The 17th-Century English theologian Thomas Fuller said it is always darkest before the dawn, which I suppose he intended as encouragement, but in the Trump Era I take it as more of a warning. When we look back after this is all over, we’ll probably be more apt to quote The Stranger in The Big Lebowski: “Darkness warshed over the Dude—darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.”
The latest indication is this whole smut business with Jeffrey Epstein involving human trafficking of underage girls and some of the most rich, powerful, and famous men on the planet.
Jeffrey Epstein spent a second night in a New York jail cell Sunday, with a federal indictment expected to be unsealed Monday, charging him with sex offenses involving underage girls he and others allegedly trafficked in New York and Florida, sources have told the Miami Herald.
Right at the heart of this case already is the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, who handled Epstein’s case in the aughts while serving as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Acosta arranged a sweetheart deal for Epstein that involved him copping a plea to two prostitution charges and registering as a sex offender but doing very little jail time. The arrangement has since been deemed illegal since it was done in a way that impermissibly kept the victims in the dark.
In a normal world, Acosta would have resigned in disgrace months ago, but we live in depraved facsimile of normal.
The Miami Herald has done much of the most important investigative work on this story and they’re warning us that some very well-known personages may soon be exposed as fellow-travelers in Epstein’s debauchery and perversions. It’s not clear who socialized with Epstein because he was offering underage entertainment versus who was doing it simply because he is a rich man known for his generous philanthropy.
Although details of the case remain undisclosed, there are indications that others involved in his crimes could be charged or named as cooperating witnesses.
Among those potentially on the list: Ghislaine Maxwell, a 57-year-old British socialite and publishing heir who has been accused of working as Epstein’s madam; and Jean-Luc Brunel, who, according to court records, was partners with Epstein in an international modeling company…
…Lawyers for Epstein’s victims, in court filings, have often likened Epstein’s sex operation to an organized crime family, with Epstein and Maxwell at the top, and below them, others who worked as schedulers, recruiters, pilots and bookkeepers.
For her part, Maxwell, whose social circle included such friends as Bill and Hillary Clinton and members of the British Royal family, has been described as using recruiters positioned throughout the world to lure women by promising them modeling assignments, educational opportunities and fashion careers. The pitch was really a ruse to groom them into sex trafficking, it is alleged in court records.
Back in 2002, Donald Trump agreed to speak about Epstein for a feature article reporter Landon Thomas Jr. was doing for New York magazine: