10 July 2019

Countdown


David Edgerley Gates


So, about this Jeffrey Epstein thing, am I the only one who thinks we're looking at a hand grenade dropped into an overloaded Port-a-Potty? The guy's a child predator, and he bought off a federal prosecution. The explosion of toxic effluent threatens to be enormous. He palled around with Trump, he palled around with Bill Clinton, we've got him in bed with the freakin' House of Windsor. It's a real stinkeroo.

If you don't know the story, it has a familiar flavor. People talked about it for years, guys smiling behind their hands. Common knowledge. The local cops in Palm Beach began pursuing the case in 2005, and turned it over to the FBI a year later. The year after that, the U.S. Attorney for Miami worked up an indictment, but the Feds got cold feet, and decided against taking it to trial. They let the guy plead down.

This is where it begins to unravel. The deal the U.S. Attorney made with Epstein's lawyers was to allow him to plead to lesser charges in Florida state court, but the non-prosecution agreement required victim notification - in other words, give the victims an opportunity to air their grievances - and that didn't happen until after the deal was already signed, sealed, and delivered. Just this year, a federal judge ruled Epstein's NPA violated the law.

The case now unfolding is being brought by the Southern District of New York, specifically by the Public Corruption Unit, which may signal a willingness to investigate the plea deal as well as the underlying crimes. If they max Epstein out, he could draw forty-five years. He's 66. You do the math.

The obvious question here is whether Epstein will make a bid for leniency by pretending contrition, and ratting out the list of names he pimped underage girls to. Leaving aside the fact that he's almost certainly a sociopath, and without remorse, I'm guessing it's long odds he'd live long enough to name names. He'll do the time.

The other side of the same question is of course Epstein's protection. Who was it, and how long did they cover for him? Let's face it, this is something we're never going to find out. It's in plain view, over on the Grassy Knoll.

11 comments:

Steve Liskow said...

Actually, we DO know the source of some of Epstein's protection. The prosecutor in the original case is now the Secretary of Labor in our current cabinet.

In 2007, a landmark trafficking case was tried in Hartford (CT) federal court, less than ten miles from where I live and receiving NO media coverage whatsoever. A man was sentenced for nearly three THOUSAND counts of trafficking underage girls, drug dealing, extortion, and other crimes. The prosecution spent lots of time (I've read edited court transcripts) proving the girls were under legal age and the guy knew it. After that case, federal laws were changed so if the girl is too young, it doesn't matter whether the pimp knew or not. At that time, the defendant was convicted and would be eligible for parole in...wait for it...2022. It works out to about three HOURS per offense.

Raymond Bechard, a local activist, wrote a book about the case, called The Berlin Turnpike, a True Story of Human Trafficking in America. I recommend it highly. I used his book and a phone interview with one of the young women in the Hartford case for background when I wrote Cherry Bomb.

I still hear people claim that prostitution is a "victimless crime." There's no such thing.
I hope Epstein's case is fully investigated, expertly prosecuted, and responsibly adjudicated.

Eve Fisher said...

This is cribbed from the esteemed Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson):

"Stop putting Trump's name in the same sentence as his friend Epstein's NYC sex trafficking charges It's not like Trump ran a NYC "modeling agency" featuring girls of unknown age dubiously trafficked from overseas and paid little to no wages at the same time he was an Epstein pal. Just because it's true doesn't mean we should keep repeating that Donald Trump has been accused of rape (in significant detail) by a 13 year-old (in Epstein's NYC apartment), was known to barge into teen girls' dressing rooms at pageants, and has made inappropriate comments to/about underage girls on camera. I resent the fact that reporters keep mentioning Trump's peculiar ongoing affiliations with pedophiles like Epstein and George Nader when all that does is limit the amount of air-time they have available to note that Trump ultimately endorsed pedophile Roy Moore for the US Senate. And for that matter, it seems unfair and piling on to at this moment note that there's an ongoing federal investigation into why so many of Trump's pals ended up in pictures with (or on the premises of) a Florida massage parlor owner whose employees appear to have been sex slaves.
And for the life of me I can't figure out why it's relevant that under-indictment sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein said of his friend and fellow child-rape accusee, "I want to set up my [NYC] modeling agency the same way Trump set up his modeling agency" (quote from MSNBC just now). Candidly, I'd find the idea of a major Trump-Epstein connection more compelling (from an evidentiary standpoint) if someone could show me *any* evidence *whatsoever* that Trump named the prosecutor who signed an illegal non-prosecution deal with Epstein his Secretary of Labor...."

Eve Fisher said...

Basically, all sarcasm aside, the use of children as sex toys is and has been sickeningly common for so long that - among certain perverted powerful circles - it's considered normal, nothing to be reported. And the cover-up is indeed massive. I just heard Alan Dershowitz (one of Epstein's attorneys) saying on national TV that if Epstein had been less rich and less powerful, he would have gotten a better deal. Great spin job for innumerable blow jobs. And other things.

David Edgerley Gates said...

Steve -

Thanks for recommending Berlin Turnpike.

I think Acosta is just a cat's paw. He says he got a call saying Epstein was "intelligence." Who made that call? And did Acosta seek guidance from DOJ - was the then-AG involved in this decision?

Acosta's office came up with an 80+ page indictment, and a 50+ page prosecutorial memo - in other words, a roadmap to the case they were going to present. What did the people who actually did the heavy lifting on Epstein think about the deal? So far, nobody from lower down the food chain at the SD of Florida has come forward.

Nobody seems to have made the obvious inference, here. They let Epstein off the hook 12 years ago. How many girls has he targeted since then?

David Edgerley Gates said...

Eve -

Take a look at this. As if the morning hasn't started with enough gag reflex.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/labor-secretary-alex-acosta-who-cut-deal-with-epstein-tried-to-slash-anti-trafficking-budget?ref=home

Eve Fisher said...

David, I have a feeling I'm going to spend the rest of this summer gagging a lot as Epstein's protectors try to figure a way out of this one.

Eve Fisher said...

BTW, because optics are everything (HA!): "President Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Fla., is scheduled to host a golf tournament Saturday put on by a Miami-area strip club, which will allow golfers to pay for a dancer to serve as their “caddy girl” while they play at the president’s club... Afterward, however, the golfers and the dancers would return to another venue — the cabaret itself — for what he described as a “very tasteful” burlesque show, which could involve nudity."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/strip-club-to-host-golf-tournament-at-trump-resort-in-south-florida/2019/07/09/52a83504-a266-11e9-bd56-eac6bb02d01d_story.html?utm_term=.b91d86279aaf

Robert Lopresti said...

Good piece, and fascinating comments. Reminds me of this century-old essay: https://www.sleuthsayers.org/2015/04/the-man-who-ate-babies-parable.html

Lawrence Maddox said...

Great post David! I couldn’t agree more w/ Eve’s comments. It reminds me of the Profumo affair (check out the movie Scandal),except much worse. Icky and gross. Will there be moral outrage from America’s religious leaders no matter what powerful figure is implicated?

Elizabeth said...

A relative of mine, now deceased, was convicted in federal court on child pornography charges. He went to federal prison at the age of 72. He got some time off for good behavior & served about five years.

Leigh Lundin said...

Elizabeth knows the most interesting scalawags!

Oops, wait… Fox All-Clinton News Network has proof: It's not Trump, it's been the Clintons all along! And– put on the popcorn– proof of… something or other