Following his arrest on July 6 for charges relating to sex trafficking, billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was denied bail on July 15. Judge Richard Berman cited multiple concerns:
“Mr. Epstein’s alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls — which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day — appears likely to be uncontrollable.”
Epstein is currently appealing the bail denial decision.
Until his next hearing on July 31, the media’s focus on the case seems to have diverted to Epstein’s friends and associates in high places.
Gawker magazine published an address book of Epstein’s acquaintances in 2015 and many of the names in that “little black book” are shockingly well known. Below are four of the biggest political names circulating in connection to Epstein.
1. Bill Clinton
Though the former president issued a statement saying that he “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,” Epstein’s flight logs tell a different story. Former President Clinton supposedly flew on Epstein’s Boeing 727 (nicknamed the “Lolita Express”) a total of 26 times. This plane is the subject of much controversy. In addition to rumors claiming that its floors are padded, locals claim to have seen Epstein flying in and out of his private island with underage girls recently.
Furthermore, Virginia Roberts (one of the girls trafficked by Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein when she was 15) claims to have seen Clinton at Epstein’s island in her affidavit. And Maxwell is the social link who supposedly introduced the Clintons and Epstein.
2. Donald Trump
Because he is the current president and because he knew Epstein in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, Donald Trump’s connections to Epstein are coming under a very bright light. President Trump once called Epstein “a terrific guy” and even commented on Epstein’s preference for young women.
However, Trump says that he and Epstein had a falling out. As the New York Times reports, “Epstein at one point… blamed Trump for his legal problems with the Palm Beach County police.” Additionally, President Trump supposedly banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago after Epstein tried to recruit one of the workers. Virginia Roberts claims separately that she was recruited by Maxwell while she worked at Mar-a-Lago. (And Trump, like Clinton, met Epstein through Maxwell; Trump had been a friend of Maxwell’s father.)
It has not been reported that Trump visited Epstein’s island or ever flew on his jet. However, Roger Stone told the New York Times that Trump turned down many invites.
3. Prince Andrew
Jeffrey Epstein supposedly attended the Queen’s birthday party with Prince Andrew in 2000. Furthermore, Andrew was a friend of Maxwell’s (like Clinton and Trump).
Furthermore, and most condemningly, Virginia Roberts claims in her aforementioned affidavit that she was forced to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on three different occasions, after the first of which she was paid $15,000.
Buckingham Palace has consistently defended Prince Andrew: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
4. Alan Dershowitz
Like Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz is named in Virginia Roberts’ affidavit. Roberts claims that she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz at least a half dozen times, some of which occurred when she was underage. Like all of Epstein’s acquaintances, Dershowitz denies the accusations, The Hill reporting that Dershowitz claims he never saw Epstein with minor girls.
The accusations against Dershowitz are some of the most troubling since he was one of the lawyers who played an instrumental role in helping Epstein land his 2008 plea bargain. However, he holds no regrets, saying, “The job of a criminal defense attorney is to try to get the best possible deal.” Dershowitz also said that he was “shocked by the allegation, but as a criminal lawyer, being shocked by an allegation doesn’t mean that I won’t defend somebody.”
The scrutiny surrounding the 2008 plea deal caused former U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta to resign from his most recent position as U.S. Labor Secretary earlier this month.
[Image Credits: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0; Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0; State of Florida via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; Sage Ross – Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0]