The Miami Herald reporter that investigated the heinous claims against billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, a longtime acquaintance of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, predicted that “quite a few powerful, important people” may be named in Epstein’s sex trafficking case.
Epstein, a longtime hedge fund manager, was charged with sex trafficking in a federal court in New York Monday after prosecutors alleged that he recruited numerous underage girls to be sexually abused.
Prosecutors alleged that Epstein would recruit the girls, and paid his alleged victims to recruit other victims, to come to his homes in New York and Florida to give him “nude or partially nude” massages during which he escalated sexual contact and molested them.
Epstein faced a similar case in Florida in 2008 when he faced a 53-page indictment that could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life.
The Miami Herald reported in November that a federal investigation identified 36 underage victims. According to the report, investigators knew that Epstein had assembled a “large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day.”
According to FBI records, investigators also suspected that Epstein trafficked underage girls for parties attended by affluent men.
US Attorney Alex Acosta, now President Trump’s Labor Secretary, struck a deal with Acosta that “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes,” the Herald reported.
The deal granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators” and barred prosecutors from informing the victims before the deal was approved by a judge. A federal judge ruled earlier this year that Acosta’s deal with Epstein violated the law because he did not confer with victims before agreeing to the plea deal.
Powerful men may be named in case:
Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald reporter that investigated the case, told MSNBC that some powerful people connected to Epstein and the alleged sex parties may be “sweating” after his indictment.
"Needless to say, these are very powerful people and I think that they're sweating a little bit, especially today,” Brown said. “We don't know how much, how deep this went, how far-reaching it went in government, but there have been a lot of names that I could see on these message pads [listing clients] on a regular basis as part of the evidence."
“So there are probably quite a few important people, powerful people, who are sweating it out right now. We'll have to wait and see whether Epstein is going to name names,” she added.
Trump joked that Epstein liked ‘women on the younger side’:
Trump, a longtime friend of Epstein, praised the billionaire in a New York magazine profile in 2002.
"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,” Trump said. “No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
Brown told MSNBC that Trump and Epstein were quite close.
"They went to dinner parties at each other's houses," Brown said. "Trump was also on his plane, probably not as much as a lot of other people because, you know, Trump had his own plane. But they had a lot of social relationships. And the other interesting thing is Trump had a modeling agency, and Epstein also had a stake in a modeling agency, which they suspect he used to bring in underage girls from overseas."
"There is a comment in one of the court files where Epstein is quoted as saying, 'I want to set up my modeling agency the same way Trump set up his modeling agency.' I don't know what that means, but it is curious he was trying to do something similar to Trump." she added.