After the spectacular re-arrest of convicted child sex offender and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, both Trump and Clinton partisans are rushing to connect each other's nemesis to Epstein's life and whereabouts. Epstein has now been charged with child trafficking for sex purposes, in a case which some say has the elements of the perfect storm.
There are connections on both sides, which are already gruel for all-out partisan war over who knows what, who did what, or who might be implicated.
Although Epstein is frequently described as a successful hedge fund manager, other in-depth pieces in Vanity Fair and The Daily Beast seem to question the source of his wealth. He was fired from an early position at Bear Stearns, and his business dealings are shrouded in mystery.
Much of the internet commentary expresses, and rightfully so, that it doesn't matter where the chips fall, even if it is on politicians one has supported. It seems that few other issues have the potential to cause partisan supporters to run for the exits. To the well-known saying that partisan politics stops at the shoreline, a corollary might be added that it also stops at the children.
So what does the documented, public record show about any and all connections of either Trump or the Clintons to Epstein, his associates, and pedophilia?
Here's What We Know:
- Trump's Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is the former US Attorney who signed off on Epstein's sweetheart deal, in which he avoided almost guaranteed life in prison and instead was sentenced to 18 months in prison, in a private wing, with 12 hours a day, 6 days a week liberty to go to his office, all of which he only served 13 months. Acosta was US Attorney for Southern District of Florida who prosecuted the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the terrorism suspect José Padilla.
- Trump is well known to have said about Epstein in 2002, long before his troubles began: "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." However, Trump used the word "women," not "girls." The Washington Post has now used the word "girls" in its headline, next to a set of quotation marks. A cursory glance might leave one with the impression that Trump had said "younger girls," probably actionable libel law for Trump. (Washington Post: "Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ girls. Then he denied their relationship.")
- There is a now-famous photo of Trump with Epstein, Trump's then-girlfriend Melania, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000. Maxwell is alleged to have helped Epstein find underage girls for victimization. Trump banned Epstein from the resort after it was reported that he had tried to assault an underage girl.
- Epstein once spent a month with Bill Clinton in Africa as part a tour to "boost AIDS awareness," according to a letter filed in court. In a New York Magazine article Clinton said that Epstein played an important role in certain projects of the Clinton Foundation. NYMag reported that Clinton said:
“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science...I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”
- Although Bill Clinton said through a spokesman yesterday, days after Epstein's arrest, that the former president traveled on Epstein's private jets only "a total of four trips" in 2002 and 2003, that statement is disingenuous. Clinton shows up in Epstein's extended flight logs at least 26 times, to various international destinations, but none to Epstein's Caribbean island. Fox News reported:
"Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” -- even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com." (Fox News)
Although the Clinton statement maintains that during these trips that "Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip," the statement neglects to say that on other trips, Clinton apparently ditched his Secret Service. The Secret Service has never responded to Freedom of Information Act requests for clarification.
- In a court document, Epstein says he helped co-found the Clinton Global Initiative. (Document below)
- Clinton has never been accused of participating in pedophilia, but incredulity has been expressed that he could not have known what Epstein was, and what he was doing. Conchita Sarnoff, of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, said to Fox News:
“Bill Clinton … associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile."
- During the tenure of Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, NBC News ran a report which stated that a "sexual misconduct" case involving "minor children" had been shut down by highest level officials, prompting complaints from the US Inspector General. (Report below)
- In 2010, after the Haitian earthquake, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened in the case of 10 Americans who were arrested on child abduction charges in Haiti, against State Department policy, as reported in the Sunday Times. Clinton sent Bill Clinton to negotiate the release of the leader, Laura Silsby, after the others were released. Haitian prosecutors wanted to sentence Silsby to prison for the attempted kidnap of 33 children. Silsby was convicted of a lesser charge and released for "time served." Hillary Clinton's interest in the case is documented in a Wikileaks release of her emails.
- A State Department spokesman said that the department would not get involved, nor would it be proper to. CNN reported in "State Department rebuffs call for Clinton intervention in Haiti case":
"Washington (CNN) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not get directly involved in the case of the 10 Americans detained in Haiti on child abduction charges, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.
"It would be highly unusual for the secretary of state to intervene in a case involving the judicial process of another country," spokesman P.J. Crowley said in an off-camera question-and-answer session."
In the 2010 case, an Idaho church worker, Laura Silsby, said she was in Haiti to rescue orphans found outside of collapsed orphanages, but it turned out that this was false and most of the children had parents.
CBS reported of the parents' stories:
"Their stories contradicted Silsby's account that the children came from collapsed orphanages or were handed over by distant relatives."
Silsby claimed she planned to build an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, which relatives could visit, but a State Department diplomatic cable revealed that authorities in the country said she never submitted an application. Contrary to her claims to parents that children would be living just across the Dominican border and that they could visit, the mission statement for Silsby's organization stated that international adoptions were a goal.
The mission statement reads:
"We will strive to also equip each child with a solid education and vocational skills as well as opportunities for adoption into a loving Christian family."
Haiti has very strict laws and a long process for the removal of any child from the country without its parents. Once out of Haitian jurisdiction, children would be at the mercy of whomever exerted physical control over them.
The US State Department webpage devoted to information on the "Arrest or Detention of a U.S. Citizen Abroad" states that the department's mandate extends to such services as:
-Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English
-Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission
-Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate
The department then makes clear that "We cannot":
-Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas
Where Will It Lead?
Why would a US Secretary of State get involved in a criminal matter in which a country's sovereignty and jurisdiction are sacrosanct, for a woman who had clearly lied repeatedly about her intentions?
Other questions arise. It is unlikely that Secretary of Labor Acosta would have been able to cut the sweetheart deal with Epstein, and seal the case records, without approval from his superiors in the Bush administration, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and President George W. Bush.
Epstein is not only charged with child sex offenses himself, but of running a trafficking operation in which he made children available to other rich and powerful people. It has not been lost on followers of the new Epstein case that it has the potential to snare well-known figures. Alleged victims are pushing for Epstein prosecution not to stop at Epstein. The perfect storm.
In a Daily Beast report, attorney David Boies, who represents Epstein accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Sarah Ransome, said:
“We hope that prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein because there were many other people who participated with him and made the sex trafficking possible,"
In yet another spectacular development, yesterday Christine Pelosi, a Democratic National Committee official and daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warned that it is "quite likely that some of our faves are implicated" in the "horrific" sex-trafficking case against politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein.
There is precedent for child abuse networks operated by elites being present in the United States. In the Nineties, a Learning Channel documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," got pulled from the air at the last minute. In it, a Nebraska State Senator, Loren Schmit, believed he had uncovered a pedophilia ring which went to the "highest levels."