collins was appointed New England regional director of the Small Business Administration. In 1996, she was elected to the Senate to replace her mentor, Cohen.

Kavanaugh, too, has longstanding ties to the Bush family. He served as an attorney for George W. Bush’s campaign, playing a major role in the legal battle between Bush and Al Gore. He then served as staff secretary in the Bush White House, a position of intimate influence — the staff secretary attends most Oval Office meetings and is a trusted sounding board for the president.

In the weeks after Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault during his high school and college years, Bush personally called wavering senators, lobbying on the nominee’s behalf. Collins, who had said she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, was one of those wavering senators. In August, HuffPost reported, citing a source close to Collins’s staff, that Collins had assured the White House that she would support Kavanaugh if he were nominated. (She has denied that.)

Collins has since said that the decision was a difficult one, though there was no hint of that agonizing in her Senate floor speech Friday, which was a full-throated defense of Kavanaugh and a prosecution of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations.

In the end, Collins suggested that she hoped Kavanaugh’s nomination would restore the faith of Americans in the Supreme Court, easing partisan tensions and decreasing the number of 5-4 decisions the court handed down. It’s difficult to rationalize the idea that a nomination as contentious as this would usher a return to a more harmonious era of bipartisan collaboration.

Palmer Report, Opinion: The sheer insanity of what Susan Collins just did, Bill Palmer, Oct. 5, 2018. Why? It’s the only question left to ask after GOP Senator Susan Collins not only voted for screaming liar and alleged serial sex offender Brett Kavanaugh, but made a point of doing it in the most jarring and self defeating manner possible. It raises uncomfortable and scary questions about what might really be going on here.

susan collins official SmallSusan Collins has never been a party loyalist. In the past two years alone, she’s cast multiple deciding votes against the GOP on major issues, including the attempted Obamacare repeal, and the original Senate Intelligence Committee decision to investigate the Trump-Russia scandal. So no matter how many social media posts might claim that “Collins voted this way because she always votes the party line,” that’s a factually false statement. No, this has to be about something else.

If Susan Collins had decided that she needed to cast a very unpopular “yes” vote on Kavanaugh for the sake of her reelection prospects (translation: billionaire conservative donors), she could have quietly cast her vote and hoped people might forget by 2020. Instead, she took outlandish steps to make sure people never forget what she did today. There are simply not enough pro-Trump extremists in Maine to give her even a remote chance at reelection.

One of the meekest people in the Senate knowingly ended her career today with both proverbial middle fingers in the air. It was one of the ugliest things that American politics has ever seen, and it simply made no sense. Is she being blackmailed, or did she just snap today?

Time, 'Such a Slap in the Face.' Sexual Assault Survivors Who Met With Susan Collins Feel Betrayed She'll Vote for Kavanaugh, Charlotte Alter, Oct. 5, 2018. Last Thursday night, time logo ogAmanda O’Brien sat on a bus for 10 hours to get from Maine to Washington D.C. to meet with Sen. Susan Collins and share her opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The bus was full of sexual assault survivors, who shared their stories with their seat mates as they crawled toward the Capitol.

O’Brien, who wore black like the rest of the survivors, tried to prepare herself. When she and a handful of other survivors got to the Senator’s office on Friday, she told Senator Collins that she had been sexually assaulted for years as a young child. She told her because of the impact of the assault, she later became the victim of domestic violence. She told her Senator things she has rarely told anyone, things she would still rather not repeat.

But on Friday afternoon, Collins announced her intention to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh, all but ensuring that Trump’s pick will sit on the Supreme Court, despite Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that he pinned her to a bed and tried to rape her when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denies Ford’s allegation.

Oct. 4

ny times logoNew York Times, Two Key Republicans Signal Satisfaction With F.B.I.’s Kavanaugh Inquiry, Nicholas Fandos and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Oct. 4, 2018. Two key undecided senators signaled Thursday that they are satisfied with the F.B.I.’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Senate Republican leaders were increasingly confident that he would be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

jeff flake oSenators Jeff Flake of Arizona, right, and Susan Collins of Maine did not say that they will vote for Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

But after a closed-door briefing in which Republicans were told that no witnesses corroborated the accounts of Judge Kavanaugh’s main accusers, both made positive remarks. A yes vote from both would secure Judge Kavanaugh’s seat on the highest court in the land.

Roll Call, Amy Schumer, Emily Ratajkowski Among Hundreds Arrested Protesting Kavanaugh, Griffin Connolly, Oct. 4, 2018. Demonstrators flocked to Hart Senate Office Building after USCP cordons off East Front. The U.S. Capitol Police arrested hundreds of people protesting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s pending confirmation in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday.

Protesters initially planned to hold their rally on the East Front of the Capitol, but USCP cordoned off the area Thursday morning. So the thousands of demonstrators streamed into the Hart building, chanting and singing against Kavanaugh, whom multiple women have accused of sexual assault.

Roll Call, Heidi Heitkamp Will Vote No on Kavanaugh Nomination, Niels Lesniewski, Oct. 4, 2018. North Dakota Democrat is in a tight re-election campaign. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat leading Roll Call’s list of most vulnerable senators on the ballot this fall, announced Thursday that she’ll vote against confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the heidi heitkamp oSupreme Court. “The process has been bad, but at the end of the day you have to make a decision, and I’ve made that decision,” the North Dakota Democrat told WDAY, the ABC affiliate in Fargo, N.D. “I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh.”

Heitkamp explained her decision to opposed Kavanaugh in light of her decision last year to support President Donald Trump's first nominee to the high court, Neil neil gorsuch headshotGorsuch, left.

“I voted for Justice Gorsuch because I felt his legal ability and temperament qualified him to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is different. When considering a lifetime appointment to Supreme Court, we must evaluate the totality of the circumstances and record before us. In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday’s hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh’s current temperament, honesty, and impartiality. These are critical traits for any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country,” she said.

Heitkamp’s decision to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court means that Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia is the only member of the Democratic caucus potentially favoring the confirmation of Kavanaugh.

ny times logoNew York Times, White House Sends F.B.I. Interviews on Kavanaugh to Senate, Peter Baker, Nicholas Fandos, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael S. Schmidt, Oct. 4, 2018 (print edition). The White House sent summaries of the interviews, expressing confidence that they would not stop Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The material was conveyed in the middle of the night, just hours after Senate Republicans set the stage for a pair of votes later in the week.

FBI logoSenior White House officials, after reviewing summaries of interviews conducted by the F.B.I., are increasingly confident that the information collected would ease the path for senators to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a person briefed on the findings said Thursday morning.

The material was conveyed to Capitol Hill in the middle of the night, just hours after Senate Republicans set the stage for a pair of votes later in the week to move to approve Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. A statement issued by the White House around 2:30 a.m. said the F.B.I. had completed its work and that it represented an unprecedented look at a nominee.

ny times logoNew York Times, Analysis: Trump and G.O.P. Lash Out at Kavanaugh’s Accuser. But at What Risk? Peter Baker, Oct. 4, 2018 (print edition). For more than two weeks he held christine blasey ford sept 27 2018back. Against all his instincts, President Trump for the most part resisted directly attacking the woman whose sexual assault allegation has jeopardized his Supreme Court nomination. The accuser was to be treated with kid gloves, like “a Fabergé egg,” as one adviser put it.

But Mr. Trump could resist only so long and told aides it was time to turn up the heat. So when he revved up a political rally this week by mocking Christine Blasey Ford, right, he indulged his desire to fight back and galvanized his conservative base even at the risk of alienating the very moderate Republicans he needs to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh. Signed, 1,200+ Law Professors (and Counting), Oct. 4, 2018. We have differing views about Kavanaugh’s qualifications. But we are united in believing he does not have the right judicial temperament.

The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received. Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.”

ben sasse o croppedOmaha World-Herald, In emotional speech, Ben Sasse says he told Trump to nominate a woman to Supreme Court, Joseph Morton, Oct. 4, 2018. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., right, delivered an emotional floor speech Wednesday night rejecting suggestions that the vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is about whether lawmakers care about women.

“A Supreme Court confirmation vote isn’t a grand choice about whether we love our daughters or whether we trust our sons,” Sasse said. “That is not the choice before us. This is a consent decision about one person for one seat.”

Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, revealed that before the nominee had been announced he urged President Donald Trump to nominate a woman to the seat.

Part of his argument at the time, Sasse said, was that the Senate is poorly prepared to handle potential allegations of sexual harassment and assault that might come forward. Sasse choked up at times during the speech that lasted a little less than 20 minutes. He decried the circus surrounding the process, cable news and die-hard partisans seeking to use the nomination for cynical political aims.

He also had harsh words for Trump, particularly the president’s mocking of Ford during a Tuesday night political rally and his previous statements questioning why Ford did not report the incident at the time.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: Here’s a list of people the FBI did NOT interview, Greg Sargent, Oct. 4, 2018. Okay with this, Flake and Collins? You’ll be shocked to hear that the White House has already pronounced the FBI report entirely exonerating for Kavanaugh, claiming that it is now “fully confident” Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

FBI logoBut a lot of new reporting has now emerged that starkly illustrates just how much about the new allegations was not investigated by the FBI. It’s important to note that this probably was not a failing on the FBI’s part but rather was the result of restrictions the White House placed on the probe, a process that itself remains shrouded in disingenuous rhetorical games.

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Trump-Kavanaugh Look-Alike Theory, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 4, 2018. In deciding to go on the attack in the Kavanaugh confirmation debate by openly and publicly mocking Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally for purported “inconsistencies” in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Trump might not realize that he has created an enormous inconsistency in his own position.

Actually, “contradiction” would be a better word to use. Moreover, Trump might not realize that he has left his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, hanging out on a limb all by himself.

washington post logoWashington Post, Celebrating kegs and insulting girls: Inside Mark Judge’s 1980s Georgetown Prep underground paper, Ian Shapira, Oct. 4, 2018. The Unknown Hoya, co-founded by Judge, featured heavy drinking, a stripper-fueled bachelor party and slurs about Holton-Arms girls.

News Media / Propaganda Tools?

washington post logoWashington Post, That Facebook group you joined years ago? It might now be supporting Brett Kavanaugh, Tony Romm, Oct. 4, 2018. Many of the Facebook groups that seem to facebook logoadvocate for Brett M. Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court -- and some of those defending Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault in the 1980s -- actually amassed their followers months or years before Washington’s most politically charged controversy unfolded, according to Facebook’s records, offering yet another sign that public outcry on social media isn’t exactly what it appears to be.

Oct. 3

washington post logoFBI logoWashington Post, White House prepares to send new FBI report on Kavanaugh to Senate, Seung Min Kim, John Wagner and Josh Dawsey, Oct 3, 2018. The latest FBI probe updating the Supreme Court nominee’s background check was set to arrive Wednesday night on Capitol Hill, according to two people familiar with its release. White House officials have been briefed on the findings, they said. The developments came as Senate Democrats suggested that past FBI background checks of Brett M. Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior.

washington post logoWashington Post, As FBI check nears its end, probe appears to have been highly curtailed, Matt Zapotosky, Robert O'Harrow Jr., Tom Hamburger and Devlin Barrett, Oct 3, 2018.  The FBI has interviewed six witnesses and has not been allowed to probe the nominee's youthful drinking, opening it up to criticism over what some will view as a lackluster investigation.

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion; 650 law professors: The Senate Should Not Confirm Kavanaugh, staff report, Oct. 3, 2018. The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received.

Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.

The question at issue was of course painful for anyone. But Judge Kavanaugh exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry. Instead of being open to the necessary search for accuracy, Judge Kavanaugh was repeatedly aggressive with questioners. Even in his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh described the hearing as partisan, referring to it as “a calculated and orchestrated political hit,” rather than acknowledging the need for the Senate, faced with new information, to try to understand what had transpired. Instead of trying to sort out with reason and care the allegations that were raised, Judge Kavanaugh responded in an intemperate, inflammatory and partial manner, as he interrupted and, at times, was discourteous to senators.

As you know, under two statutes governing bias and recusal, judges must step aside if they are at risk of being perceived as or of being unfair. As Congress has previously put it, a judge or justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” These statutes are part of a myriad of legal commitments to the impartiality of the judiciary, which is the cornerstone of the courts.

We have differing views about the other qualifications of Judge Kavanaugh. But we are united, as professors of law and scholars of judicial institutions, in believing that he did not display the impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land.

bill palmerPalmer Report, Opinion: One of Brett Kavanaugh’s key GOP Senate defenders suddenly sounds nervous about holding a vote, Bill Palmer, right, Oct. 3, 2018. We all witnessed Republican Senator John Cornyn use his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee last week to try to help a mentally unstable Brett Kavanaugh through his testimony. There is no doubt that Cornyn, who is as corrupt as they come, is a “yes” vote. But now congressional reporter Chad Pergram says that Cornyn suddenly doesn’t want to rush the Kavanaugh vote, and wants to “do it one step at a time” instead. So what’s going on here?

So does John Cornyn know something that Mitch McConnell doesn’t? Or are they simply unable to agree on how to play their increasingly weak hand? McConnell has been trying to bully the likes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins into voting “yes” even though they’re clearly not “yes” votes, but last night Murkowski all but laughed at McConnell’s tactics. We still don’t know how this vote is going to turn out, but it doesn’t appear the GOP does, either.

Palmer Report, Opinion: Trump and McConnell sink to desperate new lengths to protect Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, Oct. 3, 2018. Just how dirty is Brett Kavanaugh? All you have to do is take a look at the desperate lengths Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are going to in the name of not only protecting Kavanaugh from the FBI investigation, but keeping the final FBI report hush-hush.

christine blasey ford sept 27 2018Dianne Feinstein has confirmed that, as expected, the FBI will not be allowed to interview Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (right) – but that’s just the half of it.

It’s fairly clear why the FBI isn’t allowed to interview Ford. It’s not to prevent her from telling her story, which she’s already done before the Senate; the FBI has full access to her congressional testimony. Instead, by blocking the FBI from speaking with Ford, Trump and McConnell are also blocking the FBI from speaking with Kavanaugh – which is the entire point. Kavanaugh has already revealed himself to be a pathological liar, and if he lies to the FBI, he’ll go to prison. But the real panic move here is with the report itself.

USA Today and others are now reporting that there will only be one copy of the FBI report on Brett Kavanaugh, and that Senators will each have to take turns reading it. Senate Democrats will still be able to quickly leak the ugliest parts of the report to the public. But the goal here is, obviously, to prevent the public from seeing the full text.

This confirms that, even with the limitations placed on the FBI investigation by Trump and McConnell, they still expect that the FBI report will paint Brett Kavanaugh in a terrible light. This means that Trump and McConnell are playing with an even weaker hand here than we thought.

ny times logoNew York Times, Trump Taunts Christine Blasey Ford at Rally, At an event in Mississippi, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker, Oct. 3, 2018 (print edition). President Trump mocked the woman who accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault. He imitated her, exaggerating her responses at last week’s hearing. The crowd cheered.

washington post logojeff flake oWashington Post, ‘Just plain wrong’: Flake, Collins criticize Trump’s attack on Ford, John Wagner and Seung Min Kim​, Oct. 3, 2018. Republican Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), right and Susan Collins (Maine) are considered crucial to the confirmation prospects of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

washington post logoWashington Post, Breaking: Senate Democrats suggest past FBI background checks on Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior, John Wagner and Seung Min Kim, Oct. 3, 2018. Senate Democrats suggested in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman on Wednesday that past FBI background checks on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh include evidence of inappropriate behavior, contrary to Republican claims.

In the letter, eight of the 10 Democrats on the Judiciary panel challenged the accuracy of a tweet from the majority Republicans on Tuesday that said: “Nowhere in any of these six FBI reports, which the committee has reviewed on a bipartisan basis, was there ever a whiff of ANY issue — at all — related in any way to inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse.”

The Democrats said the information in the tweet is “not accurate,” and urged the GOP to correct them. Aides to the committee chairman, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), did not return an immediate request for comment.

washington post logojennifer rubin new headshotWashington Post, Opinion: Senators, if you think you are ‘appalled’ now, just wait, Jennifer Rubin, right, Oct. 3, 2018. Appearing on the “Today” show, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reacted to President Trump’s mocking of Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally Tuesday night. “There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. But to discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right … It’s kind of appalling.”

susan collins oThis echoes the reaction of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) when Trump first attacked Ford by tweet, saying if the attack was “that bad,” the teen Ford would have gone to the police. Collins, left, said: “I was appalled by the president’s tweet.”

There is plenty to appall:

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s baseless allegation that he was the victim of a smear stemming from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss; Kavanaugh’s obnoxious retorts to Democratic senators, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling for Klobuchar to apologize; Republicans’ objections to any investigation of Ford’s claims; Republicans’ repeated, false assertion that there is no corroboration for Ford’s accusation (ignoring her polygraph, her prior remarks, Kavanaugh’s calendar entry for July 1); Republicans’ decision to hide behind a female “assistant” (as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to prosecutor Rachel Mitchell) and then discard her in favor of hysterical rants; apparent efforts to curtail the FBI investigation; Ed Whelan’s defamatory accusation aimed at a classmate of Kavanaugh’s; and Kavanaugh’s seeming mischaracterization of his drinking habits and high school references to sex and drinking.

Oct. 2

Oct. 2

Justice Integrity Project, Pomp, Piety, MIAs Mark Annual DC Red Mass On Justice

By Andrew Kreig

Prominent members of the scandal-stricken Roman Catholic legal leadership in the District of Columbia convened on Sunday for the annual Red Mass that provides a spiritual kick-off to the new Supreme Court term and the legal community's public aspirations for justice.

The ceremony was majestic as usual but unfolded before a slightly smaller audience than normal and under the shadow of unfolding scandal involving the local Catholic-reared Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

cardinal donald wuerl portrait fullCardinal Donald Wuerl, left, was absent from the mass, which he has normally led for most of his 12-year tenure in Washington. Instead, he has recently been awaiting possible sanction from the Vatican for his alleged role in covering-up sexual offenses by priests in Pittsburgh, one of the cardinal's previous postings.

As usual, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts led a delegation from the court to the ceremonies at the historic Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and a subsequent brunch.

But Roberts was accompanied by only two of the associate judges, Republican Catholic Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer, a Democrat of the Jewish faith.

This editor has attended the Red Mass and brunch a number of times previously and so is in position to comment on its history, inspiring ceremonial and spiritual aspects, as well as some of the embarrassing but largely unspoken undercurrents.

red mass 2018 straight cover MediumThe event first launched in 1928 at the St. Andrews Church in New York City, in 1953 at St. Matthews in the District of Columbia and in a number of other metro areas around the United States.

The event in the nation's capital has attracted the U.S. presidential attendance and more commonly during recent years a majority of the Supreme Court Justices, sometimes including multiple non-Catholics.

The Court in recent years has included six justices reared as Roman Catholics and three Jewish members. Kavanaugh, schooled at the Jesuit school Georgetown Prep, would be another Catholic if confirmed.

But his status is in peril following numerous claims of sexual assault and lying under oath that are surfacing. Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing (as we and others have reported extensively elswhere, including here) and was not reported as present at the mass on Sunday.

Publically, the mass unfolded as a spiritual and civic occasion framed by the magnificant cathedral and stirring Biblical readings, sacred music and other religious trappings.

washington post logoWashington Post, FBI gets longer leash on Kavanaugh probe as McConnell signals vote is imminent, Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim and Matt Zapotosky, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). The inquiry will include sexual misconduct allegations from a third woman against Brett M. Kavanaugh. But the FBI won’t conduct an unfettered review of his youthful drinking.

FBI logony times logoNew York Times, The People the F.B.I. Has Interviewed in the Kavanaugh Investigation (and Those It Hasn’t), Karen Yourish and Troy Griggs, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). Republicans offered the bureau four witnesses; Democrats have called for more than a dozen additional people to be interviewed.

People who were on the Republicans’ list and have been interviewed:

-- Deborah Ramirez, Yale classmate, The second woman to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct; she said he exposed himself to her at a dorm room party.

-- Mark Judge, Judge Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate, Named by Dr. Blasey and a third accuser as being a key witness to the alleged sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh. “I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,” he said.

-- P.J. Smyth, Georgetown Prep classmate; Dr. Blasey said he was at the house party, “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct.”

-- Leland Keyser, Dr. Blasey’s high school friend, Said she does not remember being at the party during the summer of 1982 but believes Dr. Blasey.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘The trauma for a man’: Male fury and fear rises in GOP in defense of Kavanaugh, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, Oct. 2, 2018 (print edition). Trump slams Democrats for 'trying to destroy' Kavanaugh (shown below in a file photo of his testimony).

brett kavanaugh screen grab 9 5 2018 at 3 56 pmThe sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh have sparked a wave of unbridled anger and anxiety from many Republican men, who say they are in danger of being swept up by false accusers who are biased against them.

From President Trump to his namesake son to Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), the howls of outrage crystallize a strong current of grievance within a party whose leadership is almost entirely white and overwhelmingly male — and which does not make a secret of its fear that demographic shifts and cultural convulsions could jeopardize its grip on power.

This eruption of male resentment now seems likely to play a defining role in the midterm elections just five weeks away, contrasting with a burst of enthusiasm among women propelling Democratic campaigns and inspired by the national #MeToo reckoning over sexual assault and gender roles.

Legal Schnauzer, In anonymous letter to Sen. Kamala Harris, woman says Kavanaugh groped her, slapped her, forced her to perform oral sex, and raped her in backseat of car, Roger Shuler, Oct. 2, 2018. A woman states in an anonymous letter that Brett Kavanaugh forcibly kissed her, groped her, digitally penetrated her, slapped her, forced her to perform oral sex, and raped her multiple times in the backseat of a car, according to a Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) transcript released yesterday.

The transcript, which is embedded at the end of this post, is from an interview SJC staff members conducted with Kavanaugh on Sept. 26. Kavanaugh apparently had an unnamed attorney present on his end of the line during the interview.

When Kavanaugh is asked for a response to the letter, he replies: "Nothing -- the whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever -- anything like that, nothing. I mean, that's -- the whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn't happen, not anything close."

Oct. 1

washington post logoFBI logoWashington Post, Confusion over limits of FBI inquiry sparks new round of combat over Kavanaugh, Mike DeBonis and Josh Dawsey, Oct. 1, 2018 (print edition). The investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh will focus on two accusers, but the White House says it opposes a “fishing expedition” that could take a broader look at his credibility and behavior.

Palmer Report, Senate transcript reveals Brett Kavanaugh allegedly raped a woman in the back of a car, Bill Palmer, right, Oct. 1, 2018. With the FBI having finally received bill palmerthe green light a few hours ago to conduct an unrestricted investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, we’re now learning that he’s been accused brett kavanaugh 1983 yearbookof having raped a woman in the back of a car.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took this accusation seriously enough that it questioned Kavanaugh (shown at left in a prep school yearbook photo) about it during private hearings – and the transcript just surfaced publicly.

The woman in question, whose identity is not known, sent a letter to Senator Kamala Harris, spelling out her accusations. The Senate Judiciary Committee read the letter to Brett Kavanaugh, asking him to respond to it. Here’s the key passage from the woman’s letter. Fair warning, this is sexually explicit and disturbing:

Kavanaugh and a friend offered me a ride home. I don’t know the other boy’s name. I was in his car to go home. His friend was behind me in the backseat. Kavanaugh kissed me forcefully. I told him I only wanted a ride home. Kavanaugh continued to grope me over my clothes, forcing his kisses on me and putting his hand under my sweater. ‘No,’ I yelled at him.

The boy in the backseat reached around, putting his hand over my mouth and holding my arm to keep me in the car. I screamed into his hand. Kavanaugh continued his forcing himself on me. He pulled up my sweater and bra exposing my breasts, and reached into my panties, inserting his fingers into my vagina. My screams were silenced by the boy in the backseat covering my mouth and groping me as well.

Kavanaugh slapped me and told me to be quiet and forced me to perform oral sex on him. He climaxed in my mouth. They forced me to go into the backseat and took turns raping me several times each. They dropped me off two blocks from my home. ‘No one will believe if you tell. Be a good girl,’ he told me.

Brett Kavanaugh’s response, according to the transcript: “Nothing — the whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever — anything like that, nothing. I mean, that’s — the whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”

This interview took place six days ago, and the transcript was just released today. You can read the entire exchange starting on page thirteen.

us senate logoU.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Transcript of staff interview with Judge Brett Kavanaugh on allegations of sexual misconduct, Alderson Court Reporting, released on Oct. 1, 2018, dated Sept. 26, 2018 (19 pages with four-page index). 

Roll Call, Mitch McConnell: Brett Kavanaugh Floor Vote This Week, Lex Samuels, Oct 1, 2018.  Majority leader again decries Democrats for delay and obstruction. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is insisting the vote on confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will take place before week’s end.

mitch mcconnell2The Kentucky Republican, speaking on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, said the Democrats chose to hold the allegations against Kavanaugh “in reserve” in order to derail the nomination.

He spoke about how the Democrats who first received the allegations handled them. He specifically mentioned a law firm with “politically connected lawyers” that McConnell says Democrats advised Kavanaugh’s accuser to hire. Those lawyers are set to hold a fundraiser for Democrats this week, McConnell said.

McConnell continued by expressing doubt that Democrats would be happy with the one-week investigation and that he expects “soon enough the goal-posts will be on the move once again.”

He compared the Democrat’s