NEW YORK – A trove of lewd photographs of girls, discovered officials say in a safe inside financier Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion the day he was arrested, is deepening questions about why federal prosecutors in Miami cut a deal that shielded him from federal prosecution in 2008.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Epstein on Monday with sex trafficking, dealing an implicit rebuke to that plea agreement, which was overseen by Alexander Acosta, then the US attorney in Miami and now President Trump’s labor secretary.
The indictment in Manhattan could prompt a moment of reckoning for the Justice Department, which for years has wrestled with accusations that it mishandled the earlier case and has faced a barrage of litigation from Epstein’s accusers. In February, the Justice Department opened its own internal review into the matter.
Attorney General William Barr said Monday during a trip to South Carolina that he had recused himself from the case because Barr’s former law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, had represented Epstein.
Accusations of sexual predation have dogged Epstein for decades. Until his arrest Saturday, his case had been held up as a prime example of how insulated, powerful men can escape accountability.
Epstein, a hedge fund manager, avoided the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, largely because of a secret agreement his lawyers struck with federal prosecutors in 2008. His social circle is filled with the rich and famous, including former president Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew of Britain.
In 2002, Trump described Epstein as “a terrific guy,” telling New York magazine, “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Continue reading Nude photos of underage girls seized from Epstein mansion