It is great fun to joke about how the Clintons must be the force behind the suspicious death of Jeffrey Epstein in his New York City jail cell in 2019, but after the bombshell story published this morning in the Wall Street Journal about heretofore unknown close connections Epstein had we’re moved to ask: who didn’t have a motive for wanting him gone?
The story is behind the Journal‘s paywall, and if you don’t have a subscription it will be worth buying at the newsstand tomorrow, when it will surely appear in print. Here are a few highlights and surprises from the story:
• Epstein had several meetings starting in 2014 with William Burns, then a State Department career foreign service officer who is now the head of the CIA under President Biden. Supposedly Epstein was giving Burns “advice” on private sector prospects. They were introduced by a “mutual friend” that the Journal does not identify. Maybe a congressional committee should ask the sitting CIA director in a public hearing for more details.
• Epstein had several meetings in 2014 with Kathryn Ruemmler, then on her way out of President Obama’s White House counsel office. She is now general counsel for Goldman Sachs. Two details of this story are curious. First:
Ms. Ruemmler first met Epstein after he called her to ask if she would be interested in representing Mr. Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Goldman Sachs spokesman said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates said Epstein never worked for Mr. Gates, misrepresented their relationship, and that Mr. Gates regrets ever meeting with him.
Epstein called her just out of the blue? Was he some kind of freelance headhunter? What precipitated this call, if Gates is telling the truth that Epstein did this on his own?
Second, the story of Epstein’s involvement with Ruemmler didn’t end with this call:
Over the next few years, Ms. Ruemmler, then a partner specializing in white-collar defense at Latham & Watkins, had more than three dozen appointments with Epstein, including for lunches and dinners. . . In 2015, she was scheduled to fly with Epstein to Paris and in 2017 he planned to stop in St. Lucia to take her to his island home in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the day, according to the documents. . . He asked for avocado sushi rolls to be on hand when meeting with Ms. Ruemmler.
It’s this last detail that suggests Epstein had a penchant for gathering intelligence about his acquaintances and targets. He also ordered up special snacks for one of his acquaintances who “he believed” was a vegetarian.
• There are several other new figures identified in the Journal story such as Bard College president Leon Botstein, who cops to trying (unsuccessfully) to get Epstein to be a donor to Bard.
But the most surprising name to emerge is Noam Chomsky, the decrepit radical linguistic philosopher and anti-American activist. According to Chomsky, Epstein arranged meetings between Chomsky and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak in which they discussed “Israel’s policies with regard to Palestinian issues and the international arena.” Barak has confirmed the meetings. Chomsky? As the kids say, AYFKM?
There remains a mystery about how Epstein accumulated his substantial fortune—he seems to be the most successful solo investor since Warren Buffett—and wild rumors that he did so through blackmail, and/or that he was an Israeli or other foreign intelligence agent. Both seem highly implausible. Beyond these mysteries there is a more accessible question about what the entire Epstein story tells us about our ruling elite circles, as his prior conviction as a sex offender, and rumors of his ongoing practices, were not a state secret.