To whom it concerns
Christine Pelosi, a Democratic National Committee official and daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warned conspicuously on Saturday evening that it is “quite likely that some of our faves are implicated” in the “horrific” sex-trafficking case against politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein is due in court following his sudden arrest Saturday in New York on new sex-trafficking charges involving allegations dating to the early 2000s, according to law enforcement officials. He has been accused of paying underage girls for massages and sexually abusing them at his mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., and in New York City. His 72-acre private estate on the Virgin Islands, a home said to be nicknamed “Orgy Island,” also has been under scrutiny.
“This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice,” Pelosi tweeted. “It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may – whether on Republicans or Democrats.”
It was unclear exactly to whom Pelosi was referring, but Epstein has long been connected with high-profile figures, including Britain’s Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton. Court documents obtained by Fox News in 2016 showed that Clinton took at least 26 trips flying aboard Epstein’s private jet, known as the “Lolita Express,” and apparently ditched his Secret Service detail on some of the excursions. Records showed that President Trump may have flown on the jet at least once.
The president previously called attention to Clinton’s dealings with the financier.
“Nice guy — uh, got a lot of problems coming up, in my opinion, with the famous island, with Jeffrey Epstein,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in 2015, referring to Clinton’s connections with Epstein. “A lot of problems.”
Meanwhile, Trump biographer Tim O’Brien this weekend reposted an excerpt fom a 2002 profile of Epstein in New York Magazine, in which Trump told a reporter, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
However, Trump’s legal team more recently has denied the two were friends.
Trump banned Epstein from his Mar-a-Lago estate “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents filed by Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who has represented several Epstein accusers. That claim has not been confirmed by Trump or Mar-a-Lago.
Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown said following Epstein’s arrest that Trump and Epstein “went to dinner parties at each other’s houses, Trump was also on his plane. Probably not as much as a lot of other people because, you know, Trump had his own plane.”
Epstein was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. The wealthy hedge fund manager is slated to appear Monday in Manhattan federal court.
Epstein’s arrest, first reported by The Daily Beast, came amid renewed scrutiny of the once-secret 2008 plea deal that ended the federal investigation against him.
He ultimately served 13 months in jail and registered as a sex offender after pleading guilty to two lesser state prostitution charges, with one involving a girl whom prosecutors called a prostitute — even though she was only 14 years old.
Epstein had faced a possible life sentence prior to that plea deal, which has been challenged in Florida federal court. The deal also required he reach financial settlements with dozens of his once-teenage victims and register as a sex offender.
Epstein’s deal was overseen by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who is now Trump’s labor secretary. Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances, though the White House said in February that it was “looking into” his handling of the arrangement.
“This matter has been publicly addressed previously, including during confirmation hearings,” a Labor Department spokesperson told Fox News. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has defended the actions in this case across three administrations.”
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra of Florida ruled earlier this year that Epstein’s victims should have been consulted under federal law about the deal, and he was weighing whether to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement, or NPA, that protected Epstein from federal charges.
It was not immediately clear whether the cases involved the same accusers since nearly all have remained anonymous.
Federal prosecutors recently filed court papers in the Florida case contending Epstein’s deal must stand.
“The past cannot be undone; the government committed itself to the NPA, and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
They acknowledged, however, that the failure to consult accusers “fell short of the government’s dedication to serve victims to the best of its ability” and that prosecutors “should have communicated with the victims in a straightforward and transparent way.”
The accusers in the Florida case have until Monday to respond to the Justice Department’s filing.
Investigators said at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion for what turned into sexual encounters after fixers looked for suitable girls locally and in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world, according to court records in Florida.
In addition, some girls allegedly were brought to Epstein’s homes in New York City, New Mexico and a private Caribbean island, according to court documents.
Saturday’s arrest also came just days after a federal appeals court in New York ordered the unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records in a since-settled defamation case involving Epstein.
Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse released a statement Saturday calling for Epstein to be held without bail pending trial.
“This monster received a pathetically soft sentence last time and his victims deserve nothing less than justice,” Sasse said in the statement. “Justice doesn’t depend on the size of your bank account.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.