The Miami Herald did a fantastic job on an investigative series on Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire who liked to hang out with powerful men and underage girls. They kept political bias out of it, mostly, even though there were connections made between Epstein and President Trump, as well as President Clinton and a prominent member of the White house, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.
It’s a very long, detailed series of articles. Here are the key takeaways:
Jeffrey Epstein is worse than Harvey Weinstein
Had the #MeToo movement been in full swing just over a decade ago, there’s a good chance Epstein would have been utterly destroyed in the court of public opinion. Moreover, it would have been nearly impossible for him to get away with his crimes after serving just 13 months in prison.
Weinstein used his power to “help” women get a leg up in Hollywood, but in reality he was exploiting young starlets sexually. Epstein paid, manipulated, and threatened girls as young as 13 so he and potentially others could sexually assault them.
That’s not to downplay Weinstein’s crimes by any means. He’s a monster. But Epstein is a sexual predator on a higher scale with a constant flow of teen girls brought to him at his various lush abodes. He handed them out to his powerful associates like party favors.
Many powerful men have been accused
From Presidents Trump and Clinton to Democratic commentator and lawyer Alan Dershowitz to Prince Andrew, the list of powerful men whose names have been invoked in association with Epstein’s crimes is quite long. Credit once again to the Miami Herald for treating the accused as innocent until proven guilty. When powerful men are in the crosshairs, it’s easy for a news outlet to exaggerate the claims or make them appear more guilty than the facts portray.
Nevertheless, some of the stories are quite compelling. None of the accused powerful men have had enough evidence presented against them to compel the police into action beyond inquiry. Still, it’s hard to imagine that none of the dozens of frequent visitors to Epstein’s residences participated. At this point, they are all still to be considered innocent.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta helped Epstein get a sweet plea deal
As a leading contender for Attorney General, Acosta may be the most affected by these stories. It’s impossible to imagine he has a future in the Trump administration and calls will be coming in for the President to fire him.
According to the report, Acosta signed off on an agreement that not only gave Epstein minuscule punishment for his heinous crimes, but also saved him from federal prosecution while keeping the victims in the dark until Epstein was already in jail. It goes against everything the justice system is supposed to do for victims.
And Acosta signed off on it as U.S. attorney in Miami.
As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.
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, and how his accusers, still traumatized by their pasts, believe they were betrayed by the very prosecutors who pledged to protect them.
So much more
Now that you know the highlights, I recommend taking time to read the whole series. It includes three long stories, a list of Epstein’s connections, and a timeline of the events.
Many of the victims have been paid off in settlements, but no amount of money can buy back the youth, trust, and self-esteem they lost at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein. He and his associates must continue to be exposed.