From the Daily Beast:
Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight
How did the New York financier stay nearly untouchable for decades? Vicky Ward—who has reported extensively on Epstein, and on efforts to rehabilitate him—finds out what’s changed.Vicky Ward
Updated 07.09.19 1:52PM ET Published 07.09.19 4:35AM ET
For almost two decades, for some nebulous reason, whether to do with ties to foreign intelligence, his billions of dollars, or his social connections, Epstein, whose alleged sexual sickness and horrific assaults on women without means or ability to protect themselves is well-known in his circle, remained untouchable. …
Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.) …
After the one meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, where presumably “intelligence” was mentioned, the indictment was shelved and, instead, Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of procurement of minors for prostitution, which earned him a cushy 13 months in county jail, from where he was allowed to leave to work at his office and go for walks.
An interesting aspect is that there is no official explanation of the source of Epstein’s wealth other than that he collected fees for managing a hedge fund.
Interestingly, Epstein’s close associate in nefariousness has been Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a sort of real-life James Bond Villain.
After her father’s spectacular death in 1991, she moved to New York and began an affair with Epstein. Did Jeffrey remind her of Dear Old Dad? Or, perhaps, she saw him as the raw material she could mold into the Man of Her Dreams using all that she had learned from observing her father’s remarkable career?
Way back in the 1980s, I spent the day on the phone working out a small M&A deal with a right hand man of Maxwell, only to have Maxwell himself intervene at the last moment and go back on a promise he had made to my boss regarding the terms. My boss said, Life is too short to deal with people like Maxwell, so we walked away from the deal.
Not too long afterwards, Maxwell fell or jumped from his yacht. Not too long after that, it was discovered that much of his personal wealth had been embezzled from his employees’ pension funds.
I’ve collected a number of interesting stories about Maxwell here, including how Rupert Murdoch always insisted that even though Robert Maxwell and him had the same initials and were in similar businesses, they weren’t much alike at all. And then there’s the eulogy at Maxwell’s funeral in Jerusalem:
No fewer than six serving and former heads of the Israeli intelligence community listened as Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said” (Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, St. Martin’s Press, 1999).
From The Telegraph in 2003:
FO suspected Maxwell was a Russian agent, papers reveal
By Lydia Bell
12:01AM GMT 02 Nov 2003
British intelligence officers suspected that Robert Maxwell, the disgraced publisher, was a Soviet agent, according to Foreign Office papers which have just been released.
After the former Mirror newspapers chief and ex-Labour MP died at sea on November 5 1991, there was widespread speculation that he might have been a double or even a triple agent, but the FBI found nothing in a decade of monitoring him, despite his known links with MI6, the KGB and the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.
However, his file, titled “Captain Ian Maxwell”, at the National Archives in Kew, London, has been found to contain reports submitted to the Information Research Department (IRD), a covert unit of the Foreign Office, describing him as “a thoroughly bad character and almost certainly financed by Russia”.
Correspondence between various members of the IRD reveal that the Czech-born Maxwell had been considered to be a suspicious figure directly after the Second World War, when Maxwell, then a lieutenant in the British Army, was working for the British Control Commission in Berlin – an allied administrative body.
Digby Ackland, of the IRD, wrote in a 1959 report that “Capt Maxwell’s questionable activities have been brought to the notice of the Foreign Office on several occasions over the past 10 years”.
Maxwell established Pergamon Press, which specialised in scientific books from Germany and Eastern bloc countries. Despite the Foreign Office suspicions, he became a Labour MP in 1964. He maintained links with Russian leaders until his death.