Jeffrey Epstein Arrested, Again, Finally

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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52 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    A Federal Judge ruled the non-prosecution agreement that the government gave to Epstein was illegal. However, the Justice Department announced that it would still not throw it out. Considering that Epstein was arrested by the Federal Authorities and the case is going forward in federal court, this is interesting. How much can Barr tell the U.S. Attorney General in the S.D.N.Y to cut it out?

    Other factors are that the original indictment against Epstein was ruled unsealed but this decision is going to be appealed and final decision is months or a year away at earliest.

    There are accusations from one of the victims that she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz and Prince Andrew by one of the accusers. As far as we know, there are no accusations but just partisan wishthinking that Trump and Clinton are among the names in the indictment.

    But what the Trump tweet knows and what other similar statements I read state is that there are a lot of people who knew or had reason to about Epstein’s sexual activities and did nothing or worked to keep it under wraps. This is where I suspect the scandal will really burn lots of things down if it gets out into the light.

    Or negative partisanship is so high that nothing changes even if Epstein proves to be a pox on both houses.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “This is the story of how Epstein, bolstered by unlimited funds and represented by a powerhouse legal team, was able to manipulate the criminal justice system”

      It worries me slightly that even the Miami Herald is framing it as a Money/Legal thing… almost certain this goes waaay beyond Money/Legal and into Networks of Influence…

      Not interested in Epstein per se…as Greg says, burn everyone involved.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Is there a pizza joint with a secret basement in there somewhere?Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Sex is the one truly bipartisan, universal scandal that doesn’t really give much ammunition to any political faction.

    Andrew gets at the heart of it, that this is a hard test of our democracy and rule of law.
    Epstein didn’t just have a vast circle of powerful friends- Those friends all have a vast network of sympathetic courtiers in the media and we can expect them to plant plenty of distractions and diversions to evade scrutiny.Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    I think that many wealthy and powerful men and maybe by connection women were caught in Epstein’s escapades. Either way, there is going to be a lot of disillusionment. If the prosecution goes forward and we learn the enormity of the crimes, people are going to start hating many very powerful people. If Epstein gets away with it again, faith in the justice system will take a hit.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think what a lot of people have sorta forgotten is that having sex with a minor is something people can be tricked into.I’m rather suspecting that the way Epstein stayed out of prison is filmed a bunch of ‘friends’ of his having sex with 17 year-olds (Age of consent is 18 in Florida) who passed as adults.

      Like, I don’t trust Bill Clinton in a lot of ways, but I, like a lot of people on the left, don’t think he’d actually have sex with underaged women. Except…I seriously doubt he _cards_ women. All Epstein would have to do is make sure he’s alone, make sure the 17-year old looks like a 20-year old or whatever, and there you go.

      I mean, there’s sort of three entirely separate levels of wrongness here, and people might not actually be guilty of the first which isn’t even illegal, and the second one isn’t really that bad, just very stupid:

      1. Men could have had sex with these women thinking they were just…random adult women who hung out with Epstein. This is really only a problem if they were married, and even then it’s just a moral one, not a legal one. And if the men are single, it’s not really even a moral problem. (At least, not at the level of anything else here.)
      2. They could have had sex knowing they were prostitutes, but not underaged. This is technically illegal, but a misdemeanor. (I’m not even sure it is that. If they didn’t solicit them, and they aren’t the ones who paid them, it’s sorta hard to prove prostitution.)
      3. They knowingly had sex with underage prostitutes, which is…like, basically, near the worst possible crime.

      But the problem is, we can’t really tell #3 apart from #2 or even #1.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

        Hoo, boy.

        I thought we’d make it to the first conviction before someone made this argument.

        And I thought that it’d be the right-wingers making it.

        (Now I’m looking for the “ephebophilia is not pedophilia” argument. Maybe a handful of comments that will give people the opportunity to revisit John Derbyshire’s “salad days” comments.)Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

          Oh, I’m not making any argument. I’m just pointing out there are various levels of culpability and probably what _should_ be legality, and a lot of people seem to be operating under the ‘Everyone involved in this is a monster (And thus my people probably aren’t involved, or if they are, they aren’t my people anymore.)’.

          No, they really don’t have to be monsters, and if Epstein was _deliberately_ trying to protect himself, it would be fairly easy to trick people into getting caught up in this, so later they had to protect him. Wealthy people providing prostitutes for famous people and politicians is sorta a…fairly common thing, and even more common the farther back you go, and I rather suspect that _no one_ ever carded them.

          I mean, I’m of the firm opinion that anyone who is so utterly moronic to sleep with ‘random women that might be prostitutes that were provided to him by some friend’ is so stupid and unable to control themselves that they should be driven from public life entirely. Or at least, shouldn’t be in charge of anything important.

          But that’s not really the same as ‘monster’.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:

        Oh boy. Lots going on here.

        I think the biggest fall out is going to be against people who should have known and did nothing. Lots of guys deal with aging by imagining they are still attractive to much younger women. The minor version of this is seeing guys in their 40s try and hit on young women at clubs.

        There are lots of quotes in the media where people including Trump complimented Epstein or noted Epstein liked to hang around young women. How many of these guys thought the women were 18-20? How many should have picked up that the girls were much younger and should have done something but did not.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          There are some very interesting dynamics with large age differences. When you reach a certain age, youth becomes an attraction in itself. Traditionally, this has been an older man with a decade plus younger woman but we are seeing more and more wide age discrepancies where the woman is older. For a variety of reasons, we tend to be more forgiving with the later as long as the young man is a legal adult. Its scene as empowering for one thing.*

          You also have to take Kissinger’s “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac into account.” When we see a disheveled older man of low status hitting on a younger woman, it comes across as pathetic at best. When you have somebody who is powerful and wealthy or at least looks it, tall, well-groomed, full head of hair, etc., we might not like a wide age discrepancy and find it scandalous or bad but we don’t find the chase pathetic.

          *I think its telling that the one movie I can think of dealing with an older virgin heterosexual man’s voyage of sexual discovery, the 40 Year Old Virgin, is a comedy and the entire thing treated as a big joke of sorts, while a movie dealing with a sexually frustrated woman of the same age would be played more dramatically and her sexual voyage of discover as a triumph that we should cheer for. The ending, with Steve Carrol’s character actually getting married to a single mother his own age, before he gets laid also is because very few people would find an older male virgin getting NSA sex in a voyage of sexual discovery to be something they want to see.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC says:

        The best guide I’ve heard is the formula 1/2 your age +7.

        That is, any woman below that line is morally questionable because the gap between emotional and mental ages is too great.

        So a man- a married man- in his late 50s having sex with an 18 year old is squicky even if it is legal. And it would rightfully call into question his ability to be trusted with vast amounts of power.

        And its in this arena, the one where we assess the wisdom and judgement of powerful people where I think it should be played out, not on the narrow ledge of “was she 18 or not”.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Half your age plus seven is a rough formula but I think the reality is more complicated. As I pointed out above, media depictions of the older woman plus younger man dynamic tend to be seen as empowering for a woman even if the reality is different. Compare how movies dealing with sexually frustrated movies are played as dramas or dramadies with the 40 Year Old Virgin, which even though sympathetic to the protagonist still had “ha ha” elements because men who can’t get with women are pathetic. Likewise, society tends to be more willing to tolerate wide age discrepancies between an older man and younger woman, a violation of the half your age plus seven dynamic, when the older man is powerful/high status or at least looks to possess high power/status.

          I admit to be thinking about this a lot recently because of my particular issues in this area. I’m still a bachelor and never had a girlfriend in my life. I’m also in a hobby scene where there are plenty of opportunities to interact with women across the age spectrum in ways that can come across as flirtatious. This past weekend I had entirely too much chaste fun with a college student. Part of me was really enjoying it and part of me is thinking that I was being more than a little ridiculous and pathetic. I’m wondering what I should do if my first realistically probability ends up being with somebody too young? Do I really need to sacrifice my happiness for the greater good. That’s what my said of the political aisle is telling me but it seems Molochian and unfair to. Its not like the universe rewards you with an appropriate romantic relationship because you did the right thing. It could mean being alone my entire life.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Like the Pirates Code, its more what you might call a guideline.

            A guy marrying and being devoted to a very young woman would probably be endearing.

            But miles away from anything these guys were doing.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          ‘Late 50s’ is doing some assumptions there. Epstein has been doing this for _decades_.

          I mean, let’s use Donald Trump for an example. He’s 73, and back in 2002 he said he’s known Epstein for 15 years. I.e., they met when he was ~41. And let’s imagine a hypothetical where Trump, soon after meeting Epstein, is given a 17-year-old girl that he thinks is 20 or so.

          20 to 41 is a large-ish age difference, enough to make me uncomfortable, but not utterly absurd.

          And you can say we should ‘assess the wisdom and judgement of powerful people’, and I agree, but we all know it’s not going to work like that. (Honestly, if we did that, we _already_ wouldn’t have Trump…and probably not Bill Clinton either.)Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to DavidTC says:

        Mistake of age is not a defense to statutory rape.Report

  5. Avatar greginak says:

    Burn everybody who helped this sleazebag. This is going to be embarrassing to people all around and maybe, just maybe, people should spend their hot air and attention on people on “their side” before getting spun about about the people they already hate.

    And Acosta should have been gone a long time ago. JFC a judge said he screwed up but managed to stay in his post. So there is that to say.Report

  6. Epstein gave up information on “a key federal witness in the criminal prosecution of two prominent executives with Bear Stearns”

    That link says that he was a key witness in the Bear Stearns trial.Report

  7. Avatar George Turner says:

    I look forward to CNN telling me that what Epstein did was worse than Hitler, and then a half our later explain that there’s nothing wrong with a fling with a high school cheerleader who likes sugar daddies and that Senator Favorite (D-New England) has nothing to apologize for.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I hope he doesn’t hang himself in his cell during a period where the security cameras aren’t working.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Actually, that’s only one side.

      Harvey Weinstein was HRC’s “Hollywood” contact/advisor/backer/creative tallent/friend/whatever for decades, and when he went public we had multiple Democrats admit she’d been repeatedly warned of exactly what he was.

      So yes, both sides do it.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Another thing that could happen with this story:

    Report

  10. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Interesting post from Adam Silverman over at Balloon Juice, where he is documenting the disinformation campaign being waged, originating from the swamps of Reddit.
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/07/08/watching-the-disinformation-being-made-and-transmitted-jeffrey-epstein-edition/

    They are composing talking points of distorted or fabricated information in a feverish effort to protect Trump.
    What’s revealing is that even though there isn’t any evidence yet linking Trump himself to the rapes, they feel the need to preemptively vaccinate the public from any unwelcome information.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      We need to make sure that all of the information comes out. I understand that there are a bunch of names on the DVDs that were found in the safe.

      The names of the youths should be kept hidden. The names that are not the youths should be made public.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      The braying of the beast betrays them.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Nobody is as well connected to the upper reaches of the business world as Reddit posters. Nobody.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to George Turner says:

        It’s more complicated than that. This is not about back-rooms and cigar smoke. It’s about the inner workings of the contemporary right-wing media machine. And yes, places like /pol are part of that.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Yesterday morning Wiki said that Bill Clinton took 26 flights on the Lolita express to Epstein’s orgy island. By the afternoon, it said nothing at all.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner says:

        There has, apparently, been an editing contest there and, currently, the page says this (this was copied and pasted from about a minute ago):

        n September 2002, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker flew to Africa in Epstein’s private jet. According to flight records, Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s plane 26 times, reportedly with young girls present each time, and 5 trips without Secret Service.

        So, for now, it mentions it.

        (It *HAS* been edited more than 100 times in the last day, though.)Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

          This kind of thing happens every time there is a very hot political topic. WikiP is great for somethings. For facts about current political brouhaha’s it is worthless. I’ve seen all the claims and opposite claims in that paragraph in the last day.Report

  11. Avatar George Turner says:

    On an unrelated note about West Virginia, they’ve got resistance units from Latvia and Poland running all over.

    This could probably result in an interesting short story. “I crawled in close, and it’s Latvians Tom, Latvians! They’ve got anti-tank missiles aimed at the old bridge in front of the Miller’s place!”Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This is a tweet that could have gone unsent:

    Report

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