A Reckoning Long Overdue
July 8, 2019 10:11 AM   Subscribe

In a surprise move by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) US Attorney's office and the FBI, financier and sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday on charges of sex trafficking, with his arraignment occurring this Monday morning. The SDNY has credited the reporting by the Miami Herald for pushing the case into the light and giving them the start to the indictment.

The indictment itself goes into further detail, not only discussing the details of Epstein's trafficking of underage girls, but also reporting on findings of pictures of his victims at his home in New York. Epstein has connections to a number of political and legal figures - most notably through a sweetheart deal worked out by then US Attorney (and current Secretary of Labor) Alex Acosta with Epstein's legal team, including Ken Starr (of Baylor sexual assault cover up infamy) and Alan Dershowitz (who has been accused of raping Epstein's victims as well).

Previously.
posted by NoxAeternum (463 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
In addition to the 14-page indictment of Jeffrey Epstein, posted above, there is a 10-page (single-spaced) bail memo from prosecutors to Judge Henry Pitman. It contains more details to support the case that Epstein should remain in jail because
[T]he Government has real concerns—grounded in past experience with this defendant—that if allowed to remain out on bail, the defendant could attempt to pressure and intimidate witnesses and potential witnesses in this case, including victims and their families, and otherwise attempt to obstruct justice. As a result, he poses both an acute danger to the community, including some of its most vulnerable members, and a significant risk of flight.
It also covers some of the double-jeopardy issues related to the 2007 non-prosecution agreement
In fall 2007, the defendant entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the SDFL in connection with the conduct at issue in that investigation, which the non-prosecution agreement identified as including investigations into the defendant’s abuse of minor girls in the Palm Beach area. The Southern District of New York was not a signatory to that agreement, and the defendant was never charged federally2.

2 While beyond the scope of a bail hearing, as discussed further below, it is well-established in the Second Circuit that absent an express provision to the contrary in the agreement, one District is not bound by the terms of an agreement entered into between a defendant and a U.S. Attorney’s Office in another district.
posted by pjenks at 10:16 AM on July 8 [11 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein Charged with Federal Sex Trafficking Crimes Involving Young Girls (WaPo) US vs Jeffrey Epstein Indictment (WaPo) Here's What We Know (Law & Crime) Everything We Know (New York magazine)

Previously:
How a Serial Sex Abuser Got an Extraordinary Deal (MeFi, November 2018)
Labor Nominee Cut Deal with Billionaire in Sex Abuse Case (WaPo, March 2017)
Doe Vs. Trump (CourtListener, November 2016)
I Tried to Warn You About Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 (Vicky Ward for the Daily Beast, January 2015)
Third Alleged Victim Files Lawsuit Against Jeffrey Epstein (Palm Beach Post, March 2008)
Jane Doe v. Jeffrey Epstein (FindLaw, February 2008)
Questions of Preferential Treatment Are Raised in Florida Sex Case (NYT, September 2006)
The Talented Mr. Epstein (Vicky Ward for Vanity Fair, 2003)
Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery (New York, 2002)
posted by box at 10:19 AM on July 8 [22 favorites]


Julie K. Brown better win some Pulitzer Prizes.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:25 AM on July 8 [68 favorites]


Author Summer Brennan on Twitter over the weekend:

I’ve followed this story and individual for a long time. It needs to be understood that this is about much more than the actions of individual men, but a *system* of powerful men using underage girls as luxury goods to offer, trade, etc. There is a world in which this is the norm. A class of (mostly) uber-powerful men who think the rules do not apply to them. One of them is in the White House.

In the early 2000s, Epstein made a point of befriending prominent or upcoming scientists, journalists, famous actors, and politicians, most of whom were likely never shown this side of things, especially if they were women. Young women who *were* shown this secret world of exploitative male power, often victimized themselves, were given the impression that this was just the way things were and they had no power to change it. But it shouldn’t be that way.

Meanwhile Prince Andrew, one of the most prominent people directly implicated in all of this, walks around virtually unscathed.

So I do hope coverage of this story does not cop out and make it about the actions of a sick individual, but instead accurately depicts Epstein as what he was/is: a power broker in a world where this sort of behavior is the price of entry.

posted by allkindsoftime at 10:27 AM on July 8 [61 favorites]


Julie K. Brown better win some Pulitzer Prizes.

Part of why she hasn't is because of campaigning by Dershowitz.

It's long past time that the Dershbag stopped with the pearl clutching and started coming clean.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:29 AM on July 8 [16 favorites]


NY Times: Why the Trump White House Is Caught Up in the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

Bloomberg: Epstein Arrest Is a Worry for Donald Trump Of note: During the 2016 presidential campaign, an unidentified young woman filed a suit against Trump in which she alleged that he raped her when she was 13 at a party at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in Manhattan. Trump denied the claims and the woman later dropped the suit because, her lawyer said, she was intimidated by death threats. The Trump camp described her allegations as “untrue.”

The Guardian: Jeffrey Epstein sexual abuse case could push powerful friends into spotlight (includes photo of Trump and Epstein, lest you hear cries of "fake news")

NY Mag: Of note: If Trump or His Administration Wanted to Interfere in the Case, Could They? Yes. Attorney General William Barr could legally do so and has repeatedly shown a willingness to put loyalty to Trump above all else — though he did tell Congress he might recuse himself from Epstein-related cases since he worked for one of the firms behind Epstein’s controversial plea deal.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:30 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


The immediate pushback from the Right is "BILL CLINTON WENT TO HIS PRIVATE ISLAND!!!" The best comment on that I've seen so far:
Republicans who assume liberals will try to protect an accused pedophile just bc he’s on their side politically are really telling on themselves
posted by Etrigan at 10:30 AM on July 8 [92 favorites]




Mark my fucking words: the Trump camp was actively pushing the Russia investigation story-line in hopes of drawing attention away from Trump's involvement with Esptein. His sweetheart deal included immunity for any "unnamed co-conspirators."
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:31 AM on July 8 [10 favorites]


Trump in 2002 to New York: “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."

Jesus.
posted by AgentRocket at 10:35 AM on July 8 [38 favorites]


Here's one I hadn't heard before.

Draft Washington Post Column Claimed Trump Said He Was "Sexually Attracted" To His Teenage Daughter
The line appeared in a draft of Richard Cohen's syndicated column, but vanished prior to publication.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that President-elect Donald Trump once asked, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” — but the quote was quietly removed before the syndicated column was published Tuesday.
Trump was reportedly referring to his daughter, Ivanka, who was 13 years old at the time.
The quote was circulated Monday in a draft of Cohen's piece “Our Next President, The Godfather" that was sent to outlets that syndicate the column, a source told BuzzFeed News. The quote did not appear in the later, final version of the piece carried by the Post and other outlets.
posted by scalefree at 10:36 AM on July 8 [17 favorites]


like so many, many things these days:

heads. spikes. walls.
posted by lalochezia at 10:37 AM on July 8 [31 favorites]


Was really shocked to see this, and since this is the darkest timeline, I fully expect Epstein to weasel hisself out of this one as well. No idea what went down in Miami-Dade for him to get such leniency 10 years ago but I would not be surprised if Epstein has an extensive blackmail file on some powerful people, some of who may or may not be current and former presidents.
posted by dis_integration at 10:37 AM on July 8 [12 favorites]


My husband predicts he will be killed in jail before being allowed to testify. Otherwise, I'm in the "heads, spikes, walls" camp.
posted by corvikate at 10:43 AM on July 8 [13 favorites]


No idea what went down in Miami-Dade for him to get such leniency 10 years ago

Simple - you had a young, hungry US Attorney (Acosta) who got told by power brokers (Starr, Dershowitz, Barr) that if he made this "go away", it would benefit him in the long run.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:43 AM on July 8 [34 favorites]


I almost feel like this is being given a public reckoning just so he can be publicly pardoned as a show of power.

I hate everything.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:44 AM on July 8 [11 favorites]


I'm gonna guess no-one is pardoning a nonce for show. It's just bad optics.
posted by howfar at 10:45 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


It's not the first time a major publication spiked an Epstein news story, that's for sure. Here's author Vicky Ward:
In 2002, I was assigned to write a profile of Jeffrey Epstein for Vanity Fair. This was that piece. But what was published was far from the whole story. I uncovered many concrete, irrefutable examples of strange business practices and it soon became quite clear: Jeffrey Epstein was most certainly not who and what he claimed to be.

I was a little mystified at how benignly he responded to my questions about his suspicious business activities. The thing I noticed was that he was *much* more focused on another topic: He would ask me again and again, “What do you have on the girls?” I did indeed have something “on the girls”—three remarkably brave first-person accounts from a mother and her two daughters about how Epstein had tried to seduce both daughters, the younger sister then only 16.

After I filed the piece, I was told that Graydon Carter was cutting the testimony of Maria Farmer, her mother, and her sister from the piece, erasing all mention of these brave women who had come forward with their stories of abuse. I confronted Graydon, asking why he was doing something that seemed so clear to me to be so wrong.

“He’s sensitive about the young women” was his answer.

I have thought often about the fact that if my piece had been published in full—with the names and stories of these women—the FBI may have come after Epstein sooner and perhaps some of his victims would have been saved. The thing about Jeffrey Epstein is that people KNEW this. See Trump’s comment back in 2002 about Epstein liking “beautiful women…many of them on the younger side.” From Page Six in March 2016: “When the Russian girls arrive in the city, they already have Jeffrey’s phone number.”

For years, Jeffrey Epstein operated in plain sight. He was untouchable. His money and connections bought him the ability to evade justice. Jeffrey Epstein’s friendships are not insignificant. They are a BIG part of this story. He has been insulated by those he could be capable of taking down. Epstein is connected to Bill Barr. Epstein is connected to Trump Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

I urge you to [go] back and read @jkbjournalist’s 3-part series “Perversion of Justice” that started all of this. It is a stunning expose on this egregious miscarriage of justice. If you thought #MeToo was powerful, just wait for the fallout from this. There is more yet to come. I promise you that. I tried to expose Jeffrey Epstein for what he is and I was silenced. Everyone who knew about Epstein was—silenced by people with more money and power and influence. Now that silence is over. It’s time for the truth to see the light. There are some injustices that maybe only time can right. And that time has now arrived.
And these, of course, are just the ones we know about.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:46 AM on July 8 [80 favorites]


If you think Epstein will rat on any of the powerful monsters he's enabled, realize that he's choosing between 6 months tops playing tennis in rich white prison and being murdered in a dozen ways from a dozen directions at once.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:48 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]


One of the hanging questions from the indictment -- something Berman wouldn't discuss in the press conference -- is whether any or all of the "Employees" are cooperating witnesses. Their participation is what underpins the conspiracy charges (and gives SDNY regional jurisdiction over their criminal actions). Ghislaine Maxwell is the most notorious associate, but there are others who fit the description based on earlier affidavits.
posted by holgate at 10:49 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I weep. Just weep at this world.
posted by kanata at 10:51 AM on July 8 [11 favorites]


like poffin boffin, I will vote for anyone who promises to hunt down each and every person who participated in this or enabled it in any way, shape, or form.

like that can be their sole platform plank, and I will be very tempted.

I would vote for one of the fucking Furies at this point.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:51 AM on July 8 [51 favorites]




If you think Epstein will rat on any of the powerful monsters he's enabled

these people didn't bother to hide what they were doing because they thought they never thought they'd ever even be investigated. there are likely countless support staff and service workers, not to mention the actual victims, who can testify to who did what.

and when you have a complex web, there is a weakest link. if SDNY can keep up the pressure...well.

I don't know if Tish James as AG of NYS can pick up the slack if the federal investigation gets scuttled, but there are a lot of voters who want to see them all burn, and that would be a hell of a way to make your name.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:55 AM on July 8 [15 favorites]


"A nation of laws, not of men".

The first part isn't true, at least on a timescale that is relevant to justice.

Perhaps it's time just to take the second clause as the goal.
posted by lalochezia at 10:56 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


i want a nation of TEETH
posted by poffin boffin at 10:57 AM on July 8 [105 favorites]


Epstein may not rat on others, but the SDNY apparently seized thousands of pictures and other media that they are still reviewing. (Worst. Job. Ever.) There's a good chance of evidence implicating others.

I hope they chase down every single last lead.
posted by mrgoat at 11:00 AM on July 8 [39 favorites]


I'm still waiting for someone to unravel where the hell his money comes from.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:03 AM on July 8 [21 favorites]


I'm still waiting for someone to unravel where the hell his money comes from.

Doesn't part of it come from this trafficking?

I hate how pizzagate it sounds, I hate thinking "like pizzagate, but real!"
posted by armacy at 11:06 AM on July 8 [14 favorites]


Epstein has a very punchable face.
posted by doctornemo at 11:07 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


I'm still waiting for someone to unravel where the hell his money comes from.

He was at Bear Stearns for 6 years before he started his own investment firm. He ratted on other Bear Stearns guys and that testimony was part of his cushy plea deal.

But, you know, Fox Business would have you believe he didn't have anything to do with helping bring down architects of the global financial meltdown.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:08 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


That is to say: his money came from the kind of securities fraud that was toxic mortgages. All those houses everyone defaulted on.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:10 AM on July 8 [10 favorites]


This ain’t no six months playing tennis set of charges. The Mimi Rocah piece says SDNY almost never cuts a deal on child sexual abuse charges. She says it happened twice in her career there.

So yeah Barr intervening, or a Trump pardon or whatever. Maybe? These people are arrogant but they aren’t THAT stupid. They have to know that this actually goes beyond shooting someone on 5th Avenue in terms of how even some Trump supporters will feel once the lurid, hideous details start spilling and more people learn the history of the Acosta sweetheart deal. They ain’t handling it for Epstein this time unless their own backs are against the wall. Not a good look even for Nazis.

This is big. This is the castle wall developing a crack. SDNY appears still able to function.

And if they don’t, NYPD is seeing all the evidence too.

Their two best outs are Epstein fleeing beyond extradition or offing him in custody. Either one is a mystery box too.

I never really expected Mueller to achieve critical mass enough to bring down Trump, certainly once Barr came on the scene. But this one feels different. Unexpected. Dramatic. Responsive to the public shaming of the DOJ that Alex Acosta’s prosecutorial misconduct has exposed. They let a billionaire child trafficker and rapist off with a slap on the wrist and made the guy who orchestrated it (and protected so many other powerful men implicated in it) a cabinet secretary.

That was overreach.

Someone somewhere is still enforcing laws. That SDNY says “fuck off, we did not sign that plea agreement” in the face of a double jeopardy argument is thrilling. As is the lead involvement of the public corruption unit, which certainly implies shoes yet to fall. That this monstrosity of a man might face justice — heck, even the fact that he spent two nights at MCC, one of the nastiest holes north of a border concentration camp — is the first sign that some legal institution with teeth is still on the job in the face of outrageous criminality that has so far been unchecked.

Although one possible dark timeline version of this has Epstein in custody and under indictment being more useful to the Trump gang than him staying on the field. That’s how Putin would play it, but I think if Epstein ends up falling out a 9th floor courthouse window or having a myocardial infarction in jail, just as good a chance all hell breaks loose.
posted by spitbull at 11:16 AM on July 8 [34 favorites]


Here's a twitter thread on the court proceedings currently in progress.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 11:16 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


But this one feels different. Unexpected. Dramatic.

The religious right are a force for awful policies but they have been obsessed with human trafficking for years. This is a high profile case of the thing they have been complaining about for a long time. The die hard trump supporters will never change their mind but I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:22 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


The immediate pushback from the Right is "BILL CLINTON WENT TO HIS PRIVATE ISLAND!!!" The best comment on that I've seen so far:
Republicans who assume liberals will try to protect an accused pedophile just bc he’s on their side politically are really telling on themselves


We'll look on this nostalgically in a few weeks when they've moved on to "really this is basically ephebophilia and it's perfectly healthy".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:23 AM on July 8 [53 favorites]


I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.

And right into the arms of Steve King or worse.
posted by Reyturner at 11:24 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.

They won't. You have to remember that most-to-all of them think that abortion is murder and/or that they, as Christians, are under existential threat due to [insert right-wing scare tactic here]. They don't care about this because they care more about federal judges saving babies and/or about not being put into death camps by antifa.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:25 AM on July 8 [38 favorites]


I hope Epstein goes down in flames and takes the entire patriarchy with him, but nobody on the right cared about what's-his-name, that chomo down in the southwest who wants to be a senator, so why would Epstein be the tipping point?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:26 AM on July 8


Here's Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book (Gawker, 2015)

In addition to Trump, Dershowitz, and Bill Clinton, other entries include Mike Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, Janice Dickinson, Steve Forbes, Jon Huntsman, Ted Kennedy, David Koch, Rupert Murdoch, a guy who once served as one of Michael Jackson's lawyers before being disbarred, Joan Rivers, and Courtney Love.
posted by box at 11:26 AM on July 8 [15 favorites]


scalefree quoting Buzzfeed: Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that President-elect Donald Trump once asked, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” — but the quote was quietly removed before the syndicated column was published Tuesday.

Okay, but that's just one guy throwing a wild accusation. It's baseless until someone can at least gather even a smidgen of evidence that the president has such an attraction, and furthermore, would actually tell someone else about it. I for one consider that simply unthinkable.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:26 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


[Folks, I understand the impulse but escalating graphic descriptions of violent fantasies are not something we do here. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:26 AM on July 8 [20 favorites]


I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.

I can't possibly see why? They don't actually care about women of any age in any way at all.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:30 AM on July 8 [63 favorites]


Okay, but that's just one guy throwing a wild accusation. It's baseless until someone can at least gather even a smidgen of evidence that the president has such an attraction, and furthermore, would actually tell someone else about it. I for one consider that simply unthinkable.

what about these six other times?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:31 AM on July 8 [33 favorites]


why would Epstein be the tipping point?

Pictures.
posted by spitbull at 11:32 AM on July 8 [23 favorites]


In order to divert their gaze from their own heroes' participation, the right is going hard into anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

From one of the most prominent conservative scumbags on twitter, with an enormous youth following:

@StefanMolyneux
I wonder
Did Jeffrey Epstein abuse any Jewish girls?

It's going to be "no jews went to work on 9/11" times blood libel times pizzagate. Worst fucking universe
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:33 AM on July 8 [42 favorites]


Roy Moore proved you can peel away at least a small percentage of Religious Right folks with solid evidence of sexual abuse of underage girls. I'm too jaded to expect a sea change, but any anti-choice voter who stays home because they're spooked by how bad their own candidate is counts as a good thing.
posted by rikschell at 11:36 AM on July 8 [19 favorites]


The die hard trump supporters will never change their mind but I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.
I cannot see how anyone could believe this. If there's one thing that the past three years have taught us about American politics, it's that white Evangelicals are utterly flexible in their morality and utterly unperturbed by accusations of hypocrisy. Whether they will care about this will be completely dependent on the political party of the people caught up in it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:38 AM on July 8 [32 favorites]


But this one feels different. Unexpected. Dramatic.

I don't dare have any hope that this could bring down Trump, but it definitely feels like a loose thread has been pulled on and now things are going to unravel in ways we can't predict. I'm praying that as many predators as possible are brought down along with Epstein--Kevin Spacey especially better be in prison for life by the end of this.
posted by BeginAgain at 11:41 AM on July 8 [17 favorites]


the american religious right doesn't actually care about anything they claim to care about unless caring about it directly harms people who look, pray, or fuck differently than they do. that's it, that's the whole thing. today, right now in 2019, to honestly believe otherwise, to truly think they're motivated by some kind of quantifiable ethics or morals or religious beliefs seems... sorry, but it seems completely fucking insane.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 AM on July 8 [81 favorites]


I cannot see how anyone could believe this.

As pointed upthread, Roy Moore would have won his election without a scandal.

Human trafficking is their thing. Its also something they hold up as something that makes them morally superior to the left. They care about it, the left doesn't (in their view). If this story gets bigger and bigger, and Trump is more clearly implicated, some republican voters will stay home. It may not be a lot of them, but it doesn't have to be.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:47 AM on July 8 [9 favorites]


The other thing preventing people on the right from accepting this is that most of them who care about conspiracies of wealthy pedophiles and their enablers have been totally sucked into Pizzagate/QAnon, and since this doesn't involve a pizza restaurant or JFK Jr., they will not accept it as true and probably can't be made to do so by any realistic means.
posted by Copronymus at 11:48 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: Whether they will care about this will be completely dependent on the political party of the people caught up in it.
No, it depends on whether or not they hear about it. Who wants to put money on anything even close to an accurate telling of this from Fox?
posted by ChrisR at 11:50 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


I am astonished how much unmitigated evil in the world can be traced right back to Micheal Milken and the Savings and Loan scandal, that’s where all these hedges got stinking rich and proof the law didn’t apply to them. Monsters like Leon black, the owner of the Private Army formerly known as blackwater had huge ties to Epstein, even had him on his charity board for a while and bailed him out - or that Epstein got his job at Dalton School which lead to him going into finance by mine other than Donald Barr, father of Bill Barr the current USAG.

Hell I could fucking get to an Epstein connection myself in like four moves, thanks a lot NYC charity world! This shit really is just twenty fucking families with all the money in the world keeping each other safe.
posted by The Whelk at 11:52 AM on July 8 [81 favorites]


I hate how pizzagate it sounds, I hate thinking "like pizzagate, but real!"

Remember how completely batshit-nutso-whackadoo pizzagate sounded the very first time you heard about it? And it came out of the same part of the internet/conspiracy theorist woodwork that is full of white supremacists, Trump fanatics, pepes and Russian troll armies.

Like an inoculation.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:54 AM on July 8 [30 favorites]


today, right now in 2019, to honestly believe otherwise, to truly think they're motivated by some kind of quantifiable ethics or morals or religious beliefs seems... sorry, but it seems completely fucking insane.

Elections are often close enough (2016 certainly was) that just a couple percentage points one way or the other make a difference. I don't think anyone believes that the crazification factor will magically go down by double digits, but if Trump were connected to this and lost even 5% of his supporters in the right swing states he would be in deep electoral shit.
posted by Jpfed at 11:56 AM on July 8 [10 favorites]


The important thing here seems to me that the victims will see some justice. I feel uncomfortable when their suffering gets obscured in favour of our desire to see Trump go down which seems to have become a bit of a focus for this thread.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:56 AM on July 8 [60 favorites]


If this story gets bigger and bigger, and Trump is more clearly implicated, some republican voters will stay home. It may not be a lot of them, but it doesn't have to be.

I actually agree but I just don't think it's the religious right / evangelical right.

Also everyone making predictions, I get the impulse, but please keep in mind that Trump's approval rating hovers around 42% and that we are, sadly/weirdly, in a bit of a bubble.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:57 AM on July 8 [15 favorites]


These two paragraphs appear in two different stories on foxnews.com, so it looks like they might be going with Clinton-did-it:
Epstein, who once counted as friends former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew and President Trump, was arrested Saturday after his private jet touched down from France. Court documents obtained by Fox News in 2016 showed that Clinton took at least 26 trips flying aboard Epstein's private jet, known as the "Lolita Express," and apparently ditched his Secret Service detail on some of the excursions.

Records showed Trump apparently flew on the jet at least once, however, his legal team more recently has denied the two were friends.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


The right consists of factions that have had their disagreements in the past, to the point that a lot of smart people assumed would be an insurmountable obstacle for the Republican party going into 2016. Then Trump became a unifying cult figure, almost entirely by raising the volume of the racism which was always the actual unspoken glue of the big tent.

However, just because the squabbling largely went away (Never-Trumpers being a meek set indeed), that doesn't mean the subgroups blended into an undifferentiated mass. Nearly all his followers are deplorable, yes, but in different ways. The channer folks probably "get" Trump better than the rich managers or evangelicals or flag-and-war-saluters do, because they lose the pretense of having values (such as capitalism, Jesus, or "defense"). But that Pepe crowd amounts to half his supporters and probably less.

I suspect the end result of this is going to be an increase of evidence for the Trump/Epstein stuff we already had reason to suspect (and for the record I was being sarcastic when I asked for a smidgen of evidence that Trump has a creepy fixation there), but not a smoking gun. In that event, Trump supporters will indeed remain largely united thanks to plausible deniability.

However, if there's a smoking gun, it will be totally different. The evangelicals still have families, and they're not going to collectively morph, overnight, into "Actually it's ephebophilia and really only the communist left cares about consent of any kind because, move over Jesus, Trump is truly a God-Emporer." That's a sentiment we encounter a lot online but it's not quite where the country is; the country is more at "Gosh, how can we really know or believe anything??"
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:04 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


If this puts Bill Clinton in prison too (if he was complicit in any of this, or even had knowledge of it), that's not a bad thing. We should never have put any energy into defending that pig.
posted by rikschell at 12:05 PM on July 8 [86 favorites]


When the Times reports on the raid at Epstein's they talk about "nude photos", not pornography. When the Times reports on Trump's quote about “beautiful women…many of them on the younger side” it's about Trump's appreciation of women instead of pedophilia. I guess when you're rich it's tasteful rather than disgusting.
posted by xammerboy at 12:11 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


Roy Moore would have won his election without a scandal.

I think there's another way to read this: Roy Moore came awfully fucking close to winning with the scandal.

Doug Jones won because black women showed up to vote in high numbers, as DNC Chair Perez acknowledged. But what I've read of the exit polls suggests it's hard to pinpoint why white voters had a somewhat lower turnout (eg: This Vox article.)

I've also seen claims that Moore's numbers were poor even before his vile behavior was revealed. (Source: WaPo article - this article goes on to say a perfect storm of GOTV efforts, rural whites staying home, and possibly some Republicans switching their vote to Jones led to the upset.)

Long story short, I wouldn't put faith even in evidence directly implicating Trump in trafficking and abuses of girls to be enough to hurt him significantly, especially if he's running against someone the evangelicals view as a critical threat to white male supremacy. From what I recall, it's not like Doug Jones won and then swept into the Senate like a far left firebrand nor did he campaign as such, so probably not as "scary" to conservative folks as Warren or Harris would be.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:16 PM on July 8 [28 favorites]


Caelum ruat.
posted by ocschwar at 12:20 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


The right is already all over this, and has been for some time. First, the real culprit is Clinton. Second, Trump's involvement is a conspiracy theory which can be disproved by other conspiracy theories. Third, having sex with teenagers is the god given right of famous rich people. My expectation is not that Trump suffers because of this, but that he will see an approval bump from Republicans, outraged by the fake news media's attempt to smear him.
posted by xammerboy at 12:24 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]


I feel uncomfortable when their suffering gets obscured in favour of our desire to see Trump go down which seems to have become a bit of a focus for this thread.

You seem to think the two are mutually exclusive. What if Trump is one of Epstein's (purportedly multitudinous) co-conspirators? We know Epstein was a member at Mar-a-lago. We know that Trump flew on Epstein's private jet at least once. We know that Trump has known him for over 15 years and calls him a "terrific guy," and that they both share a passion for young women, because Trump himself told us this.

In case you missed it: During the 2016 presidential campaign, an unidentified young woman filed a suit against Trump in which she alleged that he raped her when she was 13 at a party at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in Manhattan. Trump denied the claims and the woman later dropped the suit because, her lawyer said, she was intimidated by death threats. The Trump camp described her allegations as “untrue.”

Why shouldn't everyone responsible for sex crimes against minors be held accountable, and ALL the victims get FULL justice?
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:28 PM on July 8 [26 favorites]


talk about "nude photos", not pornography...etc

Right exactly, and Epstein's prior charges included "soliciting a prostitute." Oh, is that what we're calling sexually abused and exploited children these days?
posted by erattacorrige at 12:28 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


However, if there's a smoking gun, it will be totally different. The evangelicals still have families, and they're not going to collectively morph, overnight, into "Actually it's ephebophilia and really only the communist left cares about consent of any kind because, move over Jesus, Trump is truly a God-Emporer."

No, they most certainly will not suddenly support having sex with teenager girls, but nor will they ever, in a million years, blame Trump or any of the men involved. They will say what people have been saying for millennia whenever a female of any age is abused: "She was asking for it." They'll say she was high, drunk, home alone with boys, wearing a short skirt, not a virgin, you fucking name it. The needle hasn't moved on that MO even an iota.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:29 PM on July 8 [65 favorites]


I have no hope that the hardcore right will ever abandon Trump or whatever comes after him. My only hope is that the rest of the country can buck the 30-35% of people who will stand by Trump no matter what, and that over time the number of hardcore right wing "Christian" white supremacists plummets. Maybe this finally gets a significant percentage of fence-sitters and non-voters off their asses*.

* I'm not talking about people who've had votes suppressed. I'm talking about the disaffected, wouldn't bother to register eligible voters or the folks who voted for Stein or another third party in 2016.
posted by jzb at 12:29 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


jzb: Maybe this finally gets a significant percentage of fence-sitters and non-voters off their asses.

The small risk there: "Oh, thank god I don't have to go vote for Democrat I Don't Like, since now they're a shoo-in!"
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:32 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


It would be helpful if everyone who is saying "this will change nothing" would 1) not call those they disagree with fucking insane or crazy or whatever, and recognize that in order for this to have political ramifications it doesn't have to change the mind of any Trump supporters it just has to be enough for people on the margins who would vote Republican because thats why they do to stay home.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:33 PM on July 8 [25 favorites]


Yeah, if you're going to be "Only I Am Right" and "If You Disagree With Me You Are A Bad Person" you can run right back to the megathread where that's tolerated.
posted by rikschell at 12:39 PM on July 8 [22 favorites]


From their own student paper, a detailing of Epstein's ties to Harvard - a school that is not his alma mater, yet has been a recipient of great largesse from him.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:42 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]




it just has to be enough for people on the margins who would vote Republican because thats why they do to stay home.

Agreed. What percentage of Republican voters would even know what Qanon or Pizzagate is? It's not zero obviously but it really is a fringey internet type person that is down the rabbit hole on that. Your typical Trumpist Fox News addict (hi, dad-in-law!) isn't aware of that stuff and credible allegations of the connections Trump et al. have to Epstein can make a dent in the number of "mainstream" Republicans who turn out to vote (or possibly result in some vote-switching).

It's probably helpful (ugh, I don't have a better word there) that, as far as I can tell, there are a pretty across-the-aisle slate of judges, lawyers, politicians, and general oligarchic fuckers who seem to have been helping cover up what Epstein did and diminish his legal consequences. If this shit goes as deep as it looks like it does, there ought to be* some actual non-partisan public outrage about all of it.

As noted upthread: let justice be done, though the sky should fall.

*2019 caveats apply
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:47 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


I hate how pizzagate it sounds, I hate thinking "like pizzagate, but real!"

so here's the thing about the right: 99% of the things they accuse people (particularly the left) of doing, they're either actually doing or planning to do themselves. see: pizzagate, election fraud, fiscal profligacy, creeping fascism, us government concentration camps, etc.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:48 PM on July 8 [54 favorites]


The weird part is his financial career is almost invisible.

"A thought re Jeffrey Epstein.All the articles about him, as late as ‘02-‘03 by which time I was in the markets, say he made his money trading spot FX in industrial size. (The NYMag article from ‘02 mentions this: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/ … - mentions $15bio AUM). If true, that’s bigger than FX Concepts ever was, and FXC absolutely terrified the FX markets. It’s 3x bigger than Joe Lewis ever was, and I worked with spot guys who had all sorts of war stories about Joe Lewis.But I never saw him in the markets. Never traded with them; never heard the name; never even heard a war story over beers about someone getting run over by a massive Epstein trade. I heard Joe Lewis war stories, Dalio stories, John Taylor stories… never heard Epstein.How do you run the biggest FX discretionary account in the world and not leave a trace?"
posted by Damienmce at 12:50 PM on July 8 [37 favorites]


Epstein’s source of funds still remains a mystery. We know his resume, but six years at Bear Sterns, after growing up poor and being a prep school teacher, doesn’t pay for the $77 million house and the private island. A lot of the funds are rumored to have come from the owner of The Limited companies. In any number of the earlier profiles of him, you hear prominent people talk about his genius without being able to pinpoint anything he actually solved or produced. To me he reads like a sociopathic ass-kisser who chased the rich and famous and knows how to make others like him.

His lead defense counsel (Reid Weingarten) is not a sex crimes attorney, but a white collar crime and public corruption one. There’s a lot of this case that hasn’t become public yet.
posted by sallybrown at 12:54 PM on July 8 [25 favorites]


From their own student paper, a detailing of Epstein's ties to Harvard

Due primarily to my lines of work I know quite a few Harvard grads, and count some of the nicer ones as friends. The thing about every Harvard grad I know, though, is that eventually, without fail, they are going to pro-actively insert into a conversation a reference to their attendance at that school. WITHOUT FAIL. I would bet my net worth on it.

So from now on my standard response will be "Oh you mean HARVARD Harvard - that school that accepted all that money from that serial child rapist Jeffrey Epstein? The same school where Dershowitz still teaches despite the allegations against him, and the fact that he has legally defended Epstein?

That Harvard? Right?"
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:57 PM on July 8 [60 favorites]


Epstein will be found guilty and sentenced to X years in a federal prison. The evidence presented will make it very clear that Epstein was facilitating or directly performing sex trafficking and possibly sex with underage girls. Although it will be said many times in the case that Epstein arranged sex with girls for various powerful people, none of those people will be named.
At no point will any evidence be presented that directly names any of these powerful people. Now that the evidence has all been gathered it will be hidden away because it pertains to 'an ongoing investigation'.
Five years from now, after people have forgotten, Epstein will be released on probation. A couple years after that he will be released on time served.
Nobody else will be charged or implicated except perhaps some fixers/madams/pimps that worked directly for him.
posted by kzin602 at 12:58 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


sociopathic ass-kisser who chased the rich and famous and knows how to make others like him. Don’t a lot of write ups in him at least ...heavily imply he’s a quasi-sessional blackmailer?
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


NY Mag profile in 2002


“Says another prominent Wall Streeter: “He is this mysterious, Gatsbyesque figure. He likes people to think that he is very rich, and he cultivates this air of aloofness. The whole thing is weird.” once told me he had 300 people working for him, and I’ve also heard that he manages Rockefeller money. But one never knows. It’s like looking at the Wizard of Oz – there may be less there than meets the eye.”

...
On a given day, he will spend ten hours or so on the phone – after all, he is running $15 billion essentially by himself.Strangely enough, given his scientific obsessions, he is a computer-phobe and does not use e-mail. “I like to hear voices and see faces when I interact,” he has said. Given the huge sums he has to invest, he focuses on assets with extremely high liquidity, like currencies – though he dabbles in commodities and real estate as well.


And this parts sets of alarm bells. A single guy managed 15bn in his head in 2002, no quant models, day trading FX? This stinks to high heaven.
posted by Damienmce at 1:02 PM on July 8 [46 favorites]


Don’t a lot of write ups in him at least ...heavily imply he’s a quasi-sessional blackmailer?

That is one theory I’ve heard. Because what are the possible methods of making hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars? I agree with Damienmce that all the write-ups trying to describe his financial prowess read like bullshit. The connection to The Limited makes some sense, because that family was exceedingly rich, but what could Epstein have possibly been doing for them to justify benefiting to such an extent? Vicky Ward (who wrote one of the earlier Vanity Fair articles on him) suggested he got punted out of Bear Sterns for breaking the law in a ham-handed way. He was dumb enough to flaunt his wealth and influence by bringing Bill Clinton on the Lolita Express and inviting magazine profiles. He has enough hubris to continue collecting nude photos of girls after narrowly escaping a lengthy prison term down in Florida. He’s clearly not a genius. He has no family money or influence. So what’s left other than blackmail?

But how would it work to blackmail these very high profile people? Wouldn’t word get out somehow to stay the heck away from Epstein? It seems too hire-wire to work.
posted by sallybrown at 1:11 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


It's obvious. He made his money pimping out 13 year old girls.
posted by mikelieman at 1:15 PM on July 8 [24 favorites]


But how would it work to blackmail these very high profile people? Wouldn’t word get out somehow to stay the heck away from Epstein?

What if the blackmail wasn't the "give me your money," variety, but rather the "introduce me to your friends and cut me in on your deals" type, with a quid pro quo for keeping a steady flow of access to trafficked girls? It may be that the most important thing he learned in investment banking is where the shadow money comes from--and then having access to compromising information offered him a way in, even without having to overtly hold it over his targets.
posted by Emera Gratia at 1:17 PM on July 8 [11 favorites]


I mean, he provided access to underage girls for very wealthy people. It's not so much blackmail as "my services are illicit and illegal and very expensive".

Or on preview, what mikelieman said.
posted by Roommate at 1:18 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


In light of this, it’s also interesting that Prince Andrew has been prominently by the Queen’s side even more than usual lately.
posted by sallybrown at 1:27 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


From February 2011, Forbes magazine:

Jeffrey Epstein: Sex Offender, Yes. Billionaire, No.

posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:30 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


I'd be willing to bet a dollar that if you had a real accountant figure out Epstein's "true" net worth, it would be negative. But as various rich people have allegedly said, "If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." You don't need to have money to be (or at least look) rich -- you just need to not pay people the money you owe them, whether that's stiffing your contractors or saying "Look, neither of us wants the truth about you and those girls to come out...".
posted by Etrigan at 1:31 PM on July 8 [11 favorites]


The New York mag article from 2002 also questions the source of his wealth.

It's a strange, blazing quick career path.

How does a 20 year old college drop out ,get a job teaching mathematics at one of the top private schools in the country?
Tuition there now is over $50, 000. a year.
Their mathematics teachers all have advanced degrees, including 2 Ph.D s from MIT and Berkley.
How do you get an interview let alone the job?

Hell I'm from that age group and you would need a degree plus a teaching certificate to do so
at any public school.

He then quits and joins Steanrs at 23, makes partner at Stearns at 27, quits again to form his own firm at 29.

It's weird for a kid with no contacts whose father worked for the Parks department.
You can be bright but it's unusual.
posted by yyz at 1:32 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Further, he got to Bear Sterns after being noticed by the friend of a father of one of his students. How do you even make that social connection? And then when he got to Bear Sterns, he was put into private wealth management, which is not usually a job you get without family connections, being from a similar social sphere, or some really unusually good social skills.
posted by sallybrown at 1:37 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Forgot the second Forbes link from July 2010:

Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Is Not A Billionaire
The source of his wealth -- a money management firm in the U.S. Virgin Islands -- generates no public records, nor has his client list ever been released....

Epstein is almost certainly not a billionaire -- so why is he continually labeled one in the press?

It may all come down to an accident of wording....
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:42 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]




I mean, he provided access to underage girls for very wealthy people. It's not so much blackmail as "my services are illicit and illegal and very expensive".
I'm at work and don't want to Google it anyway, but one thing I remember from the Subway Jared scandal was how little he paid. I remember reading about him paying hundreds of dollars per encounter.

While Jared is no major political mover and shaker, I would have guessed that the underage prostitute going rate would be higher than that.
posted by Hatashran at 1:47 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


That party of mine you came to? We both know what happened there. Now, I'm asking, can I manage some of your money? I'll be quite put out if you say no.
posted by xammerboy at 1:48 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


How does a 20 year old college drop out ,get a job teaching mathematics at one of the top private schools in the country?

That's the least unbelievable part, as far as I can see.

High school math is the highest stakes thing in the upper class private schools around the country. And it's not that big a risk to drop somebody into a math class in one of these places and shadow him. If the kids perk up and their homework improves, you got yourself a cash cow. You offer a contract right away.

Friends of mine from MIT (albeit not dropouts) have had gigs as private school math teachers. You don't need too much in the way of credentials to get these gigs. YOu just need a good two weeks in the classroom. (And if you're teaching AP level math, it's so much easier than teaching regular high school math classes.)
posted by ocschwar at 1:50 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Reportly Epstein also paid a pittance, like 200$ or something bucks, and they could get more if they recruited friends and classmates.

The girl who came forward with this reportedly was stalked by Esptein’s goons until she had to go into hiding.

Until now the only person saw jail time was the servant who stole his date book to bring it to the police.

The real chilling detail I always remember is that “Lolita Express” came from the employees of the island, cause they all knew why these planeloads of young girls kept arriving.
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


I listened to an explainer podcast about Epstein on Vox a while back. The MO was that Epstein would invite the girls over to give him a back rub for $100. He would rape them. Then, he would tell them he would pay them if they would help him find other girls. He literally had a different girl over every day.

The reason it worked is there is a strong cognitive dissonance after the event that makes them want to deny what happened. Also, by immediately getting them involved in finding new victims, Epstein in a sense co-opted them.

Of course, many of the girls did go to the police and were at first ignored. Cases were brought forward where the prosecutor refused to move forward. Once the investigation got going the evidence quickly became overwhelming with hundreds of girls involved.

When Epstein did go to jail he was given one of biggest sweetheart deals of all time, where his sentence was ridiculously short and he was allowed to work from his home office for most of the day.

If you're interested, the Vox explainer is only half an hour and laid out all the particulars pretty well. It was one of the biggest miscarriages of justice one can imagine.
posted by xammerboy at 1:57 PM on July 8 [23 favorites]


Because what are the possible methods of making hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars?

Have others lend it to you. I just looked at the "Anna Delvey" case and how she managed to sustain a microcosmic elite grift in NYC for three or four years, mostly by getting others to pay her bills.
posted by holgate at 1:57 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


If you're interested, the Vox explainer is only half an hour

Do you have a quick link for that? I can't search for it right now. Thanks!
posted by Snowishberlin at 2:00 PM on July 8


Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Is Not A Billionaire

Neither is Sex Offender Donald Trump.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:02 PM on July 8 [29 favorites]


One weird little thing that always seemed ominous in a way that I can't quite get a handle on, but that might be worth mentioning now that we're Talkin' Epstein, is that he gave $25,000 to relatively obscure Nazi youtuber JF Gariepy, who later was found to be a serial predator of young, vulnerable, and developmentally disabled women. And I mean Nazi Nazi, like "I use my science doctorate to argue that Jews are biologically evil" Nazi.

A while back Gariepy openly told Richard Spencer on a livestream that he'd been paid by Epstein and Spencer's reaction is pretty memorable (unfortunately all currently linkable versions are hosted by nazis). Gariepy lost a lot of his fanbase from this, much more of course due to Epstein's triple parentheses and less due to the serial child rape.

Anyway I don't know what it means but it seems pretty grim.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:08 PM on July 8 [24 favorites]


In addition to whatever income he was making from the abuse of teenage girls and blackmail, he apparently spent some time early in his career working for a guy who was convicted of running a pretty significant Ponzi scheme, so there was probably some of that going on as well.
posted by Copronymus at 2:11 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I feel uncomfortable when their [the underage victims'] suffering gets obscured in favour of our desire to see Trump go down...

Word. But Acosta? He's gotta burn. A judge already found he broke the law. (btw, what consequence is a fed da *supposed* to face when that kind of finding is made?)
posted by j_curiouser at 2:12 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


The most bizarre part of the Epstein deal was giving immunity to unnamed co-conspirators. That is never done - unnamed co-conspirators given immunity. Immunity for what? Normally you get something in exchange for immunity.

Was the deal that Epstein would plead guilty to a minor crime if the prosecutor gave all his buddies immunity? Epstein takes the hit in exchange for millions in payoffs for immunity for his friends?

The immunity stuff really smells fishy.
posted by JackFlash at 2:17 PM on July 8 [38 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein, explained on Vox.com is as good a summary as any. Choice bits:

. . . Epstein was essentially operating a “sexual pyramid scheme.” . . . “He told me he wanted them as young as I could find them. . . . He wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough.’’


Epstein was able to hire a team [that] worked to discredit or intimidate the women and girls who came forward, and the authorities working on the case . . .

After the case was referred to the FBI, Epstein’s team mounted a “year-long assault” on federal prosecutors, investigating them and their families looking for “personal peccadilloes” that might disqualify them from the case, according to a 2011 public statement by Acosta
.


Today, Explained podcast on Epstein from 3 months ago.
posted by 6thsense at 2:30 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


Can we please stop saying "sex with underage girls" and instead say rape? This was rape. Over and over again. This was charging people money to let them rape children. This was sex trafficking. This was sex slavery. This was not "sex".
posted by hydropsyche at 2:36 PM on July 8 [110 favorites]


>>>I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.

They won't. You have to remember that most-to-all of them think that abortion is murder and/or that they, as Christians, are under existential threat due to [insert right-wing scare tactic here]. They don't care about this because they care more about federal judges saving babies and/or about not being put into death camps by antifa.

>>>The die hard trump supporters will never change their mind but I do imagine a not insignificant number of those on the religious right will turn away from Trump because of this.

I cannot see how anyone could believe this. If there's one thing that the past three years have taught us about American politics, it's that white Evangelicals are utterly flexible in their morality and utterly unperturbed by accusations of hypocrisy. Whether they will care about this will be completely dependent on the political party of the people caught up in it.


I don't want to sound optimistic or anything, but I have a personal theory: one of the reasons 45 became acceptable to the religious right is that their leaders believed he was their literal last chance to hold onto power long enough to get their theocracy going, and if they don't do that soon they're done for as a cultural power. I think the religious right's leaders all privately pray every day for Trump's health to fail so they can get President Pence, they just can't say that out loud.

I've been reading a lot of a blog called Roll to Disbelieve. It's written by a deconverted (to use her terminology) evangelical Christian. It documents, in (perhaps overly) painstaking detail the mindset, world-view, trials, and tribulations of conservative "fundigelical" Christians, and the long and the short of it is that they're bleeding membership like crazy and have been for years. IIRC (I don't have time to dig through her individual entries right now) in 2018 the Southern Baptist Convention alone lost over 200,000 members, significantly more than Trump won by combined in the states he unexpectedly flipped, and this year they're having a Catholic Church-esque sex scandal. (Have we had an FPP on that?) Even if most of those keep voting Republican, not all of them will. Some are leaving specifically because of Trump and Me Too. And those people not attending church anymore means that the Baptists have that much less money to spend on political stuff.

So in one sense, yes, the Religious Right themselves will not care. The ones who care stop being part of the Religious Right, and they do exist. Spend some time with Roll to Disbelieve if you never have before (and you don't mind a pretty constant refrain that she's never seen any evidence any god or supernatural thing of any sort exists, which she states explicitly in the terms "God is not real, nor is anything else about Christianity"); it's pretty good schadenfreude and will give you a better understanding of one of the major factions in our current shitshow. Might even give you a little hope, though I don't want to make any wild promises.
posted by Caduceus at 2:38 PM on July 8 [34 favorites]


“Now that billionaire child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is back in the news, it seems like a good time to take a closer look at allegations that Donald Trump raped a 13-year-old girl at Epstein's Manhattan home in 1994. ...The case was NOT dismissed. Jane withdrew her complaint on November 4, 2016, saying she was “afraid to show her face” due to “numerous threats” against her.” Thread
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on July 8 [39 favorites]


>The case was NOT dismissed. Jane withdrew her complaint on November 4, 2016, saying she was “afraid to show her face” due to “numerous threats” against her."

I like to point out that at the same time Doe withdrew her lawsuit, Trump's "Fixer", Michael Cohen, was buying women's silence. I wonder, if Daniels got 130k, what Cohen paid Doe.
posted by mikelieman at 2:50 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]


Since Roy Moore's name has come up a few times, and not everyone self-flagellates with the political megathread:

Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with teens, will run for Senate again in Alabama (CNBC June 20, 2019)

Moore claimed the 2017 election was “fraudulent” and left Alabama voters “tired” of “dirty politics.” The Alabama secretary of State’s office did not immediately respond to a request to comment on whether any evidence backed Moore’s accusation that a disinformation campaign cost him the 2017 election. Moore said “the people of Alabama are not only angry, but they’re going to act on that anger.”

Asked Thursday what he would do differently to win in 2020, Moore said he would “like to make more personal contact with people.”

Before Moore announced his campaign: Roy Moore Leads A New Poll In Alabama (fivethirtyeight, April 19, 2019)

William Barr's dad, Donald, who gave wholly-unqualified Epstein the plum gig at Dalton, wrote a couple of science fiction novels. In 1973's "Space Relations: A Slightly Gothic Interplanetary Tale," sex slavery is a main plot point.

Epstein worked at Dalton from 1973 to 1975. Barr's tenure as headmaster ended in 1974; his successor Gardner Dunnan was the headmaster of the Dalton School from 1975 to 1997. Dunnan was accused earlier this year of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who lived at Dunnan's home in the 1980s, who was "helping around the house in exchange for free tuition."
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:53 PM on July 8 [19 favorites]


This has probably shown up in a catch-all, but also this. It says the NRA is having funding problems and scandal issues, that the Chamber of Commerce is considering being more bipartisan (reading between the lines, they have socialists to the left of them, theocrats and Nazis to the right, and they're worried they won't have enough Centrists to keep the lobbying going smoothly), as are the Kochs (essentially the same, and they still kinda hate Trump) and doesn't even note the possibility of fewer donations from religious groups for the GOP as well. Trump and the GOP better hope all those tech nazis are willing to shell out enough to Trump to make up for all that. Wonder if they can do so without blowing their cover?
posted by Caduceus at 2:55 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]




Can we just get the SDNY to legislate against the rest of the US Federal government, they seem to be the only ones with teeth enough to push back against all aspects of corruption, criminality, violence, scandal. I'm so glad they're doing the work they are doing because no one else seems to really care or have enough political power to do anything about all these awful ass people.
posted by Fizz at 3:21 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


Charlie Pierce thinks this is a big deal.

“This is not a stick-to-politics moment. This is going to screw up the political moment good and proper, though. Unless Epstein cuts a quick deal at the encouragement of all those people who suddenly don't know him anymore, this is going to be a long and garish public spectacle. It's going to devour news cycle after news cycle. And if anything emerges connecting the president* directly to Epstein's alleged crimes, there isn't going to be a news cycle anymore. There will be only this story, over and over again.”
posted by spitbull at 3:21 PM on July 8 [22 favorites]


I agree with Charlie. I'm just some semi-educated guy, I don't even really keep up with the megathreads so people who read those may laugh at my naivety, I dunno. And while I think this has every chance of being covered up successfully, I think there's also a chance this turns into the biggest scandal in American history. Trump might end up draining the swamp after all. He'll get sucked down the drain too, but it might happen.
posted by Caduceus at 3:26 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


I really need to not get my hopes up. Bleh.
posted by Caduceus at 3:31 PM on July 8 [23 favorites]


Can we please stop saying "sex with underage girls" and instead say rape?

Yes, this. Sex involves consent. No consent = rape.

There was a tweet that got shared around tumblr a while back that said: We don't call it "breathing swimming" and "non-breathing swimming." We call them "swimming" and "drowning."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:37 PM on July 8 [43 favorites]


I have my very small hope going that at least one woman is going to get to see the man who victimized her go to jail. Everything else that comes of this is gravy. The public corruption aspect of this will be important, and my hunch is that this was not a simple payoff situation. So what did Acosta get for letting Epstein off easy?
posted by sallybrown at 3:38 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


The immediate pushback from the Right is "BILL CLINTON WENT TO HIS PRIVATE ISLAND!!!"

If he raped kids, send him to prison forever. Same for anyone who does that.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:46 PM on July 8 [68 favorites]


Barr’s recusal is a super tell. SDNY has this fucker dead to rights, is acting independently, and he can’t play his game with the strings.

Now his whole job is to keep Trump from publicly losing his shit and accidentally revealing that he gave Acosta the gig because he did such a good job on the plea deal or some such classic Trump brain fart. You know there’s flop sweat on the Resolute Desk today.

Acosta resigns this week.
posted by spitbull at 3:51 PM on July 8 [27 favorites]


Does anyone think this is why Pence was summoned back last week? Is there someone leaking this stuff? Or maybe I missed something...
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:58 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Is there someone leaking this stuff?

I don’t believe anything has leaked from this investigation, which is a good sign of its seriousness.
posted by sallybrown at 4:01 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


If something had leaked, sounds like Jeffrey would’ve got the hell out of Dodge.
posted by rikschell at 4:07 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Now his whole job is to keep Trump from publicly losing his shit and accidentally revealing that he gave Acosta the gig because he did such a good job on the plea deal or some such classic Trump brain fart.

That's half his job. His other half is figuring out how to bury it if there's anything incriminating to trump - who has admitted to sexual assault multiple times in public, and was sued for allegedly raping a 13 year old - in the massive stash of criminal evidence the SDNY took from a guy who thought he'd never have to face any consequences, and who was consequently dumb enough to, after being convicted of sex crimes, keep a giant stash of child porn that he made.

I'm really glad nothing did leak, 'cause epstein would be laughing blackmailing people from a country with no extradition treaty if it had.
posted by mrgoat at 4:19 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


Charles Pierce, quoted by spitbull: Unless Epstein cuts a quick deal at the encouragement of all those people who suddenly don't know him anymore, this is going to be a long and garish public spectacle.

I manage to forget sometimes (thanks to the frequent secrecy of the carceral system) that trials themselves are basically always public. I had imagined (in a vague way) the follow-up here to be something where news would reach only in sporadic leaks, at most. Huh. Hmm.

Also, wouldn't his conspirators also want him to not cut a deal? So it must be that at least some fraction of them are now doomed to public knowledge regardless (either by trial testimony or the news of their arrest)!
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:30 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I manage to forget sometimes (thanks to the frequent secrecy of the carceral system) that trials themselves are basically always public. I had imagined (in a vague way) the follow-up here to be something where news would reach only in sporadic leaks, at most.

Don't hold your breath. The trial could be a year or more from now.
posted by JackFlash at 4:33 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


A year from now, just as the presidential election hits peak crazy.
posted by spitbull at 4:45 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


JackFlash: Don't hold your breath. The trial could be a year or more from now.

If it were exactly a year from today, that's July 2020. Would it take a further four months for the testimony to get to Individual-1, assuming they went through conspirators alphabetically by first name? (Of course I sense it's very possible to have some conspirators named non-publicly.)

I do recognize a possible danger of the judicial system moving to postpone the trail until after the election because, you know, reasons.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:45 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Megathread regulars are probably familiar with former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who often spins out lengthy, easy-to-follow analyses of various Trumpian garbage. He posted an excellent one for anyone trying to get a handle on how his former colleagues are handling the Epstein case.

This part was too good not to post:

13/ The case made by the Southern District likely relies heavily on their testimony and the testimony of victims. But there is one other ace in the hole that I expect the Feds to try to use -- Federal Rule of Evidence 414, which permits use of *prior molestation convictions."
14/ Usually prior convictions cannot be used to prove that the defendant committed another crime, but this is a limited exception that allows evidence of prior molestations "in a criminal case in which a defendant is accused of child molestation."
15/ I expect federal prosecutors to try to use this rule to put Epstein's history and prior state convictions before the jury. That is never usually allowed in a criminal trial but could be permissible here given Rule 414.
16/ Ironically, if that happens, the prior deal could end up sinking Epstein because he did not fight the state convictions as a result of that deal.
In sum, Epstein should be extremely concerned about these allegations, given the hefty penalty, the cooperators, and Rule 414.
posted by martin q blank at 4:47 PM on July 8 [25 favorites]


Mariotti makes the important, sobering point that assault and rape cases are always challenging to run through the system to successful conviction, because of ~he-said-she-said~ nonsense.

However, I don't think it's entirely the same for the court of public opinion, which operates by different rules (and which I care about because all the conspirators, whoever they may be, deserve social sanction even if otherwise unpunished). Kavanaugh seems like an example of the public opinion going far off base, but he probably would have lost both a popular and "electoral-weighted" vote on whether or not to seat him. This time around, if I'm not mistaken, there will have to be testimony from a lot of victims, and of acts which even right-wing mores have difficulty brushing off as "just fooling around".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:59 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I assume the FBI has safe-crackers, but the discovery of photos and CDs in "a locked safe" after the execution of the search warrant, combined with SDNY saying that superseding indictments aren't imminent, might also suggest that some of Epstein's procurers chose to cooperate in the face of federal conspiracy charges and pointed to where the stash of filth could be found. Furthermore, had SDNY not wanted to reveal that the safe had been opened, that filing could have been more circumspect about what was found and where. This wasn't just a memorandum to the judge: it was sending a message to Epstein, his lawyers and the public.
posted by holgate at 5:32 PM on July 8 [11 favorites]


I happened upon this while reading one of the Vanity Fair pieces from above. That would probably be pretty easy with a list of child rapists like his to ask for advice.
posted by sir_patrick_o'veal at 5:54 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


The other thing preventing people on the right from accepting this is that most of them who care about conspiracies of wealthy pedophiles and their enablers have been totally sucked into Pizzagate/QAnon,

They believe this is going to take down the Clintons and other prominent Democrats. They acknowledge Trump's connection with Epstein but believe he was undercover getting dirt on Epstein. The idea that Trump is secretly behind the scenes uncovering and taking down pedophile rings/human trafficking rings/sex cults is a very important aspect of their beliefs from my run-ins with them on Twitter. Trump brought down NXIVM which according to them will take down Kirsten Gillibrand and maybe Schumber and Hillary Clinton and now this.
posted by asteria at 6:06 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


"It documents, in (perhaps overly) painstaking detail the mindset, world-view, trials, and tribulations of conservative "fundigelical" Christians, and the long and the short of it is that they're bleeding membership like crazy and have been for years. IIRC (I don't have time to dig through her individual entries right now) in 2018 the Southern Baptist Convention alone lost over 200,000 members, significantly more than Trump won by combined in the states he unexpectedly flipped, and this year they're having a Catholic Church-esque sex scandal. "

Yes, I came in to say something similar; there's a steady bleeding of members from young people who grow up in fundamentalist religions and leave when adults (this is well-known and well-studied over the past 40ish years), but the association with the racist end of the Republican party (at this point, the only end of it) has led to a MUCH larger exodus AND to the very term "evangelical" being tainted by its association with racism and hypocrisy via the religious right. Major evangelical institutions, who used the word in the traditional and theological sense, have been shedding the term because it's so incredibly tainted at this point that it signifies racism, hatred, misogyny, and hypocrisy.

People who are religiously evangelical (in the traditional, theological sense) have already abandoned Trump and the GOP. (I mean not ALL of them, but a lot of them.) So when you ask, "What will it take for evangelicals to leave Trump?" the ones who truly believed in their moral and theological commitments have already left and have stopped calling themselves "evangelical" since it is now a synonym for "hateful hypocrite." The people who are left, who are still calling themselves "evangelical" in political surveys, are racist misogynists who don't care WHAT Trump does as long as he sticks it to the libs and supports white supremacy.

(And yes, "evangelical" is traditionally a broad term that encompasses a feminist evangelical movement, Protestant liberation theology, and -- really really importantly -- black evangelical churches. But those people are less and less interested in calling themselves evangelical, and I a) am a member of a lot of Protestant theology/pastorate online groups (because I attended a Protestant seminary); b) have a lot of Protestant evangelical (traditional sense) pastor friends; and c) receive a lot of Protestant church and theological publications. THIS IS AN INTENSELY HOT TOPIC right now, and an extremely emotional one, because "evangelical" as in "spreading the good news" is a profoundly deep religious identity for a lot of people, but the term is so, so, so tainted now in American culture, and everybody knows it.)

Two further minor points:
1) almost all growth in evangelical communities, where there is any at all, is coming from Latin American immigrants who were converted (usually from Catholic to evangelical Protestant, often of a Pentecostal flavor) in their home countries before immigration. They are not going to vote Republican in any kind of numbers as they become citizens and they become eligible to vote. The could be good allies to the GOP on a lot of "culture war" issues, but the GOP is a LOT more concerned with racial purity and punishing immigrants than with getting allies or building coalitions.

2) regarding US Protestant sex abuse scandals, most authorities on the topic believe they are roughly similar in scope to US Catholic sex abuse scandals; the decentralized nature of many Protestant denominations keeps it from being as obviously large in scope, or as easy to investigate by a court. These revelations will keep coming, and keep coming, and keep coming. A lot of mainline churches (Methodists, Presbyterians) realized this and realized the extent of their problems and put in reforms to protect children 20 years ago when the Boston Globe broke the Catholic scandal wide open and forced a reckoning. A lot of more right-wing churches have NOT done so, insisting that Catholics only have a pedophilia problem because they're the Whore of Babylon and obviously God protects THEIR church from that problem. The Southern Baptist Convention's safeguards are wholly inadequate, and ignored by TONS of member churches (who aren't obligated to follow conference dictates). Unaffiliated churches -- including many megachurches -- are even worse, because there's often no oversight. That is a story that will be in the news for the next 20 years, over and over, as one after another unaffiliated church or low-church Protestant denomination is revealed to have ignored sex abuse accusations or protected their pastors from them. A lot of these Republican Christian talking heads who are always shouting about morality will be taken down by these scandals in the coming decades.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:09 PM on July 8 [73 favorites]




Former President Bill Clinton released a statement.

And none of the MAGA-heads on Twitter believe it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 PM on July 8


well i mean he has always been so forthcoming in the past
posted by entropicamericana at 6:33 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]


the denial part of that denial is pretty slim, however credible
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:41 PM on July 8


The Gawker story about the flight logs from Jan 2015
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:46 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


[One deleted; just go ahead and talk about Bill Clinton if you want. Please don't start some weird thing over whether stuff about Bill was deleted in 2016 as a derail in a discussion of Hillary, or if you need to have that discussion now, please do it in Metatalk.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:57 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


I hope that in that cache of photos are images of his pedo buddies so that more of them will go down.

More realistically, though, I hope there will finally be consequences for the people who signed off on that obviously corrupt 2008 deal.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:00 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


They have to know that this actually goes beyond shooting someone on 5th Avenue in terms of how even some Trump supporters will feel once the lurid, hideous details start spilling and more people learn the history of the Acosta sweetheart deal.

Trump was accused of rape again a couple of weeks ago. He's been accused of sexual misconduct 22 times. The press largely ignores it and his base dismisses it as lies. Even the Katie Johnson case has been all but forgotten. Years ago she claimed that Epstein procured her for Trump when she was 13 and Trump raped her. She only dropped the lawsuit, she said, because of threats to her life. That story should be making headlines again right now, but I doubt it will.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:09 PM on July 8 [45 favorites]


I hope that in that cache of photos are images of his pedo buddies so that more of them will go down.

I think that cache was probably primarily blackmail material. Also, for a man like Epstein, porn — both the images/video and the knowledge that he held power over the people depicted in them — but probably, practically speaking, blackmail material.

People keep wondering where his money came from. I don’t think it’s that mysterious, necessarily. Like the details are probably pretty complicated, but the core is probably pretty simple: he was a power broker and professional blackmailer who traded in rape and pedophilia and sexual slavery to gain power and influence over the rich and powerful. He was very good at it.

A true monster.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:30 PM on July 8 [27 favorites]


Ghislaine Maxwell is the most notorious associate

There are many parts of this saga that stink to high heaven. One thing that has yet to be answered is what is the motive for, or object of, this extensive network of blackmail of high profile people. I think Ghislaine Maxwell may be the key to unravelling that yarn; why she was supposedly enabling Epstein's crimes has yet to be explained.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:23 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Ursula Hitler, I would simply emphasize that a federal criminal trial is more powerful than all the stories that circulate in the media without definitive evidence and real consequences.
posted by spitbull at 8:39 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


People keep wondering where his money came from. I don’t think it’s that mysterious, necessarily. Like the details are probably pretty complicated, but the core is probably pretty simple: he was a power broker and professional blackmailer who traded in rape and pedophilia and sexual slavery to gain power and influence over the rich and powerful. He was very good at it.

This, absolutely. It's very likely that he was extorting money (or contacts, or opportunity, or silence, or information) from people. That's a very good way to make lots of money.

The other way to get lots of money is by laundering overseas money or mob money (or both) -- if you're a recognized 'genius' who is known to spin money out of thin air due to brilliant market manipulation, no-one is ever going to ask questions about where the money comes from, since you're obviously making it through trading. Add to this the number of press references, in Epstein's heyday, to numbers of very young Russian women at his parties, and maybe it's possible that Epstein was being used to launder money and gain Kompromat. Then again, he may just have been mobbed to the eyeballs.

If so, this is one thing that Trump and Epstein have in common.

And then there's the fact that Epstein was teaching math at a high end private school in the early 70s; given his interest in high school girls, that's troubling. I wonder if he was being blackmailed, or if he was blackmailing others, even as early as that.

I also wonder how he got that job, and how he got into trading. It's pretty clear that he was a very smart and creative mathematical thinker, and the early 70s was a time when people commonly dropped out of college to do more interesting things, but it's unusual to be a dropout and get a job teaching at an upper-crust school, and even more unusual to be let go as a teacher and then get a job at Bear Stearns.

So much of this looks so, so deeply weird.
posted by jrochest at 9:01 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


Teaching at a private school isn't the hardest gig to get. You don't have to have an education degree, or any teaching education, to get a teaching job at a private school...
posted by Windopaene at 9:19 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


"I'm curious when the big story on Leslie Wexner—the owner of Victoria's Secret and the only known client of Epstein's "money managing" business, who also gave him this mansion—is going to drop" @DavidKlion
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


Lili Loofbourow, last December:In a Year Full of Heinous Men, Jeffrey Epstein Still Managed to Be Shocking _ Few examples have more clearly revealed the toxic inner workings of male social networks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:26 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Teaching at a private school isn't the hardest gig to get. You don't have to have an education degree, or any teaching education, to get a teaching job at a private school...

Yeah -- I have lots of friends from grad school who've taught in private schools with a doctorate or an MA but with no Education training. You don't need a B.Ed, but typically you *do* have to have more than a high school education. Epstein doesn't have a Bachelors degree -- just a couple of years of undergrad.
posted by jrochest at 9:34 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


This old Grubstakers' episode with Matt Christman goes into the Then Known things about the Epstein case as of 5 months ago (1:16:00)

CW: sexual abuse rape, descriptions of Epstein;s genitalia.


(also some of the more uh, fragrant gossip sources that have a goodish rate of being accurate are going off recently)
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


(There are some combing through depositions in the podcast which really supports the blackmail hypothesis and "the business model of wall street is leveraging relationships and insider trading." )
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


People who are religiously evangelical (in the traditional, theological sense) have already abandoned Trump and the GOP. (I mean not ALL of them, but a lot of them.)

And the Southern Baptist Convention isn't religiously evangelical in the traditional, theological sense? It's certainly true and important that evangelical Christianity is not only white, fundamentalist Protestants bigot, but they are no less evangelical Christians just because they're white, fundamentalist Protestant bigots.
posted by This time is different. at 12:18 AM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Trump brought down NXIVM which according to them will take down Kirsten Gillibrand and maybe Schumber and Hillary Clinton and now this.

Sadly needed periodic reminder, never expect rational thought from irrational people.
posted by mikelieman at 12:22 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


preferably a nation of laws and wicker men
posted by um at 12:37 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Teaching at a private school isn't the hardest gig to get. You don't have to have an education degree, or any teaching education, to get a teaching job at a private school...

I’m married to a teacher at a private prep school and what you’ve written is just plain wrong. Please stop. Epstein is a disgusting human who deserves to never see the light of day again but he’s not an example what to expect from private school teachers.
posted by photoslob at 3:47 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Trump supporters have been spreading a fair amount of misinformation about him supposedly being an antagonist to Epstein, helpfully collated by this Balloon Juice piece.

Their notion that his "younger side" line was actually a warning is one thing. But it's pretty tough to square with, e.g, telling Howard Stern about "surprise inspections" of beauty pageant contestants (fooling Epstein by really getting into the act?), or most notably here, the naming of Acosta, which no Qanoner has been able to explain as somehow part of the plan (was someone trying to give someone else a false sense of security?).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:02 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


NB: I once had a week-long temp job, working for the head of the Baptist Convention in Illinois. My job was to edit a book he'd written, which was then going out to all the pastors in the Convention, I remember Texas being one of their key places of distribution. Among other things, it was listed that they should wipe out Jews, Wiccans, and other such cults in their towns. They were all nice people, on the surface, but their ugly little souls came out in that book. I couldn't wait to get out of there.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:17 AM on July 9 [18 favorites]


The excellent podcast Behind the Bastards had a recent two-parter on Epstein which was quite good (and which talks about some of his likely clients, including Bill Clinton and Stephen Hawking): Part 1; Part 2.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:43 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


"And the Southern Baptist Convention isn't religiously evangelical in the traditional, theological sense?"

I mean ... when pollsters ask "are you evangelical?" around 35% of American adults say "yes" but when they actually ask about their beliefs, only around 6% meet the definition of an evangelical (in the "traditional, theological sense" as I put it). Around 25% belong to denominations usually considered evangelical; around 19% belong to evangelical denominations AND are white Protestants. It's pretty clear that "evangelical" in current discourse is a political alignment that has very little to do with whether someone holds actual evangelical beliefs, and that people holding actual evangelical beliefs are a very small minority of people labeled "evangelical" or who are members of evangelical churches. (I admit that my jaw frequently drops when I hear a prominent "evangelical" leader stump for the GOP and talk about their beliefs and I'm like "That's not ... that's not only not evangelical but that's actively anti-Gospel and anti-Bible and literally the opposite of what Jesus said, do none of these people read?" Politics is a hell of a drug, I guess.)

The SBC's belief statement is (for the most part) religiously evangelical in the traditional, theological sense, but geez, the failure of people in the pews (and leadership!) to conform to their stated beliefs is like the second-oldest story in Christianity. (Oldest: "Hey, Christianity is a thing!" Second-oldest: "Hey, hypocrisy is a thing!") And the SBC's been having some knock-down, drag-outs over exactly these kinds of questions, with members accusing each other that their political behavior is incompatible with the SBC's belief statements, and a number of well-regarded pastors and theologians quitting the SBC for the ABC, the originally-abolitionist and way less racist part of the US Baptist world -- the SBC schismed from the proto-ABC when the proto-ABC declared slaveowners couldn't be ordained in the 1840s. I feel like that story should be told more -- the SBC was literally created when the national Baptist group said "No, we won't ordain slaveowners or allow support of slavery, slavery is contrary to the Gospel" and the SBC said "THE HELL YOU SAY! WE QUIT!" And their excuse was pretty much the exact same reason they support Trump today -- "but if we preach what the Gospel says about slavery, we won't be able to convert important and wealthy people to being Baptist!" ("If we preach what the Gospel says about equality/immigrants/wealth, we won't be able to convince wealthy and important people to support our church!")

Anyway, main point, while "evangelical" (either definition!) is a huge group with a lot of diversity, people in evangelical churches whose sense of morality is going to be outraged by Epstein (and his association with Trump) have for the most part already quit supporting Trump and the current GOP (and, in many cases, have quit their churches entirely). There will be some movement around the margins, but we shouldn't expect a big movement of self-described evangelicals going, "NOPE, PEDOPHILIA IS A STEP TOO FAR! I'm not voting for these jerks anymore!" People for whom it's a step too far are mostly already gone from the GOP.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:48 AM on July 9 [36 favorites]


the failure of people in the pews (and leadership!) to conform to their stated beliefs is like the second-oldest story in Christianity

QFT. If you believe that the Christian Right's stated moral beliefs are in any way reflective of their actual motivations, then you haven't paid much attention to the Christian Right. It's about straight, white, male supremacy, all the way down. As always, the religion is just an after-the-fact, metaphysical justification (and recruiting tool) for the supremacism.

That's how we've gotten centuries of Christian patriarchy under the guise of "defending women's honor", or the most virulent homophobia and transphobia explained as "hate the sin, love the sinner", and so on.

People have been saying "surely this will lose Trump support from the evangelicals" since 2015. But until evangelicals see Trump as a bigger threat to straight, white, male, Christian supremacy than Trump's opponents to the left, it won't. And that's not gonna happen, because Trump is the embodiment of straight, white, male supremacy. That's why evangelicals turned out for him in droves in 2016.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:05 AM on July 9 [19 favorites]


And yet again I'm appalled by the ways in which powerful people see the rest of us as meatsacks to be exploited. I guess it only takes a few dozen psychopaths to fuck up an entire planet, just so they can get their rocks off.

If (when, we all know it's when) this takes down left-wingers as well as right-wingers, well... ain't no pang there, brother. Go ahead, burn it all down.
posted by harriet vane at 5:29 AM on July 9 [33 favorites]




There are many parts of this saga that stink to high heaven. One thing that has yet to be answered is what is the motive for, or object of, this extensive network of blackmail of high profile people. I think Ghislaine Maxwell may be the key to unravelling that yarn; why she was supposedly enabling Epstein's crimes has yet to be explained.

My explanation? Mossad. Ghislaine is the widow of infamous Mossad asset Robert Maxwell. I can easily see her continuing his work through Epstein.
posted by scalefree at 6:54 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


This is a pretty good theory detailing how Epstein's enterprise functioned as a fund covering for a very large blackmailing scam.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 6:55 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Holy cow that Times article about the mansion:

“On the second floor is a mural that Mr. Epstein had commissioned in recent years: a photorealistic prison scene that included barbed wire, corrections officers and a guard station, with Mr. Epstein portrayed in the middle.

“He said, ‘That’s me, and I had this painted because there is always the possibility that could be me again,’” said R. Couri Hay, a public relations specialist invited by Mr. Epstein to a meeting at his home and to view the mural three months ago.”

————

“The article describes a main hallway that was covered with rows of artificial eyeballs from England that had been made for wounded soldiers.”
posted by spitbull at 7:03 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


(btw, what consequence is a fed da *supposed* to face when that kind of finding is made?)

Sadly, not much usually, thanks to how the prosecutor community has fought against the idea that prosecutors should be held accountable for their misconduct. That said, it's very likely that Acosta will be Nifong'd, not out of any sense of integrity but because (like Nifong) it's better for said community that Acosta take the fall before the public starts realizing that he's not an aberration.

The Acosta-Epstein deal is something that shows the moral rot in the legal profession on both sides. Acosta's moral dereliction we've discussed, but the work of people like Dershowitz continues to be a moral stain on the defense bar. Being a "zealotous advocate" for one's client doesn't mean you have to become Tom Fucking Hagen, and if the defense bar would realize this and start condemning people like Dershowitz and Starr, they might not have all the reputational problems they do.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:03 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


Ghislaine is the widow of infamous Mossad asset Robert Maxwell.

His daughter, FWIW. One thing I'm finding particularly difficult in listening to the Behind the Bastards podcast (and if there's anything that covers the same material but is intended for grown ups, I'd be very glad to know, because I'd really like to be appraised of the information, but hopefully without the constant interruptions of a terminally unfunny wingman) is the presenter's serial inability to pronounce her name properly.

Robert Maxwell was, himself, a fascinating footnote in the history of modern plutocracy, but ultimately small beer compared to his great rival Murdoch.
posted by Grangousier at 7:28 AM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Robert Evans is a fantastic researcher and journalist, but damn has his ability to find guests who can keep up with him declined rapidly.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:03 AM on July 9


People have been saying "surely this will lose Trump support from the evangelicals" since 2015. But until evangelicals see Trump as a bigger threat to straight, white, male, Christian supremacy than Trump's opponents to the left, it won't. And that's not gonna happen, because Trump is the embodiment of straight, white, male supremacy. That's why evangelicals turned out for him in droves in 2016.

I've mentioned it in the politics megathreads, but we've had the evangelicals' number since 1980, when they turned out in droves to vote for Ronald Reagan and against Jimmy Carter, who actually was an evangelical christian, whose closest approximation of a sex scandal was when he admitted to Playboy magazine that he committed adultery in his heart by looking at other women with lust.

They've always been a pack of hypocrites. It's ludicrous that the so-called "liberal media" pretends for even a hot minute that their voting pattern (Republican) is driven by sincere religious faith.
posted by Gelatin at 8:06 AM on July 9 [38 favorites]


Maybe we can stop with the speculation about evangelicals until anyone evangelical has anything to say about Jeffrey Epstein? I would like to keep space in this thread for ongoing, sure-to-be disgusting Epstein depravity updates if possible
posted by aiglet at 8:23 AM on July 9 [17 favorites]


Speaking of updates, guess who just unrecused himself?
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:42 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Apparently reports of Barr's recusal were somewhat overstated. He's recusing himself from retrospectives of the Florida case, but not from the New York case.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 8:42 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]




There seem to be a lot of avenues of conflict of interest for Barr, and in untangling them I can count at least four...

Firstly, the one he declared, namely that he worked at a law firm that once defended Epstein (must have been in Florida), though there's a gap of some years between those two.

The more significant personal-history connection is that his own father did the initial hiring of Epstein at the private school (and I think has something to do with that same firm?).

Of course the president himself, being the person he reports to, is a reason to recuse, given Donald's close relationship of many years with Jeffrey, the accusations against him, and so forth.

And finally, there's Alex Acosta being a colleague of sorts. I suppose that one is only a "conflict" in the sense that everyone can see that Acosta made a lousy deal prosecutorially and a great one for Epstein, so it looks like a red flag for anyone in this same government to be running a new case. But technically, on paper, Barr and Acosta were/are on "the same side" in the sense of being federal attorneys prosecuting the same man, and normally that wouldn't (as I understand) be a cause for recusal because the job of prosecuting isn't to behave neutrally, like a judge.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:03 AM on July 9 [9 favorites]


“The article describes a main hallway that was covered with rows of artificial eyeballs from England that had been made for wounded soldiers.”

what the actual fuck
posted by schadenfrau at 9:12 AM on July 9 [20 favorites]


Epstein may not rat on others

Fuck him, he can take his chances on a pardon or whatever. I'm thinking the other two people indicted along with him will be the witnesses that will eagerly flip.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:20 AM on July 9


Currently with a wild ratio of 3.3k replies to 385 favorites, i bring you this hot garbage of a tweet:

The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence.

straight from the official twitter account of the 27th secreatry of the DOL, and Epstein enabler himself, Alex fucking Acosta.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:26 AM on July 9 [21 favorites]


It feels like he is trying to spin it into "this information wasn't there when I made the deal or I was forced to make this deal" territory. All the right wing nazis (including the evangelical Christians) just need a lie that could sound reasonable to public not paying attention. The value of truth seems to be vanishing in the United States.

As a survivor I wish I could have hope that this would be the massive scandal that it is and would be an eye opening to everyone who doesn't know how horrific people can be. But I've seen this enough so I really doubt this will be the reckoning we need. Already it has become a discussion of politics and less about the women this happened to. Not meaning this thread but in the wider world.
posted by kanata at 9:38 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


Like an inoculation.

This.
posted by M-x shell at 9:40 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Former President Bill Clinton released a statement.

It’s trippy that even in the better alternate dimension, this is a statement from the First Gentleman.
posted by BeginAgain at 9:42 AM on July 9 [17 favorites]


straight from the official twitter account of the 27th secreatry of the DOL, and Epstein enabler himself, Alex fucking Acosta.

The impunity is also the point. It's fractal impunity.
posted by holgate at 9:43 AM on July 9


At the base of the stairwell, one of the visitors said, Mr. Epstein had placed a chess board with custom figurines, many dressed suggestively — each piece, he noted, was modeled after one of his staffers.
He's like a cartoon capitalist villain.
Mr. Epstein said in the 1996 interview that the mansion was now his, though the transaction has never appeared in New York City records online. In 2011, he transferred ownership of the property from a trust connected to Mr. Epstein and Mr. Wexner to Maple Inc., a United States Virgin Islands-based entity under Mr. Epstein’s control, according to records.

The transfer document, from Nine East 71st Street Corporation to Maple Inc., did not list a purchase price, indicating that it did not involve any exchange of money.
Nothing shady going on there I'm sure (if only property transfer/sales tax fraud).
posted by Mitheral at 9:43 AM on July 9 [11 favorites]


“The article describes a main hallway that was covered with rows of artificial eyeballs from England that had been made for wounded soldiers.”

My assumption here is that this is probably some Damien Hirst-like contemporary art piece. Epstein seems like the kind of person who buys overpriced contemporary art like that as an "investment." (read: money laundering scheme.)
posted by dnash at 9:44 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


It feels like he is trying to spin it into "this information wasn't there when I made the deal or I was forced to make this deal" territory.

It's good, then, that Julie K. Brown is having none of that:
Except the record shows you had the evidence in 2007. Remember the 53-page indictment, the phone records, the trash pulls, the flight manifests, the witnesses who worked for Epstein?
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:46 AM on July 9 [34 favorites]


The value of truth seems to be vanishing in the United States.

I think it's more that the value of truth is being revealed, and it pales in comparison to power. And as long as men have it...
posted by schadenfrau at 9:47 AM on July 9 [12 favorites]


I am still trying to wrap my mind around the hallway wallpapered (?) with the fake eyes of dead soldiers. Like if you went to a rich person party, and you saw that, what would your reaction be if you were not compelled or coerced, somehow, into staying? I mean I would obviously take pictures before running away, but I have a feeling they didn't let people keep their phones. (Well, the women, anyway.)

They wouldn't even do this in a horror movie except as a joke, once things had already gotten pretty fucking horrific.

Fucking eye walls.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:51 AM on July 9 [12 favorites]


kanata: All the right wing nazis (including the evangelical Christians) just need a lie that could sound reasonable to public not paying attention. The value of truth seems to be vanishing in the United States.

The reasonable-sounding lie - that's it exactly.
I was checking what Acosta self-servingly said last time - about how most prosecutors would agree that jail time & registering as a sex offender was a good result.

But it wasn't round-the-clock jail time as most of us understand it. And it wasn't, as best I recall, offender status in every state.

It is exhausting having to examine every word out of a Trumpist's mouth to spot the reasonable-sounding lie.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:53 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Bill Clinton's statement says that he flew on Epstein's plane four times, never to Florida, and always with Secret Service staff. That's not what the flight logs say.

Clinton and Trump Plead Ignorance as Epstein's Old Friends Begin to Sweat (Vanity Fair)
Trump, of course, is now doing his famous “I don’t know him” routine, despite his previous on-the-record comments. But Epstein was photographed at least twice with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort, in 1997 and 2000, and he had in his personal address book 14 phone numbers for Trump, Melania Trump, and their staffs, according to the Washington Post. (In his book Fire and Fury, journalist Michael Wolff reported that Trump and Epstein, along with private equity mogul Tom Barrack, were a “set of nightlife musketeers” together during the 1980s and ‘90s.) Trump was also directly accused of raping a 13-year-old at one of Epstein’s parties, but the 2016 lawsuit was later dropped; Trump vehemently denied the allegations as “categorically false” and “disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention.”
posted by box at 9:58 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


I think it's more that the value of truth is being revealed, and it pales in comparison to power.

I agree. But also, the things that have been revealed in the last few years are not new practices (although perhaps the scale being global is new?), but old ones that are exposed to the light as more women gain power in culture, society, and government. (Not all men, I know.) And setting power up against truth in this way is pretty new, and truth is gaining on power even if truth is still losing somewhat in the end.

I suspect a lot of powerful men lied to themselves about being able to get consent from younger teen girls, or that giving them money made it ok somehow, or that these girls seemingly wanted them because of their money and power. Expose every last one of them.
posted by sallybrown at 9:59 AM on July 9 [11 favorites]


I mean ... when pollsters ask "are you evangelical?" around 35% of American adults say "yes" but when they actually ask about their beliefs, only around 6% meet the definition of an evangelical (in the "traditional, theological sense" as I put it).

Around 25% belong to denominations usually considered evangelical; around 19% belong to evangelical denominations AND are white Protestants. It's pretty clear that "evangelical" in current discourse is a political alignment that has very little to do with whether someone holds actual evangelical beliefs, and that people holding actual evangelical beliefs are a very small minority of people labeled "evangelical" or who are members of evangelical churches.


Yes, this is what makes your position so bizarre. Around 25% of the total population of the US belongs to evangelical denominations; 19% of the total population belong to denominations that are evangelical in the traditional, theological sense, and are white Protestants. They overwhelmingly supported Trump and continue to do so. But almost none of them are real evangelicals?

I get that you want to conceive of evangelicals more narrowly so that only those who actually believe a specific orthodoxy count, but a definition of evangelical that excludes most of the members of evangelical denominations isn't a definition of evangelical. It's special pleading, right up there with "The people who voted for Trump aren't real Christians." The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, not some edge case.

If you just want to say that most self-described evangelicals don't actually believe the things that you take to be the defining elements of evangelical theology, fine. But to conclude from that that almost all the members of paradigmatic evangelical denominations like the SBC are not really evangelicals---or if they are, are only evangelicals in some ersatz political sense---is ethnocentric.
posted by This time is different. at 10:10 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


To be strictly fair, schadenfrau, we don’t know that the glass eyes came from actual dead soldiers or were just unused military surplus.

So there’s that. Maybe he’s a regular joe.
posted by spitbull at 10:12 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Clinton shared Epstein's plane with Kellen and Maxwell on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003—before any of the allegations against them became public—according to the pilots' logbooks, which have surfaced in civil litigation surrounding Epstein's crimes.
Those pilot's flight logs published in the old Gawker article look very, very, very bad for Bill Clinton; they include over a dozen flights with two of the women accused of procuring/trafficking young women for Epstein's network, including the time he borrowed the plane for a week for a Clinton Foundation tour during which the entourage included young women who didn't appear to have anything to do with charity work. (They were, at least, not minors.) The article includes the caveat that pilot's logs are generally just for recording hours worked and "may be inaccurate," but, like...come on. A dozen flights. Nobody fucks up that much.

The article focuses mostly on Clinton and Alan Dershowitz, I assume because those were the big names at the time, but I'm wondering who else will turn up. There was a reddit comment listing the names that appeared in some little black book of Epsteins that included hotel room numbers, but the list of names was like...insane. Like Dr. Ruth was on it?

Dr. Ruth.

I remember reading at some point that blackmailers and sex brokers/traffickers (I assume usually the same people) cultivate their networks amongst the respectable / people who aren't their clients as part of their protection. That Manhattan madam whose name I forget did it; so did the DC madam who "committed suicide." Which makes sense. Get as many recognizable names in your orbit as possible, all of whom have something to lose by association if you go down, and you're more protected. Get them to owe you favors and you're in an even better position. A private plane that you'll lend to anyone with a bold face name is a good way to do that.

A dozen flights, though? No.

If they can't be torn apart by lions I want all of them in jail. That's only if we've ruled out lions, though.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:37 AM on July 9 [25 favorites]


I gotta admit that the eye-wall (and some of his other decor choices) sound amazing, were they not in the home of a monster.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:43 AM on July 9 [12 favorites]


Everybody wants an eyeball hallway, that is a given

It's the provenance that's concerning
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:59 AM on July 9 [29 favorites]


Bill to require California priests to report confessions of child sex abuse on hold
The California Catholic Conference said the ‘seal of confession’ is one of the most sacrosanct of Catholic beliefs and penitents rely on this unbreakable guarantee to freely confess and seek reconciliation with God. A priest who “breaks the seal,” the Catholic Conference added, “is automatically excommunicated.”
Nobody in power cares about children.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:05 AM on July 9 [15 favorites]


There's weird shit on his private island too, like this temple thing(?) covered with golden statues(??) that looks like a level from The Witness. Like, can you please try just a little bit to act like you're not in the Illuminati
posted by theodolite at 11:07 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Everybody wants an eyeball hallway, that is a given

It's the provenance that's concerning


So here's a factoid about over-preparation in times of war: The U.S. military bought like a million Purple Heart medals in anticipation of Allied invasion of Japan. Then a couple of atomic bombs obviated that invasion, and those medals just sat in storage for the next 75 years or so, and are probably still being handed out. If it weren't for the military's aversion to letting randos buy medals, they probably would have sold them off decades ago too, just like someone did with all those extra eyeballs.

Or, just as likely, Epstein is lying.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Philips Hue could probably come up with a setting that would give you a decent eyewall, with the added bonus that Google or Amazon would actually be watching you.

ETA I sense the birth of a Mefi meme.
posted by spitbull at 11:27 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


It's not a real eyewall unless they all track you as you walk by
posted by mbo at 11:34 AM on July 9 [16 favorites]


I mean the obvious implication of an eyewall is that “hey just so you know I am recording everything you say and do!”

We’re in a position where we have to say Eyes Wide Shut was too restrained and subtle in depicting a criminal, decadent upper class.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on July 9 [33 favorites]


Nobody in power cares about children.

Suffer the Children, Patrick Blanchfield
What is less remarkable than the fact that such polemics about child sacrifice should continue to exist (how could they not, since they’re at least as old and as ingrained in Western culture as the Bible?) is that, in a truly gobsmacking way, they are entirely gratuitous compared with the actual, unvarnished truth.

One need not confabulate tales of cabals of authority figures secretly engaged in outlandish and heinous abuse; one need simply read the headlines.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:41 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Private eyes
They’re watching you
They see your every move
posted by sallybrown at 11:49 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


'Cause after all, I'm your Eyeball Wall.
posted by Quonab at 11:54 AM on July 9 [19 favorites]


How shall I fill the final places?
How can I complete the wall?

Have you considered eyeballs?
posted by kirkaracha at 12:05 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


All in all, it's just
One more eye in the wall.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:06 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Since we're on the tangent of walls of eyeballs, here's an excerpt from Edwin Black's War on the Weak:

"Inmate doctor Jancu Vekler never forgot what he saw when he entered one room. 'There I saw a wooden table with eyeballs laying on it. All of them were tagged with numbers and little notes. They were pale, yellow, pale, blue, green, and violet.' Vera Kriegel, another slave doctor, recalled that she walked into one laboratory and was horrified to see a collection of eyeballs decorating an entire wall, 'pinned up like a butterfly collection.... I thought I was dead,' she said, 'and I was already living in Hell'.

Edwin Black, War on the Weak. Thunder's Mouth, New York, 2003. Page 362.

Epstein is a psychopath. A regular sociopath would have just stayed at Bear Stearns, making a fortune through crimes less likely to revolt every person with a conscience.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 12:08 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


It's pretty fucked up that the idea of a depraved criminal ruling class doling out power, wealth and protection to others in the mutual blackmail circle makes an incredible amount of sense of the world.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:16 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


I have been so weather-channelized that whenever I hear "eyewall" I immediately visualize Jim Cantore standing in a puddle wearing a raincoat and galoshes.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 12:27 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Here's to hoping that never changes.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 12:30 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Savile ‘made rings from glass eyes of the dead’

Maybe this is a thing with sexual perverts.
posted by monospace at 12:31 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Ugh. Just ugh.

@realDonaldTrump
@rexrode_lisa
"@realDonaldTrump you date girls young enough to be your daughter.That's perverted" Dated. No, that's talent.
3:51 PM - 23 Jul 2013
posted by scalefree at 12:32 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


If history is any indication, our next president will be Cassius.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:34 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Eyeball Wall – Why not a wall of 4K monitors so you can put up eyeballs, art with a message, or nightmare fuel you want?

For those of you thinking “Surely THIS….” with respect to Trump how long this kind of thing has been going on.

The Franklin Scandal
DynaCorp

as 2 examples.

And while the Q-thinking people have a horrible record of being right and there is no reason for the SD of NY to take orders from Dear Leader as revenge for the release of State tax forms as is being claimed the 2009 case attorney Bradley Edwards might be playing it 100% straight when quoted as having said: “Edwards: The only thing that I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who, in 2009 when I served a lot of subpoenas on a lot of people, or at least gave notice to some pretty connected people, that I want to talk to them, is the only person who picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk. I’ll give you as much time as you want. I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful, in the information that he gave, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information. That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.”

Trump might not get directly nailed on this.

The few of you hoping Dershowitz gets some form of come-up-ins remember, per reporting, Mike Cernovich wanted the records released to clear his name and Dershowitz had a similar request. Per reporting the Miami Herald then joined the release fight and with the released records wrote the reporting which has been credited as getting us here. If one wants to go with Alan being an ass there is this.

As Christine Pelosi said:
“This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice. It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may - whether on Republicans or Democrats. “

Your not-faves may skate while some faves go down.

Follow the money seems like it is good advice as it was during Watergate. And then start putting what pressure you can as to where the money flows.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:41 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


theodolite that building has been a focus of Qanon/pizzagate Klinton Kabal speculation for years now: they've been screaming that it's a demonic temple where children are sacrificed to Satan.

Ironically, it's a spa. Where people get massages.

The more shit comes out, the more I am convinced that evil evil fuckers are trolling us all. As someone said upthread, like an inoculation.
posted by jrochest at 12:41 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


It's pretty fucked up that the idea of a depraved criminal ruling class doling out power, wealth and protection to others in the mutual blackmail circle makes an incredible amount of sense of the world.

I always thought this quote was seriously hyperbolic. Until today. (One tiny mod).
Conservatism Capitalism [ed.] consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect. - Frank Wilhoit
posted by j_curiouser at 12:44 PM on July 9 [14 favorites]


The excellent podcast Behind the Bastards had a recent two-parter on Epstein which was quite good (and which talks about some of his likely clients, including Bill Clinton and Stephen Hawking):

*blink*

That....is satire, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:51 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Jrochest: they really are the American Taliban.
posted by odinsdream at 12:58 PM on July 9


No, he brought Hawking to the island. He was funding research and he liked to surround himself with prominent Great Minds: I think it may have been a self validating collection, like eyeballs, or beautiful underage girls, or sex toys.

Kill it with fire.
posted by jrochest at 1:00 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


That....is satire, right?

Dr. Ruth shows up in various paperwork it seems. Who would think to have Dr. Ruth on the bingo card here VS just having a large a list as possible to act as a social networker?

So Hawking might just be a guy he knew. Satire will be the deepfake of Hawking's voice making statements about how he doesn't know Epstein.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:03 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Alan Dershowitz Breaks Silence on Epstein Indictment: Claims Against Me are Politically Motivated
posted by The Whelk at 1:03 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Follow the money seems like it is good advice as it was during Watergate. And then start putting what pressure you can as to where the money flows.

rough ashlar,
I don't disagree - but my take from Watergate (book/film/newspapers/interviews/teenager at the time etc) was "follow the money AND get an impeccable inside source".

Without the critical guidance from Felt (I feel like avoiding writing Deep Throat given this current context), the journalists would have been chasing their own tails, or pursuing dubious re-election funds into dead ends?

I am just hoping very, very hard that someone with inside info turns.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:11 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


That argument didn't work for Duncan Hunter, and it's sure as fuck not going to work for you, Alan. You've had a long, ignoble reputation as a fixer for the wealthy - it's long past time for the chickens to roost.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:11 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Epstein's funded a lot of scientific research (particularly his friend Martin Nowak's work, at the Institute for Advanced Study and Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics), via the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation.

The "VI" stands for Virgin Islands, where his private island (Little Saint James) is located and where the foundation is headquartered.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:13 PM on July 9


There have to be some prominent people that Epstein tried to court or invite to parties who didn’t buy his BS, you’d think. There always the 1% of rich people who are self-aware like Abigail Disney. But maybe Epstein was good at filtering those ones out.
posted by sallybrown at 1:13 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


"Hey remember when the panama papers came out and revealed that all the rich people in the world are part of enormous criminal conspiracy to dodge taxes and hoard stolen wealth in offshore accounts and literally nothing happened?"

That's not quite true. Daphne Caruana Galizia, the reporter who broke the story, was assassinated and somehow no one ever really bothered much investigating who ordered the hit.

I've got a sinking feeling that sometime in 2030 we'll be saying "hey, remember when the Epstein case came out and revealed that all the rich people in the world are part of an enormous criminal conspiracy to rape underage girls and literally nothing happened?"

Epstein personally is probably going to go to prison for a while. I'm more than a bit doubtful about the idea of him being assassinated, not as long as he refuses to roll over on anyone at any rate. But I'd also be very surprised if anyone else went down. Somehow, like magic, prosecutors and investigators will be unable to find any evidence linking all of Epstein's very rich and powerful friends to the crimes.

Fictional terrorist/freedom fighter Quellcrist Falconer has never been proven wrong yet: "The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide from under it with a wink and a grin"

Epstein will be just a fluke, a bad apple. This isn't a crack in the wall or a thread that will unravel anything. Power will not tolerate any further prosecutions.
posted by sotonohito at 1:14 PM on July 9 [29 favorites]


“Claims against me are politically motivated.”

No, we’re against you politically because you’re a morally bankrupt, awful excuse for a human being. This is just proof of that.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:18 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


schadenfrau: Those pilot's flight logs published in the old Gawker article look very, very, very bad for Bill Clinton; they include over a dozen flights with two of the women accused of procuring/trafficking young women for Epstein's network, including the time he borrowed the plane for a week for a Clinton Foundation tour during which the entourage included young women who didn't appear to have anything to do with charity work. (They were, at least, not minors.) The article includes the caveat that pilot's logs are generally just for recording hours worked and "may be inaccurate," but, like...come on. A dozen flights. Nobody fucks up that much.


You know who richly deserves an apology, nay, for people to grovel at her feet and abase themselves? Kirsten Gillibrand. Completely over and above the Al Franken stuff, she said that Bill Clinton should have resigned. I wonder if she was more right than she ever knew. And, of course, we shouldn't tolerate sex predators in politics, no matter how charismatic or eloquent they are.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:19 PM on July 9 [29 favorites]


Rosie M. Banks: Completely over and above the Al Franken stuff, she said that Bill Clinton should have resigned. I wonder if she was more right than she ever knew.

I mean, thus far nothing new about Clinton has actaully come out, including those flight logs, it's just been given a bump by this news. And I'm not saying that to defend him or oppose her -- quite the opposite! I'm saying she's not necessarily being prescient here, but instead is adept at putting two and two together (and sticking with "probably four" even if it's a horrifying conclusion).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:36 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Get as many recognizable names in your orbit as possible, all of whom have something to lose by association if you go down, and you're more protected.

There's also the idea that participating in these sorts of crimes can be the price of entry to the support networks of the higher levels of power. The same with Kavanaugh and the fraternities, he's absolutely a reliable set of hands because those giving him orders have dirt on him. Also that fairly massive coverup in the UK with the Westminster paedophile dossier.

Also guessing that more than a few of the people who interacted with Epstein who weren't involved with his child sex trafficking at least heard rumours or knew about it (just like per John Lydon in '78 a lot of people knew about Jimmy Savile) but maintaining the establishment status quo was more of an imperative for them than facing or addressing the sickness going out of their sight.

And while it would be great if this managed to take down Trump (though realistically suspect he's unlikely to be directly implicated as he'd have recognised Epstein's game due to it being similar to his own, and he does seem to have been a lot more cautious than others) both he and Epstein are the fruiting bodies of a mycelium that permeates and maintains the aristocracy. Hopefully this case and others will continue to shine more light on the system and eventually wipe it out.
posted by Buntix at 1:42 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


"an impeccable inside source".

In the case of the money-flows today, they are electronic and seeming kept "forever" by the banks in the electronic form. At least based on what I've seen in court.

A Judge can write the order but needs an ongoing lawsuit to allow the Judge to make the order. $77 Million Dollar home and a private island should leave enough of a footprint to not be a "fishing expedition"....or at least I'd like to live in a world where the justice system would care enough to ask these questions.

An insider could try and leak such records - but I don't think the legal system is gonna say "come on in, we have a medal to pin on your chest". Mossack Fonseca is an example here.

A third way would be a release via "hackers" - A Dark Overlord/Operation Chanology kind of thing. I can't imagine everyone involved in moving about this kind of money has good enough infosec VS someone(s) who wants to make the claim "hacking to bring down a pedo".

If California is willing to try getting child abuse confessions reported is there enough political mojo to force open the cash flow information? Not hopeful on that path - unless the people are willing to say Franklin scandal/DynaCorp/Epstein - we are done with enabling this like how FOIA was to help prevent abuses. Not sure how you Church-hearing sex-abuse with the broken congress however.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:46 PM on July 9


I thought it was known that Hawking was a horndog.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:50 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Another unexplained tidbit: Epstein was on both sides of the Wexner real estate transaction:
Leslie Wexner, the founder of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, is the only client of Mr Epstein identified with any certainty. The links between the two include Mr Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. In 1989 Mr Wexner purchased the building for about $13.2m, but by the mid-1990s Mr Epstein was telling the press he owned it. Property records show no transaction until 2011, when the deed transferred to an entity controlled by Mr Epstein, who signed as both the buyer and seller. No purchase price is listed.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:50 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


"The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide from under it with a wink and a grin"

"Written laws are like spiders' webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful. Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones." - Anacharsis 6th century BC.

Alas, same as it ever was.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:53 PM on July 9 [24 favorites]


I thought it was known that Hawking was a horndog.

There was a hoax report of Stephen Hawking's sexual misconduct but no real one that I know of. There are, however, several reports that he was the victim of physical abuse by caretakers.
posted by peeedro at 2:00 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Do you want a revolution, overlords? Because this is how you get a revolution.

(I do not want a revolution; I do not think I would survive the many changing tides of who gets thrown against the wall this week. Too gay and difficult for that.)
posted by schadenfrau at 2:01 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Bill Clinton's statement says that he flew on Epstein's plane four times, never to Florida, and always with Secret Service staff. That's not what the flight logs say.

Did you read the flight logs or are you just repeating what someone told you? There's nothing in the flight logs that contradicts Clinton's statement. The entries for Clinton include his secret service agents. The reason there are 12 entries is because a pilot's log includes every takeoff and landing.

For example for his trip to Africa, there is JFK to Canaries then Canaries to Morocco. Then Morocco to Canaries and Canaries to JFK. That's four log entries for one trip.
posted by JackFlash at 2:02 PM on July 9 [38 favorites]


they've been screaming that it's a demonic temple where children are sacrificed to Satan

That's a pretty accurate description of what Epstein and his co-conspirators have been doing to children.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:07 PM on July 9


And good lord, why would you trust any story from Gawker? They are click bait for the gullible.
posted by JackFlash at 2:11 PM on July 9


Who Is Les Wexner, and How Is He Connected to Jeffrey Epstein?
According to a 2002 New York profile on Epstein, Wexner hired Epstein to be his financial adviser in 1987. (A 2003 Vanity Fair profile, however, references Epstein saying Wexner hired him in 1986, and then changing his story to say it was 1989.) Some speculated that Wexner was Epstein’s only client and therefore responsible for the bulk of his fortune, but others denied this claim, including Epstein himself. According to a recent follow-up by Vanity Fair writer Vicky Ward, Wexner never commented on this matter directly.
...
According to a Vanity Fair source close to Wexner at the time, Wexner trusted Epstein’s instincts so much, he assigned him the power of fiduciary over all of his private trusts and foundations. Epstein even took the place of Wexner’s ailing mother on the board of the Wexner Foundation in 1992. One person who worked for Wexner also told Vanity Fair that Epstein was involved in “everything,” including litigation around the construction of Wexner’s yacht, Limitless.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:13 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding from talk about this years ago was that the statutory rape occurred on the planes, so as to be outside of US jurisdiction.
posted by M-x shell at 2:14 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


...and that is the kind of premeditation that makes me want to put my head down and call it for humanity. That's it, we're done here, last one out turn off the lights.
posted by Flannery Culp at 2:39 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


In addition to Epstein's wealth and career being less than meets the eye, similarly his intelligence is probably overstated:
they all chattered on about Epstein’s brilliantly creative mind, his intellectual prowess—a mental agility that, to put it bluntly, was simply not evident in the many phone conversations he had with me
This is not to be confused with belonging to "intelligence", which Epstein is according to Acosta:
“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.)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:40 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding from talk about this years ago was that the statutory rape occurred on the planes, so as to be outside of US jurisdiction.

The US has laws to specifically address that, IIRC - if you travel abroad for illegal sex tourism, you can be tried for such.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:42 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Did you read the flight logs or are you just repeating what someone told you? There's nothing in the flight logs that contradicts Clinton's statement.

I read the flight logs and could see Clinton's name (in some format) on at least 16 flights. A number of the pages are unreadable due to the scan resolution. Also, this only accounts for where I saw his name spelled out, or copied down using "see above" or "same as above." The pilot frequently used initials for those he seemed familiar with. Anyway, applying some assumptions about trip groupings:

Trip 1:
Jan 9, 2002 MIA > HPN (so yeah, technically Clinton never flew "To" Florida according to this, but he definitely flew from it)

Trip 2:
Feb 19, 2002 JFK > EGGW (London)
Feb 21, 2002 EGGW > JFK

Trip 3:
May 22, 2002 RJTA > VHHH (Narita to Hong Kong)
May 23, 2002 VHHH > ZGSZ (to Shenzen)
May 23, 2002 ZGSZ > WSSS (to Singapore)
May 25, 2002 WSSS > VTBD (to Bangkok)
May 25, 2002 VTBD > WASB (Bangkok to unclear)

Trip 4:
Jul 13, 2002 GMME > LPAZ (Sale to Azores)
Jul 13, 2002 LPAZ > JFK (to JFK)

Trip 5:
Sep 21, 2002 JFK > LPAZ (JFK to Azores)

Trip 6:
Nov 5, 2003 ENGM > UNNT (Oslo to Novosibirsk, Russia)
Nov 6, 2003 UNNT > VHHH (to Hong Kong)
Nov 9, 2003 VHHH > ZUUU (to Chengdu)
Nov 9, 2003 ZUUU > ZBAA (to Beijing)
Nov 11, 2003 ZBAA > PANC (to Anchorage)

So Clinton's publicists may want to scan those flight logs in a little more detail.

Also, the number of times I saw "1 Female" or "2 Females" listed after the initials JE and sometimes full names of people was pretty uncountable and just very sad.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:46 PM on July 9 [18 favorites]


I looked into the catholic church rapes in Ireland years ago and was astonished by what I found. It was a depth of depravity I wouldn't have thought possible. It's hardly hyperbole to say they were a sex ring first and a church second. At times, I wondered how so much sex was even physically possible. Alas, it was all true.

All of which is to say that I no longer doubt it possible that some billionaire bought and maintained a private island and planes simply to service himself and other billionaires with an army of teenage sex slaves for never ending debauchery.
posted by xammerboy at 2:59 PM on July 9 [23 favorites]


There's nothing in the flight logs that contradicts Clinton's statement.

Clinton's statement includes the sentences 'In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation. Staff, supporters of the Foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every trip.'

The biggest contradiction, in my mind, is the flight from Miami to Westchester County, NY--two places that are not in Europe, Asia, or Africa. Clinton and Secret Service staff are listed on board that one, but Secret Service is not listed by that name on every flight Clinton was on. I'm willing to blame the Secret Service thing on sloppy log-keeping, but I doubt the log is so sloppy that it adds a former President and four agents to a flight they weren't on.
posted by box at 3:10 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Who flies from Hong Kong to Shenzhen? (that's a subway ride for me) what a waste
posted by mbo at 3:32 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Alan Dershowitz Breaks Silence on Epstein Indictment

The NYT has a story today on the reporter whose work recently re-publicized the Epstein scandal. Dershowitz apparently wrote an open letter to the Pulitzer Committee maligning her reporting.

The NYT today also has this... interesting tidbit:
Private as he was, Mr. Epstein was apparently concerned about what the public thought of him. A mutual friend arranged for him to meet R. Couri Hay, a public relations consultant. Mr. Hay said on Monday that their first meeting, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse, took place three years ago.

Mr. Epstein was not ready to re-emerge in the public eye — not then, anyway. Three months ago, Mr. Epstein called and invited him over to discuss damage control, Mr. Hay said.

“He hates every story starting with ‘billionaire pervert,’” Mr. Hay said. “Jeffrey had long stories about the difference between pedophilia with very young children and tweens and teens a little older.” He added, “It was his way of trying to talk his way around it.”

Mr. Hay said he ultimately declined to work for Mr. Epstein. He said he had misgivings about Mr. Epstein’s sincerity.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:41 PM on July 9 [17 favorites]


That "open letter" was published on the website of the Gatestone Institute.
Gatestone Institute is a conservative think tank with a focus on Islam and the Middle East. It was founded in 2012 by Nina Rosenwald, who serves as its president. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, now national security advisor, was its chairman from 2013 to March 2018.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:15 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Vicky Ward had this gem to say:

“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.


Lets assume that is US Intelligence. Who's gonna be the congresspeople who want answers about such a tie? What sayth the presidential hopefuls about running such an intelligence program?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:53 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding from talk about this years ago was that the statutory rape occurred on the planes, so as to be outside of US jurisdiction.

Like a ship at sea, if an aircraft is registered in the US and has a tail number beginning with "N," US law applies wherever it goes. This is why US airlines won't (or aren't supposed to, anyway) serve booze to an 18-20 year old even if the aircraft is flying over the UK at the time, where it would be legal to serve them were they on the ground.

The biggest reason I think the Clinton "connection" is a red herring is that Acosta and those above him would have had every motivation to make sure Bill was clearly and undeniably implicated given that, at the time, Hillary was expected to be the Democratic nominee in 2008. If it isn't, I hope he gets nailed to the wall. This transcends politics to the point that anyone unwilling to let the chips fall where they may clearly has a lack of morals.

Lastly, it strikes me as odd that Epstein's pilots were recording the identity of their passengers on purely domestic flights. Unlike on international flights where the feds require an accurate passenger manifest, there is no reason to log the identity of domestic passengers, only their number. It's not like there's a TSA line or check in counter where people are checking IDs. What that implies, if anything, I don't know, I only know that it was not how things were normally done at the time.
posted by wierdo at 4:59 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]


Who flies from Hong Kong to Shenzhen?

Passengers included 'Janice' and 'Jessica'--they don't appear on any of the other Clinton trips, so maybe they're supporters rather than Clinton Foundation staff.
posted by box at 5:16 PM on July 9


It’s not just us: billionaires also can’t figure out how Epstein made his money. From Yashar Ali: “Over the past few days I’ve spoken to seven prominent money managers, three of whom are billionaires, and asked them if they have any idea how Epstein made money or who his clients are. All of them said they had no idea and have never been able to figure out the answers. 2. Epstein claims to only take clients who are willing to hand over a billion or more and give him total control. He says he has multiple clients. The world of people who manage that much for individuals is quite small. . . . No amount of trafficking gets you two jets, multiple homes, thousands of acres in New Mexico, and an island in the Caribbean. Plus super wealthy men have much cheaper/less high profile ways to find girls and young women to rape.”
posted by sallybrown at 5:16 PM on July 9 [12 favorites]


The biggest reason I think the Clinton "connection" is a red herring is that Acosta and those above him would have had every motivation to make sure Bill was clearly and undeniably implicated given that, at the time, Hillary was expected to be the Democratic nominee in 2008.

Perhaps something bigger than D vs R politics was at play? Clinton/Trump/et al are in thier positions because someone else higher up the food chain wants them there. And I'd swear there was ink being spilled in 2008 about Epistien/Clinton with talk about how that would make Hillary unelectable. There was some - but a google search from jan 1 2007 to Dec 31 2008 has less than 10 pages and after page 5 it drops off for epstein clinton.

Plenty of ink has been spilled about Mena airport traffic decades ago.

Metifite sotonohito may be the hard nosed realist here.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:19 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Perhaps something bigger than D vs R politics was at play? Clinton/Trump/et al are in thier positions because someone else higher up the food chain wants them there.

Well, yes to the first sentence. But regarding the second -- no, this isn't at base a partisan game: it's some mixture of a child rape ring, a conspiracy to cover up the ongoing child rape ring, a blackmailing scheme, and corruption of public officials to prevent consequences for all that shit.

Are you saying that Democrats covered up this in fear that it would hurt Hillary's election chances? If so, that's a leap unsupported by any public evidence that I know of.

Anyway, the low-hanging fruit in all of this is clear: dismantle the old boys' club. Elect women.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:31 PM on July 9 [21 favorites]


This is basically a collection of news articles about Epstein, but one article I read yesterday said there were rumors that Epstein and Wexner were lovers, or at least, Wexner was infatuated with Epstein, and that's the source of his money. The top article says Epstein opened up shop and refused clients with less than a billion, but no one knows who they are or how he obtained them. It sounds like a lot of made up BS, I'm betting on Russian investors.

Also, the Jane Doe testimony from 2016 specifically mentions Trump being attracted to her because she was wearing a blonde wig and he said she resembled Ivanka, who was 13 at the time. I had a hard time watching the video and reading the associated article.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:32 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Perhaps something bigger than D vs R politics was at play? Clinton/Trump/et al are in thier positions because someone else higher up the food chain wants them there.

Makes me think of a post about social class on some dude's blog. It struck me as insightful, but for some reason, it's gone, excepting in archive format, though the rest of the blog is not.

The entry about the final, tip-top of the pyramid is this:

Global Elite (E1, ~60,000 people worldwide, about 30% of those in the U.S.) are a global social class, and extremely powerful in a trans-national way. These are the very rich, powerful, and deeply uncultured barbarians from all over the world who start wars in the Middle East for sport, make asses of themselves in American casinos, rape ski bunnies at Davos, and run the world. Like the Persian army in 300, they come from all over the place; they’re the ugliest and most broken of each nation. They’re the corporate billionaires and drug kingpins and third-world despots and real estate magnates. They’re not into the genteel, reserved “WASP culture” of E2’s, the corporate earnestness and “white shoe” professionalism of E3’s, or the hypertrophic intellectualism and creativity of G1’s and G2’s. They are all about control, and on a global scale. To channel Heisenberg, they’re in the empire business. They aren’t mere management or even “executives”. They’re owners. They don’t care what they own, or what direction the world takes, as long as they’re on top. They almost never take official executive positions within large companies, but they make a lot of the decisions behind the scenes.

Unlike the National Elite, who tend toward a cultural conservatism and a desire to preserve certain traits that they consider necessary to national integrity, the Global Elite doesn’t give a shit about any particular country. They’re fully multinational and view all the world’s political nations as entities to be exploited (like everything else). They foster corruption and crime if it serves their interests, and those interests are often ugly. Like Kefka from Final Fantasy VI, their reason for living is to create monuments to nonexistence.

For the other social classes, there’s no uniform moral assumption that can apply. G1’s are likable and often deserving cultural leaders, but sometimes foolish, overrated, incompetent, infuriatingly petty, and too prone to groupthink to deserve their disproportionate clout. G2’s tend to have the best (or at least most robust) taste, because they don’t fall into G1 self-referentiality, but can be just as snooty and cliquish. As “pro-Gentry” as I may seem, it’s a massive simplification to treat that set as entirely virtuous. Likewise, the lower elite ranks (E2, E3, E4) also have their mix of good and bad people. There are E2’s who want to live well and decently, E3’s trying to provide for their families, and E4’s trying to get in because they were brought up to climb the ladder. On the other hand, E1 is pretty much objectively evil, without exceptions. There are decent people who are billionaires, so there’s no income or wealth level at which 100% objective evil becomes the norm. But if you climb the social ladder, you get to a level at which it’s all cancer, all the way up. That’s E1. Why is it this way? Because the top end of the world’s elite is a social elite, not an economic one, and you don’t get deep into an elevated social elite unless you are very simliar to the center of that cluster, and for the past 10,000 years the center of humanity’s top-of-the-top cluster has always been deep, featureless evil: people who burn peasants’ faces off because it amuses them. Whether you’re talking about a real person like Hitler, Stalin, Erik Prince, Osama bin Laden, or Kissinger, or a fictional example like The Joker, Kefka, Walter White, or Randall Flagg; when you get to the top of society, it’s always the same guy. Call it The Devil, but what’s scary is that it needs (and has) no supernatural powers; it’s human, and while one its representatives might get knocked off, another one will step up.

posted by Caduceus at 5:33 PM on July 9 [44 favorites]


Handle with caution! That link in rough ashlar's comment is to the alt-right / Russian propaganda site ZeroHedge. A google search for "I could not make a strong case for Trump being super close to Epstein" only yields more right-wing sources like the Washington Times and Infowars.

My suspicion is that any private investigation into either Trump or Clinton would not and did not somehow yield more than the rather damning stuff that has already been public knowledge; it would take law enforcement powers to dig any deeper. Regardless, I'm extremely skeptical of the neutrality of anyone claiming that either of them comes out of this looking much better than the other. That is, apart from the lack of direct accusation against Clinton, but I don't really put a huge amount of stock there because, if nothing else, he seems likely to have been a passive enabler of this.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:22 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


The few of you hoping Dershowitz gets some form of come-up-ins remember, per reporting, Mike Cernovich wanted the records released to clear his name and Dershowitz had a similar request. Per reporting the Miami Herald then joined the release fight and with the released records wrote the reporting which has been credited as getting us here.

Nope, this isn't true, as the Miami Herald points out:
In addition to the Miami Herald, assorted other news organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to release the documents. Social media blogger Michael Cernovich and Epstein’s attorney, Alan Dershowitz, also sought unsealing of some of the records.

The New York case, filed in 2015, was brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims that she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to wealthy and powerful politicians, lawyers, academics and government leaders when she was underage. Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after Maxwell publicly denounced her as a liar.

The case was settled in Giuffre’s favor in 2017, several sources have told the Herald. Nearly all the documents filed in connection with the case, however, were sealed. The Herald was unsuccessful in reaching Maxwell’s lawyer, Ty Gee, for comment Wednesday.

The Herald, as part of a November investigation called “Perversion of Justice,” went to court to unseal all the records in January. A lower court ruled against the newspaper, and the appeals court heard arguments by the Herald, Cernovich and Dershowitz in March.
First, the documents haven't been unsealed - the court only ruled last week for the unsealing. Second, Cernovich and Dershowitz were not wanting for the full corpus to be unsealed - only a select portion that they could use to attack Giuffre.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:27 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


[One comment removed. rough ashler, you've been coming in pretty loud and fast in here, give the thread a pass at this point.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:37 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Makes me think of a post about social class on some dude's blog.

Uh that blog post seems weirdly prophetic
posted by schadenfrau at 6:47 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


(I remember that essay going around a lot in Occupy circles and uh ...ooh boy yeah labor being the engine of change is something I wish I got drilled into me sonner. )
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


In the Alec Baldwin podcast interview with Miami Herald writer, Julie Brown, he talks with Dershowitz in the last 7 minutes. His claim is that the accusers of him were investigated and the second accuser was known to lie about sexual assaults and this was understood to be true by the NYPost. It’s worth listening to the whole show to hear how much umbrage Baldwin has when talking to Brown and how he softens his stance and offers an olive branch to Dershowitz which is...disappointing and not surprising. I have never listened to this show with Baldwin so I don’t know how he typically is but it certainly ends weird.
posted by amanda at 6:56 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Ken White of PopeHat for the Atlantic: The Jeffrey Epstein Case Is Like Nothing I’ve Seen Before (apologies if this is already linked and I missed it)
posted by Caduceus at 7:00 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Perhaps something bigger than D vs R politics was at play?

I take it you don't remember the 90s, then? There may in fact be fire, but all the smoke that didn't involve Bill being a run of the mill adulterer was smoke signals being manufactured by lying right wing shit stirrers.

Why would they be perfectly happy to make ridiculous claims about Clinton's involvement in everything from drug running to outright murder but then not take the chance to "prove" the rest of it and kneecap Hillary by tying him to Epstein, given the chance? There is no sensible chain of logic I can see that leads to that conclusion.
posted by wierdo at 7:15 PM on July 9 [14 favorites]


Ryan Grim, The Intercept - Jeffery Epstein Shipped Himself a 53 Pound Shredder and a Carpet and Tile Extractor, Maritime Records Show
JEFFREY EPSTEIN SHIPPED a shredder from the U.S. Virgin Islands to his Palm Beach home in July 2008, shortly after reaching a non-prosecution agreement with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, maritime records show. Then, in March of this year, shortly after a Florida federal judge invalidated that agreement, Epstein shipped a tile and carpet extractor from the Virgin Islands to his Manhattan townhouse, the records show.
Don't rich people have... people for that?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:20 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


You can also buy shedders and extractors in New York, probably for less than the cost of shipping them from the USVI. Leading to the obvious question...
posted by spitbull at 7:50 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


The shredder I get. The implication is that the extractor was for cleaning up, uh, dna?
posted by j_curiouser at 7:54 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


for when there's not enough bleach in the world...
posted by xammerboy at 7:58 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


You can also buy shedders and extractors in New York, probably for less than the cost of shipping them from the USVI. Leading to the obvious question...

Maybe they had sentimental value
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:26 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]






Louisiana is more Catholic than 'evangelical', but we basically have a democratic governor in a majority republican state because the current governor knew how to leverage the scandal

'It's where you live, Senator'
'You are a liar, you are a cheater, and I don't tolerate that'
posted by eustatic at 11:43 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


We’re in a position where we have to say Eyes Wide Shut was too restrained and subtle in depicting a criminal, decadent upper class.

Glad I'm not the only one thinking of Kubrick now. The movie should have had more violence, less standing in circles.
posted by harriet vane at 12:12 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Over the past few days I’ve spoken to seven prominent money managers, three of whom are billionaires, and asked them if they have any idea how Epstein made money or who his clients are. All of them said they had no idea and have never been able to figure out the answers.

Courthouse News’s Adam Klasfeld reports from Monday’s hearing, “"The defendant has refused to answer any questions about his income or assets for the Pretrial Services report, so the scope of his wealth and his assets remains entirely concealed to the government and to the court," Epstein's prosecutor, yesterday.”

Slate’s Nicole Cliffs: “I am Team We’re Gonna Find Out Epstein’s Quote Unquote Hedge Fund Was a Ponzi Scheme Buttressed By Blackmail.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:33 AM on July 10 [25 favorites]


Spitballing here but isn't there a chance that Clinton was spared due to an "assured mutual destruction" scenario?
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 5:50 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


New Jeffrey Epstein accuser: He raped me when I was 15
Araoz's account adds a new dimension to the allegations against Epstein: a young girl being recruited outside a New York City school to perform sexual favors for him.
I was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein; here's what I know
Why was Epstein so easily rehabilitated? He was smart. Attractive. Rich. And that is a potent combination. As David Patrick Columbia, editor of New York Social Diary, explained it for the Times: “A jail sentence doesn't matter anymore. The only thing that gets you shunned in New York society is poverty.”
Jeffrey Epstein Moved Freely in Hollywood Circles Even After 2008 Conviction
Even in the post-#MeToo era, Epstein, 66, frequently attended industry events, like the Gotham Awards in November 2017. Amid a climate where figures including Harvey Weinstein and CBS' Leslie Moonves had instantly become persona non grata for alleged misconduct, Epstein had been convicted and still enjoyed film-world access. As he traveled behind the velvet rope with ease, his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell was embraced.
So Was QAnon … Right?
If anything, QAnon was a more palatable version of this story — a rendition in which elites spent decades secretly working toward justice, in which the forces arrayed against them were supernaturally malevolent rather than simply rich and networked, and in which the president of the United States is a covert agent for good, rather than a former Epstein acquaintance and enabler. Or rather than, for that matter, a multiply accused sex abuser himself.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:26 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]


Sweet Jesus the last thing we need is qanon gaining credibility.
posted by sio42 at 6:36 AM on July 10 [12 favorites]


Surely QAnon and PizzaGate were proactive spoilers - arranging absurd conspiracy narratives around actual conspiracies to discredit them by association?
posted by Grangousier at 6:38 AM on July 10 [27 favorites]


Spitballing here but isn't there a chance that Clinton was spared due to an "assured mutual destruction" scenario?

This and some of the musing upthread about world leaders being installed edge way too close to some kind of “puppet masters controlling the world” scenario that powers QAnon and Pizzagate as well as anti-Semitic “the Rothschilds” theories. It can be true that there’s global financial corruption, that rich people buy their way out of justice, that terrible rich people win elections, and that it’s not all part of some unified scheme arranged by a greater power. I think these societal failings are all symptoms of a larger disease (like the worship of money and a trend of loosening financial regulation) but not arranged to be that way.
posted by sallybrown at 6:44 AM on July 10 [18 favorites]


I was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein; here's what I know

TW: Gross. But if you're reading this thread you already know that.
posted by M-x shell at 6:55 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Jeffrey Epstein Borrowed ‘Tainted Money’ From Deutsche Bank, Says Former Mentor
The origins of Jeffrey Epstein’s financial empire remain a mystery to even billionaires. But the investor’s former Wall Street mentor has one theory about how Epstein amassed his fortune: Fraud.
In a phone interview with Observer, Steven Hoffenberg alleged Epstein participated in a Ponzi scheme the two ran together in the 1980s, before using the ill-gotten gains to launch his investment company with the help of financial loans from Deutsche Bank.
“Its a very simplistic financial fraud that he concealed from everybody that gave him tainted money,” said Hoffenberg. “He never told anybody, and I literally mean anybody, that gave him any money since he left Towers, that he was part of Towers. And that’s a securities fraud because when you take money from people, you have to tell them your history.”
Hoffenberg oversaw Towers Financial, but was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 1997 for defrauding clients out of $450 million. Although Epstein was never charged in the case, a lawsuit filed last year by former Towers investors lists the financier as “an uncharged co-conspirator,” and alleges he “knowingly and intentionally utilized funds he fraudulently diverted and obtained from this massive Ponzi scheme for his own personal use to support a lavish lifestyle.”
“If Jeffrey Epstein was materially involved in the management of Towers Financial, as his former associate Steven Hoffenberg has alleged, or he substantially assisted and had knowledge of the Ponzi scheme through various corporate transactions with Towers Financial, then he would be subject to liability for that Ponzi, and further, may have committed securities fraud on his future clients by not disclosing his prior involvement,” Jeff Sonn, a securities attorney and founder of Sonn Law Group, told Observer. “The problem I see is that Hoffenberg waited some 20 years to come forward with these new allegations, and he may have reduced his 18-year sentence by implicating Epstein in the Ponzi scheme back in 1994 but didn’t do so.”
posted by scalefree at 7:33 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


Well that was always one of the most frustrating and absurd part of Qanon, wasn’t it? This frothing, swivel-eyed conspiracy theory mythos that grew ever larger and more complex with the day (“It’s like a movie!” Says its famous adherents) Baird a child rape ring among elites while, like Catholic Church sex scandals, an actual child rape ring was going on basic public view to anyone even halfway suing attention

Like I don’t think that was planned, it’s obvious the whole thing got away from the two bit conmen who started it and it quickly and took on a mad life of its own. But I think there’s an cultural trend to echo concerns and fixations, a kind of low key cargo culting. Your average person in the 90s couldn’t make it rich day trading but day trading was in the air and seen as a way to get rich quick, so they get a simulacra of day trading; Beanie babies. Like was the average person can’t go after a criminal elite and the idea and evidence of his corruption has been floating around for so long that when someone does the right wing projection thing , it sticks. Rather then collect beanie babies, they post online and obsess over clues like a fandom trying to decode teaser images. It’s a cargo cult investigation (Like a movie!”) and wouldn’t be anymore dangerous then any weird online conspiracy except I believe they have at least two murders related and people keep trying to burn down comet ping pong sooo
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 AM on July 10 [12 favorites]


“I always judge things on empirical evidence. He always has women ages 19 to 23 around him, but I've never seen anything else, so as a scientist, my presumption is that whatever the problems were I would believe him over other people."

LOL, I can always pinpoint people's ages by looking at them, especially as I get older...
posted by armacy at 7:36 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


(Also the difference between the actual Epstein case and the Qanon Cargo cult is the Epstein case is relatively straightforward, backed by mountains of court records and interviews, and does not yet involve time travel.)
posted by The Whelk at 7:37 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


I take it you don't remember the 90s, then? There may in fact be fire, but all the smoke that didn't involve Bill being a run of the mill adulterer was smoke signals being manufactured by lying right wing shit stirrers.

Why would they be perfectly happy to make ridiculous claims about Clinton's involvement in everything from drug running to outright murder but then not take the chance to "prove" the rest of it and kneecap Hillary by tying him to Epstein, given the chance? There is no sensible chain of logic I can see that leads to that conclusion.


I think the suggestion was that there is something bigger than mundane politics at play. I would assume the right wing politicians making the accusations at the time weren't a party to the elite circles Trump and Clinton ran in. I would also assume that the super-elite at that level don't much care about R-or-D contests in the first place.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:40 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


: “A jail sentence doesn't matter anymore. The only thing that gets you shunned in New York society is poverty.”

Like I said before about all these people coming out the S&L scandal untouched and then becoming big money donors to in order to dismantle Wall Street regulations even more so they make even more money: Nothing will harm these people unless you take away their money and/or their ability to move in elite circles. It’s the only punishment they understand and the hoarding of wealth diseases the hoarder and society at large.
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 AM on July 10 [30 favorites]


It was mentioned specifically in the statement by Jane Doe from 2016 that Trump through money at her once. She was forced to give it back, because as she said, Epstein or one of his staff were the only ones who ever paid her. That was a strict rule.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:51 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


The implication is that the extractor was for cleaning up, uh, dna?

I was thinking cash or valuables literally sealed in the walls or under floors. He wanted them out before the search raids.
posted by dnash at 7:56 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I mean. Conspiracies among the elite seem insane until you remember that literally every powerful group you've ever encountered has worked together to keep other people from encroaching on their power -- like is this not, essentially, the Marxist theory everyone gets so excited about, just on a micro scale? -- and that we have literally seen these exact dynamics in organized child rape rings in multiple scandals in just the last few years.

The Catholic Church everywhere, apparently the evangelical denominations and the megachurches, Jimmy Savile and, like, members of Parliament? Fucking Kavanaugh and his high school boys club laughing as they played a game where women were the ball.

Rape as domination, and the exertion of dominance as a social bonding ritual for groups of men, particularly groups of men who need to work together to hold on to power, is not some fantabulous conspiracy theory nonsense. It's fucking everywhere.

Dismissing it because some crazy people incorporate an obvious part of reality in their delusions is...not great. And isn't all that different from "yeah but SOME women are LYING."

Anyway. I don't actually care what pizzagate crazies think or say. I'm gonna go ahead and react to observable reality, which is, unfortunately, bad enough. The only thing worse is looking for an excuse to avoid confronting that.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:58 AM on July 10 [51 favorites]


Adding pizza and adrenochrome and time travel and face-wearing and secretly alive JFK Jr. and ancient Talmudo-Masonic cabals gets the crazies and fascists on board to make conveniently wacky and silly the rather simple fact that the rich and powerful like to fuck kids. I mean if this was ancient Rome our oligarchs would just openly be fucking kids and that'd be that, but if they did it today without gussying it up then only conservatives would be OK with it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:14 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


“I always judge things on empirical evidence. He always has women ages 19 to 23 around him, but I've never seen anything else, so as a scientist, my presumption is that whatever the problems were I would believe him over other people."

LOL, I can always pinpoint people's ages by looking at them, especially as I get older...


He probably looked their ages up in the catalog.
posted by srboisvert at 8:20 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


I am having a hard time articulating it, but there is a big difference to me in a hierarchy-driven scheme to cover up a series of crimes, and a hierarchy-driven scheme to perpetrate the crimes. For example, it’s very clear to me that the Catholic Church’s cover-up of the sexual abuse of children came from the very top, but it seems exceedingly unlikely and implausible that the criminal behavior was directed by the top—priests abused children because those individual priests chose to, and various factors of how the Church was run enabled (but didn’t cause) that behavior. Same with here—Epstein as an individual chose to engage in this behavior. His wealth, the way our society enabled him to build wealth, and the way wealth gives power in our society, enabled him to do that and to get away with it (until perhaps now). But there was no puppet-master that caused him to abuse children. That was his choice.
posted by sallybrown at 8:22 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


Amanda Marcotte has a twitter thread with a link to an article about why men would defend Epstein.

Here's the tweet that really got to me:

"The implication of such arguments is that only the body, and not the mind, is all that matters. The fact that a 14- or 15-year-old is mentally immature even if her body has gone through puberty doesn't matter to these men, because they simply don't believe female minds matter."
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:23 AM on July 10 [28 favorites]


Grangousier: Surely QAnon and PizzaGate were proactive spoilers - arranging absurd conspiracy narratives around actual conspiracies to discredit them by association?

Heh, that bleakly reminds me of "The 9/11 Meta-Truther Conspiracy Theory", a joke whereby our shadowy overlords did in fact arrange for the 9/11 attacks but only by facilitating the hijackers, then created the "internal demolition" and "fire can't melt steel" concepts so that any conspiracy sounds rediculous by association.

Except in this case, I think what happened is more like if, prior to carrying out their attack, al-Queda had spread rumors (meant to be taken seriously) that Israel and/or other Jewish people were going to do it, with the intent to then exploit their own terrorism for the purpose of spreading antisemitism. "Pizzagate" is only vaguely about making the whole idea of a child-slave ring look as absurd as the notion that "pizza is a code word"; the primary goal now is, I think, the same as we always thought, namely to smear certain people.

sallybrown: I am having a hard time articulating it, but there is a big difference to me in a hierarchy-driven scheme to cover up a series of crimes, and a hierarchy-driven scheme to perpetrate the crimes... Epstein as an individual chose to engage in this behavior. His wealth, the way our society enabled him to build wealth, and the way wealth gives power in our society, enabled him to do that and to get away with it (until perhaps now). But there was no puppet-master that caused him to abuse children. That was his choice.

I think when people draw these parallels, they're pointing to Epstein himself as the puppet-master, and thus far that's more or less exactly what it looks like.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:29 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


“I always judge things on empirical evidence...."

Ah the pretense to neutrality and omniscience (“the view from nowhere”) that always identifies the ideological positivists, who these days tend to cluster in places like Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics chugging out sensationalist pop (pseudo)science that appeals to rich white guys of a certain age and intellectual pretension. Probably the quoted scientist quietly admired Epstein’s performance of his reproductive fitness as a live demonstration of first principles. Right after cashing the $30 million check Epstein gave the HPED and that Harvard says it is too late to return.

Also, Metafilter: a low-level cargo cult.
posted by spitbull at 9:16 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


The thing about Pizzagate is that its adherents are 100% targeting people in a very specific socio-political place. If you dip into it, they're all targeting politicians on the left hand side of the political spectrum, and "the Hollywood Elite".

It isn't about combatting pedophilia at all. It's all about painting a class of people with the worst possible brush they can. They wanted to believe the worst about "the Hollywood Elite" and "the liberals", and this was the worst they could think up, ergo it was true. QAnon isn't even going to acknowledge this, or at most they'll deflect back onto Clinton and other folks.

To truly understand a conspiracy theory, you have to look at who they're talking about and ask yourself "why them".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


Another sad quote from the Salon article posted above:
It is rumored that Epstein's lawyer has made a proffer to the prosecutors: Epstein will agree to cooperate with the investigation, including giving up the names of individuals that paid for activities with underage girls in exchange for a maximum sentence not to exceed 5 years.

If true, that proffer sounds like good news. Ironic good news: what a friend Jeffrey Epstein turned out to be! Then I grasped the wiggle phrase: “individuals that paid.” That would not be Donald Trump or Bill Clinton or a great many other bold-facers who flew on Epstein’s plane.

If true, another round of great lawyering may mean that no one in New York society will be publicly shamed. Because the friends of Jeffrey Epstein are rich. And the rich are famously cheap. Pay for sex in a friend’s house? They’d never. And their host would never ask. The girls were just a perk.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:36 AM on July 10 [25 favorites]


there is a big difference to me in a hierarchy-driven scheme to cover up a series of crimes, and a hierarchy-driven scheme to perpetrate the crimes.

If there is enough volume and enough time, then eventually scheme A begets scheme B and the two become inseparable.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 10:14 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Newly revealed Epstein victim Jennifer Araoz, who had given an interview to NBC News, has filed a lawsuit under the soon to be enacted NY Child Victim's Act to reveal the identity of the person who recruited and groomed her.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:20 AM on July 10 [22 favorites]


"Not to exceed five years" sounds like a sick joke to me given what we're talking about if there were even one victim; some number of decades would be a more sensible opening bid. Are those lawyers right to be that confident about the social privileges of their client now that the case is so incrediblt high-profile?

Also, what might the offer tell us about their knowledge of the recorded evidence? Would the labeled material perhaps skew more to non-paying participents, thus leaving only the paying ones left over? I dare not hope the case is that solid, but.

In fact it's hard for my imagination not to run with scenes of the Justice Department and the SDNY basically racing against each other now to interfere with the process and to circumvent that interference, respectively.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:33 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]




Andrea Dworkin warned us.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 10:52 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


I'm really struck by the sheer number of girls that it appears were procured. There's a handful of consistent actors but it seems many were brought in and discarded, or they left, with regularity. It's almost like a not insignificant part of the allure was having young, very scared girls. If they hung around, they'd likely age out quickly. And if they hung around, they probably had to act not scared for their own self-preservation which wasn't attractive to this guy. Plus, a one-time thing can be more easily dismissed by, oh everyone as a single incident. A "mistake." She seemed older. She has a history. She was no virgin. Just the one. See also: Polanski.
posted by amanda at 11:47 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]


It is rumored that Epstein's lawyer has made a proffer to the prosecutors: Epstein will agree to cooperate with the investigation, including giving up the names of individuals that paid for activities with underage girls in exchange for a maximum sentence not to exceed 5 years.

So if someone got those activities on the house, or if they promised to pay but never paid, or if someone else paid for them, their name will not be given up. A competent prosecutor would laugh that proffer out of the room, regardless of the proposed sentence cap.
posted by The World Famous at 11:49 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


Why do we need his deal? We have women willing to testify. We have witnesses. We have records.
posted by amanda at 11:52 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


Why do we need his deal? We have women willing to testify. We have witnesses. We have records

Because
1. people don't believe women
2. if they do believe them, they blame them
3. if they do believe them, they don't think it was that big of a deal
4. but people really really really really don't want to believe women. And they won't : not with audio (grab em by the p****), not with pictures (like the marine's infamous shared non-consensual photos between soldiers), not with our personal stories (like 50+ women saying bill cosby assaulted them).

The only thing men will TEND to do in these cases is protect the reputations of men they don't know personally... at the expense of the narrative of the victims.

The only reason why Epstein is having any public reckoning is due to #metoo
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:59 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


I have yet to see any credible source for the below, as opposed to rumors on Twitter that then got pulled into a Salon article. If anyone has seen the actual reporting on this, please link it:

It is rumored that Epstein's lawyer has made a proffer to the prosecutors: Epstein will agree to cooperate with the investigation, including giving up the names of individuals that paid for activities with underage girls in exchange for a maximum sentence not to exceed 5 years.
posted by sallybrown at 12:10 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


'Everybody called it "Pedophile Island"': Locals describe Jeffrey Epstein's shadowy presence in the US Virgin Islands
Ask about Jeffrey Epstein on St. Thomas and rooms go quiet. Some people leave. Those who share stories speak in barely audible tones.
...
When guides took scuba divers to spots near the island, security guards would walk to the water's edge.
...
Many people who worked for Epstein told The Associated Press this week that they had signed long non-disclosure agreements, and refused to talk.
...
Locals recalled seeing Epstein's black helicopter flying back and forth from the tiny international airport in St. Thomas to his helipad on Little St. James Island, a roughly 75-acre retreat a little over a mile southeast of St. Thomas.
...
At a nearby office that locals say Epstein owns in a seaside strip mall, a man in a T-shirt and sunglasses on his head opened the door a crack, shook his head vehemently when asked about Epstein and locked the door.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 12:11 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


And Acosta may have just thrown Epstein's lawyers a line, by saying that DoJ officials were in on the deal, allowing them to argue that the deal extends to SDNY.

What a garbage human being.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:20 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


That AP story Noisy Pink Bubbles linked to reads like the opening to a vampire story. All the locals know there's a monster in the castle, and everyone's too terrified to do anything but try to stay safe.
posted by skymt at 12:20 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


Above the Law has an overview of Acosta’s "dumpster fire" of a conference, where he blamed everyone but himself for the deal.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:36 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Acosta was asked about the "intelligence" remark; he responded: "I can't address it directly because of our guidelines."

How Jeffrey Epstein Made His Money: Four Wild Theories (1. Ponzi Scheme 2. Blackmail 3. Intelligence 4. Offshore Tax Schemes / Money Laundering)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:46 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


Via Peter Alexander on Twitter: "Former Palm Beach (FL) State Atty Barry Krischer challenges Acosta’s characterization of why Acosta pursued a plea deal for Epstein: “I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta’s recollection of this matter is completely wrong.” Full statement from Krischer at the link.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:34 PM on July 10 [20 favorites]


That's my kinda statement: absolutely zero hand-waving bullshit.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:51 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I wonder if Acosta's 53-page indictment that went nowhere is available under FOIA
posted by mbo at 3:58 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


So the intelligence thing makes a hell of a lot of sense. He spends a lot of time with rich and powerful people, then collects blackmail material on them. I doubt the Russian government is the only entity into kompromat, and I find it easy to believe that people who, uh, do other terrible things would consider someone in Epstein’s position too valuable to give up.

Nuke them all from orbit and let’s start civilization over.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:35 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


@popehat has some question for Secretary Acosta after his press conference...
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:22 PM on July 10 [21 favorites]


Rebecca Solnit weighs in.
"That these men actually run the media, the government, the financial system says everything about what kind of systems they are. Those systems have toiled to protect them, over and over. Indeed, power is not vested in them but in the individuals and institutions all around them. This makes it essential to look past individual perpetrators to the systems that allow them to commit crimes with impunity."
posted by mareli at 6:19 PM on July 10 [31 favorites]


This is a personal statement so maybe it’s a derail and I don’t mean it to be but I find myself rabidly invested in this story and its outcomes. There’s been talk about how people “moved on” from the Epstein story but let me tell you, Trump is a walking trigger. I read the story a year or more ago about the woman coming forward to assert her rape as a 13-year-old by our president at the facilitation of Epstein and it was profoundly disturbing, indelibly so. I have thought about it frequently. I can’t be the only one. And I’m reminded of how incensed I was during the Kavanaugh debacle. Surely this? No.

It can’t just be Epstein who falls here. But he also can’t fall just a little bit. I want both truth and justice. Who are the heroes right now who need help and encouragement?
posted by amanda at 6:40 PM on July 10 [45 favorites]


And I’m reminded of how incensed I was during the Kavanaugh debacle.

That’s the one I just can’t get over, out of all the stories.
posted by sallybrown at 6:47 PM on July 10 [12 favorites]


A journalist named Tim Albert will be publishing a book about Trump and Republicans, called American Carnage, and it includes new information about the internal Republican fallout over the Access Hollywood Tape (including Karen Pence threatening to Mike that she would not appear with him in public if he stuck with Trump after that) and how Trump won back the many Republicans who were explicitly saying he should be dropped from the ticket (including Paul Ryan!) -- by apologizing, sure, but mostly by his threat to put Hillary in jail.

This Washington Post opinion piece does a really nice job tying that together with Trump's present-day defense of Acosta and his overall tendency to find refuge in audacity.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:15 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Deutsche Bank Ended Its Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein This Year
Deutsche Bank AG severed business ties with Jeffrey Epstein earlier this year, just as federal authorities were preparing to charge the financier with operating a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls out of his opulent homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach.
...
The revelation of the closed accounts adds to the mystery surrounding Epstein’s supposed fortune. Despite his lavish lifestyle and rich acquaintances, the extent of his wealth -- and how he acquired it -- remains unclear.
Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Infinite Means’ May Be a Mirage
Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.

Mr. Epstein’s wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men — Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster later convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme, and Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of retail chains including The Limited and the chief executive of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:17 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


And I’m reminded of how incensed I was during the Kavanaugh debacle.

That’s the one I just can’t get over, out of all the stories.


A strong opposition would rightly accuse this court of being illegitimate and the the result of theft and fraud - and also hey, so paid off Kavanaugh’s debts again?
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


NYPD let convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein skip judge-ordered check-ins
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.
...
But the NYPD hasn’t required the multimillionaire 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.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:36 PM on July 10 [28 favorites]


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.
Well it's not like he was selling loose cigarettes or something truly heinous..

I think everybody has always known that our justice system is flawed -- that justice is different for the rich than for the poor. I have nevertheless been shocked time and time again by constant repeated demonstrations of the extent to which this is true, by its shamelessness, and by the general public apathy about the cancer at the heart of our system.

Many have argued that tolerance of this kind of corruption is a huge contributing factor to the situation in which we now find ourselves and I am inclined to find such arguments convincing but have no idea where to begin attacking the problem. Is there any person or group who stands out as a leader in reforming this terribly unjust system?
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:49 PM on July 10 [27 favorites]


As Solnit writes in her piece linked above, "It takes a village to silence a victim, and there are a lot of willing villagers."
posted by amanda at 8:15 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


That AP story Noisy Pink Bubbles linked to reads like the opening to a vampire story. All the locals know there's a monster in the castle, and everyone's too terrified to do anything but try to stay safe.

Oh, there's more from where that came from...
The larger, more recently purchased Great St. James Island is currently — and illegally — under construction. In December 2018, the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources issued a stop-work order to Epstein for not adhering to environmental regulations. Not letting the law get in the way, [yet again, why should the law apply to him? -- NPB] the New York Post reports, “there has been unauthorized work on the island since the stop work order was issued.” The plan for the complex includes an amphitheater and an “underwater office and pool,” according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.
...
On a hill on the southwest point of Little St. James Island, there is a temple painted with blue and white stripes and topped with a golden dome
...
Business Insider also contacted engineer and contractor James Both, who noticed a few suspicious details about the temple. “It’s styled like what you might see on a castle, with what appears to be a reinforcing lock bar across the face,” he said. “What makes it peculiar is that if you wanted to keep people out, the bar would be placed inside the building, [but the] locking bar appears to be placed on the outside … as if it were intended to lock people in.” From this perspective, sound-dampening walls sound much more suspicious.
Between the Manhattan estate and these island projects, this guy has a design aesthetic that seems to scream from the mountaintops that he's a sinister, criminal pervert...
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:17 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


Mr. Epstein’s wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men — Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster [...]

Dershowitz seemed to indicate in the podcast conversation with Alec Baldwin that I added above that it was, in part, fact-checking by the NYPost that discredited one of the accusers against him.
posted by amanda at 8:20 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Monsters like Leon black, the owner of the Private Army formerly known as blackwater had huge ties to Epstein

Epstein not only served on the board of Black's charity after his conviction, but apparently the only investment Epstein's hedge fund ever made (that is, that we know about because its >5% ownership stake had to be reported to the SEC) was in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a company that Black his network owned about 40% of.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:40 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]




It seems that Ghislaine Maxwell has succeeded in delaying the conference that was going to consider unsealing 2,000 Epstein-related documents to July 25. (It was supposed to happen today originally.)

This piece from twelve years ago is probably the best profile of Epstein I've read. He comes across as incapable of making any human connection, completely transparent about what he is doing and utterly remorseless -- or, to be more precise, unable to understand that he may have done anything untoward. Looks like not much has changed since then...
Epstein didn’t see his sex life as tawdry, wasn’t hiding it from his circle. Wolff believes that Epstein had created an idealized world from “a deep and basic cultural moment” once epitomized by Hugh Hefner. “Jeffrey is living a life that once might have been prized and admired and valued, but its moment has passed … I think the culture has outgrown it. You can’t describe it without being held to severe account. It’s not allowed. It may be allowed if you’re secretive and furtive, but Jeffrey is anything but secretive and furtive. I think it represents an achievement to Jeffrey.”
...
At 52, Epstein was outside the demographic of the makeout artists of The Bang Bros, Girls Gone Wild, and Coeds Need Cash, but he surely saw himself in that erotic milieu, and seems to have been shocked that his activities would result in a police investigation.
...
“He has never been secretive about the girls,” Wolff says. “At one point, when his troubles began, he was talking to me and said, ‘What can I say, I like young girls.’ I said, ‘Maybe you should say, ‘I like young women.’ ”
...
Notwithstanding the room on the first floor with floor-to-ceiling books, the general aura is cold and joyless and lonely, that of a man in his fifties denying death by giving himself over completely to the sensual life, with the help of Brit, Alexis, Rhiannon, Sherry, Nicole, Haley, and Joanna.

The police narrative has overtones of a man avoiding all connection or intimacy.
...
Not that he is likely to admit that he did anything wrong. Throughout his ordeal, Epstein maintained the air that there was nothing sordid about his actions. His wealth seems to have endowed him with utter shamelessness
Also, apparently Epstein was an investor in the short-lived Radar Magazine.
After three issues, Zuckerman and Epstein abruptly shut Radar down. At the time, Zuckerman, who’d previously described Radar as a long-term investment, attributed the closure to a lack of advertising, but that explanation never sat well with Roshan, who couldn’t understand why they’d pulled the plug so quickly after such an expensive and high-profile launch. “No one could quite figure out why, after just three issues, after putting all that money in, they would suddenly abandon the project,” said Roshan. “Our advertising revenue and circulation was far ahead of projections.”

However, when news of Epstein’s first arrest in 2006 came out, it all began to make sense.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:22 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


I don't know what offended me more with that story on Dershowitz - the imagrery, the fact that he's bald faced lying, or the fact that he's bald faced lying badly.

But consider this - throughout his career, Dershowitz has had a habit of plowing over anyone who disagrees with him by acting as if anything he said is the truth by virtue of his being Alan Dershowitz, Noted Lawyer, Legal Scholar, and Harvard Law Professor, to a great deal of success. But for the first time in his career, people aren't just taking his word but are instead looking at him with thinly veiled (at best) contempt and treating his absurdities as the lies they are - and he has no game plan for this because in his mind, this is not supposed to happen.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:28 AM on July 11 [24 favorites]


How to use synonyms until no one knows you’re talking about children (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and underaged women! Now that we are engaged in the exciting and profitable exercise of describing Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged teenage victims as “underaged women,” I have had to update a lot of my favorite allusions to keep up with what must be some sort of new style guide. Please remember to do likewise. You would not want these victims to think that they were children rather than nearly-legitimate objects. A few examples are below!

“Charlotte’s Web”: Underaged woman helps save underaged bacon.

“Red Riding Hood”: Wolf may have engaged in digestion with an underaged woman on her way to visit an overaged woman.

“Matilda”: Underaged woman thinks too hard, is upset.

“Lolita”: Underaged woman abducted by regular-aged man. […]

“Madeline” would read as follows:

“In an overaged house in Paris that was covered with vines

Lived 12 underaged women in two straight lines

In two straight lines they broke their underaged toast [bread]

And brushed their teeth and did the most.

They left the house at half before ten

To be subjected to the gaze of men.

The smallest one was Madeleine.”

You might need to change that vowel in her name, but it is worth it to use Approved Language. Otherwise, people might understand how horrible what you are talking about really is!

Of course, an alternative is to coin a term like “nymphet” but somebody else may have copyrighted that already.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:39 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


Jesus. That Solnit piece is...rough. It is hard not to wonder if it has ever, really, been different. If there's ever been a place or a time when it was not like this. If, crucially, there has ever been a time or a place where men did not band together to do this to women. Because these monsters will not give up that power without a fight, and what defines their monstrosity is not that they lack human qualities, but that they are willing to perform monstrous acts to defend their power. Like a skin they can put on and take off at will. A removable conscience, or an ability to see, selectively, some people as not people.

And because they are willing and able to do things we are not, because they will always fight, it seems like what it will take to get from here to there, some hypothetical place where we are not ruled by monsters, for monsters, might itself be monstrous.

And I don't have a solution to that.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:55 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


In American patriarchy, 18 is the age at which "women" become "girls".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:59 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


I would totally watch a remake of The Odd Couple where Alan Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani had to share a 10 x 12 cell.
posted by spitbull at 7:16 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


And because Dershowitz doesn't understand the first rule of finding oneself in a hole, he has an interview where he says his only regret was not getting Epstein a better deal, as well as continuing to call Virginia Giuffre a liar (while arguing in the courts that because he's been calling her a liar for so long, she can't sue him for defamation.)

Once Dershowitz crashes and burns once everything is out, one of the things that I hope happens is that the defense bar realizes what it means that such an amoral monster became one of their leading lights, and starts cleaning house. I'm not holding my breath, though.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:12 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


I would totally watch a remake of The Odd Couple where Alan Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani had to share a 10 x 12 cell.

On November 13, Rudy Giuliani was asked to remove himself from his place of residence; that request came from his wife. No, not that wife, the other one. No, not that wife, the other other one. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that some day he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Alan Dershowitz. Several years earlier, Dershowitz's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced crooks and sex abusers share a 10 x 12 cell at Rikers Island without driving each other crazy?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:41 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Epstein's legal team has filed their motion for home monitoring.

One would think that they wouldn't submit lies that have been debunked in the media, though.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:06 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


So is Epstein still required to be reporting in every 90 days? Or was that only during certain a time frame?

Bc if we know he is in violation why is not arrested right the fuck now?!
posted by sio42 at 10:21 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


From that motion:
"The government’s indictment labels this a “Sex Trafficking” case. Yes, the government may have witnesses who will testify to participating in sexual massages – most over 18; some under; some who told the police they lied about their age to gain admission to Mr. Epstein’s residence; some who will testify that Mr. Epstein knew they were not yet 18 (italics mine). But their anticipated testimony only punctuates the alleged offenses’ purely local nature. (All occurred within a single New York residence or, if the Florida conduct is ultimately ruled admissible despite the NPA, then within two residences.) There are no allegations in the indictment that Mr. Epstein trafficked anybody for commercial profit; that he forced, coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody; or that he engaged in any of the other paradigmatic sex trafficking activity that 18 U.S.C. § 1591 aims to eradicate. No one seeks to minimize the gravity of the alleged conduct, but it is clear that the conduct falls within the heartland of classic state or local sex offenses – and at or outside the margins of federal criminal law.
It goes on to say that he has no foreign bank accounts and that his only previous brush with the law was... that time he was charged with sex trafficking, plead guilty to soliciting prostitution, and became a level 3 sex offender.
posted by box at 10:29 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


What in the living fuck is wrong with the wealthy??
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:40 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


When the inevitable Jeffrey Epstein movie gets made, I hope it's written/directed by a woman, and maybe the lead role should be Jennifer Lawrence as the Miami Herald reporter who worked to expose how insane that "non-prosecution" deal was. Just don't let it be another Scorsese-directed bro pic starring Christian Bale, from which rich entitled dick bag men will take all of the wrong lessons. (I'm looking at you, Wolf of Wall Street.)
posted by dnash at 10:42 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


sio42: Bc if we know he is in violation why is not arrested right the fuck now?!

Unless I'm either mistaken in the facts or in my understanding of this question.. he was arrested last weekend (that's what got all this rolling now) and is currently being held without bail until at least Monday the 15th.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:53 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


It goes on to say that he has no foreign bank accounts

Is there some technical jargon here that makes this remotely possible? Because I thought he was, at a minimum, in deep with Deutsche bank and it seems really unlikely to me he doesn't have at least a saving account or something with some foreign bank.
posted by Mitheral at 10:56 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


What in the living fuck is wrong with the wealthy??

They have too much money.
posted by The Whelk at 11:04 AM on July 11 [32 favorites]


What in the living fuck is wrong with the wealthy??

Wealthy men
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:18 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Wealthy men

As a generality this is on point but in this particular case let's not let Ghislaine Maxwell off the hook.
posted by Rumple at 11:26 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


I don't think it's men, but patriarchy. This seems like the inevitable outcome of a dominance-based social hierarchy, and the ultimate expression of social power for the individuals who hold it.
posted by polyhedron at 12:08 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Whatever you want to call it. Who empowers, sustains and protects patriarchy? Who are the prime movers and clients in sex trafficking? The fact that one or two women are exceptions to the rule doesn’t change the rule.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:22 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


What in the living fuck is wrong with the wealthy??

not enough people know how delicious the wealthy are and we should address that as soon as possible
posted by poffin boffin at 12:24 PM on July 11 [30 favorites]


I think it's far more than one or two exceptions to the rule. I don't make a habit of defending men, but I think when we hyperfocus on the identity aspect we risk losing sight of the mechanisms that are used to enforce power and how they might persist.

I joke about totalitarian gynocracy, I get the impulse, but I think the structures that enable abuse and domination are agender and can be wielded by any of us.
posted by polyhedron at 12:34 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Naomi Alderman wrote a whole novel about that.
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:37 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I think the structures that enable abuse and domination are agender and can be wielded by any of us.

maybe so but we won't know for sure until we crush them. for science purposes.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Naomi Alderman wrote a whole novel about that.

MeFi's own (twice over)
posted by Etrigan at 12:43 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I love science! And the public library, thanks for the recommendation!
posted by polyhedron at 12:44 PM on July 11


Yeah put me down for “I don’t know if that’s the case but it sounds like projecting based on ideas that women will be as deadly and self serving as men.”

Patriarchy didn’t rape those girls: there’s a lived reality with real non-abstract non-exception to the rule folks. Patriarchy didn’t rape them: men did. With their bodies.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:44 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


hyperfocus on the identity aspect

I don’t think it’s possible to “hyperfocus on the identity aspect” in a sexual abuse case perpetrated by powerful man against probably hundreds of young girls. Just because rape is a crime of power doesn’t make gender imbalance a mere aspect of it.
posted by sallybrown at 12:49 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Article on child sex trafficking from January of 2018.

"This project began with a question: Who buys a 15-year-old child for sex?

The answer: Many otherwise ordinary men. They could be your co-worker, doctor, pastor or spouse."
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:59 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


[Frequently in conversations specifically about the concrete sexual abuse of women, we get some comments trying to argue about that women commit sexual abuse too. That is true; that is not this thread; going there reads badly. Please drop that line of conversation here. This is a specific thread about a specific abuser.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:10 PM on July 11 [33 favorites]


Restless_nomad, I favorite your comment as a man who was sexually abused by a woman. It does not feel great to be a statistical outlier, but the majority of abuse in our societiey involves relatively powerless females by relatively powerful males. I won't let my own history, or the cognitive dissonance between my history and others', lead me to discount that fact. Unlucky as I was to be abused (as a minor), I acknowledge my contingent fortune in being male. I would almost certainly be worse off today had I been a minor girl abused by a man.
posted by maniabug at 1:36 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


caduceus, thank you so much for this essay citation.

I'd been reading this thread thinking to myself: "Of course this is what billionaires are like. Society at the top probably represents the least-'civilized' class of people, the people who most wish we could return to lawless, cruel, uncaring nature, because you need a lot of power to replicate that state amidst semi-functioning civilization and there's literally no reason to pursue that much power otherwise." It just kind of made intuitive sense. Either you're a tech megalomaniac, or you're a barbarian (or the child of a barbarian at best).

That essay provides, among its many intriguing theses, a plausible interpretation of just that. (And it captures that "tech megalomaniac" divide too, incidentally.) Lots of food for thought. I'm glad you shared it.
posted by rorgy at 1:46 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


There's also a movie about it
posted by mbo at 2:12 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


> Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that President-elect Donald Trump once asked, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” — but the quote was quietly removed before the syndicated column was published Tuesday. Trump was reportedly referring to his daughter, Ivanka, who was 13 years old at the time.

Also, the Jane Doe testimony from 2016 specifically mentions Trump being attracted to her because she was wearing a blonde wig and he said she resembled Ivanka, who was 13 at the time.


Former GOP dirty trickster Rick Wilson offers up a rumor that makes far too much sense:
Ha. Palm Beach $$$ guy, I haven't spoken to for years just texted me out of the blue.

"Why hasn't anybody figured out Trump and Epstein had a falling out because Jeffrey wanted to **** Ivanka?"
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:17 PM on July 11 [27 favorites]


speaking of "glad you shared it," the Tim Swarens column posted above by Marie Mon Dieu describes itself as "the first of 10 columns in the EXPLOITED series," noting "later in this series we'll explore the factors that drive men to buy sex with children." i did not find on that page a link to the rest of the series, so dug for it.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:28 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


sio42: Bc if we know he is in violation why is not arrested right the fuck now?!

Unless I'm either mistaken in the facts or in my understanding of this question.. he was arrested last weekend (that's what got all this rolling now) and is currently being held without bail until at least Monday the 15th.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:53 PM on July 11
[4 favorites +] [!]


Yes sorry. I meant if it’s been all this time why isn’t he in jail or facing penalties for the failure to report.

As far as I understand he’s been arrested for other stuff, not for failing to report as required.

People often have to choose between going to their shift job so they don’t lose their job or making a parole visit so they don’t go back to prison and this fucker has been running around for YEARS abusing children.

As usual, the news makes me so mad I can barely think coherently about it.
posted by sio42 at 2:56 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


Why isn't Ghislaine Maxwell under investigation for sexual abuse, too? I read somewhere that some of the girls were forced to participate in sex acts / orgies w Ghislaine as well, making her an equal opportunity abuser. She's also clearly a pedophile.
posted by erattacorrige at 3:05 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I'm glad you shared it.

You're welcome! I can't take too much credit, someone posted it here a few years back, and it stuck with me.
posted by Caduceus at 3:15 PM on July 11


Why isn't Ghislaine Maxwell under investigation for sexual abuse, too?

Hopefully she is. Hopefully the whole lot of them are. SDNY is playing their cards pretty close to their chest right now, which makes a lot of sense. You don't want to sound alarm bells for all of those who should be making vacation plans to non-extradition countries, not until right after they feel the handcuffs go on.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:31 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


WSJ, Following Epstein’s Arrest, Spotlight Shifts to Financier’s Longtime Associate (Ghislaine Maxwell).

From watching the presser the other day, the SDNY was saying not to infer whether or not they would charge anyone else, and they wouldn't speak about it due to it being an ongoing investigation. Or rather, what allkindsoftime just said. Here's hoping.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:37 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Also fuck that noise about giving this guy home detention in his pedo-palace in NY. At best he should be in a pillory in Times Square. Realistically solitary in MCC is probably safest, and putting him in general pop would get him a quick and painful death far better than any scum like him deserve.

If they let him live at home while they try this guy, people should fucking RIOT.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:24 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Okay, this is from the 2013 Black Book link waaaaaaay upthread, and it’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but I feel it needs to be highlighted:
Trump, through a spokesperson, said, "Mr. Trump only knew Mr. Epstein as Mr. Trump owns the hottest and most luxurious club in Palm Beach, [redacted], and Mr. Epstein would go there on occasion."
Sadly, there’s no prize for guessing the redacted text and the name of the supposed “spokesperson.”
posted by Sys Rq at 4:37 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Latest from the Miami Herald: New victims come forward as Epstein asks to be released from jail to his Manhattan mansion
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.
Via LGM's Scott Lemieux, who says of Epstein's bail request:
As for bail, it should be considered…as soon as each and every person currently being held because they [can't] afford to pay or get a bond is released pending trial. And then should still probably be rejected, because the guy is the very definition of a dangerous predator and flight risk.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:11 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


Indeed, it would be peak America for Epstein, a white Male rapist of children, to await trial in a sumptuous mansion, while girls the age of those that he abused sat in disease ridden concentration camps for the crime of seeking a better life.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:02 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


Epstein Had His Own Lodge at Interlochen’s Prestigious Arts Camp for Kids
But during the 1990s, Epstein apparently had another getaway at a Michigan cabin. There, the 66-year-old financier was a donor to the revered Interlochen Center for the Arts, a fine arts boarding school and camp, and had bankrolled the “Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge” on its campus.
...
The mother of soap opera actress Nadia Bjorlin claimed Epstein targeted her daughter when she was a 13-year-old student at Interlochen in 1994.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:04 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


sio42: As far as I understand he’s been arrested for other stuff, not for failing to report as required.

Yep. And I see a weird dearth of possible charges in general against him. Like, it doesn't seem out of the question to also pursue obstruction of justice and money laundering, plus the many crimes that are ancillary to the rape, such as, I assume, at least some instances of kidnapping, fraud, etc. Do any of the legal experts think it possible or likely that they'll increase the list any time soon?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:23 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Digby has Epstein background from author (and Epstein neighbor) James Patterson.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:29 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


NYT editorial board argues that congressional inquiry into Acosta's activities is a mistake:
As for Mr. Acosta’s past failures as a federal prosecutor, better to let the legal system and the court of public opinion carry this particular burden. Some outrages are best kept as free of partisan politics as possible.
Jeffrey Epstein Registered as a Sex Offender in 2 States. In New Mexico, He Didn’t Have To
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.
...
The degree to which Mr. Epstein had to report to the authorities in that state could be important, since it has emerged that his sprawling Zorro Ranch may have been the site of other crimes.
...
Deborah Anaya, a former detective with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, made an unannounced visit to Mr. Epstein’s ranch that August. She interviewed him as part of the office’s determination of his sex offender status. She described the estate as “very large, very secluded and very high-security.”
...
Mr. Epstein built a 26,700-square-foot mansion on the property thought to be among the largest, if not the largest, in the entire state, equipped with a private runway and airplane hangar.
Also, a story on Ghislaine Maxwell, which includes a photo of her with Elon Musk
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:11 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]



not enough people know how delicious the wealthy are and we should address that as soon as possible


This gives a whole new meaning to Trump Steaks.

(Re: the Interlochen article: I attended camp there a few years after Epstein. I can imagine what a sick sleaze he no doubt already was, and am contrasting that to what an innocent time it was for so many of us. Ugh.)
posted by NorthernLite at 9:14 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


One of his accusers, who said she recruited new girls, brought a 23-year-old to Epstein and he said she was too old.

Where is Arya Stark when you need her?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:24 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


hiding?
posted by mbo at 1:16 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein Registered as a Sex Offender in 2 States. In New Mexico, He Didn’t Have To

NM authorities are now playing catch-up:
The degree to which Mr. Epstein had to report to the authorities in that state could be important, since it has emerged that his sprawling Zorro Ranch may have been the site of other crimes.

Earlier this year, Maria Farmer, another woman who has accused Mr. Epstein of sexual offenses, said in an affidavit that her sister, then 15 years old, was flown by Mr. Epstein to the ranch in New Mexico and was touched “inappropriately” on a massage table by him.

This week, the New Mexico attorney general’s office said it has begun its own inquiry into potential crimes in New Mexico.

“We have been in contact and interviewed multiple survivors of alleged abuse here in New Mexico,” Matt Baca, senior counsel for the attorney general’s office, said in an interview. “At this point it’s our intention to turn over evidence we’ve gathered from those interviews to the feds.”
Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:08 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


(Further to my complaint above about Behind the Bastards - I've listened to a few more, and I am very grateful for the information, but would like fewer attempts at jokes. In the spirit of hypocrisy, I see some of the episodes are "The 'White Savior' Fake Doctor Who May Have Killed 100 Babies", "The Goat Testicle Implanting Doctor Who Invented Talk Radio", "The Eye Doctor Who Murdered a Nation" and "The Fake Doctor Who Drowned His Own Baby". I must say I prefer The Doctor Who With a Scarf, The Doctor Who With a Chin and The Woman Doctor Who to any of those, especially the Fake Doctor Who, who seems to be a bastard.

He still needs to find out how to pronounce Ghislaine Maxwell, though.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:17 AM on July 12


Charities say they never got the donations Jeffrey Epstein claims he made
NBC News reached out to 56 charities that were listed as grant recipients in multiple press releases from Epstein's foundation or his foundation's IRS filings between 2010 and 2017. Thirty-two organizations did not return requests for comment. Of the 24 organizations that responded, 10 said they had no record of any donations from Epstein or Gratitude America.
How Jeffrey Epstein made himself into a ‘Harvard man’
He contributed millions to the university, reportedly funding the construction of Harvard Hillel’s building, and helping to establish the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He frequented an office blocks from campus, and flew up in his private plane to host seminars there with some of Harvard’s most prominent professors, according to Alan Dershowitz, an emeritus professor of law at Harvard who served as one of Epstein’s lawyers. Among Epstein’s close associates, according to a 2003 Harvard Crimson article, were former president Lawrence Summers, former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Henry Rosovsky, and professor emeritus of psychology Stephen Kosslyn.
“A Lot of Friends in Every Industry”: How Did Jeffrey Epstein Charm Hollywood?
Epstein also had phone numbers for A-listers including Ralph Fiennes, Courtney Love, Dustin Hoffman, and Jimmy Buffett
...
Epstein’s alleged address book also included phone numbers for a stunning variety of performers and entertainment industry execs, including Alec Baldwin, David Blaine, Phil Collins, Richard Plepler, Chris Tucker, and famed agent Michael Ovitz. In 2002, Tucker and Kevin Spacey joined Epstein for a philanthropic trip to Africa
...
The roster of attendees to a 2010 party for Prince Andrew at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse included an equally wide variety of names: reported guests like Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, Woody Allen, and Chelsea Handler.
The Mystery Surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island
The only unusual aspect of the main residence the former worker said he was aware of were the security boxes in two offices. The level of secrecy around a steel safe in Epstein’s office, in particular, suggested it contained much more than just money, he said. Outside of an occasional visit by a housekeeper, no one was allowed in those rooms.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:53 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]




(Once again, the threads cross over. By the end of all this - vague gestures at the raging garbage fires everywhere - there will only be one thread, and it will be only Zuul.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:09 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Nice move Trump. Now there’s no one left between you and your buddy Jeff to fire. I hope there are pictures you child rapist.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:10 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Acosta resigns this week.
posted by spitbull at 6:51 PM on July 8


Just here to collect my winnings.
posted by spitbull at 7:12 AM on July 12 [50 favorites]


I award you 100 internet points!
posted by sotonohito at 9:06 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Congrats on your predictive ability, spitbull. Now, there's a long list of other people we'd like you to prognosticate about....
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:08 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


That Daily Beast piece on Interlochen and Epstein’s focus on art programs generally is really well researched and put together. He had a lot of patterns. It’s amazing much information is coming out now.
posted by sallybrown at 11:23 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


I just watched this interview with Katie Johnson. Warning: Horrific and very sad.

Stepping away from the internet now....
posted by 6thsense at 11:34 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


I'm finding the whole thing very triggering but want every single detail to come out. Name every single man loud and clear. And jail them!

5 men ruined my life in something similar but you know in a working class town way and I was and will never be brave enough to go report it as I know I won't be believed and I think that's what's so triggering about this as every time men get caught they get let off. Every time is another chance to see if the world believes women and the heartbreak of learning yet again nope! Like a lot of survivors it is easy to get obsessed on the details of this event so a big hug to you who have been hurt by men and please take care of yourself!

I am always hoping one of these times men would be held accountable. Maybe one time in my life I'll be able to say that if I came forward now people would believe me but it's awfully hard to hold onto that optimism.
posted by kanata at 11:46 AM on July 12 [70 favorites]


A big hug right back for you, kanata. I share your fears and hopes such as they are.
posted by maniabug at 12:05 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Name every single man loud and clear. And jail them!

Goddamn right! Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

My daughter is seven and this issue fills me with dread and fear for her, and sorrow for all of the girls.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:08 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


kanata I believe you.
posted by spitbull at 12:42 PM on July 12 [22 favorites]


Something about the Katie Johnson case that mustn't be forgotten -- another woman backs up her account, in an affadvit under the pseudonym Tiffany Doe. She says she worked for Epstein as a recruiter, and that she personally witnessed at least some of the horrific things that Johnson alleges against both Epstein and Trump. I believe those flight logs have at least one "Tiffany" by a different surname, that is not a celebrity or otherwise accounted for, and is probably the same person. What I have no idea about is is what (if anything) the SDNY has been able to piece together on her identity and personal safety.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:15 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


I believe you too kanata. Good on you.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:46 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Acosta Resigned. The Caligula Administration Lives On. CW: contains a link to E. Jean Caroll's accusation that Trump raped her that went basically unnoticed last month.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:57 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


NYT: Epstein Paid $350,000 to Tamper With Witnesses, Prosecutors Say—The accusations were made by federal prosecutors who want to deny bail for Mr. Epstein

“Mr. Epstein sent the money to the potential witnesses in late November and early December, 2018, shortly after the Miami Herald published an investigative report about a secret deal he had reached with the authorities in Florida to avoid federal prosecution, prosecutors said.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:47 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein allegedly hired private investigators and engaged in a campaign of intimidation against accusers in Florida
During that probe, at least three private investigators who police believed were working on Epstein's behalf tracked down accusers and possible witnesses to the alleged attacks, according to the police reports. They sat in black SUVs outside the homes of accusers, questioned their current and former boyfriends, and chased one parent's car off the road, according to police reports and a lawyer for three accusers.
Jeffrey Epstein’s cell is 3 doors down from El Chapo
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:50 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


I just watched this interview with Katie Johnson. Warning: Horrific and very sad.

Um, her face is blurred in the video, but is not blurred in the screenshot that displays before you hit play. WTF?
posted by The World Famous at 3:03 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


OK I am not as down for a prison-based “Odd Couple” remake with Epstein and El Chapo.
posted by spitbull at 7:35 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Nobody should have so much money or power that they feel like they could get away with this. Not Michael Jackson, not R Kelly, not a president, and not a pretend billionaire who has lived a life of extortion and rape.

How much does a fake billionaire have to spend to achieve freedom from civilization and laws? Maybe a hundred million, maybe less, maybe a lot less if you can blackmail your way into a $gazillion Manhattan penthouse. A ranch or two, an island or two. Some jets and other toys. You don’t have to buy any of this shit, just lease it. It doesn’t take a billion. You need some cash flow to keep the whole thing going, but that doesn’t take much more than the $10 million a year you’re extorting from some other extremely rich and extremely blackmailable asshole.

“First, we nationalize all the billionaires.” And I guess the fake ones too.
posted by bigbigdog at 7:56 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Can we just like, put tracking bracelets on the rich?
posted by erattacorrige at 8:21 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


What I find fascinating is Bill Gates gives money way. Warren Buffett does not subscribe to this behavior. It's not money that drives me like Epstein, it's the drive within them that makes them predators. There are predators all around us, but mix money with one, and this is the horrific shit-show that we have in the United States of America today.

I have 13 Revolutionary ancestors, one Civil War ancestor, one Mayflower ancestor, and a bunch more who came here to establish a better society. They were laborers, soap makers, merchants. Just people who wanted a better life. Even if they had royal ancestors, they were of humble origins.

I am so sick of this guy, I, like people above have said, followed the 13-year-old Jane Doe's case a lot, and it has haunted me. This guy is our President? This child rapist? Friends with Jeffrey Epstein? It was incomprehensible to me then and remains so today.

There is not enough compensation for what that little girl went through, and these men all need to be held accountable, no matter what it takes. I will be writing my Congress rep and my Senators on this, until I see that justice has been served. There is no way to let this go, ever. We only have to continue forward, and bring ALL of those involved to justice.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:46 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


I’m willing to put them in a Truman-type artificially maintained reality at taxpayer expense to keep these assholes from harming everyone else.
posted by bigbigdog at 8:46 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Though they're already living in an artificially maintained reality at taxpayer expense. That's kind of the problem.
posted by Grangousier at 2:34 AM on July 13 [27 favorites]


Epstein philanthropy since sex plea included all-girl school
In the decade since striking a deal that required him to register as a sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein has sought to underwrite all manner of youth causes, such as a baseball program near his retreat in the U.S. Virgin Islands and an all-girls’ school a few blocks from his Manhattan mansion.

The Associated Press found that the wealthy financier’s donations included $15,000 to the exclusive Hewitt School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, $35,000 to the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, and $25,000 to the Ecole du Bel-Air grade school in Haiti — all after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Jeffrey Epstein Taught at Dalton. His Behavior Was Noticed
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.
...
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.
...
Mr. Branch [interim headmaster] said he had heard concerns from the faculty about Mr. Epstein’s teaching and eventually determined that he needed to go.
Harvard science professors kept meeting with donor Jeffrey Epstein despite his sex offender status
Disgraced hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein was attending on-campus meetings as recently as 2014 with professors at Harvard University, a school he had supported with at least one multimillion-dollar donation, even though the registered sex offender's ties to the school had already raised questions
...
On Nov. 30, the calendar lists a dinner with multiple attendees: "Dinner w/ Jeff Epstein, Joi Ito, Reid Hoffman and Martin Nowak, 8pm, Martin Nowak's institute, 1 Brattle Square, Suite 6, Cambridge, MA." The address matches the address for the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics.
...
Church's 2014 calendar, which was attached to his personal website, was temporarily removed from the internet after NBC News made inquiries to Harvard. It was then restored to the site but in a less prominent position. The calendar link on the site now defaults to a current 2019 schedule.
Jeffrey Epstein's First Criminal Case Was Helped By A Famous Harvard Language Expert
After Jeffrey Epstein was indicted for sex crimes in 2006, his Harvard lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, called on the expertise of one of his Harvard colleagues, famous linguist Steven Pinker.
...
Pinker told BuzzFeed News that when he offered his opinion to Dershowitz, he was unaware of the details of the client or the case. He now regrets his involvement, he said.
...
Pinker, who responded this week to criticism for being photographed with Epstein during lunch at a meeting at Arizona State University in 2014, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that “I could never stand the guy and always tried to keep my distance.”
Read Jeffrey Epstein’s Galaxy-Brain Philosophical Advice
Also in 2004, Epstein was spewing pseudo-intellectual online advice in a forum run by the Edge Foundation, a salon of sorts where editor and literary agent John Brockman invited members of the “digerati” to render “visible the deeper meanings of our lives.”
Jeffrey Epstein Called Himself A “Science Philanthropist” And Donated Millions To These Researchers
Krauss, who agreed to retire from ASU last year after BuzzFeed News revealed his history of sexual harassment, publicly defended Epstein in 2011, telling the Daily Beast: “As a scientist I always judge things on empirical evidence and he always has women ages 19 to 23 around him, but I’ve never seen anything else, so as a scientist, my presumption is that whatever the problems were I would believe him over other people.”
...
The Santa Fe Institute, which studies complex physical, computational, biological, and social systems, received $25,000 from Epstein Interests, another of the financier’s foundations, in 2010. And when the foundation closed in 2012, it gave $50,000 to MIT.
...
In 2016 and 2017, Epstein’s donations included $225,000 to the Melanoma Research Alliance, $150,000 to MIT, $50,000 to the University of Arizona Foundation, $25,000 to NautilusThink, which publishes an online science magazine, $20,000 to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and $10,000 to the Icahn School of Medicine.
Tarring Steve Pinker and others with Jeffrey Epstein
Friends and colleagues described him to me [Pinker] as a quantitative genius and a scientific sophisticate, and they invited me to salons and coffee klatches at which he held court. But I found him to be a kibitzer and a dilettante — he would abruptly change the subject ADD style, dismiss an observation with an adolescent wisecrack, and privilege his own intuitions over systematic data. I think the dislike was mutual—according to a friend, he “voted me off the island,” presumably because he was sick of me trying to keep the conversation on track and correcting him when he shot off his mouth on topics he knew nothing about.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:54 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


That last piece is sort of mind boggling. Pinker lists off as close friends - the ones who he throws under the bus a bit for bringing him into Epstein's orbit - people like Krauss. Like with no sense of irony that maybe some of the firends he is listing are themselves pieces of work with long records of being arseholes towards women. As long as he gets to claim that at least he didn't like Epstein I guess, and that makes traveling around with him fine.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 6:10 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


It's been reported in various newspapers and magazines/online that Epstein donated either $26 million or $30 million to Harvard for the purposes of establishing the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics but I've also read that his initial donation was $6.5 million and have not been able to determine if he fulfilled the rest of his pledge. Not important in the overall scheme of things; the focus has been Harvard's disinclination to return the money.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:19 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Name all the enablers too! Shame them from existence! I'm so over this 2nd and 3rd chance thing. This forgiveness. This old boys network that just sweeps it all away.

We need to jail everyone who hurt a child. My niece is 15 and she was 13 and she was 8 .. when did she flip from a child to a young woman?? - Men can be "boys" until they are 100 but girls are young women far too young!
posted by kanata at 10:13 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


Also, you people made me cry for saying those wonderful words. Thank you.
posted by kanata at 10:13 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


Just weighing in as another person who believes you, kanata.
posted by virago at 10:43 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


Julie Brown, the journalist/hero from The Miami Herald who broke this story is interviewed by Alec Baldwin on Here's the Thing. The interview is from the Spring but it is definitely worth a listen. I'm in awe of Julie Brown's work here.

This is an updated podcast, now adding 10 minutes of rebuttal from Alan Dershowitz, who amongst other noted lawyers like Ken f'ing Starr, is also mentioned by Brown during the podcast as someone who has two credible sexual assault allegations against him. If you don't want to bother listen to Dershowitz, and I don't blame you, the upshot is that he claims that they are liars and gives the standard lines (gold digging, serial liars, etc.).

Very last bit in the podcast comes back to Brown and talks about Acosta's very terrible press conference, before he resigned. Clear in that interview is that Brown is still actively finding and interviewing many past victims of Epstein's web.

It's abundantly clear that if the full Epstein truth comes out into the light, there will be so so many to fall from it. Please let's get it out into the light a.s.a.p.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:07 AM on July 13 [15 favorites]


edit on above: Dershowitz has sexual assault allegations against him, while Dershowitz and Starr both represented Epstein during all of the failed Acosta prosecution in the 2000's. Starr, while a noted hypocrite (see Starr Report vs. tenure as Baylor President), does not currently face assault allegations.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:21 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway. (NYT)
A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise.

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 was photographed at a “billionaire’s dinner” attended by tech titans like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

....

Just three months ago, as federal prosecutors were closing in with new charges, Mr. Epstein had a conversation with R. Couri Hay, a publicist, about continuing to improve his reputation. Mr. Epstein asserted that what he was convicted of did not constitute pedophilia, said Mr. Hay, who declined to represent him.

The girls he had sex with were “tweens and teens,” Mr. Epstein told him.
posted by box at 12:08 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Program for Evolutionary Dynamics

Really, writers? He endowed PED? Really?
posted by Etrigan at 12:17 PM on July 13 [12 favorites]


Mr. Epstein asserted that what he was convicted of did not constitute pedophilia, said Mr. Hay, who declined to represent him.

The girls he had sex with were “tweens and teens,” Mr. Epstein told him.


I know this is stating the obvious, but while there is maybe some wiggle room on "teens" (not that anyone thinks he was actually talking about 19 year olds), there isn't any on "tweens," that is a straight up admission of pedophilia.

I am enjoying all of the attention being focused on the people who enabled him and who socialized with him.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:19 PM on July 13 [21 favorites]


I know it is a very long shot but the only way to move forward on this is for the enablers and everyone who shrugged it off or heard the whispers and did nothing at least are made aware of the effects. I long for a mass movement of survivors to just take to the streets and... well, I'm not supposed to mention harming people on this site but it is very in my mind.

It is very weird that all these men just "happen" to be in each others business. Starr, Clinton, Epstein. Now I am not saying all of them deserve jail (they prolly do but that might be going too far.. it's hard to tell I've been radicalized by the patriarchy online into some radical thoughts about men) but unless the people shrugging it off are able to see their actions for what they are progress won't be made.

Also tweens?? That's ... anyway I will step away and practice some of that self care as otherwise I'll make this thread about me and that's not what I want. These women are brave. Any woman coming forward should get a medal.
posted by kanata at 12:39 PM on July 13 [9 favorites]


The NYT story that box just posted introduces a new player into this scandal's dramatis personæ: doctor/philanthropist Eva Andersson-Dubin, who was Epstein's one-time girlfriend and apparently served as his conduit (along with Peggy Siegal, who has come up in previous articles) to re-enter high society after his stint in prison:
Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, founder of the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai, gave Mr. Epstein another form of currency.

The physician, who served for many years as an in-house doctor of NBC, is a breast cancer survivor who used her experience as inspiration for a holistic treatment approach. A former model and Miss Sweden, she is the wife of Glenn Dubin, a founder of Highbridge Capital Management who is No. 1168 on the Forbes billionaires list. The two are known for their philanthropy, and in 2006 they bought Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s former apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, a symbol of their standing in the city.

Dr. Andersson-Dubin also has a long history with Mr. Epstein, and has remained loyal to him since the 1980s.

At that time, she was putting herself through medical school. She became his girlfriend and, with his encouragement, put modeling aside to focus on her studies. They remained close after she married in 1994. After Mr. Epstein’s release from jail, she continued to socialize with him; those in her circle were aware of their continued friendship.

Despite longstanding news reports about Mr. Epstein’s behavior, Dr. Andersson-Dubin said through a spokeswoman that she was shocked by the recent news. “She’s a very loyal friend and didn’t abandon him after 2008, but the frequency of their contact was less,” the spokeswoman said. The new allegations “are completely counter to the person she is familiar with.”

Their relationship went a long way toward dispersing the cloud around him, according to some observers. If Mr. Epstein had Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s friendship, it suggested to others that perhaps he should be given the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:04 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Depending on which definition you use, Epstein may
or may not be a pedophile, but (more importantly) he is definitely a serial child rapist.
posted by thedward at 1:06 PM on July 13 [20 favorites]


Yeah. The word "pedophile" has been used to create the notion that raping and abusing children is something done by a monstrous subspecies entirely defined by evil urges its members are both unwilling and unable to control.

The reality is that, while paedophilic attraction is absolutely a motivation in much child rape and sexual abuse, there are plenty of men who rape and abuse children (including very young children) without being paedophiles. These perpetrators are not driven by a particular sexual desire for children; they're just abusing and raping children because hey, there's no one else around for them to rape right now.*

The notion of "the pedo" seems like a really useful smokescreen for powerful men. It's a sort of inversion of the No True Scotsman tactic, but if I parse it out, it seems pretty close to "our child rapes don't really count because we're not sick: we are attracted to our wives, we don't look at child pornography, it's just casual sex... we're not paedophiles" Etc etc. It's sickening and insidious. It's also part of a much wider problem connected with the enforced sexualisation of women and girls that others have talked about, in relation to this case, much more knowledgeably than I can, but I think that there is a particular mechanism of monster creation can be used to hide hypocrisy among favoured groups.

I have been fairly seriously sexually assaulted on two occasions, once as a teen; both times were by men. Obviously I haven't reported them. I didn't even realise that the first assault was an assault until last year. I mean, does it really count if you fight them off after a while and they pretend it's just "play fighting"? While I know that I can present as (and in some ways am) vulnerable due to disability, I really can't imagine that my experiences are anything particularly unusual for a white, middle class man of my age, so I can only wonder how much worse it is among other demographics. It's the hypocrisy, the insidious prevalence, of this evil that most horrifies me.

Burn them all the fuck down.

*I am still unsure about whether it's right to leave that in. I'm sorry it's such an ugly and glib way of referring to the sort of crimes many people are struggling with the consequences of right now, including in this thread. I've ended up leaving it because, well, that's how they see their victims, isn't it? They just don't give a damn.
posted by howfar at 2:30 PM on July 13 [17 favorites]


How US media – with one star exception – whitewashed the story
posted by adamvasco at 3:17 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


I realized today that one of the thing that infuriates me about this whole thing is the protestations of innocence from so many who are associated with him...because so many of them otherwise claim to be god-like beings who absolutely deserve the immense power and wealth they have compared to us "little people."

In their hagiographies, in the bios on their websites and the newsletters they send out to shareholders, in the puff pieces their PR people place in the media, we learn about how incredibly intelligent and perceptive they are, how, not unlike Sherlock Holmes and Jason Bourne, they can instantly tell pretty much everything there is to know about a person upon their first interaction with them, and that's how they make their decisions about whom to hire, whom to invest with, and whom to associate with -- again, all of those decisions tending to leave out the rest of us.

So, if we take at them their word, at the thousands of words that have been written in support of their god tier status above the rest of us (when their PR departments aren't leaking stories about how they wash dishes by hand after dinner or love store-brand ice cream sandwiches just like normal people), then surely these folks knew who and what Epstein was. Surely when they shook his hand and looked into his eyes or thought about the initialisms of his foundations and programs (PED and GAL), or heard the things he himself said about his proclivities, they knew.

And so we're left to ask of them, echoing the questions Epicurus asked: if you are godlike and you knew about Epstein but did nothing, why should we believe all the ink that's been spilled telling us how good and noble and powerful you are? If you did not know about his activities despite your extended association with him, why should we believe all the ink that's been spilled telling us how godlike in perception and cogitation and therefore entitled to several magnitudes of order greater wealth and power than the rest of us you are?

I usually try to be a go-along-to-get-along kind of person, but there are some days where I think we really need to do a total wipe and reboot of our cultures and civilizations.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:59 PM on July 13 [31 favorites]


My own peeve about societal construction of these crimes is the distillation of the whole issue to the bright line of age of consent, such that a man in his thirties exploiting a 19-year-old can expect a few glares but many more high-fives, while the elder partner in a teenage couple a year apart can, at least in principle, be hit with sex-offender status (and maybe not just in theory, if that person is a marginalized target of law enforcement in other ways). Like, we shouldn't have a world where "I thought she was __ instead of __" even makes any sense as an "excuse" for statutory rape if the accused is more than a generation older anyway.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:06 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I can't find it right now, but re: the Maria story - has there been any additional investigation into this girl? Do we know anything apart from what Katie Johnson said in her affidavit? I thought someone had followed up on this and investigated missing girls in the area around that time, but I can't remember where I saw it. The only thing I found when googling it was something written by Wayne Madsen and I don't know if he is credible.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:01 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Investigative Journalist Claims Bill Clinton Is Lying About Jeffrey Epstein: "“Almost every time that Clinton’s name is on the flight logs, there are underage girls there. There are initials and there are names of many, many girls on that private plane,” Sarnoff added."

So, of course this was an interview on Fox, but Sarnoff is not a right-wing loon as far as I can tell. She seems to have been reporting on this for a long time and seems would be in a position to know.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:30 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


meh. he simply did not make the claims they attribute to him. the opening of his statement parses to "President Clinton knows nothing about [one count of procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution in florida*] or [one count of conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking of children by coercion*]." a perfectly clintonian expression of something precise and way more narrow than a casual listener will think it is. he could have added ...or any behavior like it, but mr. clinton did not.

to read that as the claim that "he 'knows nothing' of Jeffrey Epstein‘s sexual predation" or a denial of "having knowledge of any wrongdoing" by epstein, as dan abrams' law & crime's clibanoff claims in the first paragraph, is the failure (or deceit) of dan abrams' law & crime's clibanoff. to think, after what does 'is' mean, after i did not have sexual relations with that woman, after entire generations of grossly-inculcated clinton-hate/suspicion, that there should still be those masquerading as journalists who have not developed a capacity to critically, carefully read the words produced by bill clinton is downright flabbergasting!

as to flights on the plane, mr. clinton's statement only makes claims concerning the period 2002-2003. i suspect that period was chosen b/c it is the period of the thus-far-reported flight logs. i couldn't really read them to my own satisfaction so cannot confirm or argue with sarnoff, who seems to be making claims based on other logs than those i glanced at and despaired of reading. (did see several instances of clinton w/ security before i stopped trying). both bill clinton and that child-rapist/pimp existed among the fabulous during the years before 2002 and after 2003, no?

(* did it a few days ago, but pretty sure i got the syntax describing charges from the current case's sdny filing opposing release pending trial -- we could go to the code and fill in the elements of the crimes having certain knowledge of all of which bill clinton denies, but the same very-narrow denial would be effected).

didn't the secret service have some "prostitution" scandal(s) within the period of epstein's career?

i watched the video testimony of jane doe. horrible. if you can avoid allowing that narrative into your conscious awareness, i emphatically encourage you to do so.

um. amid the narrated traumas is this recurring figure, tiffany, who ms. doe states originally recruited her obo epstein (i'd like to stop writing his name) to audition for modeling, invited her to the parties, managed her at the parties, including during each of the recounted encounters with now-president horrorshow (i've been mostly not writing his name for some time now)--she scolds ms. doe on more than one occasion for presuming to mishandle the john-in-chief while ms. doe exhibits continuing affection for and comfort in tiffany throughout her account--and who, i understand, also submitted an affidavit confirming ms. doe's charges as a witness (is that right?). tiffany is disturbing. also the handful of women named in the acosta-negotiated deal as protected against prosecution.

... and every distinguishable facet.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:36 PM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Wow. Here's some stunningly obvious new suggestions of corruption. On Oct 27, 2017, as they were wrapping up the plea deal, the AUSA Bruce E. Reinhart registered the LLC for what would become his new private practice. The address for that LLC was the same suite as Epstein's lead defense counsel. Better yet, it's the same suite that Epstein then went to for his 'work release' nearly every day of his sentence. Of course, Reinhart is no longer a private attorney. Now he's a Trump appointed federal judge.

Oh, and unrelated, it appears the Epstein was allowed to travel, including overnights to his fucking island, while on 'work release'. Howling into the already full void.
posted by bcd at 1:39 AM on July 14 [29 favorites]


Deep down in Wexner's entry in this amazing web site we have a description of a Palm Beach mansion that a Russian oligarch bought from Donald Trump at twice what he'd paid for it. We've long know about that, but nowhere have I seen any mention of who Trump bought it from, although it appears maybe it was Wexner. "He once owned the original Palm Beach estate which is now known as Maison de L’Amitie (and owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev). Rybolovlev paid US$ 95 million for the house."
posted by kemrocken at 2:39 AM on July 14 [7 favorites]


On Oct 27, 2017, as they were wrapping up the plea deal, the AUSA Bruce E. Reinhart registered the LLC for what would become his new private practice. The address for that LLC was the same suite as Epstein's lead defense counsel. Better yet, it's the same suite that Epstein then went to for his 'work release' nearly every day of his sentence.

This is a huge deal because it’s either a blatant violation of a bright-line ethics rule at his job or there will be paperwork and an email trail in which someone higher up officially signed off on his disclosure of the conflict. I’m not saying this will be thoroughly investigated and punished, but it’s a box he put himself into (unlike Acosta’s more gray-area, no-hard-evidence shadiness).
posted by sallybrown at 6:19 AM on July 14 [16 favorites]


What Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes say about our era
When guessing how our current age of wealth excess might come to an end, I highly doubt anyone predicted “scandal involving sex abuse of children.” But the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is something, I predict, that will come to be viewed in future years as one of the defining events that brings our age of excess to a close. It’s a scandal people will study in the next century, the way we learn about Marie Antoinette’s playacting at poverty on her faux farm when studying pre-Revolutionary France, or think immediately about Rasputin when discussing the end of the Russian monarchy.
...
All of this has come together in Jeffrey Epstein. The Epstein scandal blows holes through the foundational myths of our time, revealing them for the empty and sickening bromides used to justify obscene wealth and power and privilege that they really are.
Inside the Victoria’s Secret pipeline to Jeffrey Epstein
A former Manhattan-based model agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also alleged an Epstein-Victoria’s Secret pimp pipeline.

“He [Epstein] portrayed himself as the back door to get a girl into Victoria’s Secret. Some of those girls got in,” he said.
...
Another Manhattan model entrepreneur told The Post that Maxwell was a constant fixture at Victoria’s Secret events.

“They were always these really trashy shows full of rich men in the audience,” he said. “Ghislaine acted as the kind of Nazi guard, telling everyone where they were sitting in the audience and that she had new ‘pop tarts’ which is what she called the young models.”
The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal Has Even Spread to Israel’s Election
Last Sunday, the day after Epstein was taken into federal custody, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Ehud Barak, a former prime minister and emerging rival in the upcoming polls, had significant ties to Epstein. On Twitter, Netanyahu shared a screenshot of an article on an obscure Hebrew-language news website that highlighted Epstein’s business relationship with billionaire Les Wexner, whose foundation granted Barak several million dollars between 2004 and 2006. He also claimed that Barak had attended a party hosted by Epstein in 2016 — long after he took a sweetheart plea deal that required him to register as a sex offender.
...
And the hits keep on coming for Barak: On Thursday night, Haaretz reported that Epstein also joined in a partnership with him to invest in a security-tech startup in 2015.
Years later, victims recount impact of Jeffrey Epstein abuse
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:30 AM on July 14 [12 favorites]


Does anyone know, under the “solicitation” charge, who exactly was the “prostitute”?
posted by amanda at 7:35 AM on July 14


Oh good lord. I always knew Victoria's Secret was kind of gross, but I thought it was normal, weird-ideas-about-women's-bodies-and-sexuality-having gross, not like implicated-in-a-child-sex-trafficking-ring gross.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:50 AM on July 14 [8 favorites]


Does anyone know, under the “solicitation” charge, who exactly was the “prostitute”?

There has been some confusion over this but the Washington Post has confirmed her birthday, so it's possible they have identified the particular victim and, rightfully, are not revealing anymore: Age of victim in prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein, long a source of confusion, eased his obligations to register as a sex offender:
A federal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein had flagged scores of potential underage victims, including the 14-year-old girl who first alerted police. But when he pleaded guilty in state court in 2008, the only minor Epstein was convicted of soliciting was 16 years old at the time the offenses began, according to information obtained by The Washington Post.

The younger girl who initially notified police has long believed that hers was the case referenced in the guilty plea, her attorney said. Some media accounts said as much. Publicly available charging documents contained no name or age, however. Pressed to resolve the ambiguity, state prosecutors in Florida recently provided The Post with the victim’s date of birth.
It is another example of how awful the plea deal was for the victims. "They [the prosecutors] had a grab bag of 40 girls to choose from," and the chose the victim that would lead to the least punitive charges.
posted by peeedro at 7:55 AM on July 14 [20 favorites]


We need a department of public corruption. Or a cleansing fire. One of the two.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:18 AM on July 14 [12 favorites]


I'm not sure a department would work, it'd be subject to capture and subordination by the cops, judges, and prosecutors.

I'm in favor of one, but I think we'd need it in tandem with radical transparency and a mechanism for removal by public judgement. Maybe a system whereby bad actions by justice workers can be brought up to a special jury, say 100 people, who are given the facts and a majority can remove the person in question?
posted by sotonohito at 8:25 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Not to sound like my mother circa 1999, but if Victoria’s Secret is involved in this mess through Wexner, it might be worth revisiting all those sexually suggestive Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoots for the catalogue (and the store decor and bags) involving very young women and men.
posted by sallybrown at 8:26 AM on July 14 [14 favorites]


Is it too late to invest in pitchfork stocks or have the prices already gone through the roof?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:28 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]




telling everyone where they were sitting in the audience and that she had new ‘pop tarts’ which is what she called the young models.”

Oh god. I had a sneaking suspicion that I actually knew her (I mean, how many Ghislaines do you meet), but this clinches it...I remember her referring to the models as pop tarts during the fittings. I was working at the company that made their 'angel wings' at the time (the wings they wore in the fashion shows). I am sickened by the fact that this was going on around me even if I didn't witness it directly, but not at all surprised...this was the same company where I picked up my own personal #metoo from no less than five(!) perps over the course of 3 years (after returning there somewhat recently). I no longer work in the fashion/entertainment industry (I'm waiting tables again. Yay. But at least I feel...cleaner)
posted by sexyrobot at 3:05 PM on July 14 [38 favorites]


Before Jeffrey Epstein lived in the now-infamous East 71st street mansion, he lived in a different UES mansion that was a former Iranian gov’t building that he rented from State, but the US sued him for subletting it

Rosie Gray, Buzzfeed News: The State Department Once Rented A Townhouse Seized From Iran To Jeffrey Epstein — Then Sued Him For Subletting It
A weird and forgotten case from the 1990s shows how connected Jeffrey Epstein was to power.
posted by monospace at 6:39 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Inside Epstein network, layer upon layer to protect the boss
Epstein's personal assistant, Sarah Kellen, would call ahead to recruiters in Florida when Epstein was planning a trip to Palm Beach, the police reports say. Kellen, who Ransome said also recruited girls and made travel arrangements for them, "maintained Epstein's sex schedule in order to ensure that he was not without the sexual favors of young females for any extended period of time," according to Ransome's lawsuit.

One of Epstein's recruiters, Haley Robson, received $200 payments each time she escorted a new "masseuse" to Epstein's home, according to a 2008 lawsuit filed anonymously by an accuser who said she was 14 when the abuse started. Robson targeted girls from the rural area where she grew up, several accusers have alleged in lawsuits, because Epstein perceived them to be less likely to tell authorities.
...
Alfredo Rodriguez, who worked as a butler and chauffeur and managed the Palm Beach residence, told detectives he was like a "human ATM machine" and had been told to maintain a minimum balance of $2,000 cash at all times to pay the girls.
...
Epstein required subordinates to sign confidentiality agreements and discouraged victims from speaking to law enforcement officials. If contacted by law enforcement, employees were to notify Epstein's lawyers and accept representation from lawyers paid by Epstein.
Ghislaine Maxwell's Father Was a Dark and Mysterious Figure
Ghislaine Maxwell is variously described as a “socialite” and, more quaintly, as a member of the plutocratic jet set. Her father was never in any set and never had any interest in a frivolous life. In that respect, at least, she is not a chip off the old block. Her celebrity (or notoriety) does raise a question familiar to all old Maxwell watchers: Where does all the loot come from? The same question is often asked of Epstein.
Where Are Jeffrey Epstein’s Alleged Accomplices Now?
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:13 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


I'll stipulate that perhaps Bill Clinton's personal behaviour may have been unusually innocent on this occasion, but if he was travelling
  1. With notorious "playboy" Epstein;
  2. Accompanied by women under 18;
  3. And the girls weren't, e.g., accompanied by their parents or guardians …
Then Clinton knew what they were there for and was going on, and consequently precisely what sort of man Epstein was. And he was in the position to do something about it by making a single phone call.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:27 PM on July 14 [28 favorites]


Have I just been overlooking it in the reporting I've been reading or does anybody else think that the lack of any narcotics angle to (at least the public coverage of) this story seems a weirdly conspicuous absence in the narrative?
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:25 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


The money's coming from somewhere, yes. I tend to think that money laundering is more likely than narcotics or even prostitution, though. Epstein obviously has a lot of money even if he's not as rich as depicted, and money for pimps and almost all drug traffickers is limited by the size of the market. In contrast, money launderers get to retain a percentage of an almost inexhaustible flow of funds, limited mostly by what they can get away with. The more they launder, the more they retain; and things that look like evidence of wealth (e.g., buying islands) may actually be part of the laundering scheme.

That being said, though, I note that large paper shredders and carpet cleaners ("carpet and tile extractors") present as big, heavy boxes. You can fit an awful amount in one of those, whether it's drugs, cash, or embarrassing CDs.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:58 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


I really want Doe, as in Doe v. Trump and Epstein(1:16-cv-07673) to say IDGAF about the settlement and non-disclosure, and refile the suit claiming Donald J. Trump raped her when she was 13 years old.
posted by mikelieman at 3:55 AM on July 15 [7 favorites]




Something I don't entirely understand about that is how anyone has managed to connect an NDA to the Jane Doe / Katie Johnson (assuming those are also the same person) who filed the lawsuit, given that she's anonymous. Was it publicly part of the resolution of that case?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:11 AM on July 15


Jeffrey Epstein Had ‘Piles of Cash,’ Diamonds, Foreign Passport in Safe
They said the passport found in the safe was issued in the 1980s in Saudia Arabia. It was not issued under Epstein’s name but did have a photo that appeared to be of him, Rossmiller said.
Interestingly, I don't think (from the various tweets that have announced the news) it was specified which non-US country's passport it is, only that it lists his residence as being in Saudi Arabia.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:37 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Something I don't entirely understand about that is how anyone has managed to connect an NDA to the Jane Doe / Katie Johnson (assuming those are also the same person) who filed the lawsuit, given that she's anonymous. Was it publicly part of the resolution of that case?

I assume that since Jane Doe in this case withdrew the case at the exact same time Michael Cohen was buying women's silence, that she settled for a significant amount of money with the associated NDA. Otherwise, when you're prevailing on the preponderance of the evidence, why wouldn't you stick it out?

I never bought the "she's been getting threats" thing. If someone's actually trying to intimidate someone in a lawsuit, I'm sure the courts would care.
posted by mikelieman at 8:40 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


I never bought the "she's been getting threats" thing. If someone's actually trying to intimidate someone in a lawsuit, I'm sure the courts would care.

I'm assuming since this has turned into something of a mega-thread, folks are having trouble keeping up with all the news updates, but there are literally multiple accounts linked to above of witnesses reporting intimidation from people hired by Epstein. It's a part of the prosecutor's indictment:

Prosecutors cited police reports from 2008 of “an associate of Epstein’s [who was] offering to buy victims’ silence during the course of the prior investigation. Specifically, one victim reported that ‘she was personally contacted through a source that has maintained contact with Epstein,’ who ‘assured [the victim] that she would receive monetary compensation for her assistance in not cooperating with law enforcement.’ Indeed, the victim reported having been told: ‘Those who help him will be compensated and those who hurt him will be dealt with.’” Also mentioned in the prosecutors’ letter is an alleged event in 2008, when a parent of an accuser reported being driven off the road by Epstein’s private investigator.

I think it's pretty clear to anyone paying attention that both tampering in the form of payments as well as threats and intimidation were all being used by Eptstein.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:51 AM on July 15 [28 favorites]


And it would not be threats to just the victim. It would be a threat to “your dad will never work again in this town or any other. Your mom will never be safe. Your children, your partner, your dog.”

I watched something happen like that where I live now and people can only stand so much before they break.

Look what happened to Blasey Ford and her family. And that was not even the same type of thing. A concerted plan to threaten someone and everyone they love? I don’t know how long I’d be able to do it before I gave in. I don’t know how anyone who comes forward does.
posted by sio42 at 12:56 PM on July 15 [15 favorites]


Ghislaine Maxwell is variously described as a “socialite” and, more quaintly, as a member of the plutocratic jet set. Her father was never in any set and never had any interest in a frivolous life. In that respect, at least, she is not a chip off the old block. Her celebrity (or notoriety) does raise a question familiar to all old Maxwell watchers: Where does all the loot come from? The same question is often asked of Epstein.

Historically, newspaper magnates have been shown over and over again to be blackmailers right up to the most current president being a victim. So she may well be just a chip off the block just nobody got the goods on pops.
posted by srboisvert at 4:05 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


The current President is a victim?

Bold statement, Cotten...
posted by Windopaene at 5:21 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


The current President is a victim?

Bold statement, Cotten...


The Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., is controlled by David Pecker — a longtime friend of Trump's.
American Media Inc. declined to comment on the cover choices on Wednesday.
But the change came at the same time when prosecutors in the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York zeroed in on Michael Cohen's financial dealings with Pecker and American Media. It has now been established that Cohen worked with Pecker to set up a $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal before the 2016 election. The payment effectively silenced her, ensuring that her claims of an affair with Trump would not be made public. https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/12/media/national-enquirer-donald-trump-michael-cohen/index.html


If you don't think there were expectations and strings attached (essentially blackmail) to the story burial then I don't know what to say.
posted by srboisvert at 3:40 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


The ‘Lady of the House’ Who Was Long Entangled With Jeffrey Epstein
In a 2003 Vanity Fair article, Mr. Epstein described Ms. Maxwell as his “best friend.” He said that she was not on his payroll, though the story noted that she seemed to organize much of his life.
...
But Ms. Maxwell disappeared from the social scene after 2015, the year that Ms. Giuffre filed the defamation suit against her.
The Socialite on Epstein’s Arm
[Maxwell] gave a Ted Talk about its work and talked it up at the U.N. and in the press, which credited TerraMar as her “brainchild.” But her association, after years of bad press with Epstein, seems to have become a liability. While it remained active on social media of late, Maxwell’s name had been curiously absent from its website. On Friday, a tweet from TerraMar’s verified account announced it will cease all operations, and its website and Instagram account were taken down.
...
Where is she now? One social-watcher guessed the islands; others think Europe. The way may have already been paved. In 2012, she incorporated Ellmax Enterprise Limited, with herself as secretary and director — the only director listed. In its filings with Companies House, the British registrar, she is described as a resident of the U.K., with a correspondence address in Salisbury, not far from Stonehenge. (The address given for the company is in London. It is a non-trading company, listed as dormant, and its net assets are £1.)
Ghislaine Maxwell's TED talk (I think?)

Court papers reveal how much Jeffrey Epstein is actually worth
Epstein lists in the filing that he has:

Cash: $56,547,773
Fixed income: $14,304,679
Equities: $112,679,138
Hedge funds and private equity: $194,986,301
Properties including: 9 E. 71 st St., Manhattan, worth $55,931,000; 49 Zorro Ranch Road, Stanley, NM, $ 17,246,208; 358 El Brillo Way, Palm Beach, Fla., $ 12,380,209; 22 Avenue Foch, Paris, France, $8,672,823; Great St. James Island in the Virgin Islands, $22,498,600, and Little St. James Island, also there, $63,874,223.

The total assets listed are $559,120,954.
Ehud Barak: I Visited Epstein’s Island But Never Met Any Girls

[Kamala] Harris blasts, and takes money from, Epstein’s law firm
Yet the same day, Harris’ husband headlined a Chicago fundraiser for her presidential campaign that was hosted by six partners of that firm — Kirkland and Ellis, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press.
When Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tackled Jeffrey Epstein

Epstein's pilot, Larry Visoski, apparently took a selfie with Kellyanne Conway right after Trump's election
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:04 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


Choice soundbite overheard from somoene on MSNBC today: "If Bernie Madoff and Harvey Weinstein had a baby it woud be Jeffrey Epstein."
posted by Burhanistan at 7:26 AM on July 16 [10 favorites]


Jeffrey Epstein Abused Victims While Serving Time in Florida, Accuser’s Lawyer Says
An attorney representing Jeffrey Epstein accusers said Tuesday that at least one woman has come forward to say she was abused while the financier was on work release as part of his lenient 2007 plea deal.

“It was not for some business arrangement and it was for... improper sexual contact,” Edwards said, adding that the new accusers said they were under 21, though they may not have been minors.
...
“All I can say is more than one person that visited him,” Edwards said, declining to provide more details because of ongoing litigation. “They believed they were going there for something other than a sexual purpose.

"Once there, he used his perfect master manipulation to turn the situation into something sexual,” Edwards said. “Not one of the individuals was a prostitute. These were all people who at the time that wanted something. They came over under false pretenses and he manipulated them and now his attorneys have labeled them prostitutes.”
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 11:02 AM on July 16


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