Note: This near-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.

2020

February 2020

Feb. 21

ny times logoe jean carroll headshotNew York Times, What Happened Between E. Jean Carroll and Elle Magazine? Katherine Rosman and Jessica Bennett, Feb. 21, 2020. Her contract was terminated early, but the fashion magazine maintains it wasn’t because of her allegations against President Trump.

Feb. 20

washington post logoWashington Post, L Brands CEO Wexner out as private equity firm takes over Victoria’s Secret, Abha Bhattarai and Rachel Siegel, Feb. 20, 2020. Leslie Wexner, right, the billionaire who turned Victoria’s Secret into a household name but who more recently has been scrutinized for his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is stepping down as chief executive of the retail giant he founded nearly 60 years ago.

Jeffrey Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of AchievementParent company L Brands is ceding control of the lingerie brand to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, the companies announced Thursday. The roughly $1.1 billion deal comes as Victoria’s Secret battles falling sales and criticism that its provocative messaging is out of touch with today’s consumer.

5 factors that led to Victoria’s Secret’s fall

Sycamore will acquire a 55 percent stake in Victoria’s Secret for about $525 million, while L Brands will retain the remaining 45 percent. According to a news release, L Brands will use the money from the deal, along with roughly $500 million in excess balance sheet cash, to cut down on debt.

Bath & Body Works, which was responsible for the vast majority of L Brands’ 2019 operating income, will become a stand-alone public company. Wexner will remain a member of the board as chairman emeritus.

“We believe the separation of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty and PINK into a privately held company provides the best path to restoring these businesses to their historic levels of profitability and growth,” Wexner said in a statement. “Sycamore, which has deep experience in the retail industry and a superior track record of success, will bring a fresh perspective and greater focus to the business.”

Feb. 18

#MeToo Scandals

washington post logoWashington Post, Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid wave of sexual abuse allegations, Samantha Schmidt, Feb. 18, 2020. Facing a wave of lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy.

boy scouts logo customThe long-anticipated Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow the Boy Scouts to keep operating as it reorganizes its finances and handles claims from hundreds of potential victims. It will also give alleged victims a limited amount of time to come forward before being barred indefinitely from seeking compensation.

“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” Roger Mosby, the president and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement released around 1 a.m. Tuesday. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process — with the proposed Trust structure — will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”

The filing early Tuesday punctuates a tumultuous time for the 110-year-old organization, which continues to be one of the largest youth groups in the United States.

Youth membership has declined more than 26 percent in the past decade. This dramatic drop in numbers, coupled with the loss of a key partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has left the Boy Scouts struggling to find ways to remain relevant. Last year, it began accepting girls into its namesake program, setting off a recruitment war with the Girl Scouts.

Feb. 15

ghislaine maxwell new york post aug 2019 in and out burger la2

New York Post, Judge takes rare step to help serve elusive Ghislaine Maxwell with lawsuit, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Feb. 14, 2020. Jeffrey Epstein crony Ghislaine Maxwell (shown above) is so impossible to find that a Manhattan judge has taken the rare step of allowing her to be served with a new lawsuit — by email, according to a federal court filing Friday.

Lawyers for Epstein sex-assault-accuser Annie Farmer had griped to federal Judge Debra Freeman that they’ve been trying to find the disgraced British socialite to serve her with the complaint, filed in November, but that she’s done such a good job of hiding that they haven’t been able to get to her, court documents show.

“Plaintiff has attempted to locate and personally serve Maxwell to no avail. Her counsel has conducted extensive public records searches and located various addresses for Maxwell,” Farmer’s lawyers wrote in a Jan. 27 motion imploring Freeman to allow them to serve Maxwell using “alternate” means.

On Wednesday, Freeman granted the motion, acknowledging that Farmer has “adequately demonstrated that personal service would be impracticable” and ordered Maxwell to be served by email and through her lawyers representing her in a lawsuit involving another key Epstein accuser, Virginia Giuffre.

Farmer’s lawyers promptly emailed a copy of the summons and complaint to Maxwell’s email, as well as to the attorneys representing her in the Giuffre case.

“Ms. Maxwell, Please see the below text order granting our motion to approve alternate service on you in Farmer v. Indyke,” reads the email, which was filed to the court as evidence.

If Maxwell’s camp doesn’t respond to the suit by March 6, a default judgment will be placed against her, Freeman ruled.

Farmer’s lawyers have said they know she’s out there because she’s been “actively participating” in the defamation suit involving Giuffre, which was filed against her in the same court, and is “vigorously fighting” the release of documents in that case, the records state.

Farmer’s lawyers told The Post that they are elated to finally serve the elusive alleged abuser.

“We just don’t think she should be able to dodge the law,” said one of the lawyers, who asked not to be named.

Farmer’s suit alleges she met Maxwell and Epstein through her older sister, Maria, who’d been hired by the billionaire to purchase art for him.

Epstein began taking an interest in Annie when she was around 16 and eventually invited her to his remote New Mexico ranch, where Maxwell pressured her to get naked and then “touched intimate parts” of Farmer’s body and “groped her” under the guise of a massage, court documents allege.

Maria was also allegedly abused later on by both Epstein and Maxwell, but she is not named as a plaintiff in this suit.

Epstein died in federal lock-up in August.

Feb. 14

Ottawa Citizen, Canadian fashion mogul accused of rape, sexual trafficking in class-action lawsuit, Devika Desai, Feb. 14, 2020. Peter Nygard has been accused of luring underaged women to his Bahamas mansion under the pretence of job opportunities, only to drug and rape them

peter nygard 2017 wikimedia cropped with modelTen unidentified women have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, shown in a 2017 file photo via WikiMedia, of rape and sexual trafficking.

In a press release on the lawsuit released Thursday, the women state that “Nygard lured and enticed young, impressionable, and often impoverished children and women with cash payments and false promises of lucrative modelling opportunities in order to assault, rape, and sodomize them. When the victims were not swayed by promises, many were drugged to force compliance with Nygard’s sexual desires.”

Many of the women were younger than 18 at the time of the alleged assaults.

Nygard, 77, is the fashion executive, founder and chairman of Winnipeg-based Nygård International, known for making and selling women wear.

Many of the alleged incidents occurred at Nygard’s luxury Mayan-style mansion at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas, according to the release.

“After hearing these tragic stories, we were compelled to act and bring a voice to those who have been hurt for so long,” said Greg Gutzler, one of the lawyers who filed the suit. “We know many others were afraid to come forward initially and hope that this lawsuit will pave the way for them to also seek justice.

“The facts in this case represent the tip of the iceberg of an international sex trafficking ring that ends today.”

Ken Frydman, a spokesperson for Nygard, said the accusations in the class action suit were false. He added that the lawsuit was “just the latest in a 10-plus year string of attempts to try to destroy the reputation of a man through false statements” and that it stems from a dispute between Nygard and his neighbour in the Bahamas, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon.

“The allegations are completely false, without foundation and are vigorously denied,” Frydman told the National Post.

“Peter Nygard looks forward to fully exposing this scam and once and for all clearing his name.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also mentions several of Nygard’s New York-based corporate entities for their role in “financing, facilitating and covering up the abuse.”

This hasn’t been the first time Nygard has been accused of sexual assault. In the 1990s, he paid to settle three sexual harassment complaints filed by former employees in Manitoba. Last November, Tribune 242, a Bahamas newspaper, published that the police were investigating six allegations of rape made against Nygard. “The complaint alleges that for years, it has been no secret that Nygard bribes Bahamian government and police officials and uses intimidation tactics to coerce silence,” reads the press release.

Feb. 13 

Daily Beast, Canadian Fashion Exec Peter Nygard Accused of Raping Young Girls in Lawsuit, Julia Arciga, Feb. 13, 2020. Ten women filed a daily beast logoclass-action lawsuit against Canadian fashion executive Peter Nygard, claiming he drugged and raped girls as young as 15 years old over the course of decades.

According to The Globe and Mail, Nygard — the 77-year-old owner of the eponymous women's clothing chain — is accused of luring women into his Bahamas compound and other homes under the pretense of modeling contract interviews or fashion industry events, known as “pamper parties.” Once the women were on his property, Nygard would allegedly use “alcohol, drugs, force, fraud” and other coercive peter nygard 2017 wikimedia cropped with modelforms to have the women do sex acts — which included sodomy and women defecating or urinating on him, according to the lawsuit.

If women resisted his advances, he would allegedly have the bartenders spike their drinks with Rohypnol, or the “date-rape drug.” Many of the women claimed they were subsequently offered money.

One woman — who was 15-years-old at the time — said she was drugged and then raped anally and vaginally. The suit alleges that Nygard offered her $5,000 before raping her, then $10,000 to defecate in his mouth. The women, now between the ages of 18 and 36, consist of nine Bahamians and one American.

The lawsuit claims that Nygard moving the women to one of his various homes in the U.S. and the Bahamas, often via private jet, violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. It also alleges that Nygard bribed Bahamian politicians and police to cover up his actions. Nygard's lawyer said the accusations were “completely false,” and described them as part of a decade-long fight between Nygard and his neighbor in the Bahamas — hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and asks for damages to be determined in court.

Weinstein Defense Argument

washington post logoWashington Post, Weinstein lawyer’s closing statement argues that prosecution’s case ‘strips adult women of common sense,’ Shayna Jacobs, Feb. 13, 2020. “You don’t have to like Mr. Weinstein. This is not a popularity contest,” lawyer Donna Rotunno said during the producer’s New York trial on Thursday.

harvey weinsteinThe criminal case against Harvey Weinstein for rape and sexual assault "strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility," the producer's lawyer Donna Rotunno argued in a closing statement Thursday.

Rotunno said the prosecutors’ narrative ignores that the main accusers — Jessica Mann and Mimi Haleyi — sought favors and jobs from Weinstein, right, and willingly met him in hotel rooms. Both admitted to having consensual sex with him.

“In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers,” Rotunno said in front of a packed courtroom of more than 100 spectators.

She said prosecutors are falsely pushing the narrative that Weinstein “is so unattractive and large that no woman would want to sleep with him voluntarily.”

Emails and other evidence point to Weinstein, 67, carrying on affairs with Mann, 34, and Haleyi, 42, she argued.

The Miramax founder and Academy Award-winning producer, who has been accused by dozens of women of sexual assault and misconduct, is charged in this case with raping Mann in 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and with forcing oral sex on Haleyi at his Crosby Street apartment in 2006.

Weinstein’s team says he denies having sex with any of his accusers without consent.

nbc news logoNBC News, Former OSU Wrestler: Jim Jordan 'Called Me Crying' After Strauss Abuse , Feb. 13, 2020 (1:40 min. video). The brother of the Ohio State University whistleblower is claiming that Rep. Jim Jordan asked him to "go against" his brother after being accused of overlooking the sexual abuse of male wrestlers by the team doctor, Richard Strauss.

jim jordan cuomo cnn

washington post logoWashington Post, Jim Jordan accused of ‘begging’ former Ohio State wrestler not to support reports of sexual abuse, Colby Itkowitz. Feb. 13, 2020 (print ed.). A former Ohio State wrestler accused Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), above, of repeatedly “crying” and “begging” him not to corroborate accounts of sexual abuse against the university’s wrestling team doctor that occurred when Jordan was a coach.

richard strauss osu lantern screenshotAdam DiSabato — the brother of Mike DiSabato, the whistleblower who exposed the abuse by Richard Strauss (shown at right in a photo by the Ohio State "Lantern" newspaper — testified Wednesday during a public hearing in the state legislature that when the story came out in July 2018, he received a phone call from a tearful Jordan.

“Jim Jordan called me crying, crying, groveling, on the Fourth of July, begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for half an hour,” Adam DiSabato said, according to video of his testimony. “That’s the kind of coverups going on here.”

Jordan’s spokesman said DiSabato’s account was untrue.

ohio state buckeyes logo“Another lie,” said Ian Fury, Jordan’s communications director. “Congressman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had, he would have dealt with it.”

Jordan, a key congressional ally to President Trump who was recently named the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has denied knowing about the abuse when he was an assistant coach of the Ohio State team, but some wrestlers have accused him of knowing and turning a blind eye to it.

That was DiSabato’s allegation during the legislative hearing on a bill that would allow victims to sue the school in the event of sexual abuse by a university-employed doctor.

“He’s throwing us under the bus, all of us,” DiSabato said. “He’s a coward. He’s not a leader; he’s a coward.”

Backgrounder:

Now This News, Opinion: Who Is Jim Jordan? Narrated by Sean Patton, Dec. 11, 2019 (8:02 min. video).  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) allegedly turned a blind eye to sexual abuse, tried to overturn same-sex marriage, and never passed the bar exam. How did this former assistant wrestling coach become a loudmouth anti-impeachment darling?

Now This News focuses on Representative Jim Jordan (who represents a narrow, winding 4th District that maximizes rural and small town voters who live in a gerrymandered district stretching from the outskirts of the State Capital of Columbus west nearly to the Indiana border and north to the shores of Lake Erie).

Jordan has been accused of turning a blind eye on sexual abuse against wrestlers by team doctor Richard Strauss while working at Ohio State University. Other career highlights: Jordan attended the Capital University Law School, invited Kim Davis to the State of the Union, and lost a bid to be House Speaker.

ny times logoNew York Times, Former Clerk Alleges Sexual Harassment by Appellate Judge, Catie Edmondson, Feb. 13, 2020. The former clerk told a House committee that Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, a prominent liberal judge who died in 2018, routinely sexually harassed her and other women who worked for him.

stephen reinhardtA former clerk to Stephen R. Reinhardt, left, a prominent liberal appellate court judge who died in 2018, told a congressional committee on Thursday that he “routinely and frequently” sexually harassed her and other female clerks and raged against the #MeToo movement, contending that women lodging allegations of rape and abuse against men should not be believed.

Detailing her experience working for Judge Reinhardt in 2017 and 2018, Olivia Warren, the former clerk, testified before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that Judge Reinhardt openly commented on his female clerks’ physical appearances and on her sexual relationship with her spouse.

In one instance, Ms. Warren testified, Judge Reinhardt instructed her to analyze which of the two female candidates competing for a clerkship “had nicer or longer legs” and was more attractive.

More frequently, Ms. Warren said, he would disparage her physical appearance and speculate — sometimes in front of other employees — that her husband “must either lack a penis, or not be able to get an erection” in her presence because she was so unattractive.

“There may have been a day in which I was not harassed,” Ms. Warren said. “But I cannot remember one after searching my memory.”

Feb. 12

gabriel matzneff infographic

ny times logoNew York Times, Gabriel Matzneff, Who Wrote for Years About Pedophilia, Is Charged, Norimitsu Onishi, Feb. 12, 2020. Gabriel Matzneff  (shown above), the French writer who talked openly for decades about engaging in pedophilia, was charged on Wednesday in a Paris court with promoting the sexual abuse of children.

Mr. Matzneff, who has been in hiding in the Italian Riviera and did not appear in court, was accused of defending and justifying pedophilia through his many books and public appearances, according to the case filed by l’Ange Bleu, an anti-pedophilia organization.

The court set September 2021 as the start of the trial, which will scrutinize not only the author’s actions but also those of the French elite who published his books, promoted his career and even helped him evade justice.

“Everyone will have to take responsibility,” l’Ange Bleu’s lawyer, Méhana Mouhou, said after the hearing.

L’Ange Bleu is using a special legal procedure to force Mr. Matzneff to stand trial, arguing that its interests as an organization devoted to fighting pedophilia were damaged by Mr. Matzneff’s longstanding promotion of pedophilia. If convicted in that case, Mr. Matzneff, 83, could face up to five years in prison.

Although Mr. Matzneff is not scheduled to appear in court until next year in the case brought by the anti-pedophilia organization, he could face legal challenges sooner if prosecutors decide to charge him in specific cases of abuse.

Prosecutors, who have been criticized in recent weeks for their long inaction despite Mr. Matzneff’s avowed pedophilia, are moving on a separate track that could lead to more criminal charges.

They said on Tuesday that they would actively seek other victims of the author, and on Wednesday they raided for the second time the headquarters of Gallimard, one of Mr. Matzneff’s publishers, to seize more of his books and manuscripts, according to the French news media.

Mr. Matzneff openly talked and wrote about pedophilia, but the dynamic changed after the publication last month of Le Consentement (“Consent”) by Vanessa Springora, the first testimony by one of the writer’s underage victims.

Fueling an abrupt cultural shift in France, the book touched off the sudden downfall of Mr. Matzneff, who was dropped by his three publishers, stripped of a rare benefit from the French government and abandoned by longtime supporters.

Until just a few weeks ago, Mr. Matzneff was recognized as a celebrated writer.

In many books, Mr. Matzneff writes about his relations with teenage girls in France and sex tourism in the Philippines with boys as young as 8. His breakthrough book as an author, from 1974, had the title Les Moins de Seize Ans (“Under 16 Years Old”).

Feb. 11

U.S. Crime / Trafficking

U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney Announces Money Laundering Charges Against Operators Of Multimillion-Dollar Nationwide High-End Prostitution Enterprise, Staff Report, Feb. 11, 2020. Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) in New York, and Dermot Shea, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrest of Tracy Reynolds, a/k/a “Sara,” and Izhak Cohen, for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with their ownership and operation of VIP Escorts, a nationwide multimillion-dollar business offering high end prostitution services, as well as the seizure of bank accounts and 391 websites related to the VIP Escorts business.

Reynolds was arrested this morning at Tampa International Airport while boarding a flight to Mexico and was presented today in Tampa federal court. Cohen was arrested by Israeli authorities in Hadera, Israel. The United States Attorney’s Office will seek Cohen’s extradition to stand trial in the United States.

According to the allegations in the Complaint sworn out in Manhattan federal court:[1]

From at least 2012 to the present, Reynolds and Cohen have operated an online high-end prostitution business through their company and its affiliates known as “VIP Escorts.” VIP Escorts maintains a website, http://wvvw.vipescorts.com (the “VIP Escorts Website”), which it used to promote its prostitution services and was registered to Cohen. VIP Escorts also operates an array of affiliated escort websites, which also advertised its prostitution services, with names such as “Prestige Escorts,” “American Escorts,” “Russian Escorts,” and “Manhattan Exotics,” all of which are registered to Cohen.

As part of their prostitution business, Reynolds and Cohen arranged for escorts to meet clients in Manhattan and in numerous other locations for prostitution services, charging them thousands of dollars. Reynolds and Cohen required escorts to deposit the proceeds of their commercial sex acts into a large number of bank accounts that they controlled, many of them in the name of fake entities. Reynolds and Cohen then laundered the money through thousands of domestic and international financial transactions. In total, over $10 million passed through various personal and business accounts controlled by Reynolds during the course of this conspiracy, and over $1 million was sent from Reynolds in the United States to Cohen in Israel in thousands of small transactions designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds.

Reynolds and Cohen then used the proceeds of the prostitution scheme for personal gain and to further their illegal prostitution business. They paid, for example, over $295,000 from bank accounts under their control to advertise the VIP Escorts business on a known advertising platform for the prostitution industry.

Feb. 10

Child Star Decries Hollywood Abuse

Studio 10, Cory Feldman Breaks His Silence, featuring hosts Sarah Harris, Joe Hildebrand, Angela Bishop, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Denise Drysdale and Narelda Jacobs, Feb. 10, 2020 (11:37 min video).  For years, Corey Feldman has been speaking out about the abuse of children in Hollywood and other institutions. He hopes his new documentary, 'Truth: The Rape Of 2 Coreys,' will expose the details he's been talking about for so long and joins us from LA.

Feb. 9

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Harvey Weinstein accuser Jessica Mann’s dramatic testimony is a new kind of test in sex-crime trials, Shayna Jacobs, Feb. 9, 2020. The actress's admitted consensual sexual relationship with Weinstein, both before and after the alleged assaults, makes her a traditionally imperfect witness.

Feb. 7

ny times logoNew York Times, Data Reveals Which Platforms Reported Surge in Child Pornography, Gabriel J.X. Dance and Michael H. Keller, Feb. 7, 2020. In a first, videos outnumbered photos in reports to the authorities last year. Facebook found the most imagery, the bulk of it on its Messenger app.Facebook found the bulk on its Messenger app, but while companies are getting better at finding such content, predators remain adept at exploiting their services.

facebook logoThe number of online photos and videos of child sexual abuse reported to the authorities grew by more than 50 percent last year, an indication that many of the world’s biggest technology platforms remain infested with the illegal material.

Nearly 70 million of the images and videos were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a federally designated clearinghouse for the imagery that works with law enforcement agencies.

The record number was driven by a surge in illegal videos, which have always been popular among sexual predators but are now more readily detected by some companies. Over 41 million videos were reported; the number five years ago was under 350,000. The companies flagged many of the same images and videos multiple times as they were shared among users.

Feb. 7

Miami Herald, Police report: Top aide to Miami’s mayor sent sexually graphic photo to teen’s phone, Charles Rabin, Joey Flechas and
David Ovalle, Feb. 5, 2020. On Feb. 7, Rene Pedrosa was arrested and charged with battery and transmitting pornography to a minor after police said he groped a teen in City Hall and later sent the teen a sexually explicit picture.

The report says Rene Pedrosa, 48, solicited some type of picture from the teen, who was familiar with Pedrosa. What exactly he solicited was redacted.

Pedrosa, the mayor’s spokesman and a former television reporter, resigned Tuesday after Mayor Francis Suarez said Pedrosa admitted he was being investigated for “personal misconduct.”

The list of offenses, according to the report, are sexual performance by a child, possession of pornography and soliciting a child via computer and transmission of material harmful to minors.

Pedrosa spent years as a television news reporter at América TeVé-Channel 41, a Spanish-language television station that covers news across Miami-Dade County. Pedrosa often covered stories in local government and the court system.

He joined the mayor’s staff in January 2019 as Suarez’s communications director. Pedrosa became a top adviser and spokesman for the mayor, known for pushing the mayor’s views in local media, especially on Spanish-language radio.

Feb. 4

Weinstein Rape Trial Update

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Actress: Weinstein Accuser Was ‘Crying in Fetal Position’ After Failed Threesome, Pilar Melendez, Feb. 4, 2020. Emanuela Postacchini said she felt “manipulated” into a sexual scenario with Harvey Weinstein, right, and witness Jessica Mann, who says the producer sexually assaulted her multiple times.

harvey weinsteinAn Italian actress testified at Harvey Weinstein’s sex-crimes trial on Tuesday, describing how the disgraced producer allegedly “manipulated” her and accuser Jessica Mann into a failed threesome at a Los Angeles hotel in 2013.

Emanuela Postacchini, 32, told jurors in Manhattan Supreme Court that she first met Mann, a key witness in Weinstein’s trial, at a party for the Weinstein Company at SoHo House in February 2013. The next evening, Weinstein invited her for drinks at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills—but immediately directed her upstairs to his room instead.

Once inside, she said she was “surprised” to see Mann “standing in the living room of the suite.”

“He told us to do something — directed us to do something together,” Postacchini said. At one point, Mann left the bedroom crying, she testified.

Feb. 3

National Public Radio, Ex-CIA Employee Accused Of Leaking Documents To WikiLeaks Goes On Trial, Merrit Kennedy, Feb. 3, 2020. The documents npr logoreleased by WikiLeaks in 2017 represented one of the largest leaks in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency software engineer who allegedly leaked thousands of pages of documents to WikiLeaks was set to begin Monday in federal court in New York. The leak has been described as one of the largest in the CIA's history.

joshua schulte CustomJoshua Schulte, right, has pleaded not guilty to 11 criminal counts, including illegal transmission of unlawfully possessed national defense information and theft of government property.

WikiLeaks started publishing the documents, which it called "Vault 7," in March 2017. Many of the documents are highly technical, and appear to describe agency practices for hacking a number of different targets.

CIA LogoAs NPR's Camila Domonoske and Greg Myre reported at the time, the documents are said to be to be internal guides to creating and using many kinds of hacking tools, "from turning smart TVs into bugs to designing customized USB drives to extract information from computers."

In court filings ahead of the trial, they have expressed frustration at the pace with which they are required to review materials surfaced during the discovery process.

Some of the charges against Schulte stem from the Espionage Act, and defense lawyers say they are unconstitutionally overbroad and vague. They also said the law was intended to be used to prosecute those who transmit government secrets to foreign governments, and that it shouldn't apply to leaking to WikiLeaks. The judge rejected those arguments.

Prosecutors have said that when Schulte was working at the CIA, he developed classified cyber tools, including tools to covertly gather data from computers.

The leak allegedly happened during a time of rising tension between Schulte and his CIA colleagues.

In the summer of 2015, according to prosecutors, Schulte started having "significant problems" in his group that stemmed from a feud with one of his colleagues. The feud deepened after the colleague reportedly complained about Schulte to management. Prosecutors say Schulte accused the employee of making a death threat against him and eventually filed a protective order against that person. They were reassigned to different teams.

Because of his reassignment, Schulte's access to previous projects was revoked. But prosecutors say he reinstated his own administrative privileges. Management at the Center for Cyber Intelligence discovered it, and they attempted to revoke privileges and change passwords. But they missed credentials for one computer network, according to prosecutors, and in April 2016, Schulte allegedly stole vast quantities of information from the network and passed the data along to WikiLeaks.

The judge has granted measures to protect the anonymity of certain witnesses from the CIA who are expected to testify. During those sessions, the courtroom will be closed to press, except for two pool reporters who have agreed not to disclose the physical characteristics of these witnesses. Other reporters in an adjoining courtroom will be able to see a video feed that won't show images of the witnesses.

Federal prosecutors originally indicted Schulte in 2017 on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. They said they discovered more than 10,000 images and videos of child pornography encrypted on Schulte's personal computer.

In July 2019, the court severed the child pornography-related charges from the rest of the case, meaning that those accusations will be addressed at a separate trial.

Feb. 1

ny times logoNew York Times, ‘Angels’ in Hell: The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Katherine Rosman, Sapna Maheshwari and James B. Stewart, Feb. 1, 2020. Victoria’s Secret defined femininity for millions of women. Its catalog and fashion shows were popular touchstones. For models, landing a spot as an “Angel” all but guaranteed international stardom.

But inside the company, two powerful men presided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment, according to interviews with more than 30 current and former executives, employees, contractors and models, as well as court filings and other documents.

edward razekEd Razek, right, for decades one of the top executives at L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, was the subject of repeated complaints about inappropriate conduct. He tried to kiss models. He asked them to sit on his lap. He touched one’s crotch ahead of the 2018 Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

Executives said they had alerted Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and chief executive of L Brands, about his deputy’s pattern of behavior. Some women who complained faced retaliation. One model, Andi Muise, said Victoria’s Secret had stopped hiring her victorias secret logofor its fashion shows after she rebuffed Mr. Razek’s advances.

A number of the brand’s models agreed to pose nude, often without being paid, for a prominent Victoria’s Secret photographer who later used some pictures in an expensive coffee-table book — an arrangement that made L Brands executives uncomfortable about women feeling pressured to take their clothes off.

The atmosphere was set at the top. Mr. Razek, the chief marketing officer, was perceived as Mr. Wexner’s proxy, leaving many employees with the impression he was invincible, according to current and former employees. On multiple occasions, Mr. Wexner himself was heard demeaning women.

#MeToo / Politics

washington post logoWashington Post, Top NRA official placed on leave, Virginia court filing states, Beth Reinhard, Jan. 31, 2020. A top National Rifle Association official has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the nonprofit group’s lawyer, according to a recent court filing, in a sign of ongoing turmoil surrounding the nation’s largest gun group.

nra logo CustomThe removal of Joshua L. Powell, the NRA’s chief of staff, was referenced in a Jan. 23 filing in Alexandria Circuit Court by the NRA’s former public relations agency, Ackerman McQueen. “Mr. Powell has now been placed ‘on leave’ by the NRA pending an investigation by NRA counsel,” the filing in Virginia says.

The NRA and Ackerman are engaged in a sprawling legal battle with multiple lawsuits and countersuits that encompass accusations of reckless spending and leaks to the media.

January

Jan. 31

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump signs executive order to combat human trafficking as some advocacy groups boycott summit, Jessica Contrera, Jan. 31, 2020. President Trump signed an executive order Friday creating a position within his domestic policy team dedicated solely to fighting human trafficking. The order, signed during a White House summit on the issue, also proposes an additional $42 million in funding for service programs and prosecutions.

“Human trafficking is worse than ever before because of the Internet,” Trump said. “The Internet has caused lots of good things to happen and lots of really bad things, and this is probably the worst of the bad things.”

Trump was joined by Vice President Pence and first daughter Ivanka Trump, whom he credited for championing the issue.

“I would say that this issue may be closest to her heart because of the level of evil that you would never believe is even possible in a modern age,” Trump said.

william barr new oIvanka Trump’s office organized the summit to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which established trafficking as a federal crime. While some anti-trafficking organizations were grateful for the spotlight on the issue, others boycotted the event, citing the administration’s treatment of trafficking victims who are immigrants. Among them was Polaris, the organization that runs the national human-trafficking hotline.

He praised Attorney General William P. Barr, right, for going after traffickers.

“My administration is fighting these monsters, persecuting and prosecuting them, locking them away for a very, very long time,” Trump said. “We have had a tremendous track record, the best track record in a long time.”

Statistics from the Justice Department show otherwise. Prosecutions of sex and labor traffickers, which fluctuated during the Obama years, are down from 531 in fiscal 2016 to 343 in fiscal 2019.

  • Washington Post, Anti-human-trafficking groups refuse to attend Ivanka Trump’s White House summit, Jessica Contrera, Jan. 30, 2020.

Jan. 29

keith raniere nxivm

ny times logoNew York Times, Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Was Also a Huge Pyramid Scheme, Lawsuit Says, Nicole Hong, Jan. 29, 2020. Eighty people contended that they were bilked out of millions of dollars through a “coercive” scheme by the self-help group. The self-help group Nxivm gained a reputation as a “sex cult” last year after its leader, Keith Raniere, was convicted of coercing some of his female followers into sexual servitude, even creating a ritual in which they were branded with his initials.

But a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday illuminated another unsavory side of Nxivm. Most participants in the group were not Mr. Raniere’s sex slaves, the lawsuit said, but rather victims of an insidious pyramid scheme who were lured by false scientific claims into paying thousands of dollars for classes.

“They get you to not trust your own decision-making process,” said one former member, Sally Brink, who said she paid $145,000 to take Nxivm classes over the years. “They tell you that you need them to make decisions. You start to doubt everything.”

Ms. Brink was among the 80 plaintiffs who sued Mr. Raniere and 14 other associates of Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um).

The 200-page lawsuit details sprawling allegations of fraud and abuse, including that Nxivm’s leaders drew “from methods used in pyramid schemes” to take people’s money and make it “physically and psychologically difficult, and in some cases impossible, to leave the coercive community.”

Jan. 27

geoffrey berman epstein

ny times logoNew York Times, Prince Andrew Offers ‘Zero Cooperation’ in Epstein Case, F.B.I. Says, Nicole Hong, Jan. 27, 2020. The United States attorney in Manhattan said the prince had not responded to their requests. Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. have sought to interview Prince Andrew about Jeffrey Epstein, but he has provided “zero cooperation,” the United States attorney in Manhattan said on Monday.

Geoffrey S. Berman, shown above in a file photo with a portrait of Epstein, the United States attorney, revealed Prince Andrew’s lack of prince andrew august 2014cooperation in response to a reporter’s question during a news conference outside Mr. Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion about victims of human and sex trafficking.

Prince Andrew, shown at right, following a disastrous TV interview over his ties to Mr. Epstein, said in a statement late last year that he was willing to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their investigations into the disgraced financier and his associates.

“Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,” his statement said.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: The Post’s misguided suspension of Felicia Sonmez over Kobe Bryant tweets, Erik Wemple, Jan. 27, 2020.
The Post has suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez following her social-media activity over the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant. Here’s the explanation from Managing Editor Tracy Grant: “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”

What did Sonmez do to deserve this brushback? She tweeted out a very good story from the Daily Beast.

News of Bryant’s death on Sunday prompted an immediate and overwhelming expression of grief on Twitter, with fans and followers praising an NBA icon. The perennial all-star perished in a helicopter crash along with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Sonmez wished to remind everyone of one incident in Bryant’s life.

An immediate and overwhelming expression of anger piled on Sonmez from Twitter users. Sonmez had directed her followers to this April 2016 story in the Daily Beast by Marlow Stern. Written at the time of Bryant’s farewell tour through NBA cities, the story takes a deep look at the sexual-assault allegation against Bryant stemming from his 2003 visit to Colorado’s Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. The case never made it to trial because the 19-year-old accuser — “who had been dragged through the mud for months by the media and Bryant’s defense team,” wrote Stern — declined to testify. She did, however, file a separate civil complaint, which Bryant settled.

Associated Press via Washington Post, ‘I’m being raped’: Weinstein accuser details alleged assault, Michael R. Sisak and Tom Hays, Jan. 27, 2020.
As she tried to fight off Harvey Weinstein’s advances, Mimi Haleyi told him “no, no, no” before he held her down on a bed and forcibly performed oral sex on her, she said in emotional testimony Monday at Weinstein’s trial.

harvey weinsteinHaleyi, one of two women whose assault accusations led to Weinstein’s trial, took the stand Monday and, at times sobbing, detailed her allegation that the disgraced movie mogul sexually assaulted her at his New York City apartment in 2006.

“I did reject him, but he insisted. Every time I tried to get off the bed, he would push me back and hold me down,” the former “Project Runway” production assistant testified, adding that she told Weinstein she was menstruating in an attempt to deter him.

Haleyi, now 42, told jurors she thought, “I’m being raped,” and considered different options. “If I scream rape, will someone hear me?” she wondered.

“I checked out and decided to endure it,” she said. “That was the safest thing I could do.”

Haleyi is the first of the two women at the heart of the case to take the stand at his trial. A total of six accusers are expected to testify, but because of the statute of limitations and other legal technicalities, Weinstein is charged in only two incidents: The alleged rape of an aspiring actress in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and the alleged sexual assault of Haleyi. Under New York law applicable at the time, Weinstein is not being charged with rape in connection with Haleyi’s accusations.

Weinstein, 67, has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual.

One of his attorneys, Damon Cheronis, used his cross examination to zero in on Haleyi’s continued relationship with Weinstein after the alleged assault.

He showed jurors a friendly email she sent him after they ran into each other at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Cheronis pointed to calendar entries and emails that show Haleyi meeting with Weinstein, above right, pitching him on a television show and traveling at his expense to Los Angeles and London. When they couldn’t connect before she left London, she sent him an email lamenting: “totally bummed to have missed you guys.”

Haleyi conceded she’d been in contact with Weinstein “not often, but yes occasionally” and that she sent the 2008 email after a newspaper article reminded her of a conversation they had weeks before the alleged assault.

Jan. 25

jeffrey epstein mcc cell 60 minutes

Epstein died in August at MCC Manhattan (shown above in a photo via CBS "60 Minutes") while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused dozens of girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida. His cell is seen above after his death. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the New York City medical examiner, but his attorneys have contested that finding. His cell is seen above after his death. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the New York City medical examiner, but his attorneys have contested that finding.

Daily Mail, Warden who was in charge when Jeffrey Epstein died behind bars is quietly given a top job at 'Club Fed' prison -- despite Bill Barr ordering him assigned to a lowly desk job, Keith Griffith and Associated Press, Jan. 25, 2020. The warden in charge when Jeffrey Epstein died in his jail cell is getting a cushy new supervisor's job at 'Club Fed' despite Attorney General Bill Barr's demand that he be reassigned to a desk job.

Lamine N'Diaye is being reassigned to a leadership role at FCI Fort Dix, a low-security prison in Burlington County, New Jersey, two people familiar with the matter said.

The move comes months after Barr ordered N'Diaye be reassigned to a desk post at the Bureau of Prisons' regional office in Pennsylvania after Epstein´s death as the FBI and the Justice Department´s inspector general investigated.

One of the people said the agency planned to move N´Diaye into the new role on February 2. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal personnel matter.

It was unclear why the agency was planning to return N'Diaye to a position supervising inmates and staff members, even though multiple investigations into Epstein´s death remain active.

The inspector general's investigation is continuing, and the Justice Department is still probing the circumstances that led to Epstein´s death, including why he wasn´t given a cellmate.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderEpstein, right, died in August while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused dozens of girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

Epstein's death cast a spotlight on the Bureau of Prisons and highlighted a series of safety lapses inside a high-security unit of one of the most secure jails in America.

His death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the New York City medical examiner, but his attorneys have contested that finding and argued he may have been killed.

Barr said even Epstein's ability to take his own life in federal custody had raised 'serious questions that must be answered.'

He said in an interview with the AP in November that the investigation revealed a 'series' of mistakes made that gave Epstein the chance to take his own life and that his death was the result of 'a perfect storm of screw-ups.'

Epstein died in August at MCC Manhattan (above) while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused dozens of girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida.

Two correctional officers responsible for watching Epstein have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they lied on prison records to make it seem as though they had checked on Epstein, as required, before his death.

Instead, investigators say they appeared to sleep for two hours and had been browsing the internet - shopping for furniture and motorcycles - instead of watching Epstein, who was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.

The attorney general also removed the agency´s acting director in the wake of Epstein's death and named Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the prison agency´s director from 1992 until 2003, to replace him.

Since Epstein´s death and N'Diaye´s removal as warden, the Manhattan jail has had two interim leaders.

The newest warden, M. Licon-Vitale, used to oversee a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Her first big order of business has been to deal with jailed lawyer Michael Avenatti's complaints about his treatment at the lockup.

The Bureau of Prisons has been plagued for years by chronic violence, extensive staffing shortages and serious misconduct.

Jan. 24

More On Epstein Scandal

Cindy McCain, widow of longtime Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), admits 'we all knew' about Epstein in interview by Georgetown Professor Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, an expert on human rights, religious freedom, and international affairs. The session, "A Conversation: The Scourge of Human Trafficking" excerpted into a two-minute segment on YouTube, was part of a two-day panel "State of the World 2020" on Jan. 9 at Florida International University in Miami.

Washington Examiner, Cindy McCain admits ‘we all knew’ about Epstein, Spencer Neale, Jan. 24, 2020. Cindy McCain, the widow of late Sen. John McCain, blasted authorities who were "afraid" to arrest convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein even though everyone "knew" what he was doing.

"Epstein was hiding in plain sight," said Cindy McCain. "We all knew about him. We all knew what he was doing, but we had no one that was — no legal aspect that would go after him. They were afraid of him. For whatever reason, they were afraid of him."

McCain's comments came after she was questioned by an attendee during her appearance at the State of the World 2020 conference in Florida (on Jan. 9, sponsored by Florida International University).

McCain said a girl from her daughter's high school was one of Epstein's victims and that she hopes Epstein "is in hell."

Epstein's massive wealth and his connections to powerful politicians and celebrities allowed him to continue trafficking young women and girls long after many had exposed his devious interests.

Dr. Barbara Sampson, the New York City medical examiner, said Epstein died by suicide at a Manhattan federal detention facility last August. His death and the circumstances surrounding it have created controversy after the former medical examiner of New York, Dr. Michael Baden, told 60 Minutes that he believes Epstein was murdered.

Cameras from outside Epstein's jail cell failed to record footage on the night of his death, and guards who were supposed to monitor him every 30 minutes fell asleep when the former financier died.

washington post logoharvey weinsteinWashington Post, Opinion: Harvey Weinstein’s defense strategy is wretched, Monica Hesse, Jan. 24, 2020. According to his attorney, if actress Annabella Sciorra really had been raped she would have told her condo board.

  • Washington Post, Opinion: Damning new audio of Trump illuminates the Ukraine scandal’s back alleys, Greg Sargent, Jan. 24, 2020.
  • Washington Post, Opinion: Impeachment managers must choose the bad or the unpalatable, Jonathan Turley, Jan. 24, 2020.

Jan. 23

Law & Crime, Survivors Demand Manhattan DA ‘Resign Immediately’ Over Lenient Treatment of Wealthy Sexual Predators, Colin Kalmbacher, Jan. 23, 2020. Sexual assault survivors in New York City are demanding the immediate resignation of Manhattan District Cyrus Vance Jr. over his long and documented history of leniency toward elite and wealthy sex criminals.

According to Politico’s local desk, several such survivors made their case for Vance’s swift departure at City Hall on Thursday, highlighting a recent sweetheart deal gifted to Columbia University gynecologist Dr. Robert Hadden.

cyrus vance jrThe disgraced OB/GYN is accused of sexually assaulting no less than 19 of his former patients—including Evelyn Yang, wife of 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

“Most women don’t know what you’re supposed to get when you’re pregnant,” Yang recently said in an interview—adding that she was initially unsure about what happened and that she only decided to open up about Hadden after other survivors came forward.

“I feel like I put up with some inappropriate behavior that I didn’t know at the time was straight-up sexual abuse slash sexual assault until much later,” Yang continued, saying those doubts eventually dissipated. “I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being assaulted.”

One of those additional survivors is Marissa Hoechstetter, who led Thursday’s action against Vance. Hoechstetter was the first woman to come forward about Hadden’s abuse. She claims he conducted unwarranted breast exams, made lewd comments about her looks and, as the final straw, licked her vagina during a postpartum examination several years ago. Several additional woman have since come forward to register similar accusations.

“From the start, there were inappropriate questions. There was a lot of touching. There were exams without nurses or other people in the room, and on the last occasion, when I knew that something happened, he licked me. And I knew that that happened and I never went back to the office again,” Hoechstetter previously told CBS News.

Jan. 17

More On Epstein Death

jeffrey epstein mehmet oz david shankbone flickr palm beach sheriff dept Custom

Jeffrey Epstein (left). Dr Mehmet Oz. (Right). Photo credit: David Shankbone / Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department / Wikimedia

WhoWhatWhy, More Reasons to Question the Jeffrey Epstein ‘Suicide,’ Staff report, Jan. 17, 2020. Forensic pathologist Michael Baden has expanded on the evidence he provided to 60 Minutes. What he finds is more consistent with murder than with suicide.

On the heels of his analysis in a 60 Minutes interview pointing to reasons to believe Jeffrey Epstein may have been murdered, forensic pathologist Michael Baden is now back with more claims.

Baden, who was hired by Epstein’s family, presented his evidence on a Dr. Oz special, aired on January 16. In case you missed it, here are the main highlights with respect to the medical evidence. (He presented other evidence as well, on both shows.)

Previously, we posted our own observations that suggested Epstein may not have died from hanging: They concerned the strangeness of the marks across his throat — not only their location (too low, as pointed out by 60 Minutes), but the nature of the marks themselves.

Jan. 16

Daily Mail via MSN, 'You watched me be abused': Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts takes aim at Naomi Campbell and Ghislaine Maxwell as she tweets 'you saw me at your parties, you saw me in Epstein's homes,' Chris Dyer, Jan. 26, 2020. Jeffrey Epstein's former 'sex slave' has shared photos of what seem to be her standing next to Naomi Campbell and Ghislaine Maxwell in a tweet that claims: 'You watched me be abused'.

Virginia Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times at the homes of his late friend Epstein, who she says trafficked her while she was underage over the course of years of abuse.

The 36-year-old tweeted a message today alleging guests saw her at parties and did not intervene to help. Roberts appeared to be pictured beside supermodel Naomi Campbell at her 31st birthday party in St Tropez, France, in 2001.

Roberts, who now goes by her married name of Giuffre, named Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, Naomi Campbell and Prince Andrew in the tweet - though it is not clear who precisely she is accusing of what.

She wrote: 'You saw me at your parties, you saw me in Epstein's homes, you saw me on the plane, you saw me get my haircut, you saw me on the streets, you watched me be abused. You saw me! #Awareness #Justice #GhislaineMaxwell #JeffreyEpstein #NaomiCampbell #PrinceAndrew.'

There is no evidence Campbell or her guests knew of Epstein's crimes or who Roberts was when she allegedly attended the event.

Jan. 15

Miami Herald, Virgin Islands allege Jeffrey Epstein trafficked girls as young as 11 as recently as 2018, Daniel Chang and Kevin G. Hall, Jan. 15, 2020. A miami herald logolawsuit filed Wednesday by the top law enforcement officer in the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges that multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private island as recently as 2018 by using a web of shell companies to carry out and conceal his crimes.

The Miami Herald is partnering with the Miami Foundation to launch the Investigative Journalism Fund. With your donations, we can do more projects like Perversion of Justice, our series on Jeffrey Epstein. By Emily Michot

perversion of justice miami herald logoThe allegations, if validated, broaden the scope of Epstein’s sexual trafficking, and shed new light on the tactics Epstein used to hide jeffrey epstein at harvard universityhis illicit activities.

Epstein, right, who was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell last year, allegedly brought girls as young as 11 to his private island, known as Little St. James, and maintained a database to track their availability and movements, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, first reported by The New York Times, was filed by Denise George, attorney general of the Virgin Islands. George alleged in the lawsuit that Epstein used a network of shell companies to hold properties, including Little St. James and Great St. James, at which the former financier engaged in human trafficking, forced labor, sexual servitude and other criminal behavior.

Jan. 13

jeffrey epstein autopsy photos

Legal Schnauzer, Opinion: Surveillance video of Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell has been "accidentally" destroyed, and that along with analysis of autopsy evidence, points to homicide, not suicide, Roger Shuler, Jan. 13, 2020. Federal prosecutors revealed late last week that surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein's first "suicide attempt" at New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) no longer exists -- and that adds to troubling questions about Trump attorney general William Barr's possible involvement in a murder coverup, according to a D.C.-based investigative journalist.

The latest turn in the Epstein story came when attorneys for Epstein's [previous] cellmate -- former cop and quadruple drug-ring murderer Nicholas Tartaglione, below right -- requested the video in an nicholas tartaglione facebook Customapparent effort to clear their client of involvement in Epstein's death. The response from federal prosecutors? Any such video has been lost or destroyed. A new story (subscription required) at Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) says that only adds to the stench surrounding Epstein's death.

Writes Madsen:

Federal prosecutors in New York have revealed that the MCC's video of the Special Housing Unit (SHU) cell where Epstein was placed with former cop Nicholas Tartaglione, charged with a quadruple homicide involving a drug ring, was "accidentally" destroyed. Epstein is said to have tried to commit suicide by hanging himself on July 23, 2019, while Tartaglione was in his cell. Under suspicion for strangling Epstein in the alleged first suicide attempt, Tartaglione's attorney requested a copy of the July 23 videotape to demonstrate that he "acted appropriately" in his sentencing. Federal prosecutors are asking for the death penalty for Tartaglione.

It is not known what Tartaglione meant by stating that he "acted appropriately" while Epstein tried to hang himself. Epstein's attorney claimed that marks on Epstein's neck (shown above) were more indicative of a strangling attempt, not an attempted suicide by hanging. Epstein had apparently passed information to his relatives that his first injuries were sustained as the result of a physical attack, and that it was Tartaglione who assaulted him.

How could an exceptionally dangerous bad actor, such as Tartaglione, be placed anywhere near the alleged sex trafficker Epstein, who because of his ties to Trump, was perhaps the nation's most high-profile inmate at the time? That is one of many head-scratchers in this case. Writes Madsen:

It is clear that Tartaglione is trying to bargain his way out of a death sentence. What is not clear is what the July 23 videotape, had it not been destroyed, would have shown. In a January 9 letter a federal judge, prosecutors stated that the MCC "inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier," adding that the video from Epstein's and Tartaglione's cell "no longer exists." Earlier, prosecutors told the judge that the tape had been "lost." They then changed their story to state that the video they discovered was trained on the wrong cell.

It defies logic that one of the government's most secure correctional facilities, the one that held Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel chieftain "El Chapo" and Gambino family kingpin John Gotti during their trials, could have destroyed a videotape on its most high-profile inmate.

How ugly could Tartaglione's possible ties to Epstein's death get? The answer is "off-the-charts" ugly, as Madsen explains:

Just prior to Epstein's arrival at the MCC following his arrest at a New Jersey airport, Tartaglione had been found with a contraband cell phone. There is a distinct possibility that Tartaglione received orders over the cell phone to kill Epstein at the first practical opportunity. Tartaglione is now claiming that he "acted appropriately" in the cell with Epstein. In Targtaglione's world of gangland-style murders, "acting appropriately" might mean that he tried to carry out his orders to off Epstein, but, for some reason, Epstein managed to survive the attempted strangulation.

Once Epstein survived the first "suicide" event, did someone in authority takes steps to make sure he was safe? Nope. After Epstein was found semi-conscious in his cell on July 23, he was moved to a special cell where he was placed under a suicide watch.

An MCC psychologist later approved Epstein's removal from the suicide watch and back to the SHU. On August 10 [when Epstein had no assigned cellmate], Epstein was found strangled to death from what was reported to have been a noose crafted from a torn orange bed sheet (shown above at left). There are reports that “shrieking” and “shouting” were heard from Epstein’s cell shortly before his body was discovered by guards.

Jan. 12

charlotte remenyik with fencing student ohio state archives CustomOSU fencing coach Charlotte Remenyik gives a coaching tip to a fencing student in 1981 (Ohio State Archives photo).

nbc news logoNBC News, Former Ohio State fencing coach sounded alarm on abusive doctor decades ago, Corky Siemaszko, Jan. 12, 2020. Former Ohio State fencing coach sounded alarm on abusive doctor decades ago. Hungarian refugee Charlotte Remenyik 'was a hero' who dueled with Dr. Richard Strauss, who is accused of molesting hundreds of male athletes.

She watched out for her guys. Former Ohio State University fencing coach Charlotte Remenyik was one of the very few school officials to formally richard strauss osu lantern screenshotsound the alarm about Dr. Richard Strauss during the nearly two decades that he molested hundreds of young male athletes and students, often under the guise of a medical examination. Her warnings can be found in records uncovered by investigators with a law firm hired to conduct an independent investigation into Strauss.

In fact, Remenyik regularly warned her athletes about Strauss, right, and was so persistent that the doctor personally complained about her to the top brass at OSU.

“The reason for the persistence of the rumors in the fencing team became clear: a personal and continuous vendetta against me by Coach Remenyik,” Strauss wrote in a letter dated June 3, 1996, to OSU’s then vice-president for student affairs. “Approximately once a year, Coach Remenyik took various members of the team aside and told them to ‘watch out’ for me, citing ‘rumors’.”

ohio state buckeyes logoStrauss’ redacted letter was included in a damning report released last year by the Perkins Coie law firm, hired by OSU to conduct an independent investigation, which concluded that coaches and administrators knew that Strauss was sexually abusing athletes and students but failed to stop him.

“She was a hero,” said Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Strauss victim and one of the leaders of the drive to hold OSU accountable. “She was the only one who formally stood up.”

Remenyik is also the only former OSU coach named in the report. She appears on page 92 as a person who raised “concerns” about Strauss in 1994 to Senior Associate Athletic Director Paul Krebs.

In a letter dated Nov. 7, 1994, OSU’s then-Director of Sports Medicine John A. Lombardo dismissed Remenyik’s concerns. “I have spoken with her and her concerns are based on rumors which has been generated for 10 years with no foundation,” Lombardo wrote in the letter, which was included in the Perkins Coie report. “However, due to the pervasive nature of these rumors, the male athletes do not feel comfortable with Dr. Strauss as their physicians.”

NBC News was unable to reach Krebs for comment. But Remenyik’s report was not based on rumors, her daughter, Csilla Smith, said. Among the fencers who told Remenyik directly that Strauss had crossed the line was her future son-in-law, Kevin Smith, she said. “He went in to be treated for a torn earlobe and the first thing he said was to drop trou,” Smith said of her husband. “Kevin refused and told my mother what happened.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Short on Legal Options, #MeToo Accusers Turn to Defamation Suits, Julia Jacobs, Jan. 12, 2020. The Weinstein trial is rare because most sexual misconduct claims are too old to litigate. But women, and men, are finding another way to get to court.

ashley judd headshotAshley Judd, right,  was one of the first women to attach her name to accusations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, below at left, but like many of the claims that followed, her account of intimidating sexual advances was too old to bring Mr. Weinstein to court over.

Then a legal window opened to her. After reading about a director’s claim that Mr. Weinstein’s studio, Miramax, had described Ms. Judd as a “nightmare to work harvey weinsteinwith,” she sued the producer for defamation in 2018.

Mr. Weinstein’s rape trial in Manhattan, which began with jury selection last week, is a spectacle not only because he is the avatar of the #MeToo era, but also because it is one of the few sexual assault cases to surface with allegations recent enough to result in criminal charges.

So, unable to pursue justice directly, women and men on both sides of #MeToo are embracing the centuries-old tool of defamation lawsuits, opening an alternative legal battleground for accusations of sexual misconduct.

While the facts of the cases vary, the plaintiffs are generally using defamation law not just for its usual purpose — to dissuade damaging speech about them — but also as a tool to enlist the courts to endorse their version of disputed events.

Jan. 10

Fox #MeToo Scandals

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘I do wish I had done more’: Megyn Kelly tearfully reacts to ‘Bombshell’ and the fallout of the Fox News sexual harassment scandal, Katie Shepherd, Jan. 10, 2020. Hot, dry and windy conditions caused two large blazes to merge into one the size of the state of Delaware — or about eight times larger than New York City. As the young woman excitedly pitched herself for a job to the company’s senior executive, a man dressed in an expensive suit, he appeared to be listening intently, nodding as she listed all of the skills she could bring to the position. Then, he gave her an order: “Do a little spin for me.”

fox news logo SmallThe uncomfortable scene comes from the recently released film “Bombshell,” but the story could have been told by many women at Fox News who said former chief roger ailes wexecutive Roger Ailes, right, asked them the same question in his office.

“Turn around let me see your ass,” Juliet Huddy, a former Fox News host, recalled Ailes telling her in a video shared Thursday by Megyn Kelly after the women watched the movie together. Two other victims of harassment at Fox, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann, joined them to share their thoughts on the fictionalized drama about the scandal that upended their careers.

All four of the women said Ailes had asked them to twirl for him. Only Bakhtiar, a former Fox News correspondent, said she refused. Kelly recalled the humiliation she felt after Ailes asked her to spin for him.

Cypriot Court

Guardian, Podcast: Why Was an Alleged Rape Victim Convicted for Lying? Rachel Humphreys with Noa Shpigel and Michael Polak, Jan. 10, 2020. On July 17, 2019, an 18-year old British woman claimed she had been gang-raped by a group of Israeli tourists. But 10 days later she was being charged with lying by the Cypriot police. Michael Polak, her lawyer, discusses the case, while Israeli journalist Noa Shpigel describes covering the story.

This week, a British teenager was finally allowed to return home after a Cypriot court handed her a four-month suspended sentence. The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been found guilty of public mischief by claiming she was raped by a group of male Israeli tourists while on holiday in Ayia Napa last July.

The verdict led to widespread criticism of both the Cypriot justice system and the judge who heard the case. Michael Polak is a lawyer for the legal aid group Justice Abroad and is representing the British woman.

Jan. 5

CBS Epstein Probe

michael baden office cbs Custom

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging, but a forensic pathologist (shown above in a CBS 60 Minutes screenshot) who observed the four-hour autopsy on behalf of Epstein's brother, Mark, tells 60 Minutes the evidence released so far points more to murder than suicide in his view. Dr. Michael Baden's key reason: the unusual fractures he saw in Epstein's neck.

cbs news logoCBS, 60 Minutes investigates the death of Jeffrey Epstein, Produced by Oriana Zill de Granados, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, Jan. 5, 2019. (14:14 mins). 60 Minutes examines the circumstances surrounding his death in a Manhattan federal jail cell. Warning: This report contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing. Continued from above.

In July 2019, Jeffrey Epstein, already a convicted sex offender, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors. On August 10, Epstein was found dead in his federal jail cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC).

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging, but a forensic pathologist who observed the four-hour autopsy on behalf of Epstein's brother, Mark, tells 60 Minutes the evidence released so far points more to murder than suicide in his view. Dr. Michael Baden's key reason: the unusual fractures he saw in Epstein's neck.

"There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone," Baden said. "I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging."

"Going over a thousand jail hangings, suicides in the New York City state prisons over the past 40-50 years, no one had three fractures," Baden said.

The medical examiner's office said it stands "firmly" behind its finding of suicide by hanging, arguing that fractures of the hyoid bone and cartilage can be seen in both suicides and homicides.

Still, questions linger.

Epstein was directing money to be deposited in other inmates' commissary accounts in exchange for protection, sources say, because he feared for his life. But the government says Epstein was suicidal and made his first, failed suicide attempt weeks after he arrived at MCC.

According to a federal indictment, on July 23 Epstein was found "on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheet around his neck." The government says it was a failed suicide attempt, but Epstein claimed his cellmate, 52-year-old former police officer Nick Tartaglione, attacked him. Tartaglione, who is accused of murdering four men, denied that and his lawyer says: "Absolutely nothing like that happened." His lawyer also says Tartaglione was cleared by jail officials.

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Epstein was put on suicide watch after the incident, but one week later, "at the direction of the MCC's psychological staff," he was taken off suicide watch and "required to have an assigned cellmate."

Epstein (Jeffrey Epstein, seen in a March 28, 2017, image provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry) was moved back to his old unit and assigned a new cellmate, but the night before his death, Epstein's cellmate was released. According to court documents, "no new cellmate was assigned" before he died, even though he was required to have one.

That night, federal prosecutors say, "Epstein was escorted into his cell by Tova Noel at approximately 7:49 p.m." Noel and Michael Thomas, the two guards who were working the overnight shift in Epstein's unit, allegedly didn't check on him again until "shortly after 6:30 a.m." the next morning.

The two guards have been charged with falsifying documents and conspiracy to defraud the federal government. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Federal prosecutors say surveillance video "makes clear" that the guards "search[ed] the internet" and "appear to have been asleep" on their overnight overtime shift. One thing the video may not show, according to sources, is Epstein's cell door and the doors of the other inmates on his unit tier. Sources say the camera that should have captured those angles was corrupted the night of Epstein's death. Epstein's cell was about 15 feet away and up a set of stairs from the guards' station, with a single locked gate between them.

60 Minutes reviewed hundreds of graphic photographs from Epstein's autopsy and inside his cell. There are multiple nooses, a bit of orange sheet tied to the grate of a window. On the top bunk, bottles and medicines stand upright. Below it, another piece of fabric is tied through a hole on the bed about four feet from the ground.

Did Epstein, who was nearly 6 feet tall and 185 pounds, somehow lean in and hang himself from the lower bunk? We don't know.

Dr. Baden, the forensic pathologist hired by Epstein's family, says the noose that was sketched and included in the autopsy report doesn't appear to match the wounds on Epstein's neck. And Baden says, the ligature mark was in the middle of Epstein's neck, not beneath the jawbone, as one would expect in a hanging. Also puzzling to Baden is that Epstein would make a noose out of a bedsheet when wires and cords were present in his cell, as photographs show.

There are not any photos of Epstein's body in his cell, Baden says – he was rushed to an emergency room after guard Michael Thomas found him. But Baden believes, based on the autopsy, Epstein had been dead for two hours by then and he says the scene should have been treated as a crime scene, leaving the body alone. Federal Bureau of Prisons protocol mandates a suicide scene should be treated with the "same level of protection as any crime scene in which a death has occurred."

Baden has taken several controversial positions over his decades-long career.

.And Baden said, at this point, he doesn't have all the information needed to make a final conclusion. The Justice Department told the family, they say, that it won't release the video pertaining to the case and additional forensic testing because of the ongoing criminal case against the two guards on duty the night of Epstein's death.

The charges have also silenced the guards themselves. Michael Thomas's attorney Montell Figgins says Thomas still hasn't spoken to investigators or revealed how he, alone, found Epstein's body, a key piece of information in any death investigation.

One member of the Justice Department who has gone on record about the case is Attorney General William Barr. He told reporters in November he personally reviewed surveillance video that showed nobody entered the area where Epstein was held. Sources say he may be talking about surveillance video above the guard area or at the entrance to the Special Housing Unit. But this remains to be seen as the Department of Justice would not comment to 60 Minutes about which cameras were working that night.

Weinstein Trial To Begin

ny times logoNew York Times, Weinstein Heads to Trial in a Case Seen as Larger Than One Man, Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor and Jan Ransom, Jan. 5, 2020. The Hollywood producer (shown at right)  faces sexual assault charges in a case that has already been fraught both for prosecutors and his legal team.

harvey weinsteinSince the Harvey Weinstein story broke more than two years ago, everything about it has been outsized: the scope of the allegations of sexual harassment and assault, stretching back decades; the number of his accusers, who total more than 80; and the global scale of the reckoning their stories have inspired.

Many supporters of the #MeToo movement that Mr. Weinstein’s accusers helped ignite are looking to see whether the legal system can deliver justice for victims. Lawyers for Mr. Weinstein, who lost his company, his reputation and his marriage, are arguing that the case is proof that #MeToo has gone too far. At the courthouse, media from around the world, demonstrators outside and spectators in packed galleries will be watching.

Now, as the Hollywood producer’s criminal trial begins Monday in Manhattan, the outcome already is anticipated as a verdict on much more than one man’s alleged wrongdoing.

Jan. 7

Media News

daniel hopsickerMadcow News, Investigation & Commentary: Paint It Mint, Daniel Hopsicker, right, Jan. 7, 2020. On the eve of war, with breaking news advancing like an electrical storm across the horizon, I was outmaneuvered by an internet troll into promising to explain what I know about a bizarre little Minneapolis news site called MintPress News.

This is that story.

Who stands behind Mint Press, a small Minneapolis-based site with a progressive bent that hides its funding even from employees and has mysterious connections to the Middle East?

Their poking around also establishes the nature of the mystery. The background to the case.

In stories filed with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MinnPost, and the Colombia Journalism Review, journalists on the ground in Minnesota provided most of the following details.

Interviews with former employees and people familiar with the inner workings of Mint Press, they wrote, paint a portrait of a dysfunctional outlet where employees are left in the dark about the site’s sources of funding and are alienated from the Muhawesh family that runs it:

odeh muhawesh CustomMnar Muhawesh, the editor-in-chief, her brother-in-law and managing editor Muhammad Muhawesh, and her father-in-law Odeh Muhawesh, 54, left, a Minneapolis businessman born in Jordan.

They also revealed an agenda that lines up, from its sympathy with the Syrian regime to its hostility to Sunni Saudi Arabia, with that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Odeh Muhawesh studied under an ayatollah for five years after the Islamic Revolution, and where he visited as recently as last summer.

A fellow researcher recently discovered information indicating Odeh Muhawesh was part of a government operation with the father of Peter Strzok, the recently-famous and controversial FBI Agent.

Before to the invasion of Iraq by the George W. Bush regime, Muhawesh opened an office as president of Middle East Trading Company, Inc. in Jordan to provide agricultural and developmental projects within Iraq with funding from federal agencies like U.S. AID and the United Nations World Food Progress.

Peter Strzok, Sr. was the former director of humanitarian and development programs throughout the Middle East. Strzok organized a program to send used tractors and other farm equipment to Iraq.

Both Muhawesh and Srtzok’s Dad, himself a former FBI Agent, are affiliated with the Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee, part of a USAID program to distribute relief supplies in Iraq.

If their USAID program wasn’t connected to the CIA, it would likely be the only one operating in country.

 daniel hopsicker barry boys coverJustice Integrity Project Editor's Note: The project has not independently verified the allegations in the investigation above made by Hopsicker, author of Barry and the Boys, whose cover is shown at right, and Welcome To Terrorland. Our project has excerpted columns also by MintPress News, most notably a series of cutting-edge reports by Whitney Webb during the summer of 2019 regarding context for the Jeffrey Epstein scandals. We are seeking reaction from MintPress News and Webb to Hopsicker's report.

Justice Integrity Project, MintPress News Denounces Hopsicker's Claims As Error-Filled 'Smear,' Andrew Kreig, Jan. 13, 2020 (updated). MintPress News Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh and correspondent Whitney Webb rebutted claims made Madcow News founder Daniel Hopsicker in the column above, describing it as a poorly researched, inaccurate and highly biased "dangerous smear."

Webb, shown below in one of the photos she uses to illustrate her columns, wrote on Twitter on Jan. 8, "Dangerous smear about Mintpress sadly coming from D Hopsicker, who falsely claims that it has 'direct ties' to Iran and whitney webb twitterspecifically Soleimani at a time when the US is about to go to war w Iran and MSM calling Soleimani a 'terrorist'. Clear attempt to get MPN deplatformed."

She wrote also, using the Twitter name @whitneywebb, "Hopsicker also claiming, after looking up the names of my relatives, that my dad worked for the OSS, an agency that was liquidated years before my dad was even born. Hopsicker began to 'investigate"'me after he implied I was a Nazi for merely being an American living in Chile."

"Hopsicker's problem with me,"  Webb continued, "is because I wrote about the links between Epstein and Israeli intel (I also covered his links to US Intel btw). His smears now being promoted by other alt media ppl who think it's impossible that I wrote my Epstein series w/o special help fr a govt."

In another Tweet, she wrote, "Nearly [sic] smear since my Epstein series has come from old men in alt media who are clearly upset that a woman half their age (I'm 30) made connections in that case in a couple of months that they couldn't make for years."

MintPress editor Muhawesh wrote in a separate Tweet, "No mention of my response to BuzzFeed smear & Odeh's role as a tech & HR advisor when I first started MPN. Why didn't Hopsicker mention my actual editorial & other business advisors like Mickey Huff & Kate Madonna. Is it because they are not brown Muslims?"

The MintPress website describes its background and alliances in part as follows: "MintPress News is proud to partner with leading journalism venues and activist sites that work tirelessly to bring attention to social justice issues at home and abroad. These syndication partners include: Shadow Proof, TruthOut, CommonDreams, Media Roots, War Is A Crime, Occupy.com , and several others. Become a MintPress partner! If you’d like to become a syndication or news partner or are simply interested in collaborating on an investigation with MintPress, contact our editor Mnar Muhawesh."

Hopsicker replied with a Jan. 11 Tweet asserting in call capitals, "THE SECOND THING...WHITNEY WEBB DISSOCIATED HERSELF FROM MINT PRESS NEWS YESTERDAY."

Webb responded the same day as follows: "For those asking, this is not even remotely true. I have several reports coming out for Mintpress this week. An absurd smear campaign inventing its own victory lap. Can't make this stuff up."

South Florida Sun Sentinel, Judge denies release of Jeffrey Epstein’s grand jury records, Marc Freeman, Jan. 7, 2020. A judge Tuesday rebuffed criminal investigators looking at sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s cushy treatment by South Florida authorities over a dozen years ago. It happened when special prosecutors appointed by the governor came to the Palm Beach County Courthouse seeking records from a 2006 grand jury that indicted Epstein, right, on a single felony prostitution count.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThey said they’d like to know whether the grand jurors ever heard that police had evidence that several minor girls were molested by the financier at his Palm Beach estate.

Not so fast, ruled Chief Circuit Judge Krista Marx, refusing to order the release of the grand jury tapes at this time. Marx pointed to well-established Florida law that the closed-door grand jury proceedings can be unsealed only as a “last resort,” and when it is clear that doing so will lead to a discovery of wrongdoing.

It’s clear, however, that the Epstein saga remains unending even after his death last summer in a New York City jail cell. Officials said he committed suicide by hanging, rather than face prosecution on new sex trafficking charges.

Epstein’s former attorney Jack Goldberger attended Tuesday’s hearing but did not participate.

Judge Marx told investigators they first need to try other ways of getting the grand jury information, such as asking some of Epstein’s victims if they were asked to testify.

And Marx told prosecutors they have to make more than just a “bare-bones” claim that it is in the “furtherance of justice” to release the grand jury records to them.

“It sounds like a fishing expedition to me,” Marx told Assistant State Attorney M. Levering Evans, of Fort Pierce. She added, “I’m not understanding how it will be helpful and to what end.”

Evans explained that investigators want to figure out how the grand jury — convened by then-State Attorney Barry Krischer’s office — settled on the solicitation of prostitution charge. Was information kept from the panel, and if so, why?

“We are charged with looking simply for crimes,” Evans said of the work being done alongside agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

He said the grand jury records could lead to a search for financial documents and the possibility of corruption.

Matt Weissing, an attorney for a Fort Lauderdale-based law firm representing 10 Epstein victims, testified in support of the investigators. He said Epstein’s teenage victims were not paid prostitutes.

Jan. 4

U.S. Courts, Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, Judge awards $13 million to women who say they were tricked into pornography, Brittany Shammas, Jan. 4, 2020 (print ed.). The trial of the owners of GirlsDoPorn revealed the “calculated steps” the company took to persuade women after recruiting them for modeling jobs on Craigslist, including concealing the true nature of the business and deploying bait-and-switch tactics.

A California judge has tentatively ordered a pornography company to pay $13 million to 22 young women, finding that they were tricked into performing in videos that threw their lives off course and led several to attempt suicide.

The ruling Thursday followed a years-long legal battle waged by the women against the owners of GirlsDoPorn, a San Diego-based business that has made millions of dollars producing pornography it distributes through a subscription website and other online adult-video providers. The company is also the subject of a separate criminal case in which its owners and employees face federal sex-trafficking charges.

Key to the GirlsDoPorn business model, San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin A. Enright noted in the civil case, is the construct that the women in the videos “are not professional porn stars but are amateur college-aged women filming pornography for the first and only time.”

The 99-day trial revealed the “calculated steps” the company’s operators took to persuade those women after recruiting them for “modeling” jobs on Craigslist, including concealing the true nature of the business, deploying bait-and-switch tactics and offering what the judge said was “little choice in completing the shoot.” They repeatedly promised that the videos would be available only on DVDs purchased by private collectors overseas and that the identities of the women — all between the ages of 18 and 22, most of them cash-strapped college students — would not be revealed.

ny times logoNew York Times, He Was Accused of Enabling Abuse. Then Came a Downward Spiral, Anemona Hartocollis, Jan. 4, 2020. A professor said a sexual misconduct suit against Dartmouth College had falsely portrayed his actions, and was overcome by the anguish that followed.

david bucci dartmouth photo CustomWhen a group of graduate students wanted to alert Dartmouth College to sexual misconduct by three professors, David Bucci was the one they turned to.

He was the chairman of the department where the students and professors worked, and he reported the accusation to the college administration.

So he was blindsided when seven female students later named him in a lawsuit against Dartmouth, accusing him of looking the other way and intimidating those who had spoken out.

He grew deeply distressed, his wife and closest colleagues said, especially after he was advised not to complicate the litigation by defending himself publicly. The ordeal eventually brought back the crippling depression he had been treated for years earlier. Some colleagues shunned him. A woman at his food co-op called him a “disgusting human being,” said his wife, Katie Bucci.

In October, 11 months after the lawsuit was filed in late 2018, he took his own life. He was 50.

To friends and family members, Dr. Bucci was a casualty of a scorched-earth legal strategy to pin blame on the Ivy League college. They said that they did not question the credibility of the women who came forward, but that his death showed how bit players can be swept up with perpetrators, and badly hurt.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Ghislaine Maxwell, right, with Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, centre, in 2001. A source says ex-special forces are shuttling Miss Maxwell from one safe house to another

Daily Mail, Prince Andrew's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, the former lover of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, is under 24-hour guard by former US Navy Seals amid fears for her life, Ian Gallagher, Jan. 4, 2020.

A source says ex-special forces are shuttling the 58-year-old friend of Prince Andrew from one safe house to another across the American Midwest following ‘credible death threats’.

Epstein is said to have sexually abused dozens of teenage girls and Miss Maxwell, along with others, is alleged to have ‘facilitated’ his behaviour. She has denied any wrongdoing.

She is now the principal focus of an FBI investigation and is said to hold the key to the truth about the Duke of York’s relationship with the disgraced financier and whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The Duke has repeatedly denied these allegations and any suggestion of wrongdoing.

While Miss Maxwell has never been accused by the authorities of criminal wrongdoing, Epstein’s alleged victims have portrayed her as his ‘madam’ and ‘fixer.’

A source said: ‘There has been so much rubbish written about Ghislaine. The reality is she receives multiple, credible death threats on a daily basis. The hate mail is sometimes 2 feet high.

‘She is constantly moving. Her life is in danger. She is being guarded by the best of the very best and that includes former US Navy SEALs. She’s not under the protection of any government. She’s on her own.’

Jan. 3

eric bauman nbc Custom

ny times logoNew York Times, California Democratic Party Settles Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits Against Former Chairman, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Jan. 3, 2020. The California Democratic Party said on Friday that it had settled lawsuits with five people who had accused the party’s former chairman of misconduct (shown above in an NBC photo) including sexual assault, discrimination and harassment.

Eric C. Bauman, the former chairman, led the state party for a year and a half until November 2018, when he resigned after several employees said he had harassed and intimidated them. At least one employee said he had been sexually assaulted.

Rusty Hicks, who is now the chairman of the state party, said the organization had reached “equitable settlements” with five people who had sued. Mr. Hicks said that the party valued “fairness, respect and dignity for all” and that the settlements were meant to acknowledge the accusers’ “service to our Party.”

Citing an unnamed source, The Wall Street Journal reported that the state party would be paying more than $1 million to settle the claims.

William Floyd, a former assistant to Mr. Bauman, said in April that Mr. Bauman, 61, had sexually assaulted him three times while he served as chairman of the state party and when he was chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Throughout that time, Mr. Floyd said, his boss, who was more than twice his age, also groped him and made inappropriate comments to him.

The other lawsuits, filed by three former party employees and a Democratic activist, made a host of similar claims against Mr. Bauman and the party, accusing the former leader of sexually assaulting, groping or harassing them and the party of failing to stop the abuse. At least one former employee also said Mr. Bauman discriminated against her because she was black, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr. Bauman was involved in Democratic politics in California for more than three decades and had long been known for his advocacy on behalf of unions and L.G.B.T. groups. He resigned when an article published in The Los Angeles Times in November 2018 added to growing outrage over his behavior. The article said Mr. Bauman had physically intimidated people and touched them without their consent.

Jan. 2

Epstein Scandal

TruNews, Commentary on Ghislaine Maxwell: Which Spy Agency is Hiding Her? The Rev. Rick Wiles with Doc Burkhart and Edward Szall, Jan. 2, 2020. Today on TruNews, we demand answers to the simple question of where Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking scion has found refuge after the Mossad agent allegedly killed himself in America's most secure jail. We also address who stands to gain in the wake of the storming of the $736 million U.S. embassy fortress in Baghdad, and how a war with Iran may be exactly what embattled and indicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted for Christmas in order to stay in power.

Station's Self-description: "TruNews is the world’s leading news source that reports, analyzes, and comments on global events and trends with a conservative, orthodox Christian worldview. Our vision is to build a global news network that provides a credible source for world news, events, and trends while giving respect and honor to Christians of all major denominations — Evangelical, Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic, and Protestant."

2019

December

Dec. 30

washington post logoWashington Post, Quiet sale of church-owned mansion helped obscure disgraced bishop’s lavish tastes, Aaron C. Davis, Dec. 30, 2019. michael bransfieldAfter Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, right, was banished from his post as head of the Catholic Church in West Virginia, the church-owned residence he had lived in was put up for sale. It was a historic 9,200-square-foot Colonial Revival-style house with five bay windows that was once known as Elmcrest. Bransfield had spent $4.6 million to restore it to his exacting taste.

The diocese did not hire a real estate agent, advertise the property’s sale online or hold an open house. Instead, as allegations of sexual and financial misconduct against Bransfield spilled into public view in June, the church sold the property to a wealthy Wheeling, W.Va., resident for $1.2 million.

ny times logoNew York Times, Woman Who Accused 12 Men of Rape Is Guilty of ‘Public Mischief’ in Cyprus, Lizzy Ioannidou and Iliana Magra, Dec. 30, 2019. The British woman said that a dozen Israeli men had raped her in a resort town, and then retracted her statement. She could face up to a year in prison.

A British woman was convicted by a Cyprus court on Monday for lying to the authorities when she accused a dozen Israeli men of raping her and later retracted her statement, the latest twist in a case that divided public opinion in Cyprus and Israel.

The British woman, who was 19 when she made the accusation and has not been publicly identified, had accused the men, who ranged in age from 15 to 18, of raping her in a hotel room in the resort town of Ayia Napa in July. The men were arrested that month but were later released after the police said the woman had retracted the accusations.

Marios Christou, the chief investigating officer in the case, testified during the legal proceedings that she had “admitted that she reported the incident” because the men “were recording her having sex” and “she felt insulted.” He also pointed to inconsistencies between her statement and video footage from the night on which she said she was raped.

Dec. 28

ny times logoNew York Times, Ruling Against Film Director Could Pave Way for More #MeToo Claims, Nancy Coleman, Dec. 28, 2019 (print ed.). In a significant ruling that could make it easier to file sexual assault lawsuits in New York City, an appeals court ruled this week that a city law prohibiting “animus based on the victim’s gender” can apply to any accusation of forced sex.

A four-judge panel of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled unanimously on Thursday that plaintiffs can use the law to pursue sexual assault claims even if there is no other evidence that the defendant has shown hatred of the victim’s gender.

The city law comes with a seven-year statute of limitations; without the law, accusers would have to file suit within one to five years of the alleged assault, depending on its severity. In addition to the extra time, the law also allows greater financial penalties and recovery of legal fees for victorious plaintiffs, potentially removing a barrier for accusers who do not have money to hire a lawyer.

Lawyers involved in the case said the ruling could be a watershed in New York City in the #MeToo era.

Dec. 27

washington post logoWashington Post, Investigation: Ousted cardinal McCarrick gave more than $600,000 to powerful clerics, including 2 popes, Shawn Boburg, Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Chico Harlan, Dec. 27, 2019 (print ed.). Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in church money to powerful Catholic clerics over nearly two decades, according to financial records obtained by The Washington Post, while the Vatican failed to act on claims he had sexually harassed young men.

theodore mccarrickStarting in 2001, McCarrick, right, sent checks totaling more than $600,000 to clerics in Rome and elsewhere, including Vatican bureaucrats, papal advisers and two popes, according to church ledgers and former church officials.

Several of the more than 100 recipients were directly involved in assessing misconduct claims against McCarrick, documents and interviews show. It was not until 2018 that McCarrick was removed from public ministry amid allegations of misconduct decades earlier with a 16-year-old altar boy, and this year he became the first cardinal known to be defrocked for sexual abuse.

McCarrick, 89, became one of the most recognizable church figures in America during a career spanning a half-century. He traveled the world for the Vatican and became the U.S. Catholic Church’s de facto spokesman nearly two decades ago as it reeled from a sex-abuse crisis that began in Boston. In Washington, he presided over funerals of the city’s political elite, including Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and hosted dinners for President George W. Bush and other dignitaries.

  • washington post logoWashington Post, Interfaith leader reaches settlement in United Methodist Church sexual harassment case, Julie Zauzmer, Dec. 27, 2019 (print ed.). The Rev. Bud Heckman was facing a church trial, the first prominent #MeToo case for the nation’s third-largest religious denomination.

Culture Wars

washington post logoWashington Post, Why millions of Americans, including men, will get a separate bill for abortion coverage starting in June, Ariana Eunjung Cha, Dec. 27, 2019 (print ed.). The rule change has been praised by antiabortion groups and criticized by insurers, medical organizations and women's health advocates.

If you are one of the 3 million Americans who bought health insurance on an Affordable Care Act state exchange, you may be surprised to open up the mail this summer and find two separate monthly bills. Under a new rule finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services in December, insurers are now required to issue a separate invoice for the amount of your premium that they attribute to abortion services. So you’ll get one bill for abortion services and another for the rest of your insurance coverage.

Epstein Scandal Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Credit Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005 (Joe Schildhorn / Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images)

Reuters, Exclusive: FBI investigating British socialite and others who 'facilitated’ Epstein - sources, Dec. 27, 2019. The FBI is investigating British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and several other people linked to U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.

FBI logoThe FBI also is following up on many leads received from women who contacted a hotline the agency set up at its New York field office in the wake of Epstein’s arrest in July, the sources said.

One of the sources said the probe remains at an early stage.

The sources declined to give further details or identify the people they are looking at apart from Maxwell. However, they said the FBI has no current plans to interview Britain’s Prince Andrew, a friend of Epstein’s who stepped down from his public duties in November because of what he called his “ill-judged” association with the well-connected money manager.

Dec. 25

ny times logoNew York Times, In Indian Country, a Crisis of Missing Women, Jack Healy / Photographs by Adriana Zehbrauskas, Dec. 25, 2019. The federal government is trying to tackle a crisis of missing Native American women. But no one is addressing the problems that arise when they’re found.

Indigenous activists say that generations of killings and disappearances have been disregarded by law enforcement and lost in bureaucratic gaps concerning which local or federal agencies should investigate.

There is not even a reliable count of how many Native women go missing or are killed each year. Researchers have found that women are often misclassified as Hispanic or Asian or other racial categories on missing-persons forms and that thousands have been left off a federal missing-persons database. From state capitals to tribal councils to the White House, a grass-roots movement led by activists and victims’ families is casting a national spotlight on the disproportionately high rates of violence faced by Indigenous women and girls.

Dec. 24

Media / #MeToo

ny times logoNew York Times, The Sexual Predator’s TV Wife, Amanda Hess, Dec. 24, 2019 (print ed.). Harassment has long been a hurdle on the anchorwoman’s rise to the top. New projects, like “The Morning Show” and “Bombshell,” examine what she has to do to stay there.

roger ailes wSexual harassment has long been a part of the anchorwoman’s pop-culture origin story. Occasionally we even see it play out on television, as we did last month, when a race runner assaulted a local television reporter on the air, and she glared after him for less than a second before resuming her coverage. Mostly we see it in movies, romanticized in “Up Close and Personal” and skewered in “Anchorman,” both loosely inspired by the pioneering TV presenter Jessica Savitch. As our anchorwoman navigates the newsroom, she must brush off innuendo and swat away gropes in order to prove that she can cut it in an anchorman’s world. When she makes it to prime time, we know the credits are about to roll.

But lately we’ve caught a second look at this figure. “The Morning Show” (which is loosely inspired by Lauer’s fall at NBC) and the film “Bombshell” (which re-enacts Roger Ailes’s ouster from Fox News) train an eye on the veteran newswoman who has already fought her battles and secured her time slot. The dynamics of her workplace have not been totally reversed, but they have been scrambled. What does she do with her power? How does she maintain her position? What harassment does she endure, witness, abide?

Dec. 23

jeffrey epstein complex dcma federal court protester

A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City, where Epstein was charged with sex trafficking of minors.

Law & Crime, Jeffrey Epstein Raped Two Young Girls in the ’80s and ’90s, New Court Docs Say, Matt Naham, Dec. 23, 2019. Two new accusers joined a lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, alleging that deceased convicted sex offender and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein raped them when they were minors.

The defendants are named as Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, the executors of Epstein’s estate. In recent days, they have moved to set up a victims’ compensation fund in the hopes of settling sexual abuse claims confidentially.

The women, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4, are being represented by renowned civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom. The same is true of Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, who were initially named as plaintiffs in the suit.

“In August 2019, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of two of our clients, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, alleging that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted them in New York in 2004,” Bloom said in a statement obtained by Law&Crime. “Last week, on December 20, 2019, we added two more accusers to the lawsuit.

“The two new plaintiffs, Jane Does 3 and 4, both allege that they were minors, under the age of 18, when Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them. Jane Doe 3 was an aspiring fifteen year old model in New York who went to Epstein’s home for what she thought was a casting call,” Bloom continued. “After the sexual assault, she disenrolled from high school while only in the tenth grade. Jane Doe 4 alleges that she was a thirteen year old in Hilton Head, South Carolina asked to “babysit” for Epstein. When she arrived, she discovered there were no children to babysit. She alleges that Epstein sexually assaulted her over a period of years and across state lines, supplying her with alcohol and drugs, and trafficked her to other prominent men, causing her profound psychological injuries.”

Bloom also said that court documents are being drafted on behalf of a fifth woman.

According to the complaint, Jane Doe 3 was 15 years old and an aspiring model when she met Epstein in or around 1990. The alleged victim said she thought she getting her big break in the form a “dream” casting call with Elite Model Management. Instead, she went to a New York residence where Epstein “introduced himself to Jane Doe 3 as a casting photographer,” took pictures of her nude body, and then raped her.

According to the complaint, Jane Doe 4 met Epstein in or around 1984 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, when she was around 13 years old. Jane Doe 4 alleged that, shortly after meeting Epstein, he gave her drugs and alcohol, then raped her. 

On information and belief, Epstein had rented and/or leased a vacation home from Jane Doe 4’s mother, a local real estate agent in Hilton Head Island. As was common in the area, Jane Doe 4 offered babysitting services to the tourists renting property from her mother. Jane Doe 4 was approximately 13 years old at the time when Epstein first hired Jane Doe 4 to work as a babysitter.

washington post logomichael bransfieldWashington Post, Post publishes secret Vatican document as parishioners demand answers about ousted West Virginia bishop, Shawn Boburg, Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Michelle Boorstein, Dec. 23, 2019. For months, civil authorities and Catholic parishioners have sought access to the findings of a church investigation into Michael J. Bransfield, right, who is accused of sexual and financial misconduct.

ny times logoNew York Times, G.O.P. Lawmaker Had Visions of a Christian Alternative Government, Mike Baker, Dec. 23, 2019. A state-sanctioned report accused Matt Shea of participating in domestic terrorism. Matt Shea was 34 years old when he ran for the State Legislature in eastern Washington, but he had already established credentials that made him a promising Republican candidate.

A lawyer trained at Gonzaga University who had served a tour in Iraq with Washington’s Army National Guard, Mr. Shea pitched voters in 2008 on a platform of limiting taxes and punishing criminals, opposing same-sex marriage and supporting gun rights. He went on to win matt sheawith nearly 60 percent of the vote, then moved up the ranks in the Legislature, reaching the powerful position of chair of his party’s caucus in 2017.

But back in his home district, Mr. Shea, right, also began attracting the attention of law enforcement for his growing embrace of fringe ideologies and conspiracy theories. He networked with local militia groups, talked about plans to create a 51st state called Liberty and distributed to his closest followers a “Biblical Basis for War” document that calls for the “surrender” of those who favor abortion rights, same-sex marriage, “idolatry” and communism. “If they do not yield — kill all males,” it said.

Last week, a report commissioned by the State Legislature asserted that Mr. Shea had engaged in domestic terrorism in his support of the armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by militant ranchers and their supporters in 2016 — part of a protest over federal ownership of public lands in the West.

republican elephant logoThe scrubby pines and sparsely settled hills of the inland Northwest have long been seen as a potential homeland by fringe white supremacists and armed loners who are militantly suspicious of government power. But for the sheriff here in Spokane County, Ozzie Knezovich, Mr. Shea’s activities are part of a troubling trend: Far-right organizers have begun plying their message of civil conflict in mainstream political circles, building new networks that include elected politicians and voters who would never consider themselves part of an extremist group.

“I think a lot of people underestimate the size and the growth of what’s going on,” said Sheriff Knezovich, a longtime Republican who supports President Trump.

The report prepared for the Legislature found that Mr. Shea had played a role in planning the Malheur standoff, which sought to challenge the federal government’s control and management of public lands. Leaders in the standoff were charged but acquitted of crimes related to the event, which resulted in state troopers fatally shooting one participant.

But Mr. Shea and about two dozen of his trusted allies have quietly pursued ambitious plans that went far beyond the standoff at Malheur, preparing for what they saw as a fracturing United States.

They compiled manuals on everything from how to escape handcuffs to the operation of military weaponry and, according to the report to the legislators, laid the groundwork to form an alternative government that would be poised to take over after the expected fall of the United States government.

“He’s not about preserving America. They are about starting their own country,” said Sheriff Knezovich, who was concerned enough about Mr. Shea’s activities that he has gathered what he had found over the years and sent it to the F.B.I.

Matt Shea Wikipedia Bio Excerpt: In October 2018, Shea acknowledged that he had distributed a four-page manifesto which called for the killing of non-Christian males if a war were to occur and they do not agree to follow fundamentalist biblical law.

Shea was divorced from his first wife, Lisa, in January 2008. She was granted a protective order by a court after filing court documents complaining that Shea treated her "as a possession," and was physically and emotionally abusive. Lisa's brother-in-law testified in court documents that he saw Matt grabbing Lisa "very hard and violently" and pushed her into a vehicle. She attested that Matt "insisted she walk on his left side because his sword, if he had one, would be on his right side," forbade her from writing a church bulletin, and protested that he would not seek profitable employment despite being a lawyer.

Shea denied any physical abuse, called his ex-wife a "product of the foster care system," and said it this was her third divorce. Shea subsequently remarried.

Dec. 22

Fighting Kiddie Porn

ny times logoNew York Times, Investigative Series: Fighting the Good Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Dec. 22, 2019. To keep up with predators, child protection hotlines must constantly find ways to outsmart them. Several websites used by sexual predators were thwarted after a campaign by groups dedicated to eliminating the content, a rare victory in an unending war.

Across the internet, sexual predators flock to websites where they share images of child sexual abuse. Seven years ago, three such sites went online. Groups dedicated to protecting children quickly starting sending email notices to remove the illegal imagery.

As the imagery grew more extreme, the sites drew hundreds of thousands of visitors and found ways to hide behind tech companies. Finally, one group in Canada overwhelmed the sites, forcing the images offline with a computer program that sent more than a million of the notices.

It was an epic battle, but can it be repeated?

Articles in this series examine the explosion in online photos and videos of children being sexually abused. They include graphic descriptions of some instances of the abuse.

◾ Part 1: The Web's Darkest Corners
◾ Part 2: Pictures Are Forever
◾ Part 3: Predators in Your Home

Dec. 21alexander acosta o cropped Custom

Chron, House asks for documents in Epstein probe from DOJ, Staff report, Dec. 20, 2019. House Democrats asked for documents from federal prosecutors and Florida law enforcement officials on Friday as part of a probe into how financier Jeffrey Epstein received a secret plea deal more than a decade ago after he was accused of molesting underage girls.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, asking for all emails about the plea deal and how victims should have been notified.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderEarlier this year, a federal judge ruled Epstein's victims should have been consulted under federal law about the deal.

Epstein reached the deal in 2008 with then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta's office to end the federal probe that could have landed him in prison for life. Epstein instead pleaded guilty to lesser state charges, spent 13 months in jail, paid financial settlements to victims and registered as a sex offender.

Acosta, shown at top, was appointed Labor Secretary by President Donald Trump, but he resigned in July amid renewed scrutiny of the secret plea deal.

The House committee asked for the documents by the first week in January.

The House committee also sent a letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Richard Swearingen, asking for documents related to its investigation into the deal and Epstein's work-release arrangement at Palm Beach County's jail.

Two spokeswomen for the FDLE, Florida's top law enforcement agency, didn't return emails seeking comment.

During his 13-month stay at the jail, Epstein spent most days at his office. His driver would pick him and a guard up in the morning and he would spend the day working and meeting with visitors, before returning to the jail to sleep. Epstein was also able to visit his Palm Beach mansion, despite restrictions on home visits.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in his New York City jail cell in August after federal agents arrested him on new sex trafficking charges, according to authorities.

Dec. 19

washington post logoWashington Post, Kentucky’s ex-governor pardoned a child rapist because the 9-year-old victim’s hymen was intact, Antonia Noori Farzan, Dec. 20, 2019. When the Louisville Courier-Journal revealed earlier this month that former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) had pardoned a slew of violent criminals during his final weeks in office, he cited his belief in second chances.

matt bevinBut on Thursday, Bevin offered a different explanation for one particularly controversial pardon: He said he didn’t believe that a 9-year-old girl was raped, because her hymen was intact.

“There was zero evidence,” Bevin told talk-radio host Terry Meiners of WHAS.

Already under fire for handing out pardons to relatives of his supporters, Bevin is now facing an onslaught of criticism from medical and forensic experts. Scientists have debunked the notion that inspecting an alleged victim’s hymen can prove whether they were sexually assaulted, and found that most survivors of child sexual abuse do not have any physical damage. George Nichols, an expert in evaluating child abuse who also served as Kentucky’s chief medical examiner for 20 years, told the Courier-Journal on Thursday that Bevin “clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy.”

ABA Journal, Suit accuses BigLaw lawyer of trying to rape an admin assistant and sending her explicit photos, Debra Cassens Weiss, Dec. 19, 2019. Fox Rothschild has fired one of its lawyers after a lawsuit accused him of trying to sexually assault a legal administrative assistant and sending her a barrage of sexually explicit texts, some of which included pictures of his penis.

Dec. 18

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)

New York Daily News, Surveillance footage outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s cell during suicide attempt is missing, Stephen Rex Brown, jeffrey epstein at harvard universityDec. 18, 2019. Surveillance footage of the outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s cell at the troubled Metropolitan Correctional Center during his suicide attempt has gone missing, prosecutors revealed Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold admitted nobody can find the footage of the outside of the cell the multimillionaire perv shared with accused quadruple murderer Nick Tartaglione during a hearing in White Plains District Court. Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor cop, faces the death penalty for the alleged murders in a drug deal gone bad.

Bruce Barket, an attorney for Tartaglione (shown in a Facebook photo), confirmed the stunning revelation that the footage was not preserved. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment.

nicholas tartaglione facebook CustomTartaglione’s attorneys filed a request for the footage to be retained two days after Epstein’s unsuccessful suicide attempt on July 23, Barket said.

“It is on the surface troubling,” Barket said. “I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve found out more details.”

Judge Kenneth Karas asked the government to look further into what happened to the footage.

The Daily News previously reported that Tartaglione claimed to have saved Epstein’s life after the pedophile perv tried to hang himself. Epstein reportedly claimed that Tartaglione attacked him.

“Nick acted appropriately and admirably,” Barket said.

The video footage was relevant to Tartaglione’s defense because it is potentially evidence of the ex-cop’s good character. In the event Tartaglione is found guilty and reaches the death penalty phase, the Epstein incident could possibly be evidence showing why he doesn’t deserve to die.

Epstein successfully hanged himself in a different cell two weeks later while awaiting trial for sex trafficking of underage girls. His body was discovered on Aug. 10. Two correctional officers have been charged with neglecting their duties and falsifying records the night of Epstein’s death.

Dec. 17

Dallas Morning News, UT students protest at professor’s house over his writings on sexual relations between men and boys, María Méndez, Dec. 17, 2019. Some students say his research on pederasty promotes harmful ideas about sexual contact with minors.

thomas hubbard newStudents have staged several protests at the University of Texas at Austin this fall in response to faculty with previous sexual misconduct policy violations remaining in the classroom. But last week, a smaller group of students took a more aggressive approach, protesting at the home of Classics professor Thomas K. Hubbard for his writings on the age of consent.

Hubbard has not been found guilty of any sexual misconduct violations or crimes, according to UT, and the university has provided security for the professor in the wake of the protest.

But some students say his research on pederasty -- sexual activity between a man and boy -- promotes harmful ideas about sexual relations with minors.

The group live-streamed its Dec. 9 protest on the Twitter account Fire The Abusers. A group of women are seen in the broadcast banging on the door of a house while shouting, “Thomas Hubbard, come outside. Pedophile, you can’t hide.”

Later in the video, Austin police escort Hubbard out of the house. The department confirmed receiving a call Dec. 9 at 6:03 p.m. Protesters dispersed around 6:54 p.m. without any arrests, according to a police spokeswoman.

An Austin eye care store near Hubbard’s residence was also found vandalized the morning of Dec. 9 with the words “Pedo Hubbard, watch your back.” Employees told The Dallas Morning News they found the vandalism on the side of the business at around 9:30 a.m. It was covered by that afternoon.

Members of Fire The Abusers declined to provide comment on the record.

Hubbard, 63, told The News he is “not personally oriented to underage youth” and has not been found to have committed any crime or sexual harassment during his 40 years of teaching.

“It is no more valid to conclude that scholars who work on sex offender policy and the relevance of cross-cultural evidence are themselves sex offenders than to think that advocates of drug decriminilization [sic] are themselves drug abusers or that advocates of criminal justice reform are criminals,” Hubbard said in an email. “Such simplistic thinking chills serious debate and research on vital public policy issues.”

Hubbard said last week that a uniformed police officer was patrolling his house and that University of Texas police had been driving by his residence every hour.

UT spokeswoman Shilpa Bakre said the university is providing Hubbard with ongoing support, counsel and security. She said the “recent incidents directed at Professor Hubbard are unacceptable.”

Dec. 13

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion: Fox News, I Want My Voice Back, Gretchen Carlson, right, Dec. 13, 2019. I still can’t talk about what happened to me because of a nondisclosure agreement. gretchen carlsonWhen my retaliation and sexual harassment complaint against Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman and C.E.O., went public in 2016, there were no #MeToo or Times Up movements to help rally support for my cause.

In the years that followed, many more women have found the courage to come forward, calling out Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, and other powerful men accused of abusing their power. When I sued, I could have never known that my story and the stories of other women at Fox would turn into fox news logo Smallboth a television mini-series and a film, and, more important, that I would be prohibited from speaking about these projects.

Three years ago, receiving a public apology from 21st Century Fox and retaining the right to speak about harassment generally felt like big wins. And they were. But had I known my complaint would help ignite such a profound cultural shift and that I would be depicted onscreen, I would have also fought against signing the nondisclosure agreement, or NDA, that prevented me from discussing my experiences while working at Fox News. At the time, I just wanted to bring closure to an ugly chapter in my life; I thought it would, at the most, lead to a week of press attention — not spawn a mini-series, a movie and become part of a global rallying cry.

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘The grand finale’: Inside Trump’s push to rack up political victories as impeachment looms, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey, Dec. 15, 2019 (print ed.). Trump and his allies trumpet the victories as the work of a disciplined president focusing on the needs of the public, while Democrats argue they have forced Trump to hand over sweeping concessions on liberal priorities.

This burst of bipartisan comity is slated to continue in the coming week, with the expected House impeachment vote on Wednesday sandwiched between final passage of the spending and trade deals, along with Senate approval of the massive military package.

MintPress News, Exclusive Interview: Former Spy Details Israel’s Main Motive Behind Epstein’s Sexual Blackmail Operation, Whitney Webb, Dec. 13, 2019. Full Series here. MintPress speaks with Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli spy who worked closely with Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, as part of their work with Israeli military intelligence and had frequent encounters with Jeffrey Epstein.

In recent weeks, renewed attention has been brought to the allegations that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking and sexual blackmail operation was run on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Those claims revolve around statements made by a former Israeli military intelligence official turned public relations consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, whose allegations regarding the Epstein scandal were reported by MintPress this past October.

Ben-Menashe’s claims related to Epstein first surfaced in an interview between Ben-Menashe and Zev Shalev of the independent news outlet, Narativ. As detailed in a MintPress summary and commentary of that interview, Ben-Menashe claimed to have seen Jeffrey Epstein in the office of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, several times in the 1980s.

At the time, Ben-Menashe was in close contact with Robert Maxwell regarding their work mutual work with Israeli military intelligence. Maxwell, in addition to heading a media empire and being a one-time member of U.K. parliament, was a longtime operative for Israeli intelligence, so much so that his 1991 funeral was attended by no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence as well as several high-ranking Israeli politicians and prime ministers.

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

washington post logoWashington Post, Former Ohio State athletes call on prosecutors to investigate Wexner, citing Epstein allegations, Jonathan O'Connell and Sarah Ellison, Dec. 6, 2019. Five former Ohio State athletes are asking the Ohio attorney general and federal prosecutors to investigate fashion billionaire Leslie Wexner and his wife, Abigail Wexner, following allegations that Jeffrey Epstein, right, assaulted a woman in a house surrounding the Wexners’ estate outside of Columbus in 1996.

The writers of the letter are former varsity athletes who say they were sexually assaulted by Richard Strauss, who was found to have abused at least 177 athletes while serving as a ohio state buckeyes logouniversity physician until 1998.

In their letter Thursday, the athletes cited an October Washington Post article in which Maria Farmer said she holds the Wexners responsible for her alleged assault by Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell, as well as a lawsuit Farmer filed. The assault allegedly occurred on property Farmer says was monitored by Abigail Wexner and the Wexner Jeffrey Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of Achievementsecurity team.

Les Wexner, right, the founder and chief executive of L Brands, the parent company of the Limited and Victoria’s Secret, was also on the university’s board of trustees during some of the years Strauss was working there.

Both Wexners serve on the board of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, named for the couple after they contributed $100 million. Abigail Wexner is vice chair of Ohio State’s board of trustees.

washington post logoWashington Post, The angels have left the runway: Victoria’s Secret cancels annual fashion show, Taylor Telford, Nov. 22, 2019. The lingerie giant has been grappling with falling sales and criticisms that it is out of touch with consumers. L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, has officially canceled its annual fashion show after more than two decades of star-studded, glitter-encrusted spectacle. Rumors of cancellation have swirled since May, when chief executive Les Wexner, right, sent a memo to Victoria’s Secret employees saying it was time to “rethink” the annual extravaganza, CNBC reported, as network television was no longer “the right fit.”

“We think it’s important to evolve the marketing of Victoria’s Secret,” Stuart Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer of L Brands, said in a Thursday earnings call. He also said that nothing “similar in magnitude” to the fashion show would be happening this holiday season — the company’s first public confirmation of the show’s end.

In its broadcast debut in 2001, a parade of winged, scantily clad Victoria’s Secret supermodels drew more than 12 million viewers. But viewership has fallen steadily, as consumers have soured on the brand’s narrow representation of female sexuality, which had been historically geared toward male desire. Last year’s show had the worst viewership in its broadcast history, drawing 3.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and on the earnings call, Burgdoerfer indicated that it had been failing to boost the company’s falling sales.

L Brands shares are down more than 32 percent this year.

Once credited with transforming lingerie into an everyday item for the average woman, Victoria’s Secret has been hemorrhaging customers as many turn to more inclusive, comfort-oriented competitors, like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty and popular start-up ThirdLove. Last year’s low ratings came after L Brands chief marketing officer Ed Razek said the show shouldn’t feature transgender models because it was supposed to be a “fantasy.” The longtime architect behind the show, Razek later apologized. After he retired in August, the company hired its first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio.

Dec. 11

washington post logoWashington Post, ‘I am standing up for myself’: Host Britt McHenry sues Fox News, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation, Teo Armus Dec. 11, 2019. Add Britt McHenry to the long list of women who have spoken out about sexual harassment at Fox News.

fox news logo SmallIn a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the 33-year-old Fox Nation host charged that the network, a co-star and several top executives had discriminated, sexually harassed or retaliated against her, following explicit messages sent to her by her former co-host, George Murdoch, also known as “Tyrus.”

“I am standing up for myself, for women and for what’s right,” McHenry tweeted on Tuesday. “I have maintained the same allegations because the truth doesn’t change. I feel for any sexual harassment victim who has their story and evidence dismissed, doubted and not believed.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Judge raises Harvey Weinstein’s bail after court hearing, Deanna Paul, Dec. 11, 2019. A Manhattan judge increased bail for former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein Wednesday after a two-day hearing scheduled in connection with New York’s new criminal justice statutes.

harvey weinsteinWeinstein, right, had been free on $1 million bail, awaiting trial on sex-crime charges that carry a possible sentence of life in prison. He has denied all accusations since his arrest last year. The court also restricted his travel to the United States and required he wear an ankle bracelet.

On Wednesday, Judge James M. Burke gave the Oscar-winning producer three bail options, as required by the new laws, calling them the “least-restrictive conditions to ensure his return”: $5 million cash bail, $50 million partially secured bond, or $2 million insurance bond secured by collateral.

Of them, Weinstein chose the third and posted bond — $2 million in assets, including stocks, bonds and cash — with bondsman Ira Judelson.

Now This News, Opinion: Who Is Jim Jordan? Narrated by Sean Patton, Dec. 11, 2019 (8:02 min. video). Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) allegedly turned a blind eye to sexual abuse, tried to overturn same-sex marriage, and never passed the bar exam. How did this former assistant wrestling coach become a loudmouth anti-impeachment darling?

Now This News focuses on Representative Jim Jordan (who represents a narrow, winding 4th District that maximizes rural and small town voters who live in a gerrymandered district stretching from the outskirts of the State Capital of Columbus west nearly to the Indiana border and north to the shores of Lake Erie).

Jordan has been accused of turning a blind eye on sexual abuse against wrestlers by team doctor Richard Strauss while working at Ohio State University. Other career highlights: Jordan attended the Capital University Law School, invited Kim Davis to the State of the Union, and lost a bid to be House Speaker.

Dec. 10

Sex Trafficking

washington post logoWashington Post, A Florida man launched a nonprofit to save sex trafficking victims. He was actually luring teen girls into prostitution, prosecutors say, Katie Shepherd, Dec. 10, 2019. It was a hot mid-August night in Broward County, Fla., when a recovering heroin addict said she first encountered one of William Foster’s recruiters outside a nightclub.

A week later, the young woman met Foster, 48, at a strip club, where she told him about her struggles at her “dysfunctional” home. Foster told her she should pack her belongings and move in with him until she could get back on her feet. That same night, she packed a bag and Foster drove her to one of his three homes in South Florida, telling her he would save her.

Instead, he allegedly forced the woman, identified as “Victim 3,” into sexual servitude as an exotic dancer and prostitute as part of a 15-year enterprise that targeted teenage girls in foster care and vulnerable young women, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

She wasn’t the only woman Foster allegedly enticed with the promise of safety. Prosecutors said in a Nov. 14 criminal complaint that the South Florida man paid to set up a website for a nonprofit called Foster’s Care, Inc., that promised “a comprehensive restoration program for victims of Human Sex Trafficking,” and “protection in partnership with police and FBI.”

In reality, law enforcement officials say Foster, who faces sex trafficking charges, offered women flashy sports cars and luxury designer clothes while withholding the cash they made performing sex work while under his control. Now, two of the women who worked with him also face charges for their role in his operation.

On Monday, two women who worked closely with Foster as his “main girls” — recruiters and money handlers — were also indicted in the alleged sex trafficking scheme. Hanah Chan and Ashleigh Holloway were charged with sex trafficking by fraud, coercion or force, and Chan was also charged with transporting an individual for prostitution, the Palm Beach Post reported. They allegedly handled the money, managed the girls, and helped find recruits to target. Foster is charged with sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to sex traffic a minor and transporting with the intent to engage in prostitution.

Dec. 3

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein accused of sexually abusing 9 more women: suit, Priscilla DeGregory, Dec. 3, 2019. Nine more women have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein, with the incidents spanning from 1985 to 2007 — and involving children as young as 13, according to a new lawsuit.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThe women, who filed suit anonymously as Jane Does, say they were between the ages of 13 and 23 when they were either sexually assaulted or raped by the multimillionaire, and in some cases, his associates, the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit says.

Seven of the women say “Epstein and his associates sexually assaulted, abused, battered and raped,” them, and for two of the victims, this happened “repeatedly,” claim the court papers, which were filed Tuesday.

The earliest incident occurred in 1985 when a then-23-year-old woman says “Epstein sexually assaulted, abused, and battered her,” the court documents allege.

The most recent abuse by the hedge-funder — who authorities say committed suicide Aug. 10 while in Manhattan federal lock up on sex-trafficking charges — happened to a 21-year-old in 2007, the suit says.

The accusers’ lawyer, Jordan Merson, said the alleged abuse occurred in New York City, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands — and has left the women with mental health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and issues that led to attempted suicide.

November

Nov. 30

Sexual Abuses

michael bransfield

washington post logoWashington Post, Sexual abuse claim dismissed by church foreshadowed years of allegations against bishop, Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg, Nov. 30, 2019 (print ed.). Early in Michael J. Bransfield’s tenure as West Virginia’s bishop, a former student called an abuse hotline. His allegation was a warning about a cleric (shown above) who has since been accused of groping and sexually harassing seminarians and young priests.

The former student said he was a freshman when the unwanted touching began. It was a stark warning about a cleric who allegedly went on in the next decade to grope and sexually harass seminarians and young priests in West Virginia.

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail and a Lucrative ‘Hot List,’ Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich, Nov. 30, 2019. A hacker claimed to have the financier’s sex tapes. Two top lawyers wondered: What would the men in those videos pay to keep them secret?

jeffrey epstein at harvard universitySoon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, right, died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers.

Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited.

He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape.

Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again.

Nov. 27

ny times logoNew York Times, A College Student Was Killed by a Man Whose Catcalls She Tried to Ignore, Prosecutors Say, Julie Bosman, Nov. 27, 2019. Ruth George’s attacker grew angry, prosecutors said, when she ignored his remarks. “She was just trying to go home,” a fellow college student said. The young college student was walking to her car. The man catcalled her. She ignored him.

donald thurman mug CustomWhat happened next could have been lifted from any woman’s most vivid nightmare: The man, Donald Thurman, right, followed the 19-year-old student, Ruth George, as she entered a parking garage, prosecutors said on Tuesday. He followed her from behind and put her in a chokehold, they said. “The defendant was angry that he was being ignored,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Ms. George’s family became worried when she did not return home on Friday night, and on Saturday morning, the police tracked the pings of her cellphone to the parking garage, where her body was discovered, face down in the back seat of her car.

Mr. Thurman, 26, was identified by the police from surveillance video at the scene, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. They arrested him when he was spotted again in the area on Sunday; he was charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault.

Mr. Thurman’s lawyer, a public defender, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Mr. Thurman had previously been convicted of armed robbery and was released on parole in 2018 after serving two years for the crime.

djt ivanka trump jared kushner unitedstatesblues com dmca Custom

Nepotism has been adopted as official Trump administration policy with regard to Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his wife and Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump holding senior White House positions (Image by theunitedstatesblues.com, DMCA)

OpEdNews, Grand Theft Government With a Tinge of Perversion, Wayne Madsen, left, Nov. 27, 2019. The world is currently mired in massive malfeasance in office by senior government officials, including wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallheads of state and government, who are more interested in personal gain than in government service. Mixed in with financial and political scandals in dozens of nations is the specter of some government officials being involved in illegal sexual activities with underage individuals.

Facing a third general election in a year's time, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, right, has become the first Israeli prime minister to be criminally indicted while serving in office. Netanyahu was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

Benjamin Netanyahu smile TwitterMeanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are facing charges that they received campaign donations from RKW Developers Ltd., a company linked to the Mumbai terrorist bomb blasts of 1993, attacks that killed 257 people and injured 1,400. Hypocritically, Modi attempted to blame the opposition Congress Party for not being aggressive or vigilant enough against the perpetrators of the Mumbai bombings.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is facing impeachment from office on grounds of bribery, extortion, obstruction of Congress, and witness intimidation, among other charges.

On top of Trump's troubles is the mystery over the death in a federal jail in New York City the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) of billionaire convicted child sex offender and accused underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, a close friend of Trump, was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges involving his fleet of aircraft and residences in the US Virgin Islands, Manhattan, France, and New Mexico.

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

Epstein with his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, right, and the Trumps (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

Two MCC guards on duty while Epstein allegedly hanged himself in his cell have been arrested by federal authorities. The Epstein scandal has not only entangled Trump but also Britain's Duke of York, Prince Andrew, shown at far left. The duke, who maintained a relationship with Epstein after the Wall Street investment banker's underage sex conviction in 2007 in Florida, has resigned from all official functions as a result of the Epstein scandal. The decision, which was reportedly promoted by Queen Elizabeth II, came after a disastrous interview Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Andrew gave to the BBC, which led to even more questions about his relationship with Epstein. Andrew denied accusations from former Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre, center in the photo, about his relationship with her when she was 17, below the age of consent in England.

Seasoned royal watchers in London consider Andrew's downfall from grace to be the biggest royal scandal since King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry the American divorcee and pro-Nazi, Wallis Simpson.

It is not only Andrew who is facing an investigation over sexual misconduct. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, weeks away from trying to salvage his battered Conservative Party in a December 12 general election, faces allegations that while he was mayor of London, he provided favorable treatment for official London city business to his American girlfriend, Jennifer Arcuri. This included Ms. Arcuri's participation in official London trade missions to Kuala Lumpur, New York, Singapore, and Tel Aviv.

Johnson, right, is also under investigation for another affair with an unpaid city advisor, Helen Macintyre, who gave birth to Johnson's child. In Britain, it would not be a sex scandal unless the Tories were involved. Adding to Johnson's political woes was the resignation of his Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns, over charges that the secretary's former aide interfered in a rape trial.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron has faced increasing criticism from some of his own ministers for alleged government foot dragging in investigating Epstein's past activities at his Paris, Nice, and Biarritz residences. Calling for a full-scale probe of Epstein's activities in France are Secretary of State for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa and Secretary of State for Protecting Children Adrien Taquet. Of special interest to French investigators who want to open their own line of inquiry into Epstein are the circumstances surrounding his repeated visits to France while traveling on an Austrian passport in the 1980s.

Just as nepotism has been adopted as official Trump administration policy with regard to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife and Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, holding senior White House positions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law's position in the Turkish government has resulted in charges of nepotism. Berat Albayrak, who is married to Erdogan's daughter, Esra Erdogan, previously served as Minister of Energy and Natural Resources before being named as Minister of Finance and Treasury.

Courthouse News, Child-Sex Charge Upheld Against Trump Campaign’s Nader, Brandi Buchman, Nov. 27, 2019. A onetime informal adviser to the Trump campaign who is charged with bringing a 14-year-old Czech boy to the United States for sex failed to persuade a federal judge that the crime is too old to prosecute.

george nader c spanThis 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates who is now a witness in the U.S. special counsel investigation into foreign meddling in American politics, wired $2.5 million to Donald Trump’s fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. (C-SPAN via AP, File)

In a three-count indictment unsealed in July, prosecutors alleged that George Nader brought the boy to Washington in 2000 after being introduced by way of a European pimp. “Night after night,” the indictment alleges, Nader assaulted and exploited the boy while withholding his passport to keep control over him.

Prosecutors also claim Nader threatened the boy’s mother, telling her she would be jailed if she were to report him.

Now it is 60-year-old Nader in jail as he awaits his trial on a three-count indictment unsealed in Virginia.

Nader, who emerged in the report by special counsel Robert Mueller as a key witness, sought to nix only one of the counts against him, criminal transport of a minor for sex, based on the statute of limitations.

Nov. 26

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s Charity: An Image Boost Built on Deception, Steve Eder and Matthew Goldstein, Nov. 26, 2019. Losing tax-exempt status freed his foundation from disclosure requirements, allowing Mr. Epstein to exaggerate his giving — like in a wildly overstated Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia page for Jeffrey Epstein’s foundation was edited to say it gave out $200 million a year — more than 10 times its real giving over its entire existence.

Jeffrey Epstein’s foundation looked for all the world like a charitable powerhouse: On its websites and in its press releases, the foundation was described as a patron of hospitals, universities and film festivals, run by a global philanthropist.

The organization — known by various names, but usually called the J. Epstein Virgin Islands Foundation — wasn’t officially a charity for much of its existence, having lost its tax-exempt status in 2008.

jeffrey epstein hands handsBut it worked to his advantage, helping improve the reputation of Mr. Epstein, a convicted sex offender (shown in a photo illustrating his foundation).

A review of tax documents, government records and information provided by federal officials shows that the foundation lost its tax-exempt status for an unknown reason in the same year Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor.

In the years between that case and his suicide in August as he faced federal sex-trafficking charges, Mr. Epstein was unshackled from the rigorous financial disclosures that charities are supposed to file every year with the government — allowing him to exaggerate his philanthropy as he sought to rebuild his reputation.

The foundation’s portrayals of its giving ranged from simple embellishment to staggering overstatement. The most glaring exaggeration appeared on Wikipedia. A user name apparently connected to Mr. Epstein edited the page for the foundation and put its annual outlay at $200 million a year — just under the amount the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg contributed to charity in 2018.

In reality, the foundation was worth a small fraction of that amount, according to documents obtained by The New York Times through a public records lawsuit in the Virgin Islands.

Eighteen years of financial statements show that just under $20 million flowed into the foundation since it was founded in 2000. Roughly $16.6 million was spent on donations and grants; most of the rest paid unspecified “general and administrative” expenses and $1.5 million in interest for what appears to be an undisclosed debt.

Nov. 25

washington post logoWashington Post, Argentine court finds two Catholic priests guilty of abusing deaf children, after years of inaction by pope, Anthony Faiola, Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli​, Nov. 25, 2019. An Argentine court found two priests and a lay worker guilty of the sexual abuse of 10 former students of a Catholic school for the deaf Monday, the first legal victory for a pope francis 2013 Smallcommunity of victims that stretches from Italy to the Andes whose complaints against one of the clerics to church officials including Pope Francis, right, went unheeded for years.

The verdict was another stain on the church’s handling of sex abuse cases in Francis’s native Argentina. Prosecutors last week requested an arrest warrant for Catholic Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a longtime associate of the pope accused of abusing two seminarians.

A Washington Post investigation this year found years of church inaction in the case of at least one of the priests convicted Monday in the abuse of male and female students at the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in the western Argentine city of Lujan de Cuyo between 2004 and 2016.

The three-judge panel in the northwestern Argentine province of Mendoza ruled against the three defendants in 25 instances of abuse.

The Rev. Nicola Corradi, 83, who appeared in a wheelchair, averted his gaze as the court sentenced him to 42 years in prison.Corradi appeared on a list of alleged sexual predator priests accused by former students of a Provolo Institute in Italy that was sent to Francis in 2014. Francis was handed another copy of the list a year later by one of the victims. But the church didn’t begin an investigation until 2017, after Argentine authorities had arrested Corradi and shut down the school.

The Rev. Horacio Corbacho, 59, darted his eyes Monday as he was sentenced to 45 years. Armando Gómez, a gardener at the institute, was sentenced to 18.

washington post logoWashington Post, Jens Soering, convicted of sensational 1985 double murders, released by Virginia, Laura Vozzella, Nov. 25, 2019. Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, one-time classmates and lovers at the University of Virginia convicted decades ago in her parents’ brutal killing, have won release from prison. The surprise decision Monday by the Virginia Parole Board slapped a coda on a 1985 murder mystery that rocked the state and drew national attention, long before tabloid television turned sensational crimes into regular fare.

Both Soering and Haysom will be turned over to federal immigration authorities. Soering, a German diplomat’s son, will be deported to his native Germany. And Haysom, a Canadian citizen, will be deported there.

“She will be a free bird and that’s wonderful,” said Phyllis Workman, a third cousin to Haysom who often visited her in prison. “She has earned it. She’s been a model prisoner and so has Jens. So it’s just time. The Lord’s working. The Lord is good.”

washington post logoWashington Post, College students accused of sexual assault to win new rights under sweeping regulations Betsy DeVos is finalizing, Laura Meckler​, Nov. 25, 2019. Students accused of sexual assault will win new rights under sweeping rules being finalized by the Trump administration, giving universities clear but controversial guidance on handling these emotionally charged conflicts.

betsy devos twitterThe final regulation will maintain contentious elements of a version proposed a year ago, including a provision requiring universities to allow cross-examination of those alleging sexual harassment or assault, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the rules.

In publishing last year’s proposed regulation, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, right, said the new rules would restore balance in a system that, in her view, had been skewed in favor of the accusers. She said her approach would provide clarity and fairness for victims and those accused of wrongdoing.

 washington post logoWashington Post, Banished after Baylor rape scandal, Art Briles is coaching again and wants to leave it at that, Kent Babb, Nov. 25, 2019 (print ed.). The high school football team he’s coaching is losing a game a dozen miles from the Arkansas border, and he’s soaked and frustrated as players slide through inch-deep puddles on the sideline. He looks underweight, and it’s not just the oversized Mount Vernon High rain gear. Sometimes he just doesn’t feel like eating. Other times he forgets. Either way, this is the thinnest he has been in five decades.

But there’s nothing sad about the sight, nothing sympathetic to be said about the rain-drenched man, isolated and wasting away. Because he is Art Briles, and his very presence is enough to divide an idyllic locale in east Texas.

baylor bears logo“It’s all I’ve ever known,” he’ll say of coaching football, and like many previously powerful men disgraced during the #MeToo era, Briles refuses to go away. In May 2016, Baylor University fired Briles after an external investigation found that 17 women had been sexually assaulted by 19 football players. A later lawsuit suggested as many as 31 football players had committed 52 rapes; another alleged victim said she was drugged and raped by as many as eight players in what was a freshman hazing ritual.

Though dozens more university and athletic department employees would lose their jobs, Briles — who had led the Bears to consecutive Big 12 championships and coached Robert Griffin III to the 2011 Heisman Trophy — had been the face of the school’s highly successful football team. Now he was the man who, according to investigating law firm Pepper Hamilton, oversaw a program that had shown striking indifference and even hostility toward sexual assault victims.

Briles said he had no knowledge of any misconduct. But a 2017 legal filing, submitted on behalf of Baylor’s interim president and three members of its Board of Regents, suggested the former coach “had developed, enabled, and encouraged a culture within the football program” that shielded players from appropriate discipline and in fact attempted to insulate Briles himself from non-football issues, in effect allowing him to plead ignorance on anything happened off the field.

Time and again, the filing said, Briles sidestepped or outright ignored players’ indiscretions and crimes. After a player was accused of rape for a fourth time, Briles took no action for 10 days, refusing to notify the university’s judicial affairs office until a reporter asked if the player had been suspended.

“Tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it,” Briles told the board when it asked for an explanation; the coach’s refusal to accept responsibility or suggest solutions led to his termination as much as the wreckage he had overseen, though the university nonetheless paid Briles $15.1 million in severance.

 Child Assault Pardon

matt bevin andy beshear Custom

Raw Story, Lame duck Trump-loving Kentucky governor pardons man convicted of sodomizing 6-year-old girl, Brad Reed, Nov. 25, 2019. Matt Bevin, (above left) the outgoing Trump-loving governor of Kentucky who was voted out of office earlier this month (in a defeat to Andy Beshear, right), does not have much time left in his tenure. In the time he does have left, however, he has decided to pardon a man who is serving a life sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing and sodomizing his 6-year-old stepdaughter.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Bevin has issued a full pardon to Paul Donel Hurt, who in 2001 was convicted of three counts of sodomy in the first degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Bevin justified the pardon by saying many observers, including the judge who oversaw Hurt’s sentencing, believe that he was wrongfully convicted.
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Although Hurt’s accuser recanted her testimony in 2015, courts have questioned the consistency of her new story and the influence of a retired judge in influencing her testimony.

“The trial court did not set aside the conviction, with the Jefferson Circuit Judge Audra Jean Eckerle ruling that her recantation was an inconsistent, ‘shifting account’ that was ‘no more likely to be true than false,'” reports the Courier-Journal. “The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in August 2018, noting that after the retirement of Jefferson Circuit Judge Stephen Mershon — the judge in the original conviction — he began corresponding with Hurt in prison and contacted the victim, after which time she recanted.

According to the Courier-Journal, Judge Eckerle “contended that Mershon ‘altered’ the victim’s memory, “and by using judicial coercion and intimidation, that he overcame her, causing her to claim falsely that she had lied (at) trial.”

Nov. 23

william barr hand out

CaitlinJohnstone.com, Opinion: Barr Ends All Conspiracy Theories Forever By Saying Epstein Died Via A Series Of Coincidences, Caitlin caitlin johnstoneJohnstone, right, Nov. 23, 2019. In an interview with Associated Press, US Attorney General William Barr (above) put all conspiracy theories to rest once and for all by assuring the world that alleged sex trafficker and alleged billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s death was simply the result of a very, very, very long series of unfortunate coincidences.

“I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Barr told AP on Thursday.

This perfect storm of unlucky oopsies include Epstein being taken off suicide watch not long after a previous suicide attempt and shortly before his successful suicide, suggestions that the first attempt may have actually been an assault via attempted strangulation inflicted by someone else, two security guards simultaneously falling asleep on the job when they were supposed to be checking on Epstein, one of those guards not even being an actual security guard, security footage of two cameras outside Epstein’s cell being unusable due to a mysterious technical glitch, at least eight Bureau of Prisons officials knowing Epstein wasn’t meant to be left alone in his cell and leaving him alone in his cell anyway, Epstein’s cellmate being transferred out of their shared space the day before Epstein’s death, Epstein signing a will two days before his death, unexplained injuries on Epstein’s wrists and shoulder reported by his family after the autopsy, and a forensic expert who examined Epstein’s body claiming that his injuries were more consistent with homicide than suicide.

“The attorney general also sought to dampen conspiracy theories by people who have questioned whether Epstein really took his own life, saying the evidence proves Epstein killed himself,” AP reports. “He added that he personally reviewed security footage that confirmed that no one entered the area where Epstein was housed on the night he died.”

Well if reporting that he’s reviewed footage which we were previously told didn’t exist isn’t enough to dampen those kooky conspiracy theories, I don’t know what is.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderSo there you have it. The US government says that an intelligence asset with damning information on many powerful individuals did in fact kill himself due to an admittedly bizarre and wildly unlikely series of strange coincidences. I for one have no more questions. Checkmate, conspiracy theorists.

“Mr. Epstein’s death in August at a federal detention center in Manhattan set off a rash of unfounded conspiracy theories on social media that were picked up and repeated by high-profile figures, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. No matter their ideology, the refrain of the theories was the same: Something did not add up,” says The New York Times in its report of Barr’s statements.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It’s a completely unfounded conspiracy theory to believe that someone with ties to powerful institutions and individuals might be murdered in a way that was made to look like a suicide. We don’t live in a world where opaque organizations do evil things in secret, we live in a world where the government is always our friend and the TV would never lie to us. I’m glad these comments made by Barr (whose father in another strange coincidence gave Epstein his first job) have at long last struck a fatal blow to anyone who would doubt the beneficent hand of our beloved institutions.

 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)

ny times logoNew York Times, Barr Says Epstein’s Suicide Resulted From ‘Perfect Storm of Screw-Ups,’ Katie Benner, Nov. 23, 2019. (print ed.) Attorney General William P. Barr said in an interview published on Friday that the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of sex trafficking, in a secure federal prison resulted from “a perfect storm of screw-ups,” rather than any nefarious act.

Mr. Barr’s statement refuted suggestions from members of Mr. Epstein’s family that he may have been murdered. His remarks came the same week that two prison guards were criminally charged, accused in an indictment of failing to check on Mr. Epstein every half-hour as they were required to and then lying about it on prison logs.

“I can understand people who immediately — whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario, because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Mr. Barr said in an interview with The Associated Press as he flew to Montana on Thursday night.

Mr. Epstein’s death in August at a federal detention center in Manhattan set off a rash of unfounded conspiracy theories on social media that were picked up and repeated by high-profile figures, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. No matter their ideology, the refrain of the theories was the same: Something did not add up.

Nov. 22

william barr ap photo patrick semansky

Attorney General William Barr speaks with an Associated Press reporter onboard an aircraft en route to Cleveland, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, during a two-day trip to Ohio and Montana. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Associated Press, AG Barr: Epstein’s death was a ‘perfect storm of screw-ups,’ Michael Balsamon, Nov. 22, 2019. Attorney General William Barr ap logosaid he initially had his own suspicions about financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America but came to conclude that his suicide was the result of “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said his concerns were prompted by the numerous irregularities at the New York jail where Epstein was being held. But he said after the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general continued to investigate, he realized there were a “series” of mistakes made that gave Epstein the chance to take his own life.

“I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Barr told the AP as he flew to Montana for an event.

Barr’s comments come days after two correctional officers who were responsible for guarding the wealthy financier when he died were charged with falsifying prison records. Officers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are accused of sleeping and browsing the internet — shopping for furniture and motorcycles — instead of watching Epstein, who was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.

Epstein took his own life in August while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

His suicide cast a spotlight on the federal Bureau of Prisons, which has been plagued by chronic staffing shortages and outbreaks of violence. The indictment unsealed this week against the officers shows a damning glimpse of safety lapses inside a high-security unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

But the indictment also provided new details that reinforce the idea that, for all the intrigue regarding Epstein and his connections to powerful people, his death was a suicide — as the city’s medical examiner concluded — and possibly preventable.

A lawyer for Thomas, Montell Figgins, said both guards are being “scapegoated.”

The attorney general also sought to dampen conspiracy theories by people who have questioned whether Epstein really took his own life, saying the evidence proves Epstein killed himself. He added that he personally reviewed security footage that confirmed that no one entered the area where Epstein was housed on the night he died.

Epstein was placed on suicide watch after he was found July 23 on his cell floor with bruises on his neck but was taken off the heightened watch about a week before his death, meaning he was less closely monitored but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes. He was required to have a cellmate, but he was left with none after his cellmate was transferred out of the MCC on Aug. 9, the day before his death, the indictment said.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell when the guards went to deliver breakfast. One of the guards told a supervisor then that they hadn’t done their 3 a.m. or 5 a.m. rounds, according to the indictment.

The Justice Department is still investigating the circumstances that led to Epstein’s death, including why he wasn’t given a cellmate.

“I think it was important to have a roommate in there with him and we’re looking into why that wasn’t done, and I think every indication is that was a screw-up,” Barr said. “The systems to assure that was done were not followed.”

Epstein’s death ended the possibility of a trial that would have involved prominent figures and sparked widespread anger that he wouldn’t have to answer for the allegations.

Even with his death, federal prosecutors in New York have continued to investigate the allegations against Epstein. Barr, who has vowed to aggressively investigate and bring charges against anyone who may have helped Epstein, said investigators were making good progress in the case.

 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

Nov. 19

washington post logoWashington Post, In Philippine red-light district, an uphill struggle to battle trafficking and abuses, Corinne Redfern / The Fuller Project, Nov. 19, 2019 (print ed.). The Philippine city of Angeles — home to a former U.S. military base — has long been a hub for “sex tourism”: illegal prostitution between foreign men and Filipina girls often still in their teens and trafficked into the industry, or young women pushed into the sex trade by family pressure and economic desperation.

The Philippines sex industry and potential for continued exploitation, however, remains indirectly aided by legislative loopholes and apparent indifference from authorities, according to activists.

Rodrigo DuterteProstitution is illegal in the Philippines and commercial sex with a child under the age of 18 is rape. But bar managers can circumnavigate laws. Girls and women are presented as “entertainers” rather than sex workers, and payments for sex are packaged as “fines” paid to the bars by a patron on behalf of a woman leaving her shift early.

Meanwhile, the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, right, has devoted few resources to battling the Philippines’ illicit sex industry even as it wages brutal crackdowns on the drug trade. More than 9,000 bar girls are registered as “entertainers,” but the government mandates they take sexually transmitted disease tests on a weekly basis — a move criticized by activists as a marketing trick to present the city’s sex industry as clean and tourist-friendly.

 Julian Assange in graphic by The Indicter

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is shown in a graphic by the European human rights magazine The Indicter, which has published numerous investigative commentaries documenting how and why the Swedish investigation of Assange on sexual misconduct claims was a politically motivated frame-up encouraged by judges and other officials at the highest levels and encouraged by U.S. and U.K. intelligence officials disturbed by WikiLeaks revelations.

washington post logoWashington Post, Sweden drops alleged rape investigation against Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, Karla Adam, Nov. 19, 2019. Swedish prosecutors on Tuesday announced that the eva marie persson deputy public proecutoralleged rape investigation involving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been dropped. Eva-Marie Persson, right, the deputy director of public prosecution, said in a statement that “my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”

Julian Assange August In 2010, Assange was accused of committing sexual offences in Sweden. A case involving an alleged rape was abandoned in 2017, but then reopened earlier this year after Assange was evicted from the Ecuador Embassy in London.

Assange, shown at left in a 2014 file photo, is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012 and is fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of publishing secret documents.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said in a tweet that the focus should now shift to “the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Two Jail Workers Are Charged in Epstein Suicide, William K. Rashbaum, Danielle Ivory and Michael Gold, Nov. 19, 2019. Two federal workers who were on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail were charged on Tuesday in connection with their alleged failure to check on him every half-hour.

The charges are the first to arise from a criminal investigation into the death of Mr. Epstein, the disgraced financier who hanged himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThe indictment charged the workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, with making false records and conspiring to defraud the United States. Specifically, the indictment said the two workers failed to make their rounds to check on detainees and instead “sat at their desk, browsed the internet and moved around the common area.” Then they signed documents saying they had looked in inmates when they had not.

“The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates and lied on official forms to hide their dereliction.”

Mr. Epstein, 66, had been in custody for more than a month when he was found dead on Aug. 10. New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Lawyers for Mr. Epstein have challenged that finding, and a forensic pathologist hired by Mr. Epstein’s family has claimed that “evidence points to homicide.”

Nov. 18

ny times logoNew York Times, Bogaletch Gebre, Foe of Female Genital Mutilation, Dies at 66, Katharine Q. Seelye, Nov. 18, 2019 (print ed.). Called “the woman who began the rebellion of bogaletch gebre CustomEthiopian women,” she helped thwart a barbaric practice that she had suffered and that had cost her sister’s life. Bogaletch Gebre, right, an Ethiopian women’s rights activist and scientist who helped lead a successful campaign in her homeland against female genital mutilation, a barbaric practice she herself had endured growing up there, died on Nov. 2 in Los Angeles. Her birth date is not known, but she was said to be 66.

Her death was announced by the website of the nonprofit organization she founded, KMG Ethiopia, which in its two decades has helped end the culturally entrenched practice of genital mutilation and has empowered women in that country.

The website did not specify the cause of Ms. Gebre’s death. The Los Angeles Times reported that she had been receiving medical treatment in Los Angeles in recent years after a car accident in 1987 left her with nerve damage.

After that accident, doctors told her she might never walk again. But she went on to run six marathons, raising money to pursue her charitable projects. That was just one sign of the determination that propelled her life. Ms. Gebre overcame extraordinary adversity in her youth, gaining an education and moving to Israel and the United States for scientific training, then returning to Ethiopia to focus on improving the lives of its women.

Through her efforts, the rate of female genital mutilation in the areas where KMG Ethiopia operated dropped to 3 percent from 100 percent over 10 years, according to a 2008 UNICEF study. In addition, some of these areas banned child marriage, bride abduction, polygamy and domestic violence.

 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, Why These 5 Accusers of Jeffrey Epstein Want More Than Money, Jesse McKinley, Nov. 17, 2019. The women, who sued Mr. Epstein’s estate last week, say victims of sex crimes should get more time to bring civil claims. By now, the contours of Teresa Helm’s account have become familiar. She was 22 when she met the man that she now knows was Jeffrey Epstein.

She came to Mr. Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion for what she believed to be an interview with a wealthy client for a job as his traveling masseuse, she said. There was talk of lavish parties, exotic travel and educational opportunities.

With no one else in the room, Ms. Helm said, the man, whom she knew only as Jeffrey, asked for a foot rub. Once she began, she said, he moved his foot into her “intimate parts.” When she tried to leave, he grabbed and sexually assaulted her.

“Don't do anything I wouldn’t do,” she recalled him saying as she left.

Ms. Helm returned home to California, deeply disturbed by the experience. Embarrassed and scared, she did not call the police, and she did her best to banish the episode from her memory. It was only 17 years later, when she heard Mr. Epstein’s name while listening to a YouTube channel shortly after his arrest in July, that she began to realize who had assaulted her in 2002. Ms. Helm is one of five women who sued Mr. Epstein’s estate in Federal District Court in Manhattan last week, accusing him of rape, battery and false imprisonment and seeking unspecified damages.

But the lawsuits have another purpose: to build momentum for changing the statute of limitations in New York and elsewhere for civil claims stemming from sex crimes, which are under growing scrutiny across the United States.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Lawsuit: New Victim Claims Epstein Raped Her at 15, Tarpley Hitt, Nov. 18, 2019. In a new lawsuit filed Monday, a victim identified only as Jane Doe 15 alleges that Jeffrey Epstein assaulted her at his New Mexico ranch when she was just 15 years old. Monday morning, attorney Gloria Allred announced a new civil lawsuit, alleging that the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had targeted yet another victim, identified only as Jane Doe 15, by inviting her to his New Mexico ranch, where he sexually assaulted her when jeffrey epstein hands handsshe was just 15 years old. The lawsuit, filed today in a New York district court against the two executors of Epstein’s estate, seeks compensatory and punitive damages according to proof at trial for battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Reporters gathered in a 15th-floor conference suite on Wilshire Boulevard, where Allred, wearing a bright pink blazer, sat beside Doe 15, a slim 31-year-old with cropped silver hair. Allred, perched on a yellow pages booster seat, introduced Doe 15, describing her involvement in earlier Epstein litigation. The alleged victim had delivered an impact statement at an August hearing in New York, following the billionaire’s death. Then, the attorney turned the mic to Doe 15, who began to describe how she first met one of Epstein’s assistants on a field trip to New York City in early 2004.

In Doe 15’s statement, she paid close attention to the class power dynamics that Epstein manipulated to coerce his victims. It wasn’t the billionaire’s physical force that had overpowered her, she said, so much as the symbolic weight his prestige and money had afforded him. “Epstein wielded great villainous power in his ability to make victims feel shame of their backgrounds to the point where we felt grateful for any attention or invitation into his inner billionaire playground, no matter the trauma it brought upon us,” she said. “It was the weight of Epstein’s wealth, the isolation to which he subjected me and his discussion of his social connections that crushed me into submission, far more than his physical strength.”

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Epstein’s Prison Guards Expected to be Charged by Feds, Pervaiz Shallwani and Julia Arciga, Nov. 18, 2019. A person familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast that they could be charged with falsifying prison records as early as Tuesday. The two prison guards tasked with keeping watch over accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on the night he committed suicide inside his New York City jail cell are expected to be charged falsifying prison records, a person familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast. The criminal charges against the two unnamed guards could come as early as Tuesday, the person said.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderThe U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment. The pending charges, first reported by the Washington Post, are the first by federal investigators who have been probing how mysterious financier was allowed to take his own life on the morning of Aug. 10 death inside heavily guarded jail cell inside New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

According to multiple reports, the guards allegedly did not check on Epstein every 30 minutes like they were supposed to, and are accused of falsifying prison records to make it seem like they had. The New York City medical examiner concluded that Epstein died of suicide by hanging. The guards were reportedly offered a plea deal, but declined to take it. Epstein was arrested on July 6 and was awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex-trafficking.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Prince Andrew Could Be ‘Canceled’ Under King Charles, Tom Sykes, Nov. 18, 2019. While the queen is alive, Prince Andrew is untouchable—even after that BBC interview. But Prince Charles could strip his beleaguered brother of royal duties when he becomes king.

paul erickson maria butina

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Paul Erickson, Maria Butina’s Boyfriend, Pleads Guilty, Betsy Swan and Erin Banco, Nov. 18, 2019. Erickson admits he conned someone called only “D.G.” into wiring him $100,000, under the pretense that the money was for a real estate investment in North Dakota. It was not.

Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, according to a plea agreement filed in a South Dakota federal court Monday afternoon.

In a two-page statement detailing the factual basis for the plea, Erickson said he conned someone only identified as “D.G.” into wiring him $100,000 under the pretense that the money was for a real estate investment in North Dakota. As part of the plea filed in U.S. district court in South Dakota, Erickson admits the money was not for a real estate deal. He also notes that he wired $1,000 of the money to a person called “M.B.”

An attorney for Erickson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case against Erickson, a well-known conservative operative who shuttled between Washington D.C. and South Dakota, was separate from the one lodged against Butina in Washington, D.C.

Butina, a Russian national who cultivated relationships with powerful American conservative activists including Erickson, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate laws prohibiting covert foreign agents. As part of her agreement she has promised to cooperate with American law enforcement. She was deported earlier this year after serving a short prison sentence to her native Russia where she received a hero’s welcome.

Erickson became involved in relationship with Butina in 2013. As The Daily Beast previously reported, the duo dressed up as Rasputin to Butina’s flame-haired Empress Alexandra during a 2016 birthday party. The over-the-top gathering included an ice sculpture of a bottle imprinted with the Soviet hammer and sickle from which vodka flowed.

The couple, who at one point lived together in South Dakota, had some kind of business together. The two were listed as the sole officers of Bridges LLC, a company registered in the state in February 2016, though it’s unclear what the company did or how it operated.

Erickson was indicted in February on allegations that he ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 in which he was accused of using a chain of assisted living homes called Compass Care.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Sondland: Trump Only Cares for ‘Big Stuff’ Like Biden Probe, Erin Banco, Nov. 18, 2019. David Holmes testified, “Ambassador Sondland agreed that the President did not give a shit about Ukraine.”

 daily beast logoDaily Beast, Michelle Malkin Fired Over Support for Holocaust Denier, Will Sommer, Nov. 17, 2019. Malkin’s firing from Young America’s Foundation marks the latest battle between supporters of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and more establishment conservative figures.

Nov. 16

Royal Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, Prince Andrew says he ‘let down’ the royal family by his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Karla Adam and William Booth​, Nov. 16, 2019. In a BBC interview, the prince says he has “no recollection” of the woman who accused him of having sex with her when she was 17. The woman says Epstein paid her for those encounters.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Britain’s Prince Andrew (shown at both left and more currently at right) insisted he has “no recollection” of meeting a woman who has accused him of having sexual encounters with her when she was 17 at the behest of the now deceased, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince AndrewIn an interview conducted at Buckingham Palace with the BBC Newsnight, to be aired Saturday evening, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II said he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” when asked about Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre.

Editor's Note: Virginia 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.

Andrew’s close relationship with Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York jail cell in August, has deeply embarrassed Britain’s royal family. Until now, Andrew — the Duke of York — and the royal family have only reluctantly addressed the charges in terse statements issued from the palace.

Short excerpts of the prince’s full one-hour interview with the BBC were released early.

Nov. 15

Courts / #MeToo

jim jordan cuomo cnn

washington post logoWashington Post, Kavanaugh addresses the conservative legal establishment that championed his nomination, Robert Barnes​, Nov. 15, 2019 (print ed.). There were standing brett kavanaugh white house promoovations for the newest justice and for his wife at the Federalist Society’s gala Thursday night at Washington’s Union Station.

There was a crowd of protesters outside, and a few inside. Those attending the Federalist Society’s gala Thursday night at Washington’s Union Station were greeted by a large video screen on a truck out front, which played on a loop the Senate testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, left, accusing Brett M. Kavanaugh, right, of sexual assault when the two were teenagers.

christine blasey ford sept 27 2018But before a crowd of more than 2,000 supporters, there were standing ovations for the newest justice and for his wife, Ashley, and a message from Kavanaugh that he said could be summed up in one word: “gratitude.”

“I will always be grateful,” Kavanaugh said at the end of a 30-minute speech that was mostly a long thank-you note — to his fellow justices, his teachers, his family, his priests, the Washington Nationals, his friends.

“I will always be on the sunrise side of the mountain. I will always be not afraid.”

Nov. 14

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate May Set Up a Program to Pay Accusers, Matthew Goldstein, Nov. 14, 2019 (print ed.). A proposal for a “claims resolution program” was jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019referred to in a court filing by a lawyer for a woman who accused the late financier, right, of sexual abuse. Not all the plaintiffs’ lawyers are on board.

Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s estate are considering setting up a program to resolve claims filed by women who say they were abused by the financier, who killed himself in August while facing federal sex trafficking charges.

kenneth feinberg wThe plan was disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday by a lawyer for one of Mr. Epstein’s accusers, who is suing the estate in federal court in Manhattan. The filing said lawyers for Mr. Epstein’s estate had informed plaintiffs that they were planning to disclose details of a “claims resolution program” to a court in the United States Virgin Islands, where the mysteriously wealthy Mr. Epstein had his will filed shortly before his death.

The estate has retained Kenneth R. Feinberg, the noted lawyer who specializes in compensating victims, to set up the program, his team confirmed late Wednesday. His associates Camille Biros and Jordana Feldman have also been tapped, and Ms. Feldman will carry out the plan once it is set up and if it meets court approval. Ms. Biros has been an architect of programs to provide restitution to victims of the Catholic Church abuse scandal. Ms. Feldman most recently played a critical role in overseeing the administration of the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund.

Nov. 11 oleg sokolov

washington post logoWashington Post, Russia’s greatest Napoleonic reenactor was found drunk in a river with the severed arms of his lover in his backpack, Will Englund, Nov. 11, 2019 (print ed.). Oleg Sokolov, who is one of Russia’s most prominent reenactors of the Napoleonic wars, is accused of killing a woman thought have been one of his students.

Sunday was to have been the day when Oleg Sokolov (shown above in a file photo), in full Napoleonic costume, would take his life in spectacular fashion at St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Fortress.

Instead, having been fished out of the Moika River early Saturday morning with a backpack containing a woman’s severed arms, he was in the Mariinsky Hospital, still very much alive but recovering from hypothermia and facing a murder charge.

Nov. 10

60 Minutes Australia, Exposing Jeffrey Epstein's international sex trafficking ring, Producers Thea Dikeos and Naomi Shivaraman, reporter Tara Brown, Nov. 10, 2019 (45:16 mins.). The Jeffrey Epstein scandal: Tara Brown reports how a New York billionaire masterminded an international sex trafficking ring of young women, and why wealthy and powerful men, including HRH Prince Andrew, are now implicated in the saga.

Nov. 9

ny times logoNew York Times, Child Abusers Run Rampant as Tech Companies Look the Other Way, Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance, Nov. 9, 2019 (print ed.). Though online platforms bar child sexual abuse imagery on the web, criminals are exploiting gaps. Photos and videos haunt victims into adulthood as search engines, social networks and cloud storage continue to recirculate images.

Nov. 8

washington post logoWashington Post, Second person says he told Rep. Jim Jordan about sexual misconduct at Ohio State, Rick Maese and Mike DeBonis​, Nov. 8, 2019. The wrestling referee says a jim jordan headshot Customschool doctor, Richard Strauss, performed a sex act in the shower next to him. Jordan, right, was an assistant coach at the time and has denied ever seeing or hearing of sexual abuse.

A college wrestling referee says he reported sexual misconduct involving a former doctor who’s been accused sexually abusing nearly 300 hundred men over a 17-year period to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. The congressman was dismissive, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in ohio state buckeyes logofederal court, and the doctor, Richard Strauss, continued to treat and abuse students at the school.

Ohio State says it’s aware of 1,429 instances of fondling and 47 instances of rape involving Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005. Thursday’s filing marks the 13th lawsuit against the school.

Jordan has found himself at the periphery of the controversy because some former wrestlers have said he was aware — or should have been aware — of Strauss’s misconduct. Jordan has denied any knowledge of the abuse, and did so again on Friday.

“Congressman Jordan never saw or heard of any kind of sexual abuse, and if he had he would’ve dealt with it,” Jordan spokesman Ian Fury. “Multiple investigations have confirmed this simple fact.”

richard strauss osu lantern screenshotThe lawsuit comes as Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has taken a leading role in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump as perhaps Trump’s most aggressive defender. Inside numerous closed door interviews conducted over the past six weeks, Jordan and a senior Oversight Committee aide reporting to him led GOP questioning.

While he is not on the House Intelligence Committee, which is set to conduct public impeachment hearings starting next week, House GOP leaders are likely to try to place him on the panel for the occasion — a move that is being considered at least partly at the behest of Trump, who considers Jordan one of his most able public defenders on Capitol Hill.

Top House lawmakers of both parties have largely kept quiet about the Ohio State allegations, allowing investigations to play out. When the university issued a report in May finding that investigators could not make “conclusive determinations” about whether particular employees knew of Strauss’s conduct, Jordan claimed vindication.

Nov. 7

washington post logoWashington Post, With Ohio State facing latest sex abuse suit, attorney says May report ‘barely scratches the surface,’ Rick Maese, Nov. 7, 2019. An investigation this year found more than 177 former Ohio State University students were abused by a former school doctor over a 17-year period, but recently filed lawsuits allege there were far more victims and more severe offenses than the findings by the independent law firm that conducted the probe on behalf of the university.

ohio state buckeyes logo“That barely scratches the surface,” said Ilann Maazel, a New York-based attorney who’s part of a legal team representing more than 80 alleged victims. “One hundred and seventy-seven is a tiny fraction of the number of people who were abused by this man at Ohio State. That’s becoming absolutely obvious.”

Nearly 300 alleged victims have joined more than a dozen lawsuits to say they were victimized during their time at Ohio State. Five lawsuits were filed last month alone, according to the Columbus Dispatch, and a 13th was filed Thursday morning in federal court. Most involved athletes who say they were examined and assaulted by Richard Strauss, left, a doctor who was employed by the school from 1978 to 1998. The latest complaint was filed in U.S. District Court of the Southern richard strauss osu lantern screenshotDistrict of Ohio on behalf of 43 people who levied an array of detailed charges against the university and Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005.

In May, Ohio State released results of the independent investigation, which was conducted by Seattle law firm Perkins Coie, and made clear there could have been more victims than the 177 who spoke with investigators. Since that time, lawyers say dozens more have stepped forward, including athletes from at least 15 sports.

“The sheer volume of sexual abuse committed by Richard Strauss over a 20-year period is staggering,” said Ian Prior, a spokesman for the Ohio State Accountability Project, a nonprofit advocacy group that has run TV and radio advertisements in Ohio demanding further accountability from the school. “With every lawsuit filed and report released, we learn that hundreds of teenage students were abused multiple times and that Ohio State University was aware and did nothing.”

Several former students told Perkins Coie investigators that Strauss showered with athletes, fondled them during exams, unnecessarily requiring full or partial nudity. Two alleged that Strauss performed unwanted oral sex.

Last month, the school issued its annual crime report and revealed that it is now aware of 1,429 instances of fondling and 47 instances of rape involving Strauss. The school used the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of rape, which includes digital and oral penetration.

nbc news logoNBC News, Referee says he told Rep. Jim Jordan that Ohio State doctor performed sex act in shower, Corky Siemaszko, Nov. 7, 2019. A professional referee says in a lawsuit filed Thursday that disgraced doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower after a wrestling match at Ohio State University, and he reported the encounter directly to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, who was then the assistant coach.

jim jordan headshot Custom“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson replied, according to the lawsuit, when the referee, identified in court papers as John Doe 42, told them about the incident. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Ohio, implies that Jordan's response to the incident, which the referee said happened in 1994, was essentially a shrug.

John Doe 42 is the second person to say he told Jordan directly about either being approached or molested by Strauss, who was found by independent investigators to have sexually abused 177 male students over two decades.

Jordan, a powerful Republican congressman and a top defender of President Donald Trump in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, has repeatedly denied knowing anything about what Strauss did to the wrestlers he helped coach from 1986 to 1994. He has said the allegations against him were politically motivated.

ohio state buckeyes logoJohn Doe 42 said that when he informed Jordan and Hellickson about what happened, their response was, “Yeah, yeah, we know.”

“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing so the attitude was it is what it is,” he told NBC News. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing, because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers. What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.”

republican elephant logoFormer Ohio State wrestler Dunyasha Yetts was the first person to say he spoke to Jordan directly about Strauss. He previously described how he went to see Strauss for a thumb injury, and when the doctor tried to pull down his pants, he stormed out and complained to Jordan and Hellickson.

“It’s good that people are starting to come forward and say the truth, which is that Jordan and the other coaches knew what was going on and they blew it off,” Yetts told NBC News.

Other former Ohio State wrestlers have said Jordan had to know about Strauss because he shared a locker room with them and took part in discussions about the doctor, who died in 2005.

Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was filed by 43 survivors against Ohio State, claiming the university's “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled Strauss to sexually abuse former students and athletes from a half-dozen other sports.

Nov. 5

washington post logoWashington Post, Trump called woman who says he sexually assaulted her, phone records show, Joshua Partlow, Nov. 5, 2019. Summer Zervos, a former candidate on “The Apprentice,” is suing President Trump for defamation. Trump has denied accusations of sexual impropriety and called Zervos and other accusers “liars.”

More than a decade ago, Donald Trump made phone calls from his cellphone to a former candidate on “The Apprentice” around the same time that she says he sexually assaulted her, according to phone records made public Tuesday.

The excerpts from Trump’s Verizon cellphone bills over a three-month period in 2007 and 2008 show that Trump exchanged calls with Summer Zervos on at least six occasions, summer zervos cnnincluding on a day that Trump’s private calendar has shown that he was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

That hotel stay is a key part of Zervos’s defamation lawsuit against Trump in New York State Supreme Court. Zervos, shown in a file photo, says that Trump forced himself on her with unwanted kissing and groping while she visited him for lunch in his hotel room.

The phone records “corroborate [Zervos’s] account of the sexual assaults with even more granularity and with a degree of precision that [Zervos] could not have known were she not telling the truth about those interactions when she spoke publicly about them before this case was filed,” her lawyer, Mariann Wang, said in a court filing. Zervos’s legal team released the records Tuesday.

 Virginia Roberts Giuffre shows her photo at age 16 (Emily Michot Miami Herald via Zuma Wireire

Virginia Roberts Giuffre shows her photo at age 16 (Photo by Emily Michot, Miami Herald, via Zuma Wire

bbc news logo2BBC News, Jeffrey Epstein: ABC stopped report 'amid Palace threats,' Nov. 5, 2019. Leaked footage shows a US TV anchor complaining that editors "quashed" a story about paedophile Jeffrey Epstein due to pressure from the Royal Family. ABC's Amy Robach is seen in the clip griping that her interview with an alleged victim of Epstein and Prince Andrew never made it to air.

"The Palace found out and threatened us a million different ways," she says. ABC News said there was "zero truth" to the claim, while Buckingham Palace told the BBC "this is a Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001matter for ABC".

prince andrew jeff epstein news syndication CustomEpstein, a wealthy and well-connected financier, was found dead in a jail cell in August while awaiting trial for sex crimes. His death was ruled a suicide by investigators. In the video, Ms. Robach vents frustration that her 2015 interview with Virginia Giuffre -- formerly Virginia Roberts -- was never broadcast.

The clip was leaked on Tuesday by Project Veritas, a group that seeks to expose perceived liberal bias in the mainstream media.
Presentational white space

Ms Giuffre, 35, alleges she was abused by Epstein and was ordered to have sex with powerful men including Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. (Roberts is shown at center as a teen with the Prince Andrew (shown at right with Epstein in a file photo) while Epstein's friend and alleged fellow trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell looks on.)

Prince Andrew has denied having "any form of sexual contact or relationship" with Ms Giuffre. In 2015, a judge ruled that the allegations made by Ms Giuffre regarding Prince Andrew were "immaterial and impertinent" and ordered them to be removed from a claim against Epstein.

"I've had this story for three years. I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts," says Robach, speaking to someone off-camera. "We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, 'who's Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'

"Then the Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.

"We were so afraid that we wouldn't be able to interview Kate and Will.

"That also quashed the story," the host of ABC's 20/20 program added. In a statement to BBC News a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said it was "a matter for ABC."

Robach also says that the interview included allegations against former US President Bill Clinton. "We had everything," she continues. "I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail.

"And now it's all coming out and it's like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it."

In a statement after the footage leaked, ABC stood by its decision not to air the interview, saying the reporting did not meet its standards. "But we have never stopped investigating the story," the statement continues, adding that "substantial resources" had been dedicated to investigating Epstein.

In a separate statement, Robach said she "was caught in a private moment of frustration" last summer as the Epstein story unfolded. She said she was "upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn't air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence" to meet ABC's editorial standards.

"My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein's private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts said in that interview in 2015. "I was referencing her allegation - not what ABC News had verified through our reporting."

Nov. 4

washington post logoWashington Post, Columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexual assault, sues him for defamation, Beth Reinhard, Nov. 4, 2019. She detailed the alleged incident in June. He has denied ever meeting her. A writer and longtime women’s advice columnist on Monday sued President Trump, accusing him of defaming her this summer after she claimed he sexually assaulted her two decades ago in an upscale New York City department store.

e jean carrollE. Jean Carroll, left in a recent photo and below right in a file photo, publicly described the alleged assault for the first time in June, in a published excerpt of a memoir. At that time and in the new lawsuit, she said that after running into the then-real estate developer at Bergdorf Goodman in late 1995 or early 1996, they chatted and shopped together before he attacked her in a dressing room. She said he knocked her head against a wall, pulled down her tights and briefly e jean carroll headshotpenetrated her before she pushed him off and ran out.

Carroll is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled,” Carroll said in a statement. “No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.”

Nov. 3

60 Minutes Australia, Trailer park entirely inhabited by paedophiles and sex offenders, Producer Grace Tobin, Nov. 3, 2019 (21:05 mins.) The creepiest place on earth: reporter Liam Bartlett visits 'Pervert Park,' and reveals why it could be good for society.

Nov. 1

washington post logoWashington Post, D.C. lawyer Charles Cooper takes over Jeffrey Epstein-related libel suit against Dershowitz, Tom Jackman, Nov. 1, 2019 (print ed.). Washington attorney Charles Cooper, who has represented two attorneys general and is enmeshed in the congressional investigation of President Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, entered the libel case against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz Thursday after another high-powered attorney, David Boies, was disqualified.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Cooper will take over representation of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who allegedly was a sexual assault victim of Jeffrey Epstein, right, as a teenager in Florida in the early 2000s. Beginning in 2014, Giuffre began publicly accusing Dershowitz of repeatedly abusing her while Dershowitz was in Epstein’s social orbit, before Epstein was first arrested in Florida. Dershowitz has aggressively denied Giuffre’s claims, calling her a “certified, complete, total liar,” and in April, Giuffre sued Dershowitz for defamation, with Boies and partner Sigrid McCawley as her lawyers.

Dershowitz and Boies met in 2015 to discuss Giuffre’s allegations, and Dershowitz claims that Boies agreed that Dershowitz was right. Boies strongly denies that. Once Boies filed the defamation suit, Dershowitz told a federal judge in New York that he would be calling Boies as a witness, and asked for Boies to be disqualified. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska agreed and ordered Boies and his firm out of the case earlier this month after five years of representing Giuffre on various matters, including another, successful defamation suit against Epstein’s top assistant, Ghislaine Maxwell, who also called Giuffre a liar. Maxwell paid a confidential settlement to Giuffre, and Dershowitz is seeking to have the documents in that case unsealed.

 

October

Oct. 31

ap logoAssociated Press via Washington Post, US judge dismisses case against legal brothels in Nevada, Ken Ritter, Oct. 31, 2019. A federal judge in Nevada has dismissed a lawsuit that invoked sex trafficking laws in a bid to close the nation’s only legal brothels. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno said in her Tuesday ruling that she empathized with three women who claim they were victims of sexual violence in Nevada and other places.

However, the judge said the women live in Texas and she wasn’t convinced the profound harm they said they suffered was due to Nevada prostitution laws. “That plaintiffs were unlawfully forced into prostitution and sex trafficked in Nevada and other states is not sufficiently traceable to Nevada laws ... as opposed to other factors, namely the illicit behaviors of private bad actors,” Du wrote.

Attorney Jason Guinasso, representing plaintiffs Rebekah Charleston, Angela Delgado-Williams and Leah Albright-Williams, said they may appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, but Guinasso said the women consented to be named in the lawsuit and news reports.

Guinasso previously served as a lawyer for a Nevada group, “No Little Girl,” that led an unsuccessful campaign last year for a ballot measure to end prostitution in Nevada’s Lyon County.

Prostitution is legal in rural Nevada, but not in the state’s two most populous counties, Clark and Washoe, or the cities of Las Vegas and Reno. State officials currently oversee 21 legal bordellos in seven counties.

Brothel owners argue that state regulation and mandatory health screenings make the women they hire safer than those involved in illegal prostitution.

Rolling Stone, What’s Going on With Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy? Elizabeth Yuko, Oct. 31, 2019. The dead financier’s brother hired an independent expert to examine the autopsy, who says there could be evidence of homicide — but the medical examiner maintains it was suicide.

Two months after observing the autopsy of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother has claimed that the injuries associated with his death are more consistent with homicide than suicide. But until we have more information, according to experts, it’s impossible to know what really happened.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a Fox News contributor, went on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning to discuss why he thinks Epstein likely did not die by suicide. Specifically, Baden noted that Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple, which he said “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

barbara sampsonDespite Baden’s new revelations, New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, right, stands by her office’s initial ruling that Epstein’s death was suicide. “

Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide,” Sampson said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “We stand by that determination. We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.” Dr. Baden did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

Oct. 30

Epstein Scandals

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy ‘Points to Homicide,’ Not Suicide, Pathologist Claims, Azi Paybarah, Oct. 30, 2019. The pathologist hired by Mr. Epstein’s brother said evidence suggested strangulation. The authorities disputed the claim.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother said on Wednesday that evidence suggested that Mr. Epstein did not die by suicide, but may have been strangled.

The New York City medical examiner’s office concluded Mr. Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

But the private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, said on the morning TV show “Fox & Friends” that Mr. Epstein, right, 66, experienced a number of injuries — among them a broken hyoid bone — that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

“I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” said Dr. Baden, who observed the autopsy done by city officials.

Dr. Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a Fox News contributor, added, “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”

The findings by Dr. Baden were strongly disputed by the city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, who previously ruled that Mr. Epstein’s death on Aug. 10 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center was a suicide.

“I stand firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death in this case,” Dr. Sampson said. She added: “In general, fractures of the hyoid bone and the cartilage can be seen in suicides and homicides.”

Dr. Sampson also dismissed Dr. Baden’s contention that the circumstances around Mr. Epstein’s death suggested other people may have been involved. She said her office had done a “complete investigation,” taking into consideration information gathered by law enforcement in making the determination.

“No one finding can be taken in isolation,” she said.

Mr. Baden served briefly as New York City’s medical examiner. He was provisionally appointed to the position in 1978 and dismissed just a year later, by Mayor Edward I. Koch. In later years, he went on to work as a consultant on a number of high-profile cases. Related story below:

barbara sampsonCNN, NYC medical examiner rejects claim that Jeffrey Epstein's death was a homicide, Eric Levenson and Brian Vitagliano, Oct. 30, 2019. New York City's chief medical examiner said her office stands by its conclusion that Jeffrey Epstein's cause of death was suicide by hanging. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson's statement follows claims made by a doctor paid by the Epstein family challenging that conclusion.

"Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein's death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination," Sampson said.

"We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein's family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office."

The comments come after Dr. Michael Baden, a former NYC medical examiner, claimed on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday morning that findings in Epstein's autopsy were "more consistent with ligature homicidal strangulation."

New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center (Photo by Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons)Baden echoed remarks from Epstein's attorneys in August in which the legal team said it had received opinions that Epstein suffered injuries consistent with a fatal assault. Baden was present at the official autopsy on August 11.

On "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, Baden specifically noted that Epstein had broken several bones in his neck, which he said was more consistent with strangulation than with hanging.

However, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said in August that multiple neck fractures means the cause is less likely to be strangulation alone. "In strangulation, while you can break the hyoid bone, it is less likely to actually break bones in the neck," Gupta said. "By hanging, someone can break both the hyoid bone and other bones in the neck. None of these factors in isolation give you a complete story."

Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also said the hyoid bone is a weak, fragile structure, and it can break from a hanging. A fractured hyoid bone does not necessarily indicate a homicide, Kobilinsky said.

The medical examiner's initial determination on his cause of death came almost a week after the multimillionaire was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where the 66-year-old was awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls and running a sex trafficking ring. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

MEAWW (Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide), Donald Trump was recorded having threesome with a pornstar and a teenager in 1982, claims new book, Kunal Dey, Oct. 19, 2019. The donald trump monster abananapeeledcom dcmaallegation was made to authors Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy by a former mobster in the book 'All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator.'

A Mafia thug has claimed that President Donald Trump (portrayed in a graphic) was recorded on camera at a New York City brothel allegedly having a threesome with a teenager and a pornstar back in 1982, and that the footage was later in custody of a mob boss.

The claim was made to authors Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy (whose backgrounds are decribed below) in yet another tell-all book All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, which is scheduled to release on October 22.

barry levine monique el faizy djt cover croppedSpeaking to The Daily Beast, the authors revealed they interviewed former mobster John Tino, who claimed to have witnessed the incident at a luxury brothel he ran in Times Square. According to Tino, who is suffering from terminal cancer, a hidden camera in the room recorded black and white footage of the future president engaging in the sex act. However, Tino's story is to be taken with a grain of salt as he has a criminal record including forgery, fraud, and larceny.

Furthermore, Levine and El-Faizy were not able to find the alleged teenager or the porn actress identified in the book as 'Tri'.

What's more? The high-profile brothel Tino claims he ran has since closed down. "There are many people who will label Tino a liar and say his claims are false," Levine told The Daily Beast. "I came away feeling the allegations are believable."

According to Tino, Trump was known among them as "the real estate guy" who always "wore a tie and never drank alcohol."

He also claimed the real estate mogul would always ask for Tri. "Most of the women who worked there were porn stars, though not all," the authors wrote. "Trump preferred a woman who primarily performed live sex shows with her husband, though she acted in the occasional adult film as well."

Tino allegedly recalled how his Mafia boss once told him in the fall of 1982 "the real estate guy" was coming and that he had asked for Tri and another girl "for a ménage à trois." The gangster then described how a "young-looking female" turned up at the club and when Tri asked her how old she was, she said she was a "teenager."

That said, Trump would have been 36 and married to his first wife Ivana at the time this allegedly took place.

According to Tino, the secret cameras were installed to prevent prostitutes from being "roughed up" by clients. He allegedly took the video recordings and delivered them to his boss on a regular basis.

Unsurprisingly, the whereabouts of the videotapes are unknown to the authors. Also, they claim Tino's boss was murdered in 1986. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Levine said Tino had spoken to journalists during the 2016 election but nobody was able to track down pornstar Tri.

"To this day we don't know if the porn star involved in this alleged incident is still alive or whether she is dead," he said.

In response to the unsubstantiated claims made in All The President's Women, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Business Insider the book was "trash." "That book is trash, and those accusations from 20 years ago have been addressed many times," she said.

monique el faizyBarry Levine, below left, is a veteran investigative reporter and editor in print and television. A former National Enquirer editor, he received the Huffington Post‘s “Game barry levine cropped michael goldblumChanger” award in 2010 for his “shoe leather reporting” and led a reporting team to a Pulitzer Prize nomination for investigative reporting and national news reporting. He lives in New York.

Monique El-Faizy, right, is a Paris-based journalist and the author of "God and Country: How Evangelicals Have Become America’s New Mainstream." Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Marie Claire, GQ, and Glamour.

Oct. 27katie hill screenshot

Roll Call, Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid allegations of improper relationships with staffers, Bridget Bowman, Oct 27, 2019. Mired in scandal over allegations she had an improper relationship with a congressional aide and revelations about another affair she and her now estranged husband had with a woman on her 2018 campaign staff, California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill announced Sunday that she is resigning.

“It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress,” Hill (shown above in a file photo) said in a statement. “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country.”

A Hill campaign spokeswoman said the timing of her resignation is uncertain. The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Hill on Oct. 23, following a report in conservative blog RedState that alleged Hill had an affair with Graham Kelly, a campaign staffer who became her legislative director. Having a sexual relationship with a congressional aide would violate the House code of conduct.

U.S. House logoThe Ethics Committee inquiry will likely be halted when her resignation takes effect. In recent history the panel has determined that a lawmaker is beyond the jurisdiction of the committee once they leave Congress. After the RedState story, Hill denied she had a relationship with Kelly and blamed her estranged husband for the allegation.

“The fact is I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me,” Hill said. Hill's husband, Kenneth Heslep, filed for divorce in July, according to Los Angeles Superior Court records.

In her statement Sunday, blamed her husband and “hateful political operatives.”

“This is what needs to happen so that the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives who seem to happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation,” she said.

The RedState article included another allegation that Hill and Heslep entered into a polyamorous relationship with one of Hill’s female campaign staffers. Hill, who is openly bisexual, did admit to entering into a relationship with a female campaign staffer said the relationship occurred “during the final tumultuous years of my abusive marriage.”

democratic donkey logo“I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Hill wrote in a letter to her constituents. “For that I apologize.”

In addition to the allegations, RedState and the Daily Mail both published illicit photos of Hill, prompting Hill to contact Capitol Police about the photos. She also reportedly issued a cease and desist letter to the Daily Mail, calling on it to take the photos down.

Hill worked for a non-profit combating homelessness before she was elected to Congress in 2018. And she has emerged as one of the leaders of her freshman class. She and Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse are co-representatives of their class to House Democratic leadership. The late House Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings picked her to serve as the panel’s vice chairwoman, a position for more junior members. Hill also served on the Armed Services Committee.

Hill’s exit upends what was already shaping up to be a competitive 2020 House race. When Hill’s resignation does take effect, it will cause a special election in the following next four or five months, under California state law. Gov. Gavin Newsom has 14 calendar days after the vacancy occurs to issue a proclamation for the special election to be held within 140 days.

California’s 25th District is one of seven in the Golden State that Democrats flipped in 2018. After winning a competitive primary, Hill went on to defeat former GOP Rep. Steve Knight by 9 points. Voters in the district, which is north of Los Angeles and includes most of Simi Valley, had traditionally backed Republicans, but supported Hillary Clinton by 7 points in 2016 — even as Knight defeated his challenger by 6 points.

washington post logoronan farrowWashington Post, NBC says it won’t prevent former employees from speaking publicly about sexual harassment, Brittany Shammas, Oct. 27, 2019. In his new bestseller Catch and Kill, journalist Ronan Farrow, right, wrote that NBC News had nondisclosure agreements with at least seven women who claimed they were sexually harassed at the company, including some who alleged mistreatment by former “Today” host Matt Lauer.

nbc news logoNow, NBCUniversal says former staffers are free to speak out about their experiences. In a statement first reported on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” the company said it will release past employees from agreements that may be preventing them from sharing their stories.

“Any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a confidentiality or nondisparagement provision in their separation agreement should contact NBCUniversal and we will release them from that perceived obligation,” the statement said.

Roll Call, John Conyers Jr., former dean of the House, has died, Bridget Bowman, Oct. 27, 2019. Former Judiciary chairman resigned his seat after a 2017 sexual harassment scandal.
john conyersFormer House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr., who served more than five decades in Congress, died Sunday at age 90, a spokesperson confirmed.

The Democrat from Michigan had been the longest serving African American lawmaker in congressional history, but resigned in 2017 amid a sexual harassment scandal after what was seen as an illustrious career.

Conyers, who was the dean of the House, resigned after Buzzfeed News and other outlets reported that he had paid a former staffer roughly $27,000 in a sexual harassment settlement drawn from Conyers’ congressional office budget and more allegations continued to surface.

According to sworn affidavits, Conyers was accused of using congressional funds and resources to fly his mistresses into Washington; making sexual advances on women in his office; and then becoming angry when one of his female staffers brought her husband around.

democratic donkey logoConyers was born in 1929 in Detroit, a city he would later represent on Capitol Hill. He served in the Korean War as a member of the National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers. Following the war, Conyers earned his Bachelor of Arts and law degrees at Wayne State University.

In 1964, Conyers won his bid for Congress by 128 votes and once said an endorsement from Martin Luther King Jr. helped swing the votes in his favor. Rosa Parks helped Conyers lobby for King’s endorsement and Parks later worked as a secretary in the congressman’s Detroit office.

U.S. House logoConyers was elected to the House for decades, and he continued to win despite a changing political landscape in 2012. That year, Conyers faced a restructured district that incorporated more conservative, suburban voters, but he bested his Republican opponent by 82 percent of the vote.

While in Congress, Conyers focused his efforts on advancing civil rights legislation, expanding voting rights and improving the Michigan economy. Conyers included the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Martin Luther King Holiday Act of 1983, and the Alcohol Beverage Labeling Act of 1988 in his list of legislative achievements.

The Michigan Democrat was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Trump Accuser Summer Zervos’ Ugly Breakup With Gloria Allred, Emily Shugerman, Oct. 27, 2019. The former “Apprentice” contestant says Allred belittled her and wouldn’t disclose they discussed her allegation against Trump five years before the election. When Summer Zervos went public with sexual harassment allegations against Donald Trump in 2016, there was a familiar face at her side: pioneering women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. Months later, the two announced the filing of a defamation lawsuit against the president, who had called his accusers “liars” looking for “10 minutes of fame.”

summer zervos cnnThe suit recently got the go-ahead from a New York appeals court, giving new hope to a raft of Trump accusers. But Zervos, right, and Allred didn’t celebrate the victory together.

The former Apprentice contestant had split with her high-profile lawyer, and in recent months quietly filed a complaint against her with the state bar. Now she is going public with her grievances against Allred.

gloria allred 2012 CustomZervos told The Daily Beast that Allred, left, chastised her in phone calls and belittled her in emails. And she says the attorney refused to disclose a phone call they had in 2011 about her allegations—a conversation Zervos says proves her accusations were not politically motivated.

“I realize speaking publicly about Gloria Allred could make my case against Mr. Trump more difficult,” she said. “But I can’t sit and watch her take on more victims and not say anything.”

Allred called Zervos’ allegations “false,” but said she was unable to comment further because of her ethical obligations to her former client.

“I have been a lawyer for 43 years, and my law firm and I are proud that we have always maintained the highest ethical standards and we will continue to do so for the remainder of our careers,” she said in an email.

Oct. 26summer zervos cnn

Palmer Report, Opinion: One of Donald Trump’s sexual assault victims makes her move, Robert Harrington, Oct. 26, 2019.  It turns out that Season Five Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos has launched a defamation lawsuit against Trump, who claimed he never even met her, let alone sexually assaulted her. The bad news is Trump has a pretty good case.

bill palmer report logo headerThe good news is Zervos (shown above in a screenshot via CNN and below right in an older file photo) has a better one, one so good it knocks Trump’s case into a cocked hat. Zervos’ case comes complete with contemporaneous emails, phone records, copies of the calendar entries and itineraries from the Trump organization itself supporting Ms Zervos account – an account placing Trump exactly where she says he was when he assaulted her, an account detailed “with striking accuracy,” according to her attorney, Mariann Wang.

According to court papers filed Thursday, the Trump Organization is attempting to have nine pages of documents thrown out by designating them as “confidential” because they contain Trump’s cellphone number. Zervos’ lawyers responded that it was “absurd” because Trump had already publicized his cellphone to millions of Twitter followers during the summer zervos2016 campaign, and he no longer even uses that particular number anyway.

Lawyers for Zervos also say they have evidence of even “greater granularity,” which will be revealed at the start of the trial in March of 2020, just in time for the run up to the 2020 election. “Plaintiff reported Defendant’s assaults to family members and close friends immediately after they occurred and then again over the years,” according to a memorandum. “She confronted Defendant about his inappropriate behavior, both in a phone call shortly after the assaults and in an email sent through his secretary Rhona Graff in April 2016. Plaintiff also considered taking more formal legal action with respect to Defendant many years ago and in fact reached out to multiple lawyers back in 2011, including to Gloria Allred, whose records reflect that contact.”


Oct. 25donald trump apprentice color nbc

People Magazine, Former Apprentice Star Says She Has Evidence to Back Up Claims Donald Trump Sexually Assaulted Her, Benjamin VanHoose, Oct. 25, 2019. Summer Zervos says she has several items to corroborate a 2007 assault in a hotel room, according to court documents. Summer Zervos, one of the many women who came forward with sexual assault accusations against President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, says she has new evidence to support her claims.

summer zervosZervos, shown in a file photo, appeared as a contestant on season 5 of The Apprentice, the popular reality competition show which Trump hosted on NBC, and claims he assaulted her in 2007 in a hotel room. (Trump is shown above in a publicity photo for the show.)

According to filed court documents obtained and published by CNN, Zervos says she has evidence in the form of emails, calendar entries and a polygraph test that illustrates her telling lawyers in 2011 about the attack, then again telling the story to Fox News in 2015.

Trump is being sued by Zervos for allegedly defaming her in his public denials of the sexual assault.

“The fact that plaintiff sought legal counsel in 2011 and spoke about this to others including a news organization — years before the events of 2016 at issue in this case — strongly supports the inferences that her core narrative is true,” Zervos’ lawyer Mariann Wang claims in the documents, which were filed on Thursday. With the subject line, “Trump Hit on Me,” the August 2015 email to Fox News, included in the submitted evidence, describes the alleged attack in Zervos’ own words.

“I was on The Apprentice. After the show was completed, Trump invited me to a hotel room under the guise of working for him. He had a different agenda. Please contact me to speak further as I have tried to make contact,” the email reads, according to CNN.

katie hill screenshot

HuffPost, Analysis: Katie Hill Is Not Accused Of Committing A Crime. But She Might Be A Victim Of One, Melissa Jeltsen, Oct. 25, 2019. Private photos of Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) have been published by news outlets without her permission. In many states, sharing the freshman representative’s nude photos would be illegal under “revenge porn” statutes.

When Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, shown above in a screenshot, won election in 2018, she gained attention for securing a tough district held by a Republican. She also made history as the first openly bisexual congresswoman from California. Now she’s capturing headlines again, only this time for all the wrong reasons.

Last week, RedState, a conservative news website, ran a story accusing Hill of having extramarital affairs with a female campaign staffer and a male congressional aide. The article included a nude photo of Hill with her breasts obscured. On Thursday, The Daily Mail published more sexually explicit photos of Hill, along with breathless details of her romantic relationships. As a result, private photos of her are spreading like a rot online, and there’s little Hill can do to stop it. Intimate, personal snapshots of her life are currently being ogled by anyone with a Wi-Fi connection.

Hill has confirmed that she was in a relationship with the campaign worker, though she denies any romantic involvement with her congressional aide. The House Committee on Ethics has begun an investigation, since it is against House rules for representatives to have sexual relationships with congressional staff. (Those rules do not appear to extend to campaign staff.)

Much of the media coverage surrounding Hill has focused on her sex life; who she did or did not sleep with. The fascination likely stems from the fact that she is LGBTQ and allegedly involved in a polyamorous relationship. But by focusing on her sexuality, an important fact is being lost in translation.

Hill is not accused of committing a crime by dating her campaign staffer, but she may be a victim of one. In most states, including California, it is illegal to share sexually explicit photos of a person without his or her consent. That’s commonly called revenge porn ― and in Hill’s home state, that could be punished by up to six months in jail.

It is unclear how the news outlets acquired the photos of Hill. In a statement released Wednesday, Hill said, “I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain.” Hill did not elaborate further or offer evidence linking her estranged husband to the leaked photos. He did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

On Thursday, Hill sent a cease and desist letter to the Daily Mail, demanding the news outlet remove the photos they had published.

“Katie Hill, like many women in marriages that end in separation, endured years of emotional abuse from a now-estranged husband,” her lawyers wrote in the letter, which HuffPost obtained. “By spreading these purported claims, and dehumanizing and shaming images across the globe, you have perpetuated the cycle of abuse Representative Hill has endured.”

HuffPost reached out to the Daily Mail for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Under California’s “revenge porn” statute, it is illegal for a person to intentionally distribute “the image of the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person ... under circumstances in which the persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private, the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress.”

Revenge porn may be used as a tactic in abusive relationships to control, blackmail or harm an intimate partner. But contrary to popular belief, images do not have to be shared by a vengeful ex to be considered “revenge porn.” A person who shares nonconsensual pornography for financial gain or for another reason can still be engaging in the practice.

“Anybody who released or published Ms. Hill’s image should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer specializing in sexual privacy violations and author of “Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls.”

She noted that many states’ “revenge porn laws” have exceptions when the distribution is newsworthy. “There is nothing newsworthy here,” she said. ”Ms. Hill is entitled to sexual privacy just like any other public or private figure.”

Female lawmakers are often attacked for their sexuality ― especially if they are young and attractive like Hill, said Jennifer Piscopo, an associate professor of politics at Occidental College who has studied gender and politics.

“It’s a way to undermine their authority, to call into question their ability, and to make them feel intimidated,” she said.

The more prominent women politicians are, the more likely they are to sustain and receive online abuse, Piscopo added.

“Hill was thought to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. Not just because of her gender but also the way she won that close race in California,” she said. “That makes her more vulnerable to attacks.”

Hill has apologized for having a sexual relationship with her campaign worker, saying in a statement that “even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate.” But she has pushed back on the idea that her personal life and private photos should be anyone’s business, calling the reports a “smear campaign.”

“This coordinated effort to try to destroy me and the people close to me is despicable and will not succeed,” she said. “I, like many women who have faced attacks like this before, am stronger than those who want me to be afraid.”

Oct. 24

washington post logoWashington Post, House panel investigating Rep. Katie Hill amid allegations of improper relationship with staffer, Colby Itkowitz and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Oct. 24, 2019. The House katie hillEthics Committee said Wednesday it is investigating Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), right, amid allegations that she had an intimate relationship with a congressional staffer in her office.

“The committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Katie Hill may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on her congressional staff, in violation of” House rules, the panel said in a statement. “The committee … has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”

The allegations first surfaced in an article on the conservative website RedState.org. The article alleged that Hill and her husband were in a consensual three-person relationship with a woman on her campaign team. The article included text messages it said were between Hill and the woman as well as intimate photos of them together.

The article also alleged that Hill was involved romantically with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, which would violate House ethics rules.

“I am beyond grateful for the work the Ethics Committee does to ensure transparency in Congress. I welcome this investigation and will be cooperating fully to clear this matter up,” Hill said in a statement Wednesday.

Hill, 31, confirmed that she was in a relationship with the female campaign staffer, according to the Los Angeles Times, but has denied that she had a romantic relationship with Kelly. “Allegations that I have been involved in a relationship with Mr. Kelly are absolutely false,” Hill said in a statement she released Tuesday. “I am saddened that the deeply personal matter of my divorce has been brought into public view and the vindictive claims of my ex have now involved the lives and reputations of unrelated parties.”

Roll Call, Guam delegate under investigation for alleged sexual relationship with staffer, other offenses, Katherine Tully-McManus, Oct. 24, 2019. Allegations also include converting michael san nicolas guamcampaign funds for personal use, accepting improper contributions. The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into Guam Democratic Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas , right, over allegations that he may have had a sexual relationship with a member of his staff, converted campaign funds for personal use and accepted improper campaign contributions.

Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking member Kenny Marchant of Texas said in a statement Wednesday that the committee will gather additional information on the allegations and that the probe “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred.”

San Nicolas, a former vice president of the Bank of Guam, served five years in the territory’s Legislature before he defeated eight-term Democratic incumbent Madeleine Z. Bordallo in a primary last year.

Oct. 21

More Trump  #MeToo

Cosmopolitan Magazine, Teen Models Remember Trump Would “Find a Reason” to Come Backstage When They Were Changing, Barry Levine, right (Michael Goldblum photo), and Monique El-Faizy, Oct. 21, barry levine cropped michael goldblum2019. In exclusive excerpts from the explosive new book All the President’s Women, modeling contestants recall President Trump’s “gropey” behavior and his interest in young girls.

In 2016, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Nobody has more respect for women than me!” Although his sordid history with women has been well-documented (to date, at least 25 women have accused the POTUS of sexual misconduct), he remains in office, seemingly immune to the forces of the #MeToo movement.

barry levine monique el faizy djt cover croppedBut a new book by journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy aims to uncover parts of Trump’s past that should no longer be ignored. In the following passages excerpted from All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, we learn of Trump’s egregious and disturbing misconduct around young women trying to make it in the modeling world in the early 1990s. —Rosa Heyman

Trump’s hands, the size of which would later become the subject of significant public curiosity, were infamous for other reasons back then, according to sources. “He was gropey...he had his hands in the most inappropriate places, always,” [NaKina] Carr said.

[Editor’s note: NaKina Carr was working as a runway model for Oscar de la Renta.] “When he went in to kiss someone, the hand always went to either the hip or the butt. He was also really good when he did pictures or when he’d side-hug someone. He’d always get his hand on the boob. Every time.” Stories about Trump and his hands circulated within the modeling community. At one modeling event, Trump allegedly went down a line of women feeling their bodies to guess their dress size. Backstage at a lingerie show, he is said to have moved his hands all over a model’s breasts under the guise of inspecting the bra’s fabric.

"If you’re over twenty-one, you don’t have to worry.”

Another trademark Trump move was honed back in the early 1980s. “I saw this several times: When he met a girl, he’d immediately move in to kiss her, not shake her hand or say ‘Hello, how are you?’ He’d immediately put his mouth on her,” Carr said. “I saw him many times go straight to the mouth, to kiss them on the mouth, and they would turn their cheek. But a lot of them didn’t because they knew he was the moneyman and it was a way up.”

Among modeling insiders, Trump had a reputation at the time for preferring the younger girls. “If you’re over twenty-one you don’t have to worry,” Carr said she was told.

monique el faizyBarry Levine is a veteran investigative reporter and editor in print and television. A former National Enquirer editor, he received the Huffington Post‘s “Game Changer” award in 2010 for his “shoe leather reporting” and led a reporting team to a Pulitzer Prize nomination for investigative reporting and national news reporting. He lives in New York.

Monique El-Faizy, right, is a Paris-based journalist and the author of "God and Country: How Evangelicals Have Become America’s New Mainstream." Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Marie Claire, GQ, and Glamour.

ABA Journal, Ex-DLA Piper partner says he had 'emotional relationship' with accuser, denies sexual assault, Debra Cassens Weiss, Oct. 21, 2019. A former rainmaking partner at DLA Piper is denying a former junior partner’s accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct. In a statement issued Monday, Louis Lehot said he “did not assault or harass Vanina Guerrero and she knows it.” Bloomberg and the American Lawyer have coverage. “I acknowledge poor judgment in developing an emotional relationship with Vanina Guerrero,” Lehot’s statement said. “I deeply regret the pain this has caused my family, colleagues, clients and friends.”

Guerrero has alleged that Lehot kissed or groped her four times, on business trips and at a party at Lehot’s home. She claimed that Lehot retaliated against her when she rejected his advances.

Guerrero had made her allegations against Lehot in an open letter to the firm’s co-chairmen and a supplemental letter to a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. DLA Piper announced Lehot’s departure from the firm in an Oct. 11 statement to its lawyers and staff. According to previous reports, the DLA Piper statement said the firm had concluded “for various reasons” that it was in the best interests of the firm for Lehot to leave, even though Guerrero’s “allegations have not been substantiated by the investigation to date.”

After Lehot left, DLA Piper placed Guerrero on administrative leave, citing serious allegations about her own conduct that surfaced in the investigation of her claims. A lawyer for Guerrero, Wigdor partner Jeanne Christensen, said DLA Piper’s press release announcing the leave was “a despicable smear campaign against a female victim of sexual assault.”

Lehot’s statement included emails intended to show that Lehot’s relationship with Guerrero was friendly. He included emails showing that Guerrero had planned a trip with Lehot to Machu Picchu after the time period when she said the assaults occurred.

Oct. 17

washington post logotheodore mccarrickWashington Post, At least 7 more people allegedly told the Vatican they were sexually abused as boys by Theodore McCarrick, Michelle Boorstein, Oct. 17, 2019. The former D.C. archbishop and cardinal was defrocked amid claims he sexually abused two minors and sexually harassed seminarians. The new allegations span 1970 to 1990.

Oct. 16

ny times logoNew York Times, Book Review: In ‘Catch and Kill,’ Ronan Farrow Recounts Chasing Harvey Weinstein Story, Jennifer Szalai, Oct. 16, 2019 (print ed.). Farrow writes that NBC tried to shut down his reporting about sexual assault and harassment allegations against the Hollywood producer. We live in polarized times, but one thing still seems to be shared across the political divide: sexual misconduct. As Ronan Farrow documents in his absorbing new book, Catch and Kill, mistreating women is a bipartisan ronan farrowenterprise.

This can make for some twisted alliances. Farrow describes how he put together his explosive 2017 exposé of numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Democratic fund-raiser and “part of the brain trust around Hillary Clinton.” (Farrow’s article ran in The New Yorker in October 2017, five days after Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The Times published their article detailing harassment allegations against Weinstein.)

Farrow quotes gleeful emails between Weinstein and Dylan Howard, the editor of The National Enquirer, whose parent company, American Media Inc., was run by David Pecker, a staunch supporter of Donald J. Trump’s. Howard forwarded Weinstein some “dirt” on the actor Rose McGowan, who had tweeted the month before ronan farrow catch and kill Customabout “my rapist,” whom she didn’t name. “This is the killer,” Weinstein wrote. “Especially if my fingerprints r not on this.”

Catch and Kill gets its title from a tabloid practice that A.M.I. had honed over the years: purchasing a story in order to bury it. A.M.I.’s strategy is an essential part of this book’s narrative, but what Farrow suggests is that NBC News, which employed him at the time, did something with the Weinstein story that wasn’t entirely dissimilar. Instead of hush money, Farrow says, NBC officials used the institutional levers at their disposal to shut down his work on Weinstein — from intermittent discouragement to elaborate stonewalling to a legal review that turned out to be both labyrinthine nbc news logoand absurd.

They even ordered Farrow and his steadfast producer, Rich McHugh, to take the rather extraordinary step of halting their reporting; then, when Farrow’s article ran in The New Yorker, NBC released a statement saying that the reporting NBC officials saw (and that Farrow says they tried to impede) had not been up to snuff.

Oct. 15

#MeToo Claim Against Actor

ny times logoNew York Times, Cuba Gooding Jr. Is Accused of Unwanted Sexual Touching, Julia Jacobs, Oct. 15, 2019. Fourteen women have come forward to accuse the actor Cuba Gooding Jr. of unwanted sexual advances and groping, dating back nearly two decades, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Mr. Gooding, 51, was accused in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday of pinching a woman’s bottom at a Manhattan nightclub in 2018; he had previously been charged with groping a different woman at a rooftop bar near Times Square in June of this year.

cuba gooding jr 2012And the Manhattan district attorney’s office wants permission from a judge to admit as witnesses a dozen other women with similar complaints about Mr. Gooding starting in 2001, even though he has not been charged in those instances.

A prosecutor on the case, Jenna Long, argued in papers filed with the court that these allegations show that Mr. Gooding, shown in a 2012 photo, has demonstrated a pattern of behavior.

“His prior acts demonstrate that his contacts with their intimate parts are intentional, not accidental, and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent,” Ms. Long wrote.

Mr. Gooding’s lawyer, Mark J. Heller, immediately came out firing in court Tuesday, portraying Mr. Gooding as a victim himself. Mr. Heller called the cases “a distorted overreaction pandering to the current hypersensitive climate where innocent commonplace gestures are now misperceived and mischaracterized as offensive.” He drew a comparison between Mr. Gooding’s actions and those of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., whom several women have accused of behaving in a way that made them uncomfortable. (No charges have been filed in connection with Mr. Biden.)

Waterbury Republican-American, Forerunner for women’s newsroom roles had city roots, Tracey O’Shaughnessy, Oct. 15, 2019. Laura Joan Quinn was a Waterbury native and pioneer in women’s representation in newsrooms. In October 1974, a 27-year-old woman from Waterbury published a 24-part series on “Women’s Rights Issues” in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.

The series — an exhaustive examination of women in the workplace, on TV, in marriage, in divorce, in taxes, in rape and abortion and even in the classified ads —ran over the course of seven weeks in the now-defunct Bulletin. It won a citation from the American Bar Association and shone a light on reporting done by a woman about women.

That the series even ran — in 24-parts, a far-reaching use of space, impossible by today’s standards — was stunning in itself. But that the Waterbury reporter who wrote it — working at the paper’s suburban bureau — would even have a job with the Philadelphia Bulletin was more surprising still. Only the year before, the reporter laurie quinnfiled a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because the newspaper — like most, at the time— labeled its classified job openings by sex.

Yes, dear Millennials, once upon a not-very-long-time ago, job advertisements were divided by gender — “Male” jobs were professional, technical and well-paying; and “Female” jobs were secretarial, assistant, lower-paying positions.

And Laurie Quinn, daughter of then-Superior Court Public Defender, Raymond J. Quinn, Jr., knew that was more than unfair. It was also illegal.

A frayed and yellowing notice by the Bulletin that as of Aug. 29, 1973, the paper would no longer list jobs with reference to sex, was among the many effects found in the Brussels, Belgium, apartment of Quinn, who died of natural causes Sept. 26 at 72. I was able to access it — and the series Quinn wrote — out of the generosity of her sister, Alice Quinn. Ironically, it was the same day I received my review copy of “She Said,” the Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey book about breaking the sexual harassment story that ignited the #MeToo movement.

That book — to say nothing of The New York Times reporters who wrote it — must have seemed unthinkable to Laurie Quinn 43 years ago. Unimaginable, and yet made possible by fierce, feisty reporters like Quinn.

If we think of women in journalism at all, we focus on the big names: Martha Gellhorn, the maverick war correspondent; or Katharine Graham, helming the Washington Post after her husband’s suicide; or Joan Didion, breaking open the California subculture for all to see. But the story of women elbowing their way into reporting and editing positions began with hundreds of well-educated, scrappy women, who knew that if they were held back from reporting positions, their stories would never get told.

One of them was Laurie Quinn.

Scrappy, pugnacious, witty and dogged, Quinn, a graduate of Notre Dame Academy, Rosemont College and the Annenberg School of Communications, was among the earliest wave of women to break into the male-dominated newspaper business. Newspapers, where average staffs are now 38% female, are still male-dominated, although in online news organizations, representation is closer to 50%.

“She was a good writer, a very clear writer, and she really was almost obsessed with justice,” said Laurie’s sister, Alice Quinn, former executive director of the Poetry Society of America.

But in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Laurie Quinn was breaking into the field, getting a news reporting job, let alone one of any significance, was virtually impossible.

“In the 1960s, a woman’s career trajectory at Newsweek could include roles as a mail girl, clipper, researcher and reporter,” wrote Stav Ziz in the magazine recently. “But almost uniformly, that’s where it ended. Only men were hired or promoted to staff writer.” In 1969, one of those researchers, Judy Gingold, learned that such a practice violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The following March, 46 women from Newsweek filed a complaint with the federal government charging the magazine with bypassing women for top writing positions because of their sex. At the time, most of those women worked as researchers, not news reporters. Those who did work in the newsroom were ghettoized into the food, fashion and society pages.

Four years after the Newsweek complaint, six female employees of The New York Times filed a similar sex-discrimination class-action suit, subsequently joined by nearly 600 other women. In 1978, the Times settled out of court, agreeing to place more women in reporting and upper-management positions. This is the watershed case that brought people like Anna Quindlen and Pulitzer-Prize winner Nan Robertson to The New York Times.

By that time, Laurie Quinn was in Philadelphia, working for the Bulletin, but determined to slay another Goliath. This time it was the then-monopoly that was AT&T. “She was going to take on AT&T, that it was a strangulating hold,” said Alice Quinn.

In 1980, Laurie Quinn signed a contract with Knopf to write a book on the company. When federal regulators broke up AT & T in 1983-’84, the book fizzled. In 1987, she followed with a book proposal on the incipient European Union, which officially formed six years later. That book, too, failed to come to fruition. By then, Quinn was living in Brussels, eeking out a living as a freelancer for Reuters, Newsday and other publications.

She would never work full-time for another news organization, for reasons as nebulous as they were emotionally complex. “She was harboring the hope of writing a book for a long time and her hopes were dashed, twice,” her sister Alice said.

How much of what happened to Quinn — a brilliant start followed a sputtering inability to gain traction — had to do with her sex and how much with her own obsessive tendencies is unclear. We tell stories of the victors. The many women —and men — who petered out remain lost in a miasma of rue.

Yet to read Quinn’s comprehensive stories on women — sandwiched as they were between the bruising columns of Art Buchwald and Mike Royko — is to see society brazenly dismembered from a distaff place. It’s not just that Quinn and so many like her sought to dismantle what today’s feminists call a “patriarchal system.” It’s that the environment was so saturated by sexism, that many Americans – in and out of newsrooms – likely never imagined it another way.

To read a young Laurie Quinn reporting on depression among women and the pressure on women to be “sexually attractive” “for the purposes of security,” in 1974 is to see the beginning of a movement that would topple male superstars from Charlie Rose to Placido Domingo. It started with local girls, at local newspapers, looking around and saying, “Something is not right.”

washington post logoWashington Post, Survey finds evidence of widespread sexual violence at 33 universities, Nick Anderson, Susan Svrluga and Scott Clement, Oct. 15, 2019. About one-quarter of undergraduate women say they have been victims of sexual touching or penetration without consent since starting college, according to a survey this year on sexual assault and misconduct at 33 major universities.

The survey released Tuesday was the second from the Association of American Universities in recent years to document the disturbing prevalence of sexual violence at prestigious public and private schools. A 2015 study involving many of the same universities found broadly similar patterns of sexual misconduct.

Oct. 14

Mint Press News, These Scrubbed Reports Reveal New Secrets Into the Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein Relationship, Whitney Webb, Oct. 14, 2019. Full Series here. Several now-censored reports from the 1990s and early 2000s reveal that Prince Andrew’s involvement with the minors exploited by Jeffrey Epstein is greater than previously believed.

jeffrey epstein at harvard universityWhile the Jeffrey Epstein scandal has largely faded from media coverage in the United States, it has continued to attract attention abroad, particularly in the United Kingdom in connection with Epstein’s long-standing association with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and the Queen’s son.

The Epstein-Prince Andrew relationship has long been a fascination of the U.K. press, with numerous articles dating back to the early 2000s detailing the most outrageous aspects of their relationship. Prior to that, Epstein had also garnered attention from U.K. newspapers regarding his association with Ghislaine Maxwell, whose reputation in the U.K. is rather notorious, as was that of her father, Robert Maxwell.

Yet, since Epstein’s arrest in July, many of these older articles on Epstein and Maxwell, as well as those focusing on the Epstein-Prince Andrew relationship, have disappeared from the archives of several prominent U.K. media outlets that reported on these relationships years ago.

Since Epstein was arrested the first time in 2006 and even more so after he was arrested again this past July, those named in press reports as his associates have made every effort to distance themselves from the accused pedophile and sex trafficker. For this reason, press reports that discuss Epstein long before there was any hint of the larger scandal are particularly important for understanding the true nature of Epstein’s past associations with the rich and powerful.

 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

Oct. 13

More On Epstein Scandal

At Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2011, from left: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive; former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Mr. Epstein; Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder; and Boris Nikolic, who was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s science adviser.

At Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2011, from left: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive; former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Mr. Epstein; Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder; and Boris Nikolic, who was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s science adviser.

ny times logoNew York Times, Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past, Emily Flitter and James B. Stewart, Oct. 13, 2019 (print ed.). Mr. Gates has minimized his ties to Mr. Epstein. But a Times investigation reveals they had a closer relationship than previously known. Jeffrey Epstein, left, the jeffrey epstein at harvard universityconvicted sex offender who committed suicide in prison, managed to lure an astonishing array of rich, powerful and famous men into his orbit.

There were billionaires (Leslie Wexner and Leon Black), politicians (Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson), Nobel laureates (Murray Gell-Mann and Frank Wilczek) and even royals (Prince Andrew).

Few, though, compared in prestige and power to the world’s second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates. And unlike many others, Mr. Gates started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

Oct. 11

ny times logoNew York Times, In ‘Catch and Kill,’ Ronan Farrow Recounts Chasing Harvey Weinstein Story, Jennifer Szalai, Oct. 11, 2019. Farrow writes that NBC tried to shut down his reporting about sexual assault and harassment allegations against the Hollywood producer.

ronan farrowRonan Farrow, right, describes how he put together his explosive 2017 exposé of numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Democratic fund-raiser and “part of the brain trust around Hillary Clinton.” (Farrow’s article ran in The New Yorker in October 2017, five days after Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The Times published their article detailing harassment allegations against Weinstein.)

ronan farrow catch and kill CustomFarrow quotes gleeful emails between Weinstein and Dylan Howard, the editor of The National Enquirer, whose parent company, American Media Inc., was run by David Pecker, a staunch supporter of Donald J. Trump’s. Howard forwarded Weinstein some “dirt” on the actor Rose McGowan, who had tweeted the month before about “my rapist,” whom she didn’t name. “This is the killer,” Weinstein wrote. “Especially if my fingerprints r not on this.”

Catch and Kill gets its title from a tabloid practice that A.M.I. had honed over the years: purchasing a story in order to bury it. A.M.I.’s strategy is an essential part of this book’s narrative, but what Farrow suggests is that NBC News, which employed him at the time, did something with the Weinstein story that wasn’t entirely dissimilar. Instead of hush money, Farrow says, NBC officials used the institutional levers at their disposal to shut down his work on Weinstein — from intermittent discouragement to elaborate stonewalling to a legal review that turned out to be both labyrinthine and absurd.

Oct. 9

matt lauer today

ny times logoNew York Times, Matt Lauer Is Accused of Rape in Ronan Farrow’s New Book, Jim Windolf, John Koblin and Rachel Abrams, Oct. 9, 2019. One of the reporters who helped bring down Harvey Weinstein secured an on-the-record interview with one of the former “Today” host’s accusers.

For more than 20 years, Matt Lauer, shown in a file photo, was a star anchor of NBC’s most profitable franchise, “Today.” His downfall came in November 2017 when the network fired him after receiving a complaint of sexual misconduct against him. The accusation was soon followed by others.

ronan farrowNow, the circumstances of that firing have resurfaced in a book by the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, right, that contains new details from Mr. Lauer’s primary accuser, including her account of a rape. The book, Catch and Kill, is expected to be released on Tuesday.

The accuser provided an account of her interactions with Mr. Lauer to The New York Times nearly two years ago, but said she was not willing to go public with her story at the time. On Wednesday, Variety reported that Mr. Farrow had secured an on-the-record interview with the woman, Brooke Nevils, who allowed the author to name her.

Ms. Nevils gave Mr. Farrow a detailed description of an encounter with Mr. Lauer, which took place when the network was covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Mr. Lauer anally raped Ms. Nevils, she told Mr. Farrow.

Mr. Lauer denied the allegation in a letter provided by his lawyer on Wednesday. “In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having was in fact an assault,” Mr. Lauer wrote. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts and defies common sense. I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.”

NBC News, working as a contributor to MSNBC and, for a time, as a correspondent on “Today,” with a segment called “Undercover With Ronan Farrow.” The book includes a detailed account of the pushback Mr. Farrow said he had received from the news division’s executives, and his reporting on Mr. Lauer could have reverberations at the network. Up until now, Mr. Farrow had been publicly silent on his disagreements with the network.

Trump Watch

Esquire, Donald Trump Allegedly Hid Behind a Tapestry to Grope a Woman at Mar-a-Lago in the Early 2000s, Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy, Oct. 9, 2019. In an exclusive excerpt from "All the President’s Women," Karen Johnson, one of 43 women with new allegations against the president, tells her story.

djt barry levine monique el faizy coverIf you thought the Access Hollywood tape was the opening salvo in the story of Donald Trump's transgressions against women, think again. In All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy draw on over 100 interviews, many of them exclusive, to craft a detailed history of Trump's relationships with women, stretching back to his childhood and education as well as his rise through real estate, entertainment, and politics. What emerges from the authors' reporting is a portrait of a predator who hides behind wealth and institutional power to frequently harass and abuse women.

While the president has publicly faced allegations from two dozen women, this book reveals another 43 allegations of alleged inappropriate behavior, including 26 instances of unwanted sexual contact. In this exclusive excerpt from All the President's Women, Levine and El-Faizy investigate an alleged wave of unwanted touching that preceded his proposal to Melania Knauss, including a disturbing instance of groping at Mar-a-Lago. — Adrienne Westenfeld...

Donald Trump is a creature of habit, and the story of how he met the Slovenian model Knauss rings familiar. In 1998, when he had been separated from [Marla] Maples for about a year, he went to the Kit Kat Club for a party for a Victoria’s Secret model with Norwegian heiress Celina Midelfart, who was in her mid-twenties and living in Trump Tower while studying at New York University, as his date.

According to Trump’s account, he was meant to be introduced to another model that night, but Melania caught his eye. “I went crazy,” he told Larry King melania trump twitterduring an interview the CNN host conducted with newlyweds Donald and Melania in 2005. “There was this great supermodel sitting next to Melania. I was supposed to meet this supermodel."

"They said, ‘Look, there’s so and so.’ I said, “Forget about her. Who is the one on the left?’ And it was Melania.” Melania was twenty-eight at the time and had been invited to the party by her friend and agent, Paolo Zampolli. When Midelfart absented herself to use the restroom, Trump seized the opportunity to hit on Melania.

Media Matters, Opinion: Forty-three new women came forward to describe assault and harassment by Trump. Newspapers ignored them, Zachary Pleat, Oct. 9, 2019. A forthcoming book excerpted by Esquire reveals "another 43 allegations of alleged inappropriate behavior" by President Donald Trump, "including 26 instances of unwanted sexual contact." These women join 24 others who have already publicly said the president sexually assaulted them or made unwanted advances to them.

While several online publications have covered this news, thus far several American newspapers are ignoring the story. At the time of publication of this story, not a single newspaper in the country published a story about the women coming forward.

Oct. 7

Daily Beast, Epstein Flaunted Girls After His Arrest at Hair Salon for the Stars, Emily Shugerman, Oct. 7, 2019. Even after his jail stint, Jeffrey Epstein daily beast logofrequented his friend Frédéric Fekkai’s high-profile salons with a bevy of very young women.

In the years after he registered as a sex offender, millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein launched a veritable crusade to rehabilitate his image. The convicted felon donated to prominent charities, convinced friends to invite him to A-list events, and took to wearing a Harvard sweatshirt whenever there was a camera around. But among the most important stops on Epstein’s comeback tour were his regular appointments at hairdresser Frédéric Fekkai’s high-profile salons.

Multiple former Fekkai employees told The Daily Beast that Epstein regularly brought groups of young women into the New York salon after his conviction, where he paid for their services and had them sit on his lap and stroke his hair. When he was in Florida, former employees said, Epstein Jeffrey Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of Achievementwould have Fekkai stylists make house calls to his Palm Beach estate.

Unbeknownst to them, Fekkai’s brand had received an influx of cash years earlier from a company backed by L Brands—the same retailer owned by Epstein’s only known client, Les Wexner, right. A spokesperson for Frederic Fekkai brands said the company had been sold by the time of Epstein’s conviction in 2008, and that Fekkai was not involved in the salons at the time.

Oct. 5

Epstein / Wexner Scandal

washington post logoWashington Post, Epstein accuser holds Victoria’s Secret billionaire responsible, as he keeps his distance, Sarah Ellison and Jonathan O'Connell​, Oct. 5, 2019.​  Artist Maria Farmer says the Ohio home where she stayed during the summer of her alleged assault was guarded by Leslie Wexner’s security. The retail mogul says he knew nothing about Jeffrey Epstein’s misconduct.

jeffrey epstein at harvard universityThe first time the artist Maria Farmer says she heard the name of fashion billionaire Leslie Wexner, she recalled, was when her employer, financier Jeffrey Epstein, right, told her, “Les loves me. He’ll let me do anything.”

Farmer, then 26, had just been invited to create two large-scale paintings for the upcoming film “As Good As It Gets,” starring Jack Nicholson. Epstein offered Farmer an unexpected location to do the work in the summer of 1996: an expansive country home in New Albany, Ohio, located amid 336 acres of land owned by Wexner and guarded in part by sheriff’s deputies employed by the longtime chief executive of Victoria’s Secret and The Limited.

Jeffrey Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner (via cropped screenshot of remarks at American Academy of AchievementIn a series of interviews with The Washington Post, Farmer, 50, spoke publicly for the first time about Wexner, left, and his wife, Abigail. She never met Leslie and says she spoke to Abigail only by phone while at the New Albany home. But she says she holds him “responsible for what happened to me” because the alleged assault happened at the hands of one of his closest advisers on property Farmer says was monitored by Abigail and the Wexner security team. She says that she was held her against her will at the property by Wexner’s security staff after her alleged assault, until her father came to pick her up.

It was there, Farmer said in an affidavit she submitted as part of an Epstein-related lawsuit, that she was molested by Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

Oct. 4

washington post logoWashington Post, Two former students sue James Franco for allegedly exploiting a ‘steady stream’ of young women, Katie Shepherd, Oct. 4, 2019. 
When an inexperienced actress volunteered to perform in a nude scene in a short film called “Hungry Girl” for a course she took at James Franco’s acting school, she expected the classwork to lead to roles in feature-length films or television. Instead, she found graphic images from the short film uploaded on the Internet.

james franco screenshot colbert cbs late show“If you Google me, you can see me naked,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan later told the Los Angeles Times. “Before I’ve ever been on TV or before I’ve ever had any real credits or before any of this — of course I regret that. I don’t want that.”

On Thursday, Tither-Kaplan and another actress, Toni Gaal, sued Franco (shown in a file photo), his two business partners and his production company for allegedly sexually exploiting women who paid to take classes at their school, Studio 4. The complaint, as reported by the New York Times, alleges the men “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”

Oct. 3

ny times logoNew York Times, Jeffrey Epstein Raked In $200 Million After Legal and Financial Crises, Matthew Goldstein and Steve Eder, Oct. 3, 2019. Jeffrey jeffrey epstein hands handsEpstein’s biggest client had deserted him, his money management firm had lost more than $150 million during the financial crisis, and he was a registered sex offender. But after he started a new company with a wildly speculative business plan in 2012, Mr. Epstein had no problem pulling in cash.

His start-up, Southern Trust, reported more than $200 million in revenues over the next five years, according to a review of previously unreported financial statements filed in the Virgin Islands.

Despite a name that calls to mind a financial services firm, the fledgling company with a handful of employees said it was developing a DNA data-mining service. Southern Trust was trying to gauge customers’ predisposition to cancer by “basically organizing mathematical algorithms,” Mr. Epstein told Virgin Islands officials as he sought a lucrative tax break in 2012.

washington post logoWashington Post, Tension, heckling at Woodward-moderated book event for ‘She Said’ at Sixth & I, Lisa Bonos and Emily harvey weinsteinYahr, Oct. 3, 2019. Some in the audience got uncomfortable when The Post’s Bob Woodward repeatedly interrupted Jodi Kantor and Megan jodi kantor megan twohey she said coverTwohey, two New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct story.

It seemed like the perfect combination of three Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists: The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward interviewing the New York Times’s Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on Wednesday about their best-selling book, “She Said,” a deep dive into their investigation of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, right.

But about 20 minutes in, things got awkward. As Woodward repeatedly interrupted the authors to ask questions or clarify facts, audible murmurs rippled through the crowd. Eventually, one attendee yelled, “You’re interrupting her!” as many applauded in agreement.

September

Sept. 30

Epstein Scandal

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, Everything Epstein, Jonelle Jones, Jessica Kelly, Gabriella Novello, Sept. 30, 2019. A new report sheds further light on Epstein’s efforts to gain access to elite science and technology circles through his support for the Edge Foundation, to which he was the largest donor. Prince Andrew’s ties to Epstein are also getting heightened scrutiny by the FBI. And, a former police officer John Mark Dougan who claimed asylum in Russia has now released a statement to explain his connection to the Epstein case.

Here’s today’s lineup…

  • Investigating Jeffrey Epstein...
  • How Jeffrey Epstein bought his way into an exclusive intellectual boys club — BuzzFeed News
  • Bill Gates’ former advisor Boris Nikolic turns down role as executor of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate — New York Post
  • Gloria Allred no longer representing Jeffrey Epstein accuser — New York Post

Looking at others involved with Epstein...

  • Epstein’s butler dishes on Paris pad guests including Bill Gates, Steve Bannon — New York Post
  • FBI aggressively expanding Jeffrey Epstein investigation into Prince Andrew — Law & Crime
  • Prince Andrew ‘regularly visited Paris home where Jeffrey Epstein abused young women’ — The Sun
  • 'Dark forces are at play' Prince Andrew’s Jeffrey Epstein underage sex scandal leaves ex cop ‘whistleblower’ fearing for his life — The Sun

Sept. 29

Pedophile Photos

ny times logoNew York Times, Investigation: The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong? Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance, Sept. 29, 2019 (print ed.). Last year, tech companies reported more than 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused — more than double the previous year. This is the first part of an investigative series on child sexual abuse. It contains graphic descriptions.

The images are horrific. Children, some just 3 or 4 years old, being sexually abused and in some cases tortured. Pictures of child sexual abuse have long been produced and shared to satisfy twisted adult obsessions. But it has never been like this: Technology companies reported a record 45 million online photos and videos of the abuse last year.

More than a decade ago, when the reported number was less than a million, the proliferation of the explicit imagery had already reached a crisis point. Tech companies, law enforcement agencies and legislators in Washington responded, committing to new measures meant to rein in the scourge. Landmark legislation passed in 2008.

Yet the explosion in detected content kept growing — exponentially.

An investigation by The New York Times found an insatiable criminal underworld that had exploited the flawed and insufficient efforts to contain it. As with hate speech and terrorist propaganda, many tech companies failed to adequately police sexual abuse imagery on their platforms, or failed to cooperate sufficiently with the authorities when they found it.

ny times logoNew York Times, Preying On Children: The Emerging Psychology of Pedophiles, Benedict Carey, Sept. 29, 2019. Images of child sex abuse have reached a crisis point. Now, science is beginning to shed light on why people abuse children. Science in recent years has begun to provide some answers. One thing most pedophiles have in common: They discover, usually as teenagers, that their sexual preferences have not matured like everyone else’s. Most get stuck on the same-age boys or girls who first attracted them at the start of puberty, though some retain interest in far younger children.

Sept. 25

#MeToo: Domingo Out From  Met

ny times logoNew York Times, Plácido Domingo Leaves Met Opera Amid Harassment Inquiry, Michael Cooper, Sept. 25, 2019 (print ed.). The star singer, accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, dropped out of Verdi’s “Macbeth” and indicated he would not return to the Met. In an 11th-hour reversal, the superstar singer Plácido Domingo, below right, withdrew on Tuesday from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” and indicated he would not return to the Met, amid rising tensions over the company’s response to allegations that he had sexually harassed multiple women.

placido domingo fileMr. Domingo’s withdrawal on the eve of the performance — opening night is Wednesday — came as a growing number of people who work at the Met expressed concern about his upcoming performances. Other American cultural institutions, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera, had already canceled Mr. Domingo’s upcoming appearances, citing the need to provide a safe workplace.

The backstage unease at the Met boiled over in recent days, including at a heated, sometimes emotional meeting that Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, held with orchestra and chorus members after the “Macbeth” dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon. Some of those at the meeting questioned what Mr. Domingo’s return said about the Met’s commitment to protecting women and rooting out sexual harassment.

Three days later, Mr. Domingo said in a statement to The New York Times that he was dropping out of “Macbeth” — which was to have been his first United States performance since the sexual harassment allegations were reported last month.

alan dershowitz courthouse

Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Deshowitz, accompanied by his wife Carol Cohen, defends himself from a rape allegation outside Manhattan's federal court (video screengrab).

Daily Mail, Alan Dershowitz claims Leslie Wexner is being extorted for millions by Jeffrey Epstein's former sex slave Virginia Roberts, who claims she was raped by both men, Staff report, Sept. 25, 2019. Alan Dershowitz appeared in court on Tuesday for a hearing in his ongoing defamation case against Virginia Roberts, where he branded her a liar who tried to extort millions out of Victoria's Secret boss Leslie Wexner.

The embattled lawyer was trying to get the case tossed, and he and his lawyers had a lot to say both inside and outside the courtroom.

Much of what of what Dershowitz and his lawyers said however was not new, as they once again called Roberts a liar and dragged Wexner back into the legal battle, stating that he was falsely accused of raping Roberts (married last name Giuffre) just like Dershowitz. Wexner alleged it was done in an attempt to extort million from the businessman.

virginia roberts giuffre nbc screenshot Roberts (shown in an NBC screenshot) says she was abused by Jeffrey Epstein for several years in the late 1990s, during which time she claims she was forced to have sex with several prominent men.

Dershowitz asked a federal judge Tuesday to throw out a lawsuit that accuses him of lying about his sexual history with a woman who claims she was a teenage victim of a Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring. Dershowitz previously said he welcomed the suit to prove he never had sex with - or even met - Roberts, who has accused the noted lawyer and a long list of other prominent men of sexually exploiting her when she was 17 and 18 years old.

But his lawyers argued Tuesday that Roberts waited too long to file her defamation lawsuit and that her case should be dismissed under the statute of limitations.

Sept. 24

washington post logoWashington Post, An accused teacher, 8,000 lewd images: School’s exploitation shows no place is safe from hidden cameras anymore, Justin Jouvenal, Sept. 24, 2019. Raphael Schklowsky incorporated an iPhone into his lessons as he taught drama. Police say he turned Herndon High into his private hunting ground, victimizing dozens of students for more than a year.

Sept. 18

jacob hornberger newFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Congress Shares the Blame for the Kavanaugh Fiasco, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Sept. 18, 2019. When the Republican members of Congress voted in a 50-48 partisan vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, they obviously believed that a quick vote in favor of confirmation would quell the controversy over Kavanaugh’s nomination. The New York Times’s recent publication of an essay raising new evidence of sex-abuse allegations against Kavanaugh has dashed that hope. The article has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with even Democratic presidential candidates making it an issue.

The controversy originated when Christine Blasey Ford, left, a research psychologist at Stanford University, alleged that when she and Kavanaugh were in high school in 1982, he sexually assaulted her during a house party they were both attending. She alleged that he pounced on her on a bed in an upstairs bedroom, attempted to take her clothes christine blasey ford oath uncreditedoff, and held his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming.

For his part, Kavanaugh heatedly and indignantly denied the allegation and claimed that it was politically motivated.

Some Kavanaugh supporters claimed that it would be unfair to punish him for what they considered was a minor incident in high school. But that really wasn’t the real issue regarding confirmation. The real issue, instead, was whether Kavanaugh had committed perjury in his confirmation hearings with respect to his sworn denials of wrongdoing.

In other words, let’s assume that Kavanaugh, from the very beginning, had acknowledged that he had done what Ford was alleging, expressed genuine remorse for it, and apologized for it. I think very few people would have supported punishing him for a grave error in judgment as a high school student 25 years ago by denying him a seat on the Supreme Court.

That’s not what happened, however. Instead, once Ford made a prima facie case establishing the assault, Kavanaugh, below right, testified under oath that the allegation was false. That immediately raised the possibility that he was committing perjury, which is a grave offense, especially for a lawyer. The last thing that any ethical and competent lawyers would want is a lawyer serving on the Supreme Court who has just recently committed perjury in an official proceeding.

Corroborating evidence

brett kavanaugh flagOne of the points that Kavanaugh supporters and even some in the mainstream press made throughout the controversy — and are still making — is that there was no corroborating evidence to support Ford’s contention. But that simply is untrue. Ford did, in fact, provide corroborating evidence of her allegation to the confirmation committee.

Ford’s corroborating evidence was in the form of what the law calls “prior consistent statements.” I wrote about this type of corroborating evidence in my October 9, 2018, article, “Christine Ford’s Corroborating Evidence.” Therefore, I won’t repeat what I wrote there except to emphasize the point: under the law, prior consistent statements made by a complainant do constitute corroborating evidence of the allegation.

Ford’s prior consistent statements consisted of statements that she made to several people about the alleged Kavanaugh assault. Such statements dated back several years before her appearance before the confirmation committee. In fact, some of them dated back to before President Trump was even elected president.

Sept. 16

Daily Epstein Scandal Update

whowhatwhy logoWhoWhatWhy, Everything Epstein, Jonelle Jones, Jessica Kelly, Gabriella Novello, Sept. 16, 2019. A dauily snapshot of the stories we find interesting, but WhoWhatWhy does jeffrey epstein hands handsnot necessarily endorse the perspectives expressed in the articles we share. Here’s today’s lineup…

Another day, another elite institution is caught up in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. This time it’s Stanford University. The institution admitted to receiving and spending a $50,000 donation from Epstein on its physics department –– two years before his arrest for soliciting prostitution from underage girls. Epstein’s fruitful giving also reached the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). Located just a one-hour drive from his infamous New Mexico ranch, he donated a total of $275,000 to SFI throughout the years.

Meanwhile, a harrowing new tale has emerged of one victim’s attempt to escape her torture from the so-called “Pedophile Island,” which she talks about in her interview. And more was revealed about private flights Epstein took, the underage girls he travelled with, and where they were possibly headed.

Other stories:

Prosecutors must probe Jeffrey Epstein's trafficking network, says British victim Sarah Ransome in first interview — Telegraph
Before arrest, Jeffrey Epstein was seen with girls exiting his jet — New York Times (paywall)
Revealed: Jeffrey Epstein's bizarre world of guns kept next to his bed, a bedroom close to freezing and a diet of lettuce leaves at his $62m mansion –– Daily Mail
Jeffrey Epstein Might Have Taken Girls as Young as 11 to His Private Island Last Year –– Vice News

Institutions tangled in Epstein’s web...

A Harvard professor doubles down: If you take Epstein’s money, do it in secret — New York Times (paywall)
Stanford reveals it received $50,000 gift from Jeffrey Epstein — Mercury News
A minefield at universities: Whose money to take? — Boston Globe (paywall)
Jeffrey Epstein gave $275,000 to Santa Fe Institute –– Albuquerque Journal
Jeffrey Epstein told a journalist he funded Sophia the robot, who he claimed would have 'more empathy than a woman' — Business Insider
Famed computer scientist Richard Stallman described Epstein victims as 'entirely willing' –– Vice News
Yet another journalist who accepted favors from Jeffrey Epstein –– Daily Beast
Moulton gives away cash from donor linked to Epstein — Boston Globe (paywall)
A meeting with Jeffrey Epstein led to a gift — and, now, regrets — Boston Globe (paywall)

ny times logo

New York Times, Florida Judge Denies Bid by Epstein Victims to Nullify Non-Prosecution Deal, Patricia Mazzei and Mike Baker. Sept. 16, 2019. The suicide of Jeffrey E. Epstein in a New York jail last month has rendered moot the attempts by his victims to invalidate a 12-year-old agreement not to prosecute him on federal charges in connection with a wide-ranging sex trafficking investigation, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Judge Kenneth A. Marra of the Federal District Court in West Palm Beach, Fla.,right,  had ruled this year that prosecutors had violated the law when they failed to tell victims about kenneth marra open jurist croppedthe 2007 agreement not to prosecute Mr. Epstein, raising the possibility that the agreement could be nullified and that the victims could finally get their day in court. The case continued even after Mr. Epstein was arrested in July on new sex trafficking charges filed in New York.

But Mr. Epstein’s death has removed the basis for the victims’ request to rescind the non-prosecution agreement that has been the subject of so much legal and political scrutiny over the past year, Judge Marra ruled on Monday. In a blow to the victims, the judge also said he could not invalidate the agreement’s protections of any of Mr. Epstein’s potential co-conspirators, theoretically leaving the door open for those people to claim in the future that they are immune from federal prosecution.

However, in a separate filing in the case unsealed on Monday, the federal government told the court in 2011 that the agreement applied only in Florida, not to any charges that might be filed in another state.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is continuing its investigation of dozens of cases in which Mr. Epstein is accused of preying on girls, including an examination of anyone who may have helped Mr. Epstein procure his victims.

Jack Scarola, one of the lawyers working with the victims, said he wished the judge would have invalidated the non-prosecution agreement because that would have set a standard for legal proceedings if anyone investigated for helping Mr. Epstein tried to claim immunity from prosecution.

But he and other lawyers for the plaintiffs said the case nonetheless succeeded in keeping attention on Mr. Epstein in a way that led to the new prosecution in New York and expanded public awareness of the generous agreement that had helped him avoid federal prosecution for several years.

“This was not by any means a wasted effort,” Mr. Scarola said. “I don’t have any regrets whatsoever about the effort that has gone into this.”

In a ruling in February in response to the victims’ lawsuit, Judge Marra held that prosecutors led by R. Alexander Acosta, then the United States attorney in Miami, violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act when they secretly negotiated the non-prosecution agreement with Mr. Epstein in 2007. His victims did not find out until 2008 — when they still thought a federal criminal case was possible — that Mr. Epstein would not face sex trafficking charges and would instead plead guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Sept. 15Donald Trump announces the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, right, to join the U.S. Supreme Court (New York Times photo by Doug Mills on July 9, 2018).

Donald Trump announces the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, right, to join the U.S. Supreme Court (New York Times photo by Doug Mills on July 9, 2018). 

washington post logoWashington Post, 2020 candidates demand Kavanaugh impeachment after new allegation, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, Sept. 15, 2019. Democrats called for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York Times article that revealed a new allegation of sexual assault.

Democrats called Sunday for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York Times piece that said Kavanaugh was seen sexually harassing a female student while at Yale.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, Democratic presidential candidates, pushed for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Harris and Warren had voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a process during which Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while they were high school students in the 1980s.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the claim during what became a bitter confirmation process, which catapulted the debate over the sexual assault allegations into daily conversation amid the #MeToo movement. It also prompted a backlash among those who felt the Supreme Court nominee was being unfairly judged for something that may or may not have happened over three decades ago.

Those debates were reignited this weekend with the Saturday evening publication of the Times piece. “He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice,” Harris said in a tweet. “He must be impeached.”

President Trump, meanwhile, accused the “LameStream Media” and Democrats of working together to scare Kavanaugh “into turning Liberal.”

ny times logoNew York Times, Analysis: Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly (reporters with the Times shown at left and right, respectively, in a Loren Klaris photo and authors of the forthcoming book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation), Sept. 15, 2019 (print ed.). Deborah Ramirez’s Yale experience says much Robin Pogrebin, left, and Kate Kelly (Lorin Klaris photo).about the college’s efforts to diversify its student body in the 1980s.

Deborah Ramirez (shown below at left as a Yale student) had the grades to go to Yale in 1983. But she wasn’t prepared for what she’d find there.

A top student in southwestern Connecticut, she studied hard but socialized little. She was raised Catholic and had a sheltered upbringing. In the summers, she worked at Carvel dishing ice cream, commuting in the $500 car she’d bought with babysitting earnings.

deborah ramirez yale croppedAt Yale, she encountered students from more worldly backgrounds. Many were affluent and had attended elite private high schools. They also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez — who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night — lacked.

During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.

To Ms. Ramirez it wasn’t funny at all. It was the nadir of her first year, when she often felt insufficiently rich, experienced or savvy to mingle with her more privileged classmates.

Mr. Kavanaugh, now a justice on the Supreme Court, has adamantly denied her claims. Those claims became a flash point during his confirmation process last year, when he was also fighting other sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who had attended a Washington-area high school near his.

During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.

At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.

We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

Other recent books on Kavanaugh:

National Press Club Headliners Book Event: "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," Staff report, Sept. 18, 2019. One year ago, amidst the backdrop of the robin pogrebin kate kelly kavanaugh book square#MeToo movement, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford decided to send a letter in confidence to a leading Democratic lawmaker alleging that her former high school classmate and Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. The FBI was given 1 week to investigate the allegations, but even after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, two New York Times reporters - Robin Pogrebin, who was in Kavanaugh’s undergraduate class at Yale, and Kate Kelly, who grew up not far from his childhood home – kept digging.

On September 18, Pogrebin and Kelly will share the findings of their yearlong investigation into our newest Supreme Court Justice, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,” at a National Press Club Headliners book event at 6:30 p.m.

This event will feature a moderated discussion with the authors, an audience question-and-answer session, and a book signing. Tickets cost $5 for members of the National Press Club and $10 for the general public.

More On Supreme Court

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: The Kavanaugh revelations: Why the Supreme Court is broken, E.J. Dionne Jr., right, Sept. 15, 2019. We focus, rightly, on the damage ej dionne w open neckPresident Trump is doing to our institutions. But the wreckage goes beyond Trump and involves the other two branches of government as well. The right wing’s determination to control the Supreme Court is undermining its legitimacy as well as confidence in the U.S. Senate’s approach to confirming nominees.

The costs of this approach were underscored this weekend by a New York Times report that offers new corroboration for charges by Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when both were undergraduates at Yale. In denying the charge, Kavanaugh told the Senate that had it been true, the incident would have been “the talk of the campus.” Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly — drawing on their new book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation — write tellingly: “Our reporting suggests that it was.”

robin progrebin kate kelly kavanaugh coverHere is the institutionally devastating part of their story: Ramirez’s legal team gave the FBI a list of “at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence” of her story. The bureau, the authors report, “interviewed none of them.” Nor did the FBI look into Stier’s account.

Now let’s take a step back: If Senate Republicans had declared Kavanaugh’s behavior as a high school and college student off-limits, they would have risked a firestorm, but at least they would have been honest about what they were up to.

However, they could not take this route once they agreed to hear psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford’s four hours of testimony about her charge that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s when both were in high school. Ford’s testimony was so credible — Republican after Republican praised her — that the GOP was forced to agree to a brief FBI investigation.

But it was such a sharply constrained investigation that neither Kavanaugh nor Ford was questioned, and the other allegations against Kavanaugh were ignored. “The process was a sham,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a member of the Judiciary Committee who is seeking her party’s presidential nomination, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” She was not being hyperbolic. In the wake of the new revelations, three other Democratic contenders quickly called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

mitch mcconnell elevator getty croppedThis leaves it to journalists to keep exploring questions the Senate refused to settle. And it leaves the court and the country in a terrible place.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), right, had already signaled that court packing took priority over due process when he refused even to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the court in 2016. This opened the way for Trump to name two conservatives to the court, Kavanaugh and Justice Neil M. Gorsuch for the seat Garland was denied.

More On Supreme Court

Palmer Report, Opinion: Donald Trump just gave away something huge about Brett Kavanaugh, Bill Palmer, right, Sept. 15, 2019. Earlier this year, Palmer Report pointed out bill palmerthat Donald Trump had a potentially serious Brett Kavanaugh problem, and a surprising one at that. Despite being a far-right extremist, Kavanaugh was voting with the liberals on some fairly major Supreme Court cases. It felt like he was begging the Democrats in Congress not to impeach him, or have him criminally prosecuted for perjury, once Trump is gone.

bill palmer report logo headerYesterday, the New York Times published a lengthy expose full of damning evidence that Brett Kavanaugh is every bit the serial sexual assaulter that his accusers have claimed. This morning, Donald Trump decided to weigh in on Twitter. At first he urged Kavanaugh to take legal action against his accusers. Then Trump illegally instructed the Department of Justice to target the accusers. But then Trump got to the part of his meltdown that truly mattered.

Here’s what Trump said that gives away the whole thing: “Can’t let Brett Kavanaugh give Radical Left Democrat (Liberal Plus) Opinions based on threats of Impeaching him.” In other words, we weren’t just imagining it. Kavanaugh really has been voting with the liberals on some cases, as a way of trying to convince the Democrats to leave him be. And Trump is not too subtly threatening Kavanaugh when it comes to his upcoming votes. It’s not difficult to parse why.

brett kavanaugh mouth open angry testimonyHouse Democrats are currently fighting numerous legal battles over the testimony and evidence involved in Donald Trump’s impeachment. Some of these cases will likely reach the Supreme Court. Donald Trump appears worried that once this happens, Brett Kavanaugh could vote against him, in the hope of saving himself.

We have no idea what Brett Kavanaugh, right, will end up doing. He could vote in Donald Trump’s favor, in the hope that Trump pardons him on perjury and any other charges, thus keeping him out of prison – but in such case Kavanaugh would surely have to resign. Or Kavanaugh could vote against Trump in the feeble hope that it’ll motivate Democrats to leave him alone – but if this backfires, Kavanaugh goes to prison. In any case, Trump is right to be worried. Kavanaugh is compromised in every way possible, and there’s no telling what he’ll do to try to mitigate his own downfall.

Sept. 14

Palmer Report, Opinion: The Brett Kavanaugh scandal just exploded, Bill Palmer, Sept. 14, 2019. Donald Trump and the Republican Senate knew darn well that they were putting a serial sexual assaulter and unstable violent monster on the Supreme Court when they confirmed Brett Kavanaugh. They didn’t care, because it was their only opportunity to get a far-right conservative extremist on the high court and please their billionaire owners. Predictably, the Kavanaugh scandal has – finally – blown up in their faces.

bill palmer report logo headerThe New York Times published a lengthy new investigative article today which digs into Brett Kavanaugh’s history, and guess what? He’s every bit the serial sexual assaulter we all knew he was. The article helps to confirm some of the accusations against him, and even references at least one additional victim who didn’t previously come forward. You may be wondering if it’s too late for this to matter.

Here’s the thing. Senate Democrats can easily refer Brett Kavanaugh to the Department of Justice for felony perjury, which will result in him being indicted, arrested, and possibly in a position where he has to resign from the Supreme Court as part of his plea deal. But they can’t do it until Donald Trump is gone from office, and his corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr is gone along with him. Even if the Democrats were able to oust Kavanaugh right now, Trump would just replace him with another far-right monster.

The takedown of Brett Kavanaugh will – disturbingly for America and unfairly for his victims – have to wait for another day. But in the meantime, some of the Republican Senators who made a point of supporting Brett Kavanaugh are up for reelection in 2020. susan collins oFor instance, Susan Collins’ (shown at right) odds of reelection probably just dropped in half today. The Democrats will hang Kava-rapist around her proverbial neck. Other GOP Senators running in 2020 will also take a hit for having voted for the violent whack job. You can read the full New York Times expose here (Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not).

ny times logoNew York Times, Book Review: ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’ Takes a Hard Look at the Supreme Court Justice and His Accusers, Hanna Rosin, Sept. 14, 2019. Nearly a year after the fateful Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh have become martyrs in separate and hostile galaxies — one for #believeallwomen and the other for those who believe Democrats will use any means necessary to take down good and honorable men. So there is a weird satisfaction in rewinding the story more than 30 years, back to the moment when the two lived in suburban Maryland and coexisted as part of a small social circle of teenagers who hung out at country club pools all summer and whose pressing concern was which parents were out of town for the weekend.

robin progrebin kate kelly kavanaugh coverThe Education of Brett Kavanaugh, by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, two experienced New York Times reporters who helped cover the confirmation hearings, comes with an expectation of bombshells (the galleys are stamped “EMBARGOED” on every page). And the authors do in fact turn up a few new revelations about the assault accusations against Kavanaugh. But their real work is to smooth out the main story, create a fuller picture of Kavanaugh himself, place him in relation to Blasey Ford and put the minor players in motion, so that the confirmation showdown has a kind of cinematic inevitability.

The book places Blasey Ford in the summer of 1982, when, she later said, Kavanaugh tried to rape her. A rising junior at Holton-Arms school, a tall cheerleader with feathered bangs and saddle shoes, she spent her days with friends at the Columbia Country Club pool exchanging the early ’80s equivalent of the eye-roll emoji (“mange-moi” and “Kill Dick”). Kavanaugh, as we know from his infamously meticulous calendar, spent his time mowing lawns and figuring out which of his Georgetown Prep friends was “popping,” the technical term for holding a party when your parents were out of town.

For most of the book the writers take an omniscient Woodwardian tone, staying careful and balanced and not cluttering up every sentence with newspaper-style sourcing. But I couldn’t help reading a lot into the title. On my own copy I idly scribbled “Mis” before the “Education,” since it’s clear that academic enrichment is not what the authors have in mind. In high school and college and even a little into law school, the main thing they portray Kavanaugh learning is how to expertly blend into the background hum of blasé misogyny and clubby competitive drinking.

The picture that emerges of Kavanaugh as an actual student is admirable if indistinct. He works hard, graduates near or at the top in his class. A college friend recalls him having a neat stack of books and papers he would move through like a machine. A couple of people remember him as special but just as many remember him as “straightforward and uncomplicated” — or, as some college friends put it, “ham on white.” My favorite observation about his college years is: “Along with playing and writing about sports, Kavanaugh enjoyed watching them in his downtime.” Really, that could be anyone. In fact, when he got his big break as a clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski, the law professor who recommended him described him as a “good student” and not a “great one,” but added, “I got to know his character from basketball.”

Epstein Scandal

washington post logoharvard logoWashington Post, Harvard, MIT acknowledge deeper ties to Epstein than previously revealed, Susan Svrluga, Sept. 14, 2019. The revelations raise questions about how schools raise money and whether their leaders are appropriately transparent.

daily beast logoDaily Beast, Renowned MIT Scientist Defends Epstein: Victims Were ‘Entirely Willing,’ Blake Montgomery, Sept. 14, 2019. MIT bigwig Richard Stallman dismissed Epstein’s underage victims in emails and defended child pornography on his blog.

While MIT engages in damage control following revelations the university’s Media Lab accepted millions of dollars in funding from Jeffrey Epstein, a renowned computer scientist at the university has fanned the flames by apparently going out of his way to defend the accused sex trafficker—and child pornography in general.

Richard Stallman has been hailed as one of the most influential computer scientists around today and honored with a slew of awards and honorary doctorates, but his eminence in the academic computer science community came into question Friday afternoon when purportedly leaked email excerpts showed him suggesting one of Epstein’s alleged victims was “entirely willing.”

An MIT engineering alumna, Selam Jie Gano, published a blog post calling for Stallman’s removal from the university in light of his comments, along with excerpts from the email in which Stallman appeared to defend both Epstein and Marvin Minsky, a lauded cognitive scientist and founder of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab who was accused of assaulting Virginia Giuffre. Giuffre has alleged that sex offender and financier Epstein trafficked her to powerful men for sex, including Minsky, who died in 2016. She’s alleged that Epstein and his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell recruited her at Mar-a-Lago when she was 16 years old.

MIT logoStallman wrote that “the most plausible scenario” for Giuffre’s accusations was that she was, in actuality, “entirely willing.” Vice’s Motherboard later reprinted the emails in full. Gano did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stallman also wrote in the email exchange that “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”

A deep dive into his writings shows this isn’t the first time Stallman has expressed such questionable views, however. He has written dozens of posts on his personal website in favor of legalizing pedophilia and child pornography for more than 15 years.

“This ‘child pornography’ might be a photo of yourself or your lover that the two of you shared. It might be an image of a sexually mature teenager that any normal adult would find attractive. What’s heinous about having such a photo?” Stallman wrote in 2011 on his personal site, stallman.org, in an argument in favor of Congress limiting laptop searches at the U.S. border.

Stallman currently works as a visiting scientist at MIT, according to the website of the university’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), and as the president of the Free Software Foundation, which he founded in 1985. Stallman has been seen as a pioneering computer scientist for decades, especially in his creation of and advocacy for new kinds of freely available software. Much of his work underpins modern computer science. He’s worked at MIT on and off since the 1980s, and he spoke at a Microsoft computer science research center just last week. The Free Software Foundation, Microsoft, and MIT did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Stallman’s remarks.

Trafficking Solutions

ny times logoNew York Times, Opinion, Thousands More Jeffrey Epsteins Are Still Out There, Nicholas Kristof, Sept. 14, 2019. They operate with impunity, continuing to sexually jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019exploit children. Jeffrey Epstein, right, got away for years with raping underage girls, and the public is properly outraged that powerful people seemed to shrug and let him off easy. But the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men who pay for sex with underage girls across the country. And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal.

“We see it as this singular narrative about this one guy,” said Rachel Lloyd, who wrote a superb book, “Girls Like Us,” about her own experience being sexually trafficked as a teenager. “There’s a much larger narrative out there about girls, often girls of color, who are commercially sexually exploited, often with impunity.”

“It’s part of the same behavior, part of what we allow as a society,” Lloyd added. “He got away with it because society said he could, and that’s what other johns think as well.”

Lloyd now runs a first-rate program, GEMS, in New York for girls and young women who have been trafficked. The people she helps haven’t been whisked off to Caribbean islands on private jets, but the pattern is the same: sordid exploitation of vulnerable girls by older and more affluent men who get away with it.

Indeed, girls across America are often treated even worse than in the Epstein case: Some end up arrested for prostitution while their rapists get off scot-free.

If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of pimps who traffic children; B) prosecute johns who rape girls and boys; C) assist programs for survivors of trafficking; and D) support initiatives that help vulnerable youths avoid being victimized by predators.

“They’re not billionaires, but it happens all the time,” said Shelia Faye Simpkins, who ran away from home at 14 and into the arms of a pimp.

Sept. 12

More Epstein Connections

washington post logoWashington Post, Council on Foreign Relations, another beneficiary of Epstein largesse, grapples with how to handle his donations, Marc Fisher, Sept. 10, 2019. In his 15 years as a member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, Jeffrey Epstein attended only two events — a dinner for big donors in 1998 and a 2002 conversation with Paul O’Neill when he was U.S. treasury secretary during the George W. Bush administration.

But Epstein had given the council $350,000 over a decade of membership in the group’s top-level donor category, the Chairman’s Circle, and council leaders now acknowledge that they never discussed what to do about Epstein’s donations after he pleaded guilty to sex crimes in 2008.

“I deeply regret that his conviction did not automatically trigger a review of his membership status,” council president Richard Haass wrote in a note to council members last month.

His email, which was obtained by The Washington Post, made no mention of whether the council ever considered returning or redirecting Epstein’s donations, as some other nonprofits did after his 2008 conviction or his arrest this summer on federal charges of sexually abusing dozens of girls.

On Monday, council spokeswoman Lisa Shields responded to The Post’s inquiry about the gifts with a statement saying that the council is “examining ways to allocate resources equivalent to Epstein’s donations to relevant work, such as our InfoGuide on Modern Slavery,” which looks at human trafficking, and a Women and Foreign Policy Program, which produces reports on issues such as sexual violence in conflict and child marriage.

The council is the latest institution now confronting questions about how it handled contributions from Epstein, who officials say hanged himself in a New York jail cell last month while awaiting trial.

Sept. 11

#MeToo In Military

ny times logoNew York Times, Six Men Tell Their Stories of Sexual Assault in the Military, Staff report, Sept. 11, 2019. More than 100,000 men have been sexually assaulted in the military in recent decades. Shame and stigma kept the majority from coming forward. Sexual assaujlt in the military is a problem widely recognized but poorly understood. Elected officials and Pentagon leaders have tended to focus on the thousands of women who have been preyed upon while in uniform. But over the years, more of the victims have been men.

On average, about 10,000 men are sexually assaulted in the American military each year, according to Pentagon statistics. Overwhelmingly, the victims are young and low-ranking. Many struggle afterward, are kicked out of the military and have trouble finding their footing in civilian life.

For decades, the fallout from the vast majority of male sexual assaults in uniform was silence: Silence of victims too humiliated to report the crime, silence of authorities unequipped to pursue it, silence of commands that believed no problem existed, and silence of families too ashamed to protest.

Women face a much higher rate of sexual assault in the military — about seven times that of men. But there are so many more men than women in the ranks that the total numbers of male and female victims in recent years have been roughly similar, according to Pentagon statistics — about 10,000 a year. And before women were fully integrated into the armed services, the bulk of the victims were men.

Sept. 9

Trafficking, #MeToo Scandals

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Epstein connection to Southeast Asian pedophile ring, Wayne Madsen, Sept. 9, 2019 (subscription required). New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow reported in a September 6 article that M.I.T. Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts continued to receive massive amounts of donations, far in excess of what the MIT logoinstitution reported, from convicted underage sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

M.I.T. Media Lab’s connections to Epstein are extremely relevant to WMR’s expose of the Media Lab’s links to a Cambodian orphanage in Phnom Penh victimized by an international pedophile ring.

ny times logoNew York Times, Previously Unknown Sources Come Forward in a New Book About Harvey Weinstein, Alexandra Alter, Sept. 9, 2019 (print ed.). Two years before harvey weinsteinthe allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against Harvey Weinstein, right, became public, his own brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, confronted him, pleading with him to get medical treatment for what he described as many years of “misbehavior.”

“You have brought shame to the family and your company through your misbehavior,” Bob Weinstein wrote. “Your reaction was once more to blame the victims, or to minimize the misbehavior in various ways. If you think nothing is wrong with your misbehavior so in this area then announce it to your wife and family.”

The previously unreported letter is reprinted in full in She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, a new book by jodi kantor megan twohey she said coverJodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, two reporters at The New York Times who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds, helping to spark the global #MeToo reckoning. The book, to be published on Tuesday by Penguin Press, sheds new light on the roles that several figures played in enabling Mr. Weinstein and covering up his misdeeds, and names key sources who helped reporters break the story — including company officials, Hollywood stars and other victims of the producer’s alleged abuse.

Drawing on new reporting and previously undisclosed corporate records, emails and text messages, She Said uncovers more on the extent of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged transgressions, and the labyrinth of secret settlements and restrictive nondisclosure agreements that allowed Mr. Weinstein and other men in positions of power to conceal their behavior and thrive in their careers, in some cases finding new victims.

Sept. 7

Epstein Scandal MIT Fallout

MIT logo

CNet, MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito resigns amid Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Edward Moyer, Sept. 7, 2019. The move follows a New Yorker report that the lab had a deeper funding relationship with the convicted sex offender than previously acknowledged and that it worked to disguise contacts with Epstein.

joichi ito 2007The director of the MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito (shown in a 2007 photo at right), resigned Saturday amid a scandal over the Media Lab's ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Ito's resignation follows a Friday night report in The New Yorker that said the Media Lab had a deeper funding relationship with Epstein than it had previously acknowledged and worked to disguise its contacts with the disgraced financier.

"Because the accusations in the story are extremely serious, they demand an immediate, thorough and independent investigation," MIT President L. Rafael Reif said Saturday in a letter to the MIT community. "This morning, I asked MIT's General Counsel to engage a prominent law firm to design and conduct this process. I expect the firm to conduct this review as swiftly as possible, and to report back to me and to the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation, MIT's governing board."

Reif said Ito had submitted his resignation as director on Saturday afternoon and that Ito had also stepped down as a professor and employee of MIT. When asked to comment on the New Yorker article and Ito's resignation, a representative of the Media Lab pointed to Reif's letter.

The New Yorker report says Epstein helped secure donations from parties including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and that the lab's cover-up effort was an open secret among staff, some of whom gave Epstein the nickname Voldemort or "he who must not be named."

The Media Lab has been under scrutiny for its ties to Epstein, who last month committed suicide in jail while facing federal sex-trafficking charges. In late August, Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, said he was moving his work out of the Media Lab due to its ties with Epstein. Visiting professor J. Nathan Matias also said he'd be leaving the lab, which is known for wide-ranging research on everything from futuristic personal robots to online social experiments.

Shortly after those departure announcements, the Media Lab said in a statement that MIT had received around $800,000 in donations from Epstein over 20 years. This week Ito acknowledged taking $525,000 from Epstein for the Media Lab, as well as $1.2 million for his personal investment funds, according to The New York Times.

The New Yorker report, which cites internal MIT records and information from present and former Media Lab faculty and staff, says Epstein secured at least $7.5 million in lab donations, including $2 million from Gates and $5.5 million from investor Leon Black, founder of private-equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The report also says that "although Epstein was listed as 'disqualified' in MIT's official donor database, the Media Lab continued to accept gifts from him, consulted him about the use of the funds, and, by marking his contributions as anonymous, avoided disclosing their full extent, both publicly and within the university."

A spokesperson for Gates told The New Yorker that "any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false." Gates' philanthropic foundation didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

Apollo Global Management didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Black has said his dealings with Epstein were for the most part limited to estate planning, philanthropic advice and tax strategy, that Apollo has never done business with Epstein and that Black was unaware of the conduct alleged in the federal charges against Epstein.

Sept. 6

Epstein Donations

MIT logo

ronan farrowNew Yorker, How an Élite University Research Center Concealed Its Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, Ronan Farrow, right, Sept, 6, 2019. New documents show that the M.I.T. Media Lab was aware of Epstein’s status as a convicted sex offender, and that Epstein directed contributions to the lab far exceeding the amounts M.I.T. has publicly admitted.

jeffrey epstein hands handsThe M.I.T. Media Lab, which has been embroiled in a scandal over accepting donations from the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, had a deeper fund-raising relationship with Epstein than it has previously acknowledged, and it attempted to conceal the extent of its contacts with him. Dozens of pages of e-mails and other documents obtained by The New Yorker reveal that, although Epstein was listed as “disqualified” in M.I.T.’s official donor database, the Media Lab continued to accept gifts from him, consulted him about the use of the funds, and, by marking his contributions as anonymous, avoided disclosing their full extent, both publicly and within the university.

Perhaps most notably, Epstein appeared to serve as an intermediary between the lab and other wealthy donors, soliciting millions of dollars in donations from individuals and organizations, including the technologist and philanthropist Bill Gates and the investor Leon Black. According to the joichi ito 2007records obtained by The New Yorker and accounts from current and former faculty and staff of the media lab, Epstein was credited with securing at least $7.5 million in donations for the lab, including two million dollars from Gates and $5.5 million from Black, gifts the e-mails describe as “directed” by Epstein or made at his behest.

The effort to conceal the lab’s contact with Epstein was so widely known that some staff in the office of the lab’s director, Joi Ito (shown in a 2007 photo at right) referred to Epstein as Voldemort or “he who must not be name

jeffrey epstein alan dershowitz

The late sex trafficker and philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein, left, chats with Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a defense counsel for Epstein.

 

washington post logoWashington Post, Epstein’s donations to universities reveal a painful truth about philanthropy, Susan Svrluga, Sept. 5, 2019. Academics confront a hard realization: The financier’s donations supported important research, but they also provided a veneer of credibility to a convicted sex offender.

MIT logoJeffrey Epstein forged deep ties with some of the nation’s elite universities and their scholars, showering them with millions of dollars in donations. As the extent of those gifts comes into sharper focus, academics confront a painful realization: The financier’s donations supported important research and helped scientists work toward discoveries, but they also provided a veneer of credibility to a convicted sex offender.

The ensuing fallout — prompting resignations and continued soul-searching and outrage — illuminates enduring questions for academia about the money that fuels harvard logoresearch, and how institutions nurture relationships with donors in the race to excel.

Epstein gave repeatedly to MIT and Harvard University. At MIT, the president, L. Rafael Reif, apologized to Epstein’s victims in a message to campus. The school accepted about $800,000 of Epstein’s money over 20 years, Reif wrote, with gifts to the MIT Media Lab and to Harvard University. Espstein is shown with Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz.

Sept. 5

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Credit Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005 (Joe Schildhorn / Patrick McMullan,via Getty Images)

New York Post, British actress ‘distraught’ over being linked to Jeffrey Epstein’s inner circle, Lee Brown, Sept. 5, 2019. A British actress accused of being in Jeffrey Epstein’s inner circle is “distraught” over the “shocking” allegations against her, according to her family. Prosecutors in the US reportedly want to interview Emmy Tayler, 44, over her ties to the late pedophile as the investigation widens following his suicide at a Manhattan lockup last month.

Tayler was a personal assistant to Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former gal pal and alleged madam, and named in court filings as among his friends who flew on his “Lolita Express” jet at the time he was trafficking girls.

Sept. 4

Vanity Fair, For Billionaire Glenn Dubin, the Epstein Saga Isn’t Over, William D. Cohan, Sept. 4, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein is dead, but there are still questions about his ties to hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson-Dubin. New reporting suggests the strange friendship was more tangled than previously known.

Many secrets died with Jeffrey Epstein, the high-society pedophile, philanthropist, and financier whose inner circle included princes, a former prime minister, and a former president. But the search for answers continues in New York, where Epstein held court for years before hanging himself in federal prison. One of Epstein’s more puzzling relationships was the one he had with Glenn Dubin, the billionaire hedge fund manager, and his wife, Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, the founder of the Dubin Breast Center of the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Could one of Manhattan’s most prominent power couples know more about the Epstein mystery?

The three were close, after all. Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden, dated Epstein for years before she and Dubin married in 1994. Even after Epstein’s conviction in 2008, the couple stayed in contact with the registered sex offender, inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Palm Beach the following year. Andersson-Dubin also wrote an email to Epstein’s probation officer, asserting that she was “100% comfortable with Jeffrey Epstein around my children,” who were then all minors. Multiple sources told me last month that Epstein was the godfather to the Dubins’ three children, although a spokesman for Dubin disputed that assertion. (“The Dubins are Jewish and Jewish people do not typically do godparents,” he said.)

Epstein and Dubin had business ties as well. Epstein introduced Dubin to Jes Staley, then a senior executive at JPMorganChase & Co. and now the CEO of Barclays, the big British bank. After JPMorganChase bought control of Highbridge Capital, Dubin’s hedge fund, in stages, starting in 2004, Epstein reportedly received a $15 million fee.

Sept. 3

More On Epstein's Scandals

ny times logoJeffrey Epstein Harvard University New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s New York Hunting Ground: Dance Studios, Ali Watkins, Sept. 3, 2019. The financier recruited young dancers to give him erotic massages even after his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor. Lisa was 17 when a fellow dancer approached her after a ballet class in 2002 and asked if she wanted to give private exercise classes to a wealthy man named Jeffrey Epstein.

Sept. 2

Model Magnate, Epstein Pal Disappears 

  • Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in jail while facing child sex trafficking charges
  • Jean-Luc Brunel, 72, is sought by French authorities who have 'urgent' questions
  • He founded New York model agency MC2, who signed Svetlana Pozhidaeva
  • Pozhidaeva has been pictured at Epstein's New York mansion back in 2016
  • A millionaire model agency boss who is thought to have key information about the Jeffrey Epstein scandal 'has disappeared like a ghost without a trace.' Jean-Luc Brunel, 72, has vanished as police seek to ask the Frenchman 'urgent' questions about the pedophile.

Daily Mail Online, Millionaire model agency boss thought to have key information into the Jeffrey Epstein scandal 'has disappeared like a ghost without a trace,' Sebastian Murphy-jean luc brunelBates, Sept. 2, 2019 (updated version). French authorities want to speak with Jean-Luc Brunel (pictured) to ask him 'urgent' questions regarding Jeffrey Epstein. Brunel - who founded New York's MC2 - denies any involvement with crimes committed by Epstein. A Paris legal source told the Daily Mirror: 'He is a ghost who has disappeared without trace.'

It comes after former model Svetlana Pozhidaeva, who was signed to MC2, was pictured at convicted paedophile Epstein's mansion in New York back in 2016.

Virginia Roberts, who was a victim of Esptein's, claims to have slept with Prince Andrew three times. Pozhidaeva, who was signed to Brunel's agency was pictured outside the New York mansion of Epstein (above). The Duke of York has vehemently denied that he slept with her and says he knew nothing about Epstein's illegal behaviour.

Roberts says she also slept with Brunel 'many times' when she was aged 16 to 19. Many of the girls believed to have been used by Epstein are alleged to have been 'sourced' in Paris. Epstein owned a £7 million apartment in the French capital, where Brunel also lived. The agency boss was searching for new talent in Brazil until the start of this summer.

This month, French prosecutors have started a preliminary inquiry into whether Epstein sexually abused minors from France. They say Brunel is 'uncontactable' because he has no address, internet accounts or social media.

August

Aug. 30

Epstein's Helpers

ny times logoNew York Times, How a Ring of Women Allegedly Recruited Girls for Jeffrey Epstein, Amy Julia Harris, Frances Robles, Mike Baker and William K. Rashbaum, Aug. 30, 2019 (print ed.). After Mr. Epstein’s suicide, his inner circle of girlfriends, employees and other associates is now under scrutiny by prosecutors. A Times investigation uncovered allegations about how a cadre of women helped lure girls into his orbit and managed the logistics of those encounters.

The urgency of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s associates was underscored on Tuesday when about two dozen women offered searing accounts of how he had sexually abused them before a packed courtroom in Manhattan.

The judge overseeing the case had invited the women to speak at a hearing to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Epstein in light of his death.

 ny times logoNew York Times, After Rape Case Unravels, Ex-Detectives Plead Guilty to Lesser Crimes, Edgar Sandoval, Aug. 30, 2019 (print ed.). The two had been accused of assaulting a handcuffed 18-year-old. Now, the plea deal will result in probation. In 2017, two New York Police Department detectives faced more than 40 sexual-abuse charges and 25 years in prison after they were accused of handcuffing an 18-year-old woman and raping her in the back of a police van.

Over the course of nearly two years, the case slowly unraveled as lawyers in the case disclosed cellphone records and other evidence that punched holes in the woman’s inconsistent timeline and description of events that night, forcing prosecutors to discard her testimony and indict the officers on lesser charges.

On Thursday morning, the two detectives, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, pleaded guilty to bribery and official misconduct charges in a deal that called for five years probation — and no jail time.

WhoWhatWhy, The Epstein Story Is Not About Celebrities and Shiny Objects, Jeff Schechtman, Aug. 30, 2019 (podcast). An examination of why we should be outraged that justice is not being whowhatwhy logoserved in the Epstein case. On the surface, the Jeffrey Epstein story reads like a Hollywood screenplay. All the elements are there: big-name celebrities from around the world, straying and corrupt politicians, a fantasy Carribean island, a western ranch, a posh Manhattan townhouse, and a private jet called the “Lolita Express.” All glitz and glamor… except that it’s not!

At its heart, this is a story of sex trafficking in underage girls, child abuse, and young victims whose lives will be forever haunted by Epstein and his pals.

Our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, investigative journalist Nick Bryant, has been on this story since 2012 — in part, because he covered and wrote a book about a similar saga years ago that also involved powerful pedophiles, blackmail, corrupt grand juries, law enforcement looking the other way, and the suicide of one of the perpetrators.

With that other story as background, Bryant, who was the first to publish Epstein’s “little black book,” looks at this sordid story in the context of the human damage done by Epstein and his fellow perpetrators. Based on his many years following the trail, Bryant talks about what he thinks really happened in that jail cell, and what needs to happen now.

He calls out the disgrace that should befall those who try to cover it up, and wonders why the public is not more outraged. Bryant makes a passionate case that, even with Epstein dead, all of the perpetrators, famous and not, need to be held accountable and brought to justice.

Aug. 29

Sex Trafficking In History

Gilad.com, Historical commentary: 'Jeffrey Zwi Epstein Migdal,' Gilad Atzmon (UK-based jazz artist and cultural/political commentator), Aug. 29, 2019. The story of Jeffrey Epstein has lost its mystery as more and more commentators allow themselves to express the thought that it is a strong possibility that Epstein was connected to a crime syndicate affiliated with a Zionist political organisation or Israel and / or at least a few compromised intelligence agencies.

Whitney Webb, right, and others have produced superb studies of possible scenarios.

I would instead like to attack the topic from a cultural perspective. Epstein wasn’t the first Jewish sex trafficker. This seems like a good time to look back at Zwi Migdal, a Jewish global crime syndicate that operated a century ago and trafficked tens of thousands of Jewish women and under age girls as sex slaves. According to contemporary Jewish writer Giulia Morpurgo the Zwi Migdal had turned Argentina, “into a nightmare of prostitution and exploitation.”

During the first three decades of the 20th century Argentina was a rich country. It outgrew Canada and Australia in population, total income, and per capita income. Just before the first world war Argentina was the world's 10th wealthiest state per capita. When Argentina was a rich country, large parts of its economy, culture and politics were controlled by crime syndicates and particularly a Jewish organised crime apparatus named ‘Zwi Migdal.’

In 2009 The International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCACA) published a comprehensive article about the Zwi Migdal titled Understanding the Zwi Migdal Society, which I am about to quote from extensively.

The Zwi Migdal, was an association of Jewish mobsters who were involved in the “sexual exploitation of Jewish women and children, which operated globally.” Apparently the Zwi Migdal originally picked a pretty innocent sounding name: "Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society." It does indeed sound almost as innocent, humane and charitable as ‘Anti-Defamation League,’ ‘Jews against Breast Cancer,’ or even ‘Jewish Voice for Peace.’

But the Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society wasn’t innocent at all. It forced thousands of women and girls to become sex slaves and destroyed their lives. “Zwi Migdal means ‘strong power’ in Yiddish and it also honoured Zvi Migdal, known as Luis Migdal, one of the founders of the crime organization.”

The Zwi Migdal organization operated from the 1860s to 1939. In its heyday, after the First World War, it had four hundred members in Argentina alone. Its annual turnover was fifty million dollars in the early 1900s.

Unlike Epstein and Maxwell who allegedly recruited non-Jewish underage women, the Zwi Migdal specialised in trafficking Jewish women. “Most of the Jewish women and children who were kidnapped were taken from impoverished shtetls (Jewish small towns) and brought to Buenos Aires.”

The recently released documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein affair suggest that Epstein and Maxwell were to be charged with child sex trafficking, and as the alleged procurer of underage girls. It seems none of that is really novel in the Jewish world: “The Zwi Migdal Society lured decent girls and young women from Europe in many inventive and deceitful ways. A very well-mannered and elegant-looking man would appear in a poor Jewish village in places such as Poland or Russia. He would advertise his search for young women to work in the homes of wealthy Jews in Argentina by posting an ad in the local synagogue. Fearful of pogroms and often in desperate economic circumstances, the trusting parents would send their naïve daughters away with these men, hoping to give them a fresh start.”

The last line recalls Virginia Giuffre’s account of her encounter with the elegant British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell who allegedly lured her victims to ‘escape’ their misery.

From Rachel (Raquel) Lieberman to Virginia Roberts Giuffre

rachel libermanWe learn that the rufianos' audacity eventually led to their demise. “It happened when they refused to forgo their income from the work of one woman, Rachel Lieberman (shown at right in an undated photo) from Lódž, Poland. She, like so many others, was tempted to travel to Buenos Aires answering a matrimonial ad, but was taken to Jonin Street where she was forced to prostitute.”

“After five years she had enough money to go into the antique furniture business to support herself and her sons but the rufianos made it impossible for her. They did not want her to set an example for their other slaves. But this woman had not been broken.”

As was the case for Virginia Giuffre, it needed brave Rachel to come forward (film via vimeo). 

Her testimony led to an extensive investigation. The findings reached Dr. Rodriguez Ocampo, a judge who would not take Zwi Migdal bribes either.

The lengthy trial ended in September 1930, with 108 detainees. "The very existence of the Zwi Migdal Organization directly threatens our society," the judge wrote in his verdict, handing down long prison terms.”

As with Epstein and his mobsters friends, things changed quickly and not in favour of justice let alone guided by ethical principles. The Zwi Migdal mobsters were at least as well connected as Epstein to politicians, judges and prosecutors. “While in prison, the pimps pulled some old strings, appealed their sentences in January 1931, and senior Justice Ministry officials left only three of the convicts in jail, discharging the rest.”

More On Epstein's Ties

WGBH-TV, Commentary: Harvard, MIT, and Epstein's 'Dirty' Money, Harvey Silverglate, right, and Monika Greco, Aug. 29, 2019. Following the apparent jailhouse suicide of disgraced harveysilverglate 136money manager and academic dilettante Jeffrey Epstein, two prominent Cambridge universities grapple with a straightforward ethical question that has been made out to be needlessly complex: Should an educational institution which has been the beneficiary of the largess of someone who, it turns out, was a monster, return or otherwise redirect donations of “dirty money”? The two universities seem to have arrived at somewhat different answers to this question.

Epstein’s death leaves a long line of victims in its wake, some of whom wished to face him in court and will now never have that opportunity. Epstein also leaves behind the many educational institutions that benefited from his considerable financial donations. A self-described “science philanthropist,” Epstein amassed an impressive network of the world’s leading scholars, scientists, and public intellectuals, by giving liberally to their personal research projects and home institutions. Epstein’s philanthropy enabled him to cultivate close connections with higher-ups at several prominent universities, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In typical fashion, the media has taken the now-hot story as an opportunity to root out and vilify every person and every institution that has ever had anything to do with Epstein, regardless of whether the individuals and institutions had any knowledge of Epstein’s crimes. The public, galvanized by the media, has placed tremendous pressure on the numerous beneficiaries of Epstein’s sizable gifts to come to terms with their relationships with the now-deceased sex offender. It is in this climate that Harvard and MIT face calls to return or otherwise redirect Epstein’s “dirty money.”

harvard logoThe two universities have thus far responded in very different ways. Back in 2006, when the allegations against Epstein first emerged, Harvard made clear that it had no intention of returning or redirecting any of the millions of dollars it received. More than a decade later, and even after intense public pressure following Epstein’s 2019 federal indictment, Harvard reaffirmed this stance.

MIT, on the other hand, has been bending over backwards to appease the public by issuing mea culpas for various complicities, imagined or otherwise, stemming from the university’s ties to Epstein. In an email sent to the MIT community, University President L. Rafael Reif revealed MIT logothat MIT accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Epstein’s various foundations over two decades, all of which went either to the Media Lab or to Physics Professor Seth Lloyd. Reif issued a groveling apology and promised to essentially redirect Epstein’s gifts by donating an equal amount to charities that assist victims of sexual abuse.

Of course, we cannot know the true motivations underlying Harvard and MIT’s responses, although we can probably assume that these institutional decisions were made at the highest levels.

Many institutions have had to reckon with the present knowledge that contributions were made by donors then or now recognized as tainted. The most difficult decisions doubtless have had to be made by institutions for which changing mores have raised the question of whether the long-ago naming of buildings or programs (or entire universities) after now-disgraced donors should be reversed. But where a monument has not been built, nor a program named, to honor a donor, it would seem that there is no reasonable justification, other than moral grandstanding or ethical preening, for returning money that would otherwise be used for the education of our children.

Harvey Silverglate, WGBH’s “Freedom Watch” writer, is a criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer and author in Boston. Monika Greco is a graduate of the philosophy master’s program at Tufts University, and writes about ethical issues for the general public.

Aug. 28

Epstein's Island, Influence Circle

jeffrey epstein virgin islands youtube Small

 Jeffrey Epstein’s compound in the Virgin Islands. (YouTube)

ny times logoNew York Times, On Epstein’s Caribbean Island, a Hideaway Where Money Bought Influence, Steve Eder, Aug. 28, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein used his islands as a personal and corporate haven, negotiating lucrative local tax breaks even as he faced inquiries for sexual misconduct. Jeffrey Epstein once described the United States Virgin Islands as “my favorite place to be.”

When he was there, Mr. Epstein had a knack for getting his way, according to public records and interviews with residents and local officials.

Mr. Epstein, the accused sex trafficker who committed suicide in a Manhattan jail this month, used these islands as a personal and corporate hideaway, negotiating lucrative local tax breaks even as he faced federal investigations for sexual misconduct.

He cultivated close ties to the islands’ political and financial elite. He employed a governor’s wife. He hired an architecture firm owned by that governor’s uncle. He donated money, sponsored scholarships and even gave dozens of computers to a local lawmaker to distribute.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre shows her photo at age 16 (Emily Michot Miami Herald via Zuma Wireire

Virginia Roberts Giuffre shows her photo at age 16 (Photo by Emily Michot, Miami Herald, via Zuma Wire

Daily Mail, Jeffrey Epstein's 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts' describes Simpsons creator Matt Groening's 'crusty toenails' which she claims she massaged on the pedophile's private jet in newly unsealed memoirs, Jennifer Smith, Aug. 28, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein's teenage 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts described in detail having to massage The Simpsons creator Matt Groening's 'crusty' toenails during a flight on Epstein's private jet in newly unsealed court documents which shed more light on her shocking allegations about life with the late pedophile.

The documents were unsealed by a judge earlier this month and were part of a lawsuit that Roberts filed against Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, his reported madam and English socialite former girlfriend, in 2015.

They were unsealed by a judge after Epstein's July arrest on human trafficking charges, before he killed himself in jail. Buried within the 2,000 pages of records is a copy of a memoir that Roberts wrote. It describes her alleged interactions with multiple celebrities and politicians and also describes numerous threesomes she claims she had with Maxwell and Epstein.

Roberts and Epstein had just spent time at his ranch in New Mexico with Ghislaine Maxwell and had allegedly engaged in threesomes with her there.

When she got on the plane in Carmel, the day after producing another young girl she says she met on the street for Epstein to have sex with, Roberts wrote: 'There was an unexpected visitor. 'Matt Groening, the producer of The Simpsons was catching a ride with us. I was so excited as I loved watching the show and acted like a star struck fan, asking him everything from his initial idea for creating the show to where he got his characters from.

Raw Story, West Virginia Republican senator arrested after text messages reveal prostitution ring, David Edwards, Aug.28, 2019. West Virginia Republican state Sen. Mike Maroney was charged this week with soliciting a prostitute. According to criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, Maroney’s cell phone was used to solicit a prostitute in May. Maroney is one of seven men who have been charged in connection to the prostitution ring. The lawmaker has previously made headlines for his anti-LGBT legislation.

Aug. 27

Dems, Lawyers Seek Probe

jeffrey epstein complex dcma federal court protester

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

The Hill, Democrats call on House committees to probe Epstein's 2008 'sweetheart deal,' suicide, Zack Budryk, Aug. 27, 2019. Forty-four House Democrats are calling on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Reform committees to investigate late financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal from 2008 and his suicide this month while in federal custody.

lois frankel o“Epstein’s victims deserve justice and the public needs to know why a prolific child molester got a slap on the wrist instead of a long prison sentence,” Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), right, co-chairwoman of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and lead signatory of Tuesday's letter, said in a statement.

“Persons with relevant information should be questioned under oath and survivors should be given a forum to be heard if they so desire,” she added.

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, part of an agreement that allowed him to serve just over a year behind bars and spend most of each day outside the prison. At least two women have alleged he abused them during his work release.

He was arrested in July, about a decade later, on sex trafficking charges. A few weeks later Epstein was found nonresponsive in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York and pronounced dead on Aug. 10.

jackie speier abcAttorney General William Barr has vowed an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

“Congress has a duty to give these victims a platform and shine a bright light on the shadowy circumstances surrounding this preferential plea deal. Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes were not restricted to him alone,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), shown in a file photo at left, said in a statement Tuesday.

“All those who aided and abetted in this travesty of justice must answer for their illegal conduct. The survivors of Epstein’s exploitation demand and deserve nothing less,” she added.

Democrats signing the letter range from moderates and leaders aligned with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), such as Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Cheri Bustos (Ill.), as well as progressives like Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.).

Camera Not Working At Epstein's Cell

Metropolitan Correctional Center (www.PrisonInsight.com photo via Flickr)

Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City (www.PrisonInsight.com photo via Flickr)

washington post logoWashington Post, Some video footage from outside Epstein’s cell is unusable, people familiar with investigation say, Carol D. Leonnig and Matt Zapotosky, Aug. 27, 2019.  It’s unclear whether the taping flaw affected a limited duration of the footage — deemed critical to determining what happened to Jeffrey Epstein — or whether it was a chronic problem.

At least one camera in the hallway outside the cell where authorities say registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself earlier this month had footage that is unusable, although other, clearer footage was captured in the area, according to three people briefed on the evidence gathered earlier this month.

It was not immediately clear why some video footage outside Epstein’s cell is too flawed for investigators to use or what is visible in the usable footage. The incident is being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which are attempting to determine what happened and how to assess whether any policies were violated or crimes committed.

The footage is considered critical to those inquiries, and the revelation of an unusable recording is yet another of the apparent failures inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the short-staffed Bureau of Prisons facility in downtown Manhattan that held Epstein.

Aug. 26

Epstein Scandal

whowhatwhy logoruss bakerWhoWhatWhy, Opinion: Epstein Death: Deep Digging Not Welcome in Corporate Media, Russ Baker, right, Aug. 26, 2019. When news broke of Jeffrey Epstein’s death in prison, some corporate media were quick to assure the public — as they so often do — that whatever that was about, it should not be viewed as involving any sort of conspiratorial behavior.

They did question why Epstein was taken off suicide watch, especially since he allegedly attempted to kill himself in July, but few considered foul play. Even before the medical examiner’s final report, they accepted the government’s statement that Epstein had killed himself. Epstein’s death was labeled a suicide, and, basically, that was that.

The thing is, many people find the “suicide” scenario suspicious. Which is why recent polls show that just 29 percent of the American public believe it was suicide. It’s important to recall that, historically, journalism has not had such a great track record....This is what the media does — and another reason why the public does not trust them.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Credit Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005 (Joe Schildhorn / Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images)

ny times logoNew York Times, The Sisters Who First Tried to Take Down Jeffrey Epstein, Mike Baker, Aug. 26, 2019. Nine years before any investigation, Maria and Annie Farmer reported the troubling behavior of Mr. Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. No one would act.

As more women have come forward in recent days to describe assaults at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein, Maria Farmer finds herself distraught, wondering what might have happened if someone had taken her seriously.

Twenty-four years ago, Ms. Farmer was an artist who had entered the unorthodox life Mr. Epstein lived behind the doors of his luxury estates. Mr. Epstein had offered to help her painting career, but it all came to an abrupt end one night in the summer of 1996, when she says Mr. Epstein and his companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, began violently groping her.

She learned later that her 16-year-old sister, Annie Farmer, had been subjected to a troubling topless massage at Mr. Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.

Ms. Farmer contacted the New York Police Department, and said she then went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, offering to share what she knew about Mr. Epstein and the parade of young women being brought to Mr. Epstein’s houses. Though the bureau has never acknowledged such a contact, Ms. Farmer said the F.B.I. must have had a record of it, because agents came back to her — years later — with questions. She also went to leaders in the New York art world that Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell frequented, and the sisters tried to tell their story to a national magazine.

There, at the age of 25, she was introduced to Mr. Epstein’s odd life, with girls and young women coming through for what she recalled Ms. Maxwell describing as modeling auditions for the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret. The house at times bustled in anticipation of potential visits from Bill Clinton, although she never actually saw him there.

She said she met Donald Trump one day in Mr. Epstein’s office, recalling Mr. Trump eyeing her before Mr. Epstein informed him that “she’s not for you.” Ms. Farmer’s mother, Janice Swain, recalled her daughter detailing the interaction with Mr. Trump around the time it occurred.

Aug. 24

Epstein Scandal Probes

jeffrey epstein virgin islands doj undated

nbc news logoNBC News, Jeffrey Epstein was taken off suicide watch by high-level psychologist, Pete Williams and Minyvonne Burke, Aug. 24, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire financier who died by suicide while in federal jail on sex-trafficking charges, had been taken off suicide watch by a doctoral-level psychologist, the Justice Department said in a letter to Congress.

Epstein, 66 (shown above in an undated sex offender mug shot by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Justice), died on Aug. 10 in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. He had been placed on suicide watch in July after he was found in his cell semiconscious with marks on his neck.

But he "was later removed from suicide watch after being evaluated by a doctoral-level psychologist who determined that a suicide watch was no longer warranted," the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to the House Judiciary Committee's chairman, Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and its ranking member, Doug Collins, R-Ga.

Federal inmates on suicide watch are placed in special cells, the letter said, citing Bureau of Prisons policy. "This environment includes easy access to the room, unobstructed vision of the inmate at all times, and limited availability of objects, materials, or architectural features that would allow for easy self-injury," the letter states.

An inmate on suicide watch is seen daily by a psychologist and is constantly being observed by either staff or an "inmate companion" who documents their observations regularly.

Inmates can only be taken off suicide watch by a Bureau of Prisons psychologist after a face-to-face evaluation, the letter states.

Earlier this week, federal investigators sought subpoenas for jail employees after Justice Department officials said that some of the workers who were on duty when the disgraced financier died have retained lawyers and declined interviews.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr removed Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons. Hurwitz will remain in the bureau as the assistant director of another division, Barr said.

Epstein's suicide has led to immediate fallout. The jail's warden, Lamine N'Diaye, was temporarily reassigned, and two guards who were assigned to watch Epstein have been placed on leave. Investigators are looking into whether the guards were sleeping on duty when Epstein killed himself.

Epstein had been in federal custody since his arrest in July at a New Jersey airport. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty. He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.

The indictment in his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paid in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, according to federal prosecutors.

djt jeffrey epstein headshots

Palmer Report, Opinion: The Jeffrey Epstein scandal just slipped beyond the control of Donald Trump and Bill Barr, Bill Palmer, Aug. 24, 2019. The death of Donald Trump’s old friend Jeffrey Epstein while he was in the custody of Trump’s Department of Justice has faded from the headlines this past week as Trump has begun declaring himself the “King of Israel” while trying to buy Greenland, and other objectively insane behavior.

But the Epstein scandal is still playing out nonetheless – and it just took a turn that Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr won’t like. Shimon Prokupecz of CNN has revealed that the government of France has opened an investigation into Jeffrey Epstein. We think this is important for two reasons.

First, it’s potentially bad news for Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, as her friends are claiming that she’s been hanging out in France since Epstein’s arrest (outsiders have claimed she’s in Boston or Los Angeles). Second, if France is running a legitimate investigation into Epstein’s crimes, it’ll make it very difficult for Donald Trump and Bill Barr to push a phony narrative about the crimes.

Aug. 23

Epstein Death Probes

whitney webb twitterMintPress News, Investigation: From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship, Whitney Webb, shown at right in her Twitter photo, Aug. 23, 2019 (Part Four of a four-part series). Far from being the work of a single political party, intelligence agency or country, the power structure revealed by the network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control.

Following the controversial conclusion by the New York Medical Examiner that Epstein’s death was a suicide — a conclusion contested by Epstein’s attorneys as well as by independent forensic pathologists, given the apparent evidence pointing towards strangulation — corporate media coverage of the Epstein case has slowed to a trickle, save for sensationalist stories about his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell and new salacious details of his past. Gone from corporate media are any hints of the larger scandal, revolving around the admission that Epstein had “belonged to intelligence.”

In this four-part series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” MintPress has revealed that Epstein’s activities — a sexual blackmail operation involving minors and connected to intelligence agencies — was one of many such operations that have taken place for decades, developing from the nexus forged between the CIA, organized crime and Israeli intelligence shortly after World War II.

jeffrey epstein hands handsThough this series has thus far largely focused on the ties of Republican officials to those operations and associated crimes, the final installment of this series will focus on Democratic politicians, namely the Clinton family, and their ties to this same network as well as Jeffrey Epstein (right).

The Clintons’ own involvement in Iran-Contra revolved around the covert activities at Arkansas’ Mena Airport, which involved the CIA front company Southern Air Transport and occurred while Clinton was governor. Just a few years into the Clinton presidential administration, Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein would play a major role in Southern Air Transport’s relocation to Columbus, Ohio, leading to concerns among top Ohio officials that both men were not only working with the CIA, but that Wexner’s company, The Limited, sought to use the CIA-linked airline for smuggling.

During that same period of time, Epstein had already forged close ties to important Clinton White House officials and prominent Clinton donors like Lynn Forester de Rothschild and made several personal visits to the official presidential residence.

Some of these ties appear related to Epstein’s shady financial activities, particularly involving currency markets and offshore tax havens — activities he began to perfect while working for prominent Iran-Contra figures in the early 1980s, several of whom were tied to the CIA-linked Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) and had known relationships with Israeli intelligence, namely the Mossad. The nature of Epstein’s work for these individuals and other evidence strongly suggests that Epstein himself had a relationship with BCCI after leaving Bear Stearns and prior to the bank’s collapse in 1991.

Of particular importance are Epstein’s relationship to the Clinton Foundation and the alleged role of Epstein’s Virgin Islands-based hedge fund and the Clinton Foundation in money laundering activity, a relationship still under investigation by MintPress.

It is this tale of intrigue that fully reveals the extent to which this decades-old alliance between organized crime, the CIA, and Israeli intelligence has corrupted and influenced politicians of both political parties, both through the use of sexual blackmail and through other means of coercion.

Far from being the work of a single intelligence agency or a single country, the power structure revealed by this network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that transcends nationality and is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control. Existing for decades and willing to use any means necessary to cover its tracks, this criminal racket has become so integrated into the levers of power, in the United States and well beyond, that it is truly too big to fail. 

Iran Contra, Mena Airport and the Clintons

When one thinks back to the now-famous Iran-Contra scandal, names like Ronald Reagan, Oliver North and Barry Seal comes to mind, but former President Bill Clinton also played an outsized role in the scandal — using his home state of Arkansas, where he was then serving as governor, as a sort of rallying point for the CIA’s U.S.-side of the Central American operation.

In fact, during Clinton’s reign as governor a small town called Mena, nestled in the Ozark Mountains west of Arkansas’ capital Little Rock, would be propelled into the national spotlight as a hub for drug and arms smuggling and the training of CIA-backed far-right militias.

Under the close watch of the CIA, then led by William Casey, the Mena Intermountain Regional Airport was used to stockpile and deliver arms and ammunition to the Nicaraguan Contras. The arms were sometimes exchanged for cocaine from South American cartels, which would then be sent back to Mena and used to fund the covert CIA operation.

Though efforts have been made to dismiss Clinton’s role in the scandal, his direct intervention in the Contras’ attempts to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua suggests Clinton had some sort of personal stake in the efforts and was unlikely aloof to the major smuggling operation taking place in his state while he had been governor. In fact, while governor, Clinton split with many other state governments in sending a contingency of the Arkansas National Guard to Honduras to train the Nicaraguan Contras on how to overthrow their Sandinista government. Clinton would also discuss his first-hand knowledge of the operation with now-Trump administration Attorney General William Barr.

Much of this channeling of both weapons and drugs was carried out by notorious drug smuggler and alleged CIA/DEA operative Barry Seal. According to the book Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

Seal was known to use aircraft that belonged to the company Southern Air Transport and he also employed flight crews that worked for that same company. Southern Air Transport, formerly Air America, was once directly owned by the CIA and today is remembered for being a CIA front during Iran-Contra. Less known is the relationship between the CIA-linked airline and Leslie Wexner and his then-close associate Jeffrey Epstein, which will be discussed in detail later in this report.

Seal seemed to always operate with much less than six degrees of separation from Clinton while the latter served as governor. In his 1999 confessional expose, Cross-fire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation, former Arkansas policeman turned personal driver and security guard for Bill Clinton, L.D. Brown, recounts how Clinton encouraged him to seek out a post at the CIA. Clinton allegedly went so far as to edit the essay Brown wrote for this employment application. The essay topic was drug smuggling in Central America. Upon receiving his application, the CIA put Brown in touch with none other than Barry Seal. Seal would later be gunned down in 1986 while serving six-months probation for drug-smuggling charges.

Seal was not the only affiliate of Oliver North running a Contra-connected operation in Arkansas. Terry Reed, who had worked for North since 1983, claimed to have been put in touch with Seal by North and established a base just 10 miles north of Mena — in Nella, Arkansas — where “Nicaraguan Contras and other recruits from Latin American were trained in resupply missions, night landings, precision paradrops and similar maneuvers,“ according to Cockburn and St. Clair. Reed further asserted that drug money was being laundered through Arkansas financial institutions.

After Clinton’s half-brother Roger was busted for cocaine smuggling (Clinton would later pardon him while president) the CIA sought to move Contra operations out of Arkansas, hoping to put a damper on the increasingly public and sloppy Arkansas-based operation. According to Terry Reed in his book Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, co-written with John Cummings, a hushed meeting was held in a bunker at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas. During the meeting, William Barr, who represented himself as the emissary of then-CIA Director Bill Casey told Clinton:

The deal we made was to launder our money through your bond business but what we didn’t plan on was you and your n****r here start taking yourselves seriously and purposely shrinking our laundry.”

Barr chastised Clinton for his sloppy handling of the delicate operation and his half-brother’s very public fall from grace. He would later tell Clinton, according to Reed,

Bill, you are Mr. Casey’s fair-haired boy … You and your state have been our greatest asset. Mr. Casey wanted me to pass on to you that unless you fuck up and do something stupid, you’re No. 1 on the short list for a shot at the job that you’ve always wanted. You and guys like you are the fathers of the new government. We are the new covenant.”

Attempts to investigate Clinton’s role in the Mena operations and more broadly in the Iran-Contra affair were allegedly axed by Clinton’s own confidantes, who consistently denied he played a role in the scandal. According to the Wall Street Journal, former IRS investigator William Duncan teamed with Arkansas State Police Investigator Russell Welch in what became a decade-long battle to bring the matter to light. In fact, of the nine separate state and federal probes into the affair, all failed.

Another Clinton connection to the CIA and the Iran-Contra affair runs through the family’s connection to Arkansas financier Jackson Stephens and the CIA-linked Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which critics nicknamed the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals International.” Stephens was among the richest people in Arkansas and was also a major donor and backer of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He also played a key role in the rise of Walmart.

Jackson Stephens and other members of the Stephens family bankrolled Bill Clinton’s rise to political prominence, contributing large sums of money to both Clinton’s gubernatorial and his later presidential campaigns. In addition, Worthen Bank, which was majority-owned by Stephens, provided Clinton’s first presidential campaign a $3.5 million line of credit. In addition, Stephens’ many businesses were frequently represented by the Rose Law Firm, where Hillary Clinton was a partner.

One of the men added to the BCCI board after the acquisition of First American Bank was Robert Keith Gray, whom Newsweek described as often having “boasted of his close relationship with the CIA’s William Casey; Gray used to say that before taking on a foreign client, he would clear it with Casey.” As was discussed in Part II of this series, Gray was also an expert in homosexual blackmail operations for the CIA and was reported to have collaborated with Roy Cohn in those activities. Some of Gray’s clients at the powerful PR firm he led, Hill & Knowlton, included BCCI clients and Mossad-linked individuals, such as Adnan Khashoggi and Marc Rich.

Editor's Note: This series contains much more  than the powerful and well-supported excerpt above....

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

 

ny times logoNew York Times, The investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide intensified as roughly 15 jail workers were subpoenaed, Azi Paybarah, William K. Rashbaum and Danielle Ivory, Aug. 23, 2019 (print ed.). The warden and the head of the federal Bureau of Prisons have been reassigned. Two employees accused of sleeping on the job and falsifying records have been placed on administrative leave.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University Now, roughly 15 employees at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Jeffrey Epstein, right, killed himself in his jail cell have been subpoenaed as the criminal investigation into the events around his suicide intensifies, according to a prison official and a person with knowledge of the matter.

The subpoenas, issued in recent days by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, are the latest sign of the heightened scrutiny over the suicide of the high-profile detainee at the chronically understaffed federal jail.

The United States attorney general, William P. Barr, whose Justice Department oversees the Bureau of Prisons, has complained about “serious irregularities at this facility.” On Wednesday he went further, telling reporters in Dallas, “unfortunately, there have been some delays because a number of the witnesses were not cooperative.”

daily beast logoDaily Beast, New York Times Reporter Solicited $30,000 for Charity From Jeffrey Epstein, Lachlan Cartwright and Maxwell Tani, Aug. 23, 2019. Sources tell The Daily Beast that Landon Thomas Jr. was “pushed out” after confessing he was friends with the sexual predator.

A former New York Times reporter solicited a $30,000 charitable donation from accused serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, NPR reported Thursday.

Last summer, according to NPR’s David Folkenflik, financial journalist Landon Thomas Jr. told his editors at the Times that he had become friends with Epstein after previously covering the disgraced financier—and had gotten Epstein to donate to a charity. The Times forbade Thomas from further contact with Epstein and he left the paper in early 2019, NPR reported.

jeffrey epstein sex offenderMultiple Times sources confirmed NPR’s story and provided The Daily Beast with new details about what went on between Thomas, Epstein, and the paper’s editors.

Thomas, who wrote a glossy story about Epstein after he pleaded guilty to sex charges in 2008, did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.

But revelations about his close relationship with Epstein—who was accused of molesting underage girls for more than a decade before his jailhouse suicide — was the talk of the Times newsroom Thursday evening, according to insiders.

“This was a shocking lapse of journalistic standards. It was clearly a fuck-up of epic proportions,” said a person with knowledge of the matter.

elon musk 2015It started last summer when the Times received a tip that Epstein had been advising Tesla CEO Elon Musk, right, on who to appoint to a high-powered position at the company. (Musk has since denied this rumor.) NPR reported that business editors asked Thomas to attempt to interview Epstein, given their history, about the Musk tip.

Thomas did interview Epstein, then debriefed his colleagues on the business desk, Times sources told The Daily Beast. He then disclosed to his editor, David Enrich, that Epstein was not only a source but a long-time friend and that the two had had dinner together on multiple occasions. Then Thomas dropped the bombshell: He had asked Epstein to donate $30,000 to a Harlem cultural center in 2017.

ny times logoEnrich was shocked, sources said. “It was made clear to Landon that he was never to have any professional contact with Epstein whatsoever,” said a person with knowledge of the situation. “He wasn’t to call him or speak to him or use him as a source. This was a flagrant breach of NYT ethical guidelines and editors were horrified.”

Thomas tried to downplay his relationship with Epstein to the paper, sources said. At the same time, he resisted giving Epstein’s contact information to colleague James Stewart who had been assigned to interview Epstein about the Tesla situation, sources said.

Ultimately, Thomas was “pushed out” out of the paper by top business editor Ellen Pollock, as one Times source put it.

“We wish we had of gotten rid of him sooner. He should have been fired on the spot,” a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Thomas left the Times in early 2019 in a departure that was kept secret from virtually the entire newsroom until NPR’s scoop on Thursday, sources said.

Epstein Donations To MIT

ny times logoNew York Times, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology said it would investigate its dealings with Jeffrey Epstein, Marc Tracy and Tiffany Hsu, Aug. 23, 2019. A week after Joichi Ito, the director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, apologized for his ties to the disgraced New York financier Jeffrey Epstein, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that the university would investigate its dealings with Mr. Epstein.

In an email sent Thursday evening to the M.I.T. community that was shared with The New York Times, the president, L. Rafael Reif, said the university had received roughly $800,000 in donations from Epstein funds over a 20-year period. The money went to the Media Lab, an elite research center led by Mr. Ito, as well as to a member of the M.I.T. faculty, the physicist Seth Lloyd. Mr. Ito is also on the board of The New York Times Company.

jeffrey epstein virgin islands youtube Small

 Jeffrey Epstein’s compound in the Virgin Islands. (YouTube)

Consortium News, Opinion: Long Before Epstein: Sex Traffickers & Spy Agencies, Elizabeth Vos, right, Aug. 23, 2019. The unsavory history of elizabeth vosintelligence agencies providing protection to child sex-trafficking rings.

The alleged use of sexual blackmail by spy agencies is hardly unique to the case of Jeffrey Epstein. Although the agencies involved as well as their alleged motivations and methods differ with each case, the crime of child trafficking with ties to intelligence agencies or those protected by them has been around for decades.

Some cases include the 1950s -1970s Kincora scandal and the 1981 Peter Hayman affair, both in the U.K.; and the Finders’ cult and the Franklin scandal in the U.S. in the late 1980s. Just as these cases did not end in convictions, the pedophile and accused child-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein remained at arms’ length for years.

“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… remained untouchable,” journalist Vicky Ward wrote in The Daily Beast in July.

The protection of sex traffickers by intelligence agencies is especially interesting in the wake of Epstein’s death. Like others, Epstein had long been purported to have links with spy agencies. Such allegations documented by Whitney Webb in her multi-part series were recently published in Mintpress News.

Aug. 22

Epstein Crimes, Death

ap logoAssociated Press via Times of Israel, French group says it has 10 witnesses of Epstein-linked abuse, Staff report, Aug. 22, 2019. A French charity said Thursday it has received 10 witness statements after launching an appeal for testimony about sex crimes committed against minors in France linked to the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

jeffrey epstein hands handsInnocence en Danger (Innocence in Danger), which defends the rights of minors against violence and sexual abuse, said it would pass on the witness statements to the judicial authorities.

US billionaire Epstein (shown in a photo via his foundation) was linked to a string of sordid abuses involving underage girls at both his Palm Beach home and on his private island in the Caribbean. But there have also been calls for a French inquiry into any violence committed in France since Epstein was known to entertain guests at a sumptuous apartment on Avenue Foch near the Champs-Elysees.

“We received 10 witness statements,” the head of Innocence en Danger, Homayra Sellier, told AFP, adding that they came from people saying they were either victims of abuse or witnessed it.

Those who said they were victims were not all French but the alleged violations “took place on French territory and probably at the hands of French people,” she said.

She said the organization’s lawyers would draw up legal complaints based on these statements and pass them on to both Paris prosecutors and the American legal authorities.

jeffrey epstein gurney cropped emergency room

Financier, sex trafficker and suspected intelligence operative Jeffrey Epstein is shown on a gurney at a hospital emergency room in a New York Post photo.

washington post logoWashington Post, At least eight jail officials knew Jeffrey Epstein was not to be left alone in cell, Devlin Barrett, Aug. 22, 2019 (print ed.). That so many prison officials were aware of the directive has alarmed investigators assessing what appears to be a stunning failure to follow instructions, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aug. 21

Why No Epstein Probe?

jacob hornberger newFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Why No Congressional Investigation into Epstein’s Intelligence Connections? Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Aug. 21, 2019. With convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein now dead, the Justice Department has launched an investigation into prison procedures that allowed him to commit suicide. Meanwhile, women who were sexually abused or raped by Epstein when they were minors are continuing civil actions against Epstein’s estate.

But why no congressional investigation into Epstein’s relationship, if any, to intelligence agencies, including the CIA, the Mossad, or any others? Have we gotten to the point where everyone is so scared to be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” that Congress is precluded from conducting a legitimate investigation into the CIA or other intelligence agencies?

Such an investigation would not come out of the blue. It would revolve around the undeniably sweetheart deal that the U.S. Attorney in Florida, Alexander Acosta, gave to Epstein and the reasons that he gave that sweetheart deal to him.

Jeffrey Epstein Harvard University The plea deal enabled Epstein, right, to escape federal charges for sex trafficking and allowed him to plead guilty at the state level to the much lesser crime of soliciting prostitution, which enabled him to serve one year in a local jail, sort of. During that year, officials permitted him to leave the jailhouse on a daily basis to attend to business matters, after which he would return to spend the night in jail.

It would be extremely difficult to find a more sweetheart deal than that. But the question is, Why? We all know how tough federal prosecutors can be. We also know that sex trafficking is not something that is ordinarily countenanced at the federal level, especially when it involves underaged girls.

So, why did Acosta do it? Why did he agree to that sweetheart deal rather than prosecute Epstein in federal court for sex trafficking?

That’s what a congressional investigation would be intended to determine. And Acosta’s sworn testimony could well lead to an answer to that question.

An article that appeared in the August 19, 2019, issue of the Daily Beast by an investigative reporter named Vicky Ward points out the reason why such a congressional investigation would be warranted:

Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, left, 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.

alexander acosta labor oIs 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.)

Okay, all that is hearsay. Nonetheless, it clearly provides the basis for a congressional investigation.

All that a congressional committee has to do is subpoena Acosta and ask he if actually made that statement. If he acknowledges that he did, then he can be asked who said it to him and whether that was what motivated him to give Epstein the sweetheart deal.

Then, a subpoena could issue to the person who made that statement to Epstein. When that person arrives to testify, he could be asked about the source of his information. The investigation could then proceed accordingly.

Moreover, the director of the CIA could be summoned to testify as to whether Epstein was a CIA asset, operative, or agent. If Epstein did fall into one of those categories, it is certainly possible that the CIA director would lie about it, just as CIA Director Richard Helms lied to Congress back in the 1970s when he was asked about CIA involvement in Chilean regime-change operations. Nonetheless, he would at least know that he would be subject to a perjury indictment if it were later discovered that he had lied about Epstein’s involvement in the CIA.

Moreover, the CIA could be subpoenaed to produce all of its files and records relating to Epstein, which might indicate Epstein’s possible involvement with foreign intelligence agencies, such as the Mossad.

cia logoWhy would the CIA, Mossad, or other intelligence agency have been involved with Epstein and why would an intelligence agency have gone to bat for him in a federal criminal prosecution for sex trafficking? That’s something an investigation would be intended to answer.

Of course, the press could continue investigating whether Acosta actually did make that statement and, if so, whether it was true. But the ability of the press to get to the truth is limited given its inability to force people to testify under oath and then have them prosecuted for perjury if they lie. A congressional committee could both subpoena people to testify under oath and have them indicted for perjury if they lie.

Given the possibility of corruption in the federal judiciary at the hands of the CIA or other intelligence agency, the American people are entitled to such an investigation. If sex offenders are being accorded favorable treatment in the federal criminal justice system simply because they happen to work for the CIA or some other intelligence agency, then what does that say for the entire federal criminal justice system?

If Epstein did have a relationship with the CIA or other intelligence agency, then, unfortunately, there are only two chances that Congress would initiate an investigation into the matter: slim and none. That’s because an intelligence agency that is powerful enough to corrupt the judicial branch of the federal government is sufficiently powerful to do the same to the legislative branch.

Far from being the work of a single intelligence agency or a single country, the power structure revealed by this network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that transcends nationality and is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control. Existing for decades and willing to use any means necessary to cover its tracks, this criminal racket has become so integrated into the levers of power, in the United States and well beyond, that it is truly too big to fail.

phil mikan with micWMRD 1420 AM / WLIS 1150 AM (Middletown and Old Saybrook, Connecticut), JIP Director Andrew Kreig interviewed on the Phil Mikan Show, Aug. 21, 2019 (56 min.). Phil Mikan, right, a longtime broadcaster, interviews the Justice Integrity Project's editor on his latest reporting about the late pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's death and other complex national news developments.

Aug. 20

Associated Press, Mormon local leader charged in dressing room camera incident, Travis Loller, Aug. 20, 2019. A Utah man who serves as a local leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is accused of illegally photographing a woman in Tennessee in a mall dressing room.

Aug. 19

Epstein's Wall Street Enabling Culture

Wall Street On Parade, Jeffrey Epstein Learned His Sexual Depravity from Wall Street; Then Took It to the Next Level, Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Aug. 19, 2019. From 1976 to 1981, Jeffrey Epstein worked for the Wall Street investment bank, Bear Stearns.

Bear Stearns collapsed in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis and was purchased by JPMorgan Chase. One of the last acts of Bear Stearns’ CEO, Jimmy Cayne, was to make a $2 million payment to a woman who charged that the legendary Chairman of Bear Stearns, Ace Greenberg, had engaged in “inappropriate touching.” The young woman was said to have had a witness to her charges.

In a 2017 report by the New York Times, a former Managing Director of Bear Stearns, Maureen Sherry, reported that “…it was mostly the same men who preyed on young women.” In a 2016 report by Maureen Callahan at the New York Post, a former Bear Stearns’ employee reports that men at Bear Stearns were “getting bl*w jobs in front of staff – that happened all the time.” Claims that men at Bear were demanding sexual favors from female colleagues and getting away with it date all the way back to the 1980s.

As more allegations emerge daily into the sexual assault horrors of Jeffrey Epstein and his band of enablers, a profile is emerging that bears a striking resemblance to how Wall Street has allowed its highest-producing brokers to behave toward vulnerable young female employees for decades. In both situations, there are the enablers; in both situations there is a failed justice system and powerful lawyers cutting deals; in both situations there are hundreds of different females asserting the same type of claims over a long period of time with no governmental authority stopping the abuse; and in both situations, powerful men who were an important cog in Wall Street’s insatiable quest for profits were allowed to walk away from a multitude of credible sexual assault allegations.

Jeffrey Epstein’s major divergence from the sexual assaults by Wall Street brokers’ is that he preyed on underage girls. It is notable, however, that many Wall Street firms hire young women just out of high school to be “trained” to work in their branch offices. The sexual grooming is not as overt as in the Jeffrey Epstein cases, where the young girls were hired to give a massage and then told, over time, the massage had to be administered by them naked; and then, after more time, upped to a full-scale sexual assault. But young women in these Wall Street offices are sent a clear message by their Human Resources departments that they need to “get along” with those big producing brokers who generate outsized profits for the firm.

Walk into any of the Wall Street retail brokerage offices that dot the landscape in every major town and city across America and you will see glass-windowed offices filled with white male brokers and pretty, young female sales assistants (a/k/a client service associates) sitting in a low-wage, subservient position at a desk directly outside that office.

Subservience to that broker is ingrained in the following ways: the sales assistant’s performance is officially evaluated by that broker and becomes a written, permanent part of her employment file; the broker, if he is a big producer for the firm, can have the sales assistant fired over any flimsy, trumped-up claim; and, importantly, most Wall Street firms pay these women low wages, leaving it to the broker they work for to give the woman a percentage of his commissions if he finds her “performance” to be to his liking.

All that Wall Street would have to do to alter these sexual and power dynamics is to pay these women a good salary and take the broker’s additional compensation out of the equation. The fact that Wall Street doesn’t alter this dynamic suggests that the industry likes its hunting band to hone their skills on the vulnerable prey in the office as a form of target practice.

Just as Epstein was able to keep his abuse hidden for decades by employing a roster of expensive lawyers who knew how to work the system, Wall Street has all of the largest law firms in America at its beck and call. These law firms have systematically convinced the U.S. Supreme Court and Appellate Courts around the country that Wall Street should be allowed to run its own private justice system; that it should be allowed to make its employees sign a waiver giving up their rights to access the nation’s courts and use Wall Street’s rigged kangaroo court system instead.

Most Americans would agree that Wall Street is the most corrupt industry in America. And yet, the most corrupt industry is the only industry that universally requires both employees and customers to waive their rights to use the nation’s courts to settle claims and, instead, must use the Wall Street-created mandatory arbitration system which has none of the procedural protections of a court of law.

Editor’s Note: The excerpt above is from a much longer article. Pam Martens, the co-author of the above article and Editor of Wall Street On Parade, worked for two major Wall Street firms for 21 years. During that time, from 1996 through 2001, Martens challenged Wall Street’s mandatory arbitration system and the sexual assaults and sexual harassment of women facilitated under that system in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in a case titled "Martens v Smith Barney," in which she originally served as lead plaintiff.

The settlement fashioned by plaintiffs’ attorneys and Paul Weiss was deemed so conflicted by Martens that she withdrew from the settlement and never profited from the settlement or any subsequent payment from the parties. Her original co-plaintiff, Judy Mione, joined her in withdrawing from the settlement for the same reasons. Martens also appeared in the ABC 20/20 program referenced above.

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

FBI Reveals UK Elite Deviance

The Sun, Lord Mountbatten's 'lust for young boys' exposed in FBI files, Tom Parry, Aug. 18, 2019. The decorated war hero was under US surveillance for more than three decades. Lord Mountbatten (right, a onetime chief of NATO shown in a 1976 before his 1979 death from an IRA bomb) was “a homosexual with a perversion for young boys,” according to newly released FBI files.

lord louis mountbatten 1976 photo by allan warren via wThe valued mentor to great-nephew Prince Charles (and was said to have counselled him on his love life) was under US surveillance for more than three decades. And one source described the Earl and wife Edwina as “persons of extremely low morals” – with him being “an unfit man to direct any sort of military operations” because of his sexual tastes.

The files emerged after historian Andrew Lownie used freedom of information laws while researching his new book about the couple, The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves.

It follows years of speculation over the private life of Mountbatten, who once said he and Edwina “spent all our married lives getting into other people’s beds”.

In Mr Lownie’s book, Ron Perks, who was the Earl’s driver in Malta in 1948, breaks his silence to claim one of his favourite places was the Red House near Rabat, “an upmarket gay brothel used by naval officers”.

And Anthony Daly, a rent boy to the rich and famous in the 1970s, claims he was told “Mountbatten had something of a fetish for uniforms — handsome young men in ­military uniforms and beautiful boys in school uniform”.

The first FBI files on the Earl date to February 1944 – soon after he was made supreme allied commander in south-east Asia during the Second World War.

After the war, he was the last viceroy of India, then chief of defence until 1965. He was killed in an IRA bomb attack in 1979.

Homosexual acts were banned here until 1967 and it is believed many FBI memos on Mountbatten’s sexuality have been edited or destroyed.

But one file references a 1944 interview with Elizabeth de la Poer Beresford, Baroness Decies. The memo says: “She states that in these circles Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife are considered persons of extremely low morals. “She stated Lord Louis Mountbatten was known to be a homosexual with a perversion for young boys. In Lady Decies’ opinion he is an unfit man to direct any sort of military operations because of this condition. She stated further his wife was considered equally erratic.”

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.

Counter-Punch, Investigative Commentary: La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, Jennifer Matsui, Aug. 16, 2019. Media tycoon and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell (father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s partner in crime) was given a state funeral in Jerusalem after *accidentally* falling off his yacht – the unluckily named “Lady Ghislaine”. Later it was revealed Maxwell Sr was a Mossad asset who used his vast network of connections and publishing platforms to run editorial interference over his purchased assets to influence enemies and friends alike, ensuring their fealty to the foreign government that had enlisted him for its espionage work.

His tabloid empire was the piss-colored propaganda organ of the interests he served, overseeing its rapid growth and tentacled reach across the globe. More ominously, he was behind the spy agency’s successful attempt to install a trapdoor in software intended for government use, allowing the Israelis a direct pipeline into a vast network of computers installed with undectable malware.

At the time of his death, the disgraced magnate was under investigation for raiding his companies’ pension funds to cover the losses incurred from his multiple and reckless takeovers, and finance a luxury lifestyle he enjoyed sharing with high-profile pals like Henry Kissinger and Barbara Walters. Curiously, many of these fossilized specimens from Robert Maxwell’s roster of friends from the Reagan era would circle around Epstein, most notably Donald Trump whose Mar-a-Lago resort would later become a recruiting center for employer Epstein’s underage “massage therapists”.

Fast forward a couple of decades since the days a casino mogul was gobbling down canapés with the old guard denizens of the ‘swamp.’ Notice a similar, if not identical MO in both Maxwell and Epstein’s role in procuring technology for the Israelis, who in turn sold it with undisclosed add-ons, providing an open window into its users’ databases.

Like his predecessor, Epstein had a financial stake in a startup (headed by former Israeli Defense Minister and later Prime Minister Ehud Barak) connected to Israel’s defense industry that provides infrastructure for emergency services as a call handling platform. Considering the company’s connection to military intelligence, it wouldn’t be a stretch to speculate on some of this software’s other ‘special’ features. A variation of the early technology that Maxwell was able to procure for his Israeli bosses was later sold to the Saudis, who leveraged its sophisticated tracking features to assassinate Jamal Khashoggi.

Epstein, like Maxwell, was laying the groundwork for Israeli espionage activities through his interests in companies with a political agenda concealed in products intended for international export. If true, the playboy philanthropist feted and flattered his high profile friends to ensnare them as complicit partners in what amounts to the legal definition of treason. Epstein’s covert activities have undiminished real world consequences for anyone on Israel’s international radar, especially those challenging the status quo policies in place that prioritize “The Jewish State’s” political and financial objectives over actual justice and global stability.

If you have ever asked yourself why Israel’s war crimes and settlement expansion go unchallenged by US lawmakers, consider the career destroying consequences contained within those dossiers compiled by the braintrust behind Epstein’s ’suicide.’ “We’ll trade you one US Embassy in Jerusalem for 10 minutes of hidden camera footage of you . . . let’s say ‘enjoying’ a rolled up Forbes magazine.”

Were the surveillance apparatuses installed throughout Epstein’s properties merely a voyeur’s tools, or did he use them to leverage the moral failings of his former friends for purposes that might have risked exposure of more than the nether regions of wealthy pedo-punters? Considering his connections to Israeli defense industries and his own Achilles penis that required, by his own admission, “three orgasms a day,” the answer points to an unslakable addiction that dovetailed conveniently with his state-sponsored sex crimes.

Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo and a columnist for the print edition of CounterPunch magazine.

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.”

 ghislaine maxwell new york post aug 2019 in and out burger la2

New York Post, Jeffrey Epstein’s gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell spotted at In-N-Out Burger in first photos since his death, Sara Nathan and Mara Siegler, Aug. 15, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein’s former gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell isn’t holed up in her British manor or summering on the Massachusetts coast. The Post found the socialite hiding in plain sight in the least likely place imaginable — a fast-food joint in Los Angeles.

Maxwell, 57, the alleged madam to the multimillionaire pedophile, was scarfing down a burger, fries and shake al fresco at an In-N-Out Burger on Monday while reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives, a nonfiction best-seller by journalist Ted Gup.

ghislaine maxwell new york post CustomSitting alone with a pet pooch, she was surprised to have been found and told an onlooker, “Well, I guess this is the last time I’ll be eating here!”

Maxwell, accused in court papers of providing sex slaves for Epstein and engaging in threesomes with the financier and underage girls, had not been photographed in public since 2016.

The daughter of the late disgraced publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell has not been charged with any crimes but could find herself in the feds’ cross hairs following Epstein’s apparent jailhouse suicide Saturday.

Attorney General William Barr declared on Monday, “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy.”

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.

'Conspiracy Theory' As Cover-Up Tool

Off-Guardian, Media Criticism: Guardian Attacks Epstein “Conspiracy Theories,” Kit Knightly, Aug. 14, 2019. The mainstream narrative is shaping up – a story of suicide, neglect and tragic victims.  In two different opinion pieces The Guardian has made its position on the alleged death of Jeffrey Epstein clear – he “probably” committed suicide.

The first, titled "Epstein conspiracy theories are farfetched – but can you blame people?," takes the position that although “conspiracy theories” about Epstein’s apparent suicide are “understandable,” there’s no evidence to support them. Rather, the author endorses the slowly coalescing official narrative. Namely that of complete, systemic incompetence: "The official explanation for Epstein’s death comes down to rank incompetence. And it’s probably true."

A short-sighted attitude to take, which totally ignores a cardinal rule when dealing with state agencies: They will only admit to incompetence if the truth is worse.

The author also attempts to undermine the “conspiracy theories” by pointing out that Epstein was a potential threat to important figures on both sides of the political divide: "Online, conspiracy theories now abound. Observers suggest Epstein was killed by one of the men who may have been implicated in his crimes – maybe Bill Clinton, according to the fringe right, or maybe Donald Trump, according to the fringe left."

An argument rather akin to saying, “He can’t possibly have been murdered, because there were too many people who wanted him dead. There are SO MANY plausible suspects, that the only reasonable explanation is that…none of them did it."

(Also, note the word “fringe,” a manipulative use of language designed to discredit an idea without engaging with it rationally). However, this article – although laced through with traditional mainstream rhetoric about “conspiracy theories” – at least leaves them room to exist.

The Guardian’s other Epstein piece is rather less understanding: "Epstein’s death is a victory for misogyny: it denies accusers the justice they deserve" blares the headline (further evidence that very few people at the Guardian seem to know what “misogyny” really means), before continuing by taking aim at conspiracy theories several times in the text.

Firstly, in an almost word-for-word quote from the previous column: "Commentators on the right speculated that he had been murdered by powerful liberals; those on the left speculated that he had been murdered by powerful conservatives. These theories were not responses to evidence, of which there is little."

And then later claiming conspiracy theories not only “factually wrong” (something no one can know at this stage): The speculations may well be factually wrong – criminal justice experts have pointed out that inmate suicides are common, and that those detained in federal jails often face startling neglect" – but also attempting to 'Mrs Lovejoy' the public by claiming “conspiracy theories” are actually harmful: "The positing of these conspiracy theories is unhelpful, distracting from the important injustice that has been done to Epstein’s victims."

Declaring seeking the truth to be somehow unfair to the victims is a classic trope, deployed most famously against 9/11 Truthers, but common after many such incidents.

There’s also this sentence: "The conspiracy theorists also risk undermining efforts to bring Epstein’s co-conspirators to account. Their suggestions that the financier was killed to cover up the rapes and assaults of powerful men who would rather he be shut up could lend suspicion to anyone pointing out the breadth of his alleged pedophilia ring, giving those who want continued investigations of men such as Dershowitz, Pritzker and Dubin the aura of a maniac in a tinfoil hat."

Which, I’ll be honest, I simply don’t understand. "I think she’s arguing that “conspiracy theorists” talking about “conspiracy theories” might discredit the very real possibility there was an actual conspiracy.

If that’s what she means – because I honestly do not understand the words – well, that’s obviously just crazy. You can’t argue we shouldn’t talk about conspiracy theories, just in case there’s a conspiracy fact.

That’s the attitude of a person so brainwashed by the idea that “conspiracy theorist = crazy person” that they can no longer think in a straight line. Total cognitive dissonance.

The articles are different in tone, but they are united in purpose, and they each hit the same three key points:

  • Epstein “probably” killed himself. After all, inmates commit suicide all the time.
  • Conspiracy theories might look reasonable, but they are factually incorrect and morally harmful.
  • The real tragedy here is the poor victims who will go unavenged. We should all focus on that, not investigating the potential murder.

All this serves to demonstrate – for about the millionth time – the entire purpose of outrage culture and identity politics.

This is fear of being offensive used to control a conversation and dictate narrative: Don’t talk about Epstein being murdered, don’t even think about it. If you do, you’re a misogynist.

Aug. 13

Trump & 'Making of a Predator'

barry levine cropped michael goldblumNew York Post, Ex-National Enquirer editor’s new Trump book: ‘The Making of a Predator,’ Oli Coleman, Aug. 13, 2019. It seems that the former National Enquirer editor who’s writing a book about Donald Trump’s relationships with women is not messing around. Page Six reported back in November that the tabloid’s onetime executive editor Barry Levine, right, had signed a barry levine monique el faizy djt cover croppeddeal with Hachette for the tome, but it was unclear what angle he was taking on the subject.

Now that the title has been released — All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator — it seems that Levine’s going after the prez pretty hard.

The book is co-authored by Monique El-Faizy and described as “an extensive new look at Donald Trump’s relationships with women, revealing new accusations of sexual misconduct [and] exploring the roots of his alleged predatory behavior.” It’s said to be based on “groundbreaking original reporting.”

Adding to the intrigue, Levine was near the top of the Enquirer masthead during the years that its then-chairman, David Pecker, was making negative stories about Trump disappear:"Pecker would buy up information from those involved, never intending to publish the stories, in the now-infamous tactic known as “catch and kill.”
Levine’s book is out Oct. 22.

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 (shown with Epstein in a Getty photo) is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in ghislaine maxwell jeffrey epstein getty Custommysterious 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 Post, Meet Jeffrey Epstein’s gang of accused slave ‘recruiters,’ Isabel Vincent, Aug. 10, 2019. Jeffrey Epstein maintained his financial empire — and his perverted sideline of preying on underage girls for sex — with the aid of an army of alleged enablers, many of whom he kept in one Upper East Side building and lavished with perks.

The convicted pedophile, 66, who died Saturday of an apparent suicide after being found unresponsive in his Manhattan prison cell, frequently took his assistants shopping to designer boutiques in Paris on his private jet.

He paid for unlimited salon services at tony Frederic Fekkai in Manhattan and gourmet take-out meals from Le Cirque.

One assistant received a Mercedes and a nanny for her newborn to make her commute easier.

A battalion of lawyers, pilots and models who worked for Epstein stayed at a doorman highrise in Manhattan — the epicenter of the Epstein empire — in apartments controlled by him and his real estate investor brother Mark, public records show.

Many of the units at 301 East 66th St. were owned by a New York shell company registered in Columbus, Ohio, the home base of Victoria’s Secret owner and Epstein’s billionaire benefactor Leslie Wexner, according to records.

The white-brick post-war building was also the gilded cage where the billionaire trapped and preyed on many of his under-aged victims — sometimes with the aid of his army of enablers.

Girls recruited as models from around the world were brought to the US and the building by MC2, a modeling company run by Epstein pal Jean-Luc Brunel. The company was financed by Epstein beginning in 2003, court papers show.

The girls passed through various apartments in the building where assistants arranged for their work visas, booked travel and modeling jobs. Some were also dispatched for other duties to Epstein’s nearby mansion on East 71st Street, court papers say.

Epstein “was the one who said who stays in what apartment,” said Maritza Vasquez, who worked as a bookkeeper for MC2, in a 2010 deposition made public last month.

“Epstein and Brunel would then obtain a visa for these girls, then would charge the underage girls rent,” court documents say.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001According to a cache of more than 2,000 documents unsealed Friday in a defamation case (by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, at center in photo) against British socialite and former Epstein gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell (at right in photo), Brunel had more than catwalk appearances planned for some of the girls. He offered up girls as young as 16 for “massages” with Epstein that often wound up as sexual-abuse sessions, according to documents filed in the lawsuit.

In 2005, Brunel called Epstein and left a message that “he is sending him a 16-year-old Russian girl for purposes of sex,” the court papers say.

The message, filed as an exhibit in the case, was written on an office message pad, partly in code, and read: “He [Brunel] has a teacher for you to teach you how to speak Russian. She is 2×8 years old not blonde. Lessons are free and you can have your 1st today if you call.”

Another message from Brunel to Epstein discusses how he had sex with an 18-year-old who had also been with Epstein. “He just did a good one – 18 years – she spoke to me and said ‘I love Jeffrey,’” according to court papers.

Juan Alessi, a former house manager for Epstein, told the court that over a 10-year period, Maxwell brought more than 100 young women that she called “massage therapists” to Epstein’s home. He said that when he cleaned up after them

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.

Virginia 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.

Sex Trafficking FBI Raid

Las Vegas Review-Journal, FBI rescues 14 minors in Las Vegas sex trafficking sweep, Rio Lacanlale, Aug. 7, 2019. The FBI recently rescued 14 child sex trafficking victims and arrested 33 suspected traffickers in Las Vegas, the highest total in the U.S. during a nationwide sweep in July known as Operation Independence Day.

During the monthlong effort, 161 FBI-led operations were conducted around the country and in U.S. territories, including Guam, with the help of state and local law enforcement agencies, according to the bureau. In all, 103 minors were identified or rescued, and 67 suspected traffickers were taken into custody, prompting 60 new federal investigations.

The local victims were between 14 and 17 years old, while all the suspected traffickers were adults, said Las Vegas FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault.

Those figures, announced by the agency on Tuesday, put Las Vegas at the top of a list of 33 cities in which juvenile victims were given help and counseling. Dallas came next with 13 victims, followed by Detroit’s nine. Seattle and Atlanta each had six rescues.

“The FBI is fiercely focused on recovering child victims and arresting the sex traffickers who exploit them,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “Through operations like this, the FBI helps child victims escape the abusive life of sex trafficking.”

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

The 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 jeffrey epstein alan dershowitzGeneral 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.”)

Unz Review, American Pravda: John McCain, Jeffrey Epstein, and Pizzagate, Ron Unz, July 29, 2019 (6,000 words, excerpted below).  Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings. The death of Sen. John McCain last August revealed some important truths about the nature of our establishment media.

On the face of it, such undiluted political love for McCain might seem a bit odd to those who have followed his activities over the last couple of decades....Even more remarkable were the discordant facts airbrushed out of McCain’s history.

At the beginning of December, a right-wing blogger produced a lengthy exposition of the Pizzagate charges, which finally gave me some understanding of what was actually under discussion, and I soon made arrangements to republish his article.

Over the years, it became increasingly obvious to me that nearly all elements of our national media were often quite willing to enlist in a “conspiracy of silence” to minimize or entirely ignore stories of tremendous potential interest to their readership and major public importance. I could easily have doubled or tripled the number of such notable examples I provided above without much effort. Moreover, it is quite intriguing that so many of these cases involve the sort of criminal or sexual misbehavior that would be ideally suited for blackmailing powerful individuals who are less likely to be vulnerable to other influences. So perhaps many of the elected officials situated at the top of our democratic system merely reign as political puppets, dancing to invisible strings.

Given my awareness of this remarkable track-record of major media cover-ups, I’m ashamed to admit that I had paid almost no attention to the Jeffrey Epstein case until it exploded across our national headlines earlier this month, suddenly becoming one of the biggest news stories in our country.

For many years, reports about Epstein and his illegal sex-ring had regularly circulated on the fringes of the Internet, with agitated commenters citing the case as proof of the dark and malevolent forces that secretly controlled our corrupted political system. But I almost entirely ignored these discussions, and I’m not sure that I ever once clicked on a single link.

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

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announces the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein in July.

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announces the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein in July.

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.

Judge 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.”

jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019Judge 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.

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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.

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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.”

alexander acosta o cropped Custom

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.

william barr djt swearing in feb 14 2019 wh tia dufour

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.’’