epstein case
November 30, 2019

Two lawyers pursuing influential men connected to the late millionaire financier and sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting federal trial, almost attempted to sway the most recent Israeli elections as part of their endeavors, The New York Times reports.

Lawyers David Boies and John Pottinger were approached by a man going by the name Patrick Kessler who claimed to have a vast archive of Epstein's data stored on encrypted servers. The servers allegedly contained footage from hidden cameras that showed wealthy and powerful men, including constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in compromising sexual situations, per The Times. Kessler's claims would seemingly have boosted the theory that Epstein was blackmailing power people.

Boies and Pottinger thought they would be able to use the data to reach deals with the men and let that money flow into a charity focused on helping victims of sexual assault. One of their supposed plans was to share a compromising photo of someone Kessler purported to be Barak — who was challenging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli election — with Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas. Adelson founded one of Israel's largest newspapers and is reportedly a big booster for Netanyahu. The trio thought by doing so they could prevent Barak, who called the accusation a "total lie with no basis in reality," from making any progress with his bid.

Ultimately, the Times and the lawyers concluded that there was no way to validate any of the images or videos Kessler brought to the table, and he has been dismissed as a fraud by the lawyers. Similarly, Boies said the plan to share the Barak photo was never actually put into action. But the Times' report shows the potential global reach of the Epstein scandal. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

August 27, 2019

Take this for what it's worth, from The Washington Post:

At least one camera in the hallway outside the cell where authorities say registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself earlier this month had footage that is unusable, although other, clearer footage was captured in the area, according to three people briefed on the evidence gathered earlier this month. It was not immediately clear why some video footage outside Epstein's cell is too flawed for investigators to use or what is visible in the usable footage. ... It's unclear whether the flaw in the taping affected a limited duration of the footage or whether it was a chronic problem in the beleaguered Manhattan facility. [The Washington Post]

Epstein's death has been ruled a suicide, but not everyone is yet convinced that he killed himself, including Epstein's lawyers. Conspiracy theories about his demise — floated by, among other people, President Trump, himself a longtime Epstein acquaintanceabound, thanks in part to Epstein's influential friends and his alleged trafficking of underage girls to powerful men, and also to missteps and irregularities like this at the Manhattan Correctional Center. The FBI and Justice Department's inspector general's office are both investigating Epstein's death and the footage is important to these inquiries. Read more at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

August 18, 2019

Buckingham Palace released a statement on Sunday saying Prince Andrew is "appalled" by the accusations made against his late former friend, financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide earlier this month.

Video was recently released that shows him inside Epstein's New York City mansion, The Guardian reports, with the footage believed to have been shot on Dec. 6, 2010. In 2015, a woman who said she was one of Epstein's sex slaves attested in court documents that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew multiple times in the early 2000s, when she was 17 years old. At the time, Buckingham Palace denied the allegations, calling them "false and without any foundation."

On Sunday, Buckingham Palace said the prince "deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in, or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent." Catherine Garcia

August 16, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy findings aren't public yet, but The Washington Post reported early Thursday that it found "multiple breaks in his neck bones," including the hyoid bone. Few people know what a hyoid bone is, but the Post spoke with several medical experts and reported that fractured hyoid bones are typically associated with "victims of homicide by strangulation," even if they can also "occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older."

The Post named only one of their experts, Jonathan Arden, and even he said a broken hyoid bone "generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging," CNN's Oliver Darcy noted Thursday night. So why did the Post "concentrate on the broken hyoid bone to paint a picture of possible foul play" in Epstein's prison cell? Darcy spoke to four medical experts, including CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and they agreed that the reported autopsy findings are more consistent with hanging by suicide than strangulation, especially since Epstein was 66.

The fact that multiple neck bones were broken "actually suggests much more strongly that it was hanging versus strangulation," Gupta told Darcy. "You wouldn't break those other bones during a strangulation." Gerald Rodts, chief of spinal surgery at the Emory Clinic, agreed that "the presence of other broken bones in his neck, from a guy hanging 66 years old, is very consistent with suicidal hanging," adding that "classically with strangulation, you don't see broken bones. It's not common." Even a skeptical forensic pathologist said the reports pointed to suicide.

A Washington Post spokesperson stood by the report, telling Darcy on Thursday that the newspaper wasn't "'leaning into' any theory" and made "absolutely clear from the beginning that suicide remains a distinct possibility," reiterating that the experts contacted by the Post "said that this break is more common in strangulation." Read more at CNN. Peter Weber

August 15, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy found that he had several broken bones in his neck, two people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

The autopsy was conducted on Sunday, one day after the financier and accused sex trafficker was found dead inside his cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein's hyoid bone was reportedly broken, and experts told the Post this can happen in a hanging, especially when the person is older, but is more common in victims of strangulation.

There are already several conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein's death, which the Justice Department describes as an apparent suicide. Multiple women accused Epstein of coercing them into having sex with him and his rich and powerful friends, and some people believe he was killed before he could reveal any secrets. Epstein was supposed to be closely monitored by guards, but they reportedly didn't check on him for several hours.

New York City's chief medical examiner is asking for more information on Epstein's condition in the hours leading up to his death. This could mean the facility provides surveillance footage showing who was in the vicinity of his cell, the Post reports, or it could set up interviews with people who were nearby. Catherine Garcia

August 14, 2019

Two guards who were responsible for monitoring Jeffrey Epstein's unit at a federal detention center were asleep on the job during his apparent suicide, The New York Times reports, citing law enforcement and prison officials. The guards then reportedly falsified records to cover up their actions.

Epstein was being held in a special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The Justice Department said Tuesday that the warden at the center has been reassigned, and the guards have been placed on leave. Such staff reassignments reportedly are often used to preserve the integrity of an investigation.

Attorney General William Barr called the jail's handling of Epstein a "failure" and cited "irregularities" at the facility. He had recently been taken off suicide watch, but staff was supposed to check in on him every 30 minutes, which they did not do in the hours before he was found hanging from a bedsheet in his cell. Harold Maass

August 13, 2019

The Justice Department reportedly took its first steps on Tuesday toward trying to decipher what went wrong at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in the lead up to Jeffrey Epstein's death by apparent suicide.

Lamine N'Diaye, the warden at the federal detention center has reportedly been reassigned to a regional office, and two staffers monitoring Epstein's unit at the time of his death have reportedly been placed on leave. Attorney General William Barr called the facility's handling of Epstein a "failure" and cited "irregularities" at the facility.

Epstein was being held in a special housing unit of the MCC and staff was supposed to check in on him every 30 minutes, but they reportedly did not do so several hours before he was found dead in his cell on Saturday morning, a person familiar with the situation said.

That said, Serene Gregg, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, which represents the staffers at the MCC, told The Washington Post that it is "not atypical" to replace employees on leave "when investigation is initiated," as a means for preserving the integrity of the investigation. Tim O'Donnell

August 11, 2019

No surprise here.

President Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory Saturday evening alleging without evidence that former President Bill Clinton was in some way connected to the death of millionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, and his aides saw it coming from a mile away, The Daily Beast reports.

Epstein's death was ruled a suicide after he was found dead in his prison cell on Saturday morning, but it has sparked several conspiracy theories already, most centered on foul play, which the FBI has said it has no indication of.

But Trump's apparently on board. The president retweeted a post by comedian and conservative commentator Terrance K. Williams that contained a video of Williams arguing that "somebody got paid not to do" their job, deeming it incomprehensible as to how someone on suicide watch would be able to harm themselves. At the time of his death, however, Epstein was no longer on suicide watch.

Trump's advisers were reportedly expecting the president to dive into the conspiracy theories. One White House official told The Daily Beast that they assumed the president would say or tweet something about Clinton-centric conspiracies as soon as they started filtering out onto the internet, including from longtime Trump ally and Department of Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton. The general consensus among his advisers, however, is that there's nothing they can do about it until he grows bored and moves on to something else. Read more at The Daily Beast. Tim O'Donnell

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