Sex scandals tend not to be on my radar screen, so maybe that’s why I missed the Jeffrey Epstein story entirely. For those who–like me, until yesterday–are entirely unaware of Mr. Epstein, here is a brief recap:
Epstein grew up in New York, started out as a teacher, went to work for Bear Sterns and later founded his own investment firm. He appears to have been something of a financial genius; even though the secrecy surrounding his operation brings Mr. Ponzi to mind, apparently it was on the level. Epstein contributed large amounts of money to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. He cultivated friendships with the rich and powerful, who evidently liked Epstein in part because he surrounded himself with very young girls who were frequently nude. He seems to have spent most of his time on airplanes and yachts when he wasn’t on his private island in the Caribbean or his principal residences in New York and Palm Beach.
Police in Palm Beach got wind of Epstein’s fondness for underage girls and launched an investigation. They prosecuted him, but he got off with a mysteriously light plea bargain under which he pled guilty to only
one count two counts and served a brief prison sentence. The principal witness against Epstein is a young woman named Virginia Roberts, who is now 30 but was only 17 when she served for a time as Epstein’s principal consort. Her accounts have been denied by some of those whose names she has dropped.
The Epstein story has exploded in the British press in recent days because of Roberts’s recently-disclosed claim that she was “tricked out” to Prince Andrew at an orgy hosted by Epstein. Go here if you want to know more about that.
This is where it gets interesting for Americans: among Jeffrey Epstein’s rich and powerful friends was Bill Clinton. Clinton visited Epstein on his Caribbean island and flew with him to various destinations around the world. Virginia Roberts says that she met Clinton twice but denies any sexual relations with him:
I only ever met Bill twice but Jeffrey had told me that they were good friends.
I asked, “How come?” and he laughed and said, “He owes me some favours.” Maybe he was just joking but it constantly surprised me that people with as much to lose as Bill [Clinton] and [Prince] Andrew weren’t more careful.
Bill must have known about Jeffrey’s girls. There were three desks in the living area of the villa on the island. They were covered with pictures of Jeffrey shaking hands with famous people and photos of naked girls, including one of me that Jeffrey had at all his houses, lying in a hammock.
We all dined together that night. Jeffrey was at the head of the table. Bill was at his left. I sat across from him. Emmy Tayler, Ghislaine’s blonde British assistant, sat at my right.
Ghislaine was at Bill’s left and at the left of Ghislaine there were two olive-skinned brunettes who’d flown in with us from New York. I’d never met them before. I’d say they were no older than 17, very innocent-looking.
Miss Roberts isn’t the first person to be surprised that someone with as much to lose as Bill Clinton isn’t more careful. One can only imagine what Hillary makes of her husband’s friendship with the world’s most notorious pedophile. Miss Roberts says that she is not aware of Clinton sleeping with any of Epstein’s underage girls–not that that is the only issue raised by the Epstein connection. If it were only her testimony, the matter might come to an end there, as one more discreditable Bill Clinton story that most people never hear about.
But there is a joker in the deck: Epstein is a voyeur, and his various residences were equipped with secret cameras and video recorders. Reportedly the Palm Beach police are in possession of a vast trove of photographs and videos of Epstein’s guests engaging in various acts with his underage girls. Are there any of Bill Clinton that could come tumbling out between now and November 2016? Undoubtedly Hillary has asked Bill that question; I assume he said No. Do you think Hillary can trust Bill to tell the truth about this? No, I don’t either. It’s one more worry to add to Hillary’s list.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds wonders whether something regarding Epstein and Clinton is brewing:
PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz fights accusations of sexual assault. [Ed.: Dershowitz was also implicated by Virginia Roberts.] He’s taking precisely the correct approach if he’s innocent. But this feels like a lefty spoiling attack. I wonder what’s about to come out? Something about Epstein and Bill Clinton?