OpenCDA

July 8, 2019

Epstein: Why Now? And Who Else May Have a Problem?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 12:05 pm

EpsteinBookingPhotoFor some months now there have been strong rumors that New York financier Jeffrey Epstein would be federally indicted and arrested on charges related to child sex trafficking going all the way back to the 1990’s.

It finally happened.

Epstein was indicted by a New York federal grand jury, however the sealed indictment was not unsealed until this weekend when Epstein was arrested by the feds on Saturday night at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after he returned from another overseas trip.

This article appearing in today’s Washington Times online was written by Jeff Mordock.  It is headlined Jeffrey Epstein charged with operating sex trafficking ring, using underage girls to recruit.  Mordock’s article is a decent summary of what led up to Epstein’s indictment and Saturday night arrest.

There is an equally informative article in today’s Washington Examiner online.  It was written by Jerry Dunleavy and headlined Federal prosecutors charge Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking and conspiracy.

Skews media reports imply that because of his wealth and political connections, Epstein was able to essentially skate on the earlier Florida charges.  For example, see the May 13, 2016, Fox News article written by Malia Zimmerman and headlined Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender’s jet much more than previously known.

Neither the Palm Beach County Prosecuting Attorney in Florida nor the US Attorney in Florida had much interest in Epstein when the alleged crimes and evidence were fresh.  Epstein spread his considerable money around in Democrat circles and in throwing private parties for political, entertainment industry, and news media friends.   Epstein had enough influence that an incompetent or politically astute US Attorney or county prosecutor could find plenty of excuses to concoct a sweetheart plea deal.   The rationale for undercharging or over-bargaining is not limited to Florida’s political hacks.

In my opinion the sudden renewed interest in Epstein by the skews media and the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has far less to do with the pursuit of justice on behalf of Epstein’s victims than in Epstein’s being acquainted with Donald J. Trump before he became President Donald J. Trump.   I suspect the ink wasn’t even dry on Epstein’s indictment by the SDNY before Epstein’s attorneys were working out plea bargain strategies for Epstein to “sing” or if necessary “compose” one story or several implicating Trump.

There is, however, already one smelly tie-in to President Trump’s Cabinet: The US Attorney  for the Southern District of Florida who arranged the sweetheart federal agreement to not prosecute Epstein federally on the child sex trafficking charges if he agreed to plead guilty to one reduced state charge was Rene Alexander Acosta, President Trump’s Secretary of Labor.   On April 27, 2017, Acosta was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 60-38. He was sworn in on April 28, 2017.  All 50 Republican US Senators vote to confirm Acosta.   (So much for due diligence in their duty to advise before consenting.)

Acosta is a piece of garbage the President does not need.  Acosta must resign.

Various skews media accounts of the Clinton connection to Epstein have implied or even stated that former President Clinton “signed off” on letters declining Secret Service protection on some trips Clinton took with Epstein.  The term the skews media used was Clinton “ditched” the Secret Service.

By federal statute, former presidents receive Secret Service protection for life or until they formally decline further protection.  Shortly after he resigned, former President Nixon signed off on a letter declining further Secret Service protection.    But the sign-off was permanent for Nixon.

In contrast with former President Nixon’s declination, the skews articles imply that former President Clinton was allowed to selectively and temporarily sign off so he could take some short-duration trips with Epstein or using Epstein’s aircraft.  Presumably the Secret Service protection resumed after Clinton’s return.

It is very difficult for me to accept that the Secret Service would go along with occasional sign-offs like these.   If there is a valid national security reason for former presidents to receive Secret Service protection, then it must be continuous and unbroken protection for the sake of national security.    There is little harm to the national security when a former president dies, but a former president who is subjected to forced interrogation or blackmail is still in a position to harm the national security.

No responsible Secret Service Director would accept temporary sign-offs like the ones the skews media suggest occurred in the Clinton-Epstein arrangement.  Neither should Congress appropriate any funding for Secret Service protection for former presidents or specified other “formers” who insist on only occasional protection (babysitting and chauffeur service).   Even for “formers,” effective protection is costly to US taxpayers.

2 Comments

  1. Clinton’s signing off Secret Service protection on certain occasions should instantly raise eyebrows to the tops of their heads. I’m sure they knew what was going on. And I agree that a president should not be able to selectively refuse the service – either one has protection or one doesn’t, and if he/she does, then he/she has it all the time. I wonder also how many times Hillary’s name was on the flight logs.

    Comment by reddy — July 10, 2019 @ 7:46 pm

  2. reddy,

    It’s understandable that most people wouldn’t want any harm to come to a former president.

    Hypothetically, consider that former President X is engaging in serious criminal conduct, a felony, to the point that he or she is criminally liable. Some USSS employees assigned to former President X’s protective detail are sworn federal law enforcement officers. Assume those employees observe clearly intentional and repeated felonious conduct by former President X. Former President X is investigated, indicted, and arrested. At former President X’s trial, the USSS employees are subpoenaed as fact witnesses by the prosecutor. Should they testify? If not, if the USSS or the employees’ attorneys seek to quash the subpoenaes, what is the legal basis for them objecting to testify? They are federal law enforcement officers; do they not have a duty to testify truthfully? If they observed former President X committing a crime and failed to report it, aren’t the USSS employees committing a crime themselves (misprision of felony, 18 USC § 4)? If the witness/employees dutifully reported President X’s crimes to their supervisors and the supervisors did nothing, are not the supervisors similarly guilty of violating 18 USC § 4?

    I think Congress needs to seriously look at repealing the statute that provides lifetime protection for “formers.” There is little harm to the national security when a former president dies, but a former president who is subjected to forced interrogation or blackmail is still in a position to harm the national security. That former President Nixon signed off after he resigned and was not snagged by the Soviets or the PRC ought to give taxpayers’ elected representatives cause to do a cost-benefit analysis regarding continuing protection. If Congress is willing to allow a former President to selectively sign off on protection, then Congress is also acknowledging that it doesn’t really give a hoot about any compromise to national security that might occur. But of course, Congress is more than willing to continue to spend taxpayer money to pay for it.

    Epstein’s defense strategy will probably include “graymail”, the threat to name names of frequent fliers on the Lolita Express and maybe even produce images of the FF’s with the victims. Hopefully it will not include any form of intimidation of the alleged victims, the underage women who were allegedly procured, exploited, and abused by Epstein and Friends. And if I were someone who might be considered an accessory or even a co-conspirator (e.g., Ghislaine Maxwell) I’d be begging my lawyer to offer me up as a witness and get me into the witness protection program.

    Comment by Bill — July 10, 2019 @ 9:25 pm

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