With multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein expected in court on Monday in New York to face charges of sex trafficking of minors, the editor behind the Miami Herald investigation that led to re-examining the previous Epstein “sweetheart deal” said the former associate of Donald Trump has information prosecutors will likely want.
Speaking with host Alisyn Camerota, Herald editor Casey Frank noted that Epstein was able to avoid any real jail time when his case was plea-bargained out by former Florida U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta -- now Trump's Labor Secretary -- but that he will have his hands full with the new federal charges in New York.
"What we uncovered is that Mr. Epstein was able to hire a very powerful group of lawyers who engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations with the U.S. attorney's office where they really were able to stage manage the non-prosecution deal that Mr. Epstein was ultimately able to work out," Frank recalled. "And we examined emails that went back and forth between the two sides. It's clear the attorneys for Mr. Epstein wanted not only for this deal to be engineered but they wanted it to be kept secret from the 36 victims and that is exactly what occurred."
With Camerota quoting an interview with Trump saying, "'I've known Jeff for 15 years, terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It's even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life,'" the CNN host asked, "Obviously in the light of day, that looks horrible. But of course this was 2002, this was before he was arrested and this was before the investigation. Still, is it possible because he was connected to all these powerful men, that's why he got his sweetheart deal? "
"It's possible, maybe we'll find that out in the coming weeks," Frank replied. "Mr. Epstein is facing some heavy charges and he also has some important information, useful information in his pocket should he care to use it. He had a number of enablers, many high profile friends. You just mentioned one of them, Mr. Trump. Former President Bill Clinton is another."
"This was a very sophisticated operation," he continued. "He had handlers, he had schedulers, he had pilots. It will be interesting going forward if he chooses to use that information to try to lighten the punishment he might face should he be found guilty in federal court."
"It's hard not to draw that conclusion that somehow he is able to skirt the law because he has dirt on powerful people," Camerota pressed.
"Well, he's gotten away with it once," the editor suggested. "Donald Trump making that public statement, Bill Clinton. He's got a lot of friends in high places. If he has information about somebody at a much higher level in government, yeah, he's still got the ability to bargain."