MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace updated her viewers on why the billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking arrest presents a political minefield for the Trump administration.
Epstein was arrested on Saturday evening, with prosecutors updating the public on the case during a Monday press conference.
"They say they seized a trove of photographs from underaged girls from Epstein’s residence over the weekend," Wallace explained "The Southern District of New York (SDNY) is leading this prosecution of Epstein, he was previously investigated in Florida and ultimately not prosecuted, a decision that could rock the Trump Administration in the coming days and weeks, along with members of Epstein’s circle who may also become ensnared."
The host played a clip from Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for SDNY.
"The alleged behavior shocks the conscience, and while the charged conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims now young women. They deserve their day in court," Berman said.
She then read a quote from The New York Times.
"Mr. Berman’s decision to seek an indictment in Manhattan was an implicit rebuke of the decision by prosecutors in Miami in 2008 to enter an agreement with Mr. Epstein that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and a possible Life sentence," The Times reported.
The host, who served as communications director in the George W. Bush White House prior to her journalism career, explained the political significance.
"And here’s where the story goes from lurid and tragic to potentially explosive for the Trump Administration. That implicit rebuke is a rebuke of a deal negotiated by a current member of Donald Trump’s cabinet, his Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, who previously served as the top prosecutor in South Florida and negotiated that nonprosecution agreement for Epstein," Wallace reported.
Wallace also noted a quote from Trump that "stands out today."
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“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “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. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life," Trump told New York magazine in 2002.
"But what’s old is new, and today Epstein is behind bars, at least until his bail hearing next week. Also today, the White House and the president mum on both Acosta and Epstein," Wallace noted.