The first batch of a series of much-anticipated court documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case were released late tonight, revealing mentions of notable figures, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and Prince Andrew.
While their names were referred to, no allegations of any criminal activity have been made against them.
What the documents reveal so far
Clinton’s name was frequently brought up due to debates over the credibility of a witness who reported seeing the former president on Epstein’s property. Prince Andrew is mentioned in an email by convicted sex offender and Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, making an apparent reference to both him and Clinton.
Writing to her lawyers, she asks what to say regarding her relationships with the two notable figures.
“I have already suffered such a terrible and painful loss over the last few days that I can’t even see what life after press he’ll even looks like – statements that don’t address all just lead to more questions .. what is my relationship to clinton ? Andrew on and on. Let’s rest till monday. I need head space.”
Ghislaine asks them to contact Epstein’s lawyer. “See what you can understand from him and pehaps craft something in conjunction with him?”
Deposition documents also detail how the alleged victim, Johanna Sjoberg, was asked if she knew Bill Clinton was a friend of Epstein.
“I knew he had dealings with Bill Clinton,” she said. “I did not know they were friends until I read the 15 Vanity Fair article about them going to Africa together.”
When asked if Epstein had ever mentioned Clinton, Ms Sjoberg said: “He said one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls.”
Donald Trump’s name appeared in accounts where Epstein bragged about his ability to call the former president.
Sjoberg said a pilot on a private plane once told her to tell Epstein they would have to land in Atlantic City instead of New York.
‘Jeffrey said, ‘Great, we’ll call up Trump, and we’ll go to — I don’t recall the name of the casino, but — we’ll go to the casino,’ she said.
Despite these mentions, Clinton, Trump, and Andrew remain unaccused of any direct involvement in Epstein’s illegal activities.
Why are the documents being released now?
The court papers were submitted for a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, in which Virginia Giuffre, an Epstein victim, sued Maxwell.
In December, New York district judge Loretta Preska ruled that the documents should no longer remain secret —and that her court will begin to publish the documents.
The controversy surrounding Epstein has escalated following his 2019 jailhouse suicide, leaving many questions unanswered. His partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently serving a 20-year sentence following her conviction for assisting Epstein in his crimes.
As these documents come to light, the hope among legal experts and the public is that they will contribute to the broader fight against sex trafficking while also providing some measure of closure to the victims of these heinous crimes.