As the Epstein-Maxwell saga continues to unravel, Matthew Steeples looks at the forthcoming fallout for ‘The Monsters’ linked including Prince Andrew, Steve Bannon, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Jes Staley
The rotten rabbit hole that is the Epstein-Maxwell saga seems to never end. Barely a day goes by without new developments or old ones being revisited and in the last week, the prospects of further fallout for linked parties has only grown.
Aside from Prince Andrew whingeing and whining via third parties that he has been left “bewildered” and “in despair” after King Charles III cut him off from access to the £650 million ($782 million, €735 million or درهم2.9 billion) estate left by Queen Elizabeth II, the non-sweating ‘bestie’ of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell is allegedly also ludicrously proposing a new television interview “telling his side” of the story. An unnamed source last week went as far as to claim now “feels there is little else to lose” and that “nothing is off the table… Andrew has been made to give up his job and now potentially his home.”
Turning to Maxwell and her appeal prospects, on Thursday The Guardian’s New York based ‘reporter of courts’ Victoria Bekiempis analysed the mucky madam’s prospects. Bekiempis argued Maxwell “faces [a] hard road in bid to overturn sex-trafficking conviction” with the help of her new lawyer, a representative also of Harvey Weinstein named Arthur L. Aidala.
Going further, Bekiempis added:
“[Aidala has] said Maxwell was a ‘proxy’ for Epstein who was prosecuted ‘to satisfy public outrage over an unpopular non-prosecution agreement and the death of the person responsible for the crimes’ … [His] comments might have been aimed more at generating sympathetic media coverage than being a predictor of the appeal’s likely success. Maxwell cannot mount an appeal based on her own claims that she was a hapless surrogate for Epstein, or too tired at trial.”
“Her legal team will have to argue instead that there were legal errors in proceedings against her that necessitate a verdict reversal, and that is where her bid to have her conviction overturned will succeed or – according to many legal experts – more likely fail.”
“‘The likelihood of the second circuit reversing her trial verdict is close to zero,’ said Ron Kuby, a longtime criminal defense attorney with a focus on civil rights. ‘The second circuit tends to uphold almost all criminal convictions as a general matter.’”
“In the rare cases the second circuit does reverse a trial court outcome, leading to a new trial, it is typically because prosecutors have over-stretched a legal theory – or because the US supreme court has made a decision that affects proceedings in lower courts, Kuby said.”
“‘But Maxwell’s trial was none of that – the Maxwell trial was all very well-plowed legal territory,’ Kuby said. The proceedings against Maxwell – which stemmed from serving as Epstein’s procurer of victims – were not complicated by racketeering counts, nor convoluted bribery charges.”
“‘It’s like very, very, very fancy trappings, but fundamentally, it’s the prosecution of a pimp, which is not that complicated,” Kuby said.”
“Rachel Fiset, co-founder of Los Angeles firm Zweiback, Fiset & Zalduendo, said she thought a successful appeal was ‘unlikely.’”
“While Maxwell, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, will probably fail in her appeal, there is still a reason for her to try.”
“‘She’s looking at a very long sentence, and they are looking at ways to have it overturned, and there are not any options beyond an appeal,’ Fiset said. ‘She doesn’t have very much to lose other than the cost of the appeal.’”
“‘It’s not uncommon for people with a lot of means to appeal their conviction in the hopes that it’s overturned. Maxwell has remained very steadfast that she has not committed these crimes and that it’s not her fault, so the appeal is not surprising.’”
Elsewhere, interest in Epstein and Maxwell’s involvement with Donald Trump was revived yesterday in Business Insider. In an article titled: “Jeffrey Epstein said he stopped hanging out with Trump ‘when he realised Trump was a crook,’ according to his brother,” writer Jacob Shamsian quoted the croaked paedophile’s sibling Mark Epstein.
Referencing a still to be released video interview between Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump’s disgraced White House advisor Steve Bannon, Shamsian shared:
“Mark Epstein told Insider he viewed a clip of the interview, conducted by Trump’s former White House advisor Steve Bannon, after his brother forwarded it to him in the spring of 2019.”
“At the time, Bannon was conducting filmed interviews with the now-dead pedophile financier. Bannon sent Jeffrey Epstein a Dropbox link to a clip, which he forwarded to his brother. The link is no longer active, according to Mark.”
“‘Jeffrey showed me the link to one of these interviews,’ Mark Epstein said. ‘And in that interview, Jeffrey said he stopped hanging out with Trump when he realised Trump was a crook.’”
“Insider has not been able to independently view the video. Bannon could not be reached for comment.”
“For the documentary project, Bannon recorded more than 16 hours of footage, Mark Epstein said. In November of 2018, the Miami Herald ran a series detailing how Jeffrey Epstein secured a secret, lenient plea deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2007, even after law enforcement concluded at the time that he had sexually abused more than 30 girls.”
“‘Steve Bannon was working with Jeffrey to try to help Jeffrey rehabilitate his reputation,’ Mark Epstein told Insider.”
“Bannon and Epstein had become close in 2017, after Bannon left the White House, according to the journalist Michael Wolff. Bannon lived lavishly off Epstein’s vast wealth, using his Paris apartment and butler in 2018.”
“Bannon released a trailer in 2021 for his apparent documentary about Epstein, titled The Monsters [subtitled: ‘Epstein’s Life Among The Global Elite’]. The entire documentary has not yet been released.”
“Both Bannon and Trump now have their own legal issues. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has pending criminal charges against Bannon, alleging he participated in a scam nonprofit organization that raised funds to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. Trump pardoned Bannon on federal charges for the same scheme before he left office. Bannon’s lawyers in the federal case are suing him for allegedly not paying his bills. Bannon was also found guilty last year of contempt of Congress for defying a House January 6 committee hearing subpoena.”
“Trump, for his part, is facing a potential indictment from the Manhattan district attorney’s office for a hush-money scheme ahead of the 2016 election, a rape case headed to trial in April, and a litany of other legal woes.”
Turning to the Department of Justice investigation into Epstein’s death, in a separate and rather lengthy article for Business Insider last Thursday, Shamsian observed:
“Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a federal jail was seen as a shocking Justice Department failure. Over three years later, the DOJ inspector general hasn’t released the results of its investigation. Epstein’s accusers – and his brother – still want answers.”
“The officials said Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide. Pressed for more detail, they just repeated themselves.”
“‘They didn’t give me any information other than ‘After a thorough investigation, we determined it was a suicide,’ Mark Epstein said. ‘It was like I was talking to a f**king robot.’”
“The meeting [on 28th October 2019, two months after his brother’s death] was the only time Mark got any answers from the DOJ about his brother’s death. Three years later, he still doesn’t know exactly how Epstein died and why it’s taken the government that long to share its answer to that question.”
“Mark Epstein told Insider that even though he’s Jeffrey’s next of kin, he hasn’t been able to obtain certain medical records, including the care reports filled out by EMTs who evaluated his brother’s corpse.”
“‘For many people, the death was suspicious, to say the least,’ said Gloria Allred, an attorney who represents 20 of Epstein’s victims. ‘Others have their own conclusions about what happened to Mr Epstein. But the speculation needs to be replaced by facts and evidence.’”
“Mark Epstein remains puzzled by the holdup. He’s convinced his brother didn’t kill himself and stands by the conclusions of Baden, who personally observed the four-hour autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein’s body.”
“‘We all took it by surprise,’ Mark Epstein told Insider. ‘Nobody thought he was gonna kill himself. Nobody.’”
“After losing all [his lavish life on his arrest in 2019], it was possible he found the prospect of life behind bars unappealing, Mark Epstein said. ‘When I first heard that my brother was dead, and found dead from suicide, I just figured, ‘OK, he decided to take himself out,’ he told Insider.”
“An Insider poll taken later that fall found nearly half of Americans believed Epstein was murdered.”
“When Mark Epstein saw Barr dismiss the possibility of a murder based on his review of security footage outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell tier, he wasn’t remotely satisfied.
“What I thought was, this is either a cover-up, or he’s the dumbest f**k on the planet,’ Mark Epstein said.”
“To Mark, [Attroney General Bill] Barr’s version of events suggests he came to the conclusion that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself and then backfilled evidence from there.”
“Barr seemed to consider only the possibility that a murderer would have been someone who snuck into the jail. Mark told Insider he was gobsmacked that Barr didn’t seem to consider the possibility that someone else in Jeffrey Epstein’s block of cells killed him.”
“Mark Epstein told Insider that he spoke to his brother about once a month in the years before his death. The two caught up over the phone while Jeffrey Epstein was in Paris, the night before he flew to New Jersey and was arrested after his private jet landed.”
“Jeffrey Epstein had reasons to stay alive, Mark said. He didn’t leave a suicide note – or at least none that has been reported – and reportedly deposited money into other inmates’ commissary accounts in return for protection. People who spoke with him in the weeks leading up to his death believed he was optimistic about getting the charges dismissed.”
“Mark Epstein told Insider he built his wealth independently from his brother, founding a silk-screening business before pivoting to real estate with Ossa Properties, which at one point reportedly owned hundreds of apartments in New York City.
“At least one of Mark Epstein’s Upper East Side buildings, however, includes multiple links to his brother. Mark has said he purchased it from the business magnate Leslie Wexner, his brother’s longtime patron. Jeffrey Epstein owned about a dozen apartments in the building, which he used to house at least one of his sex-trafficking victims as well as his private pilots while they were staying in New York, according to testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial. Right before Epstein died, his lawyers were preparing to appeal a judge’s decision to deny him bail. They had prepared a bond package valued at $100 million.”
“Mark Epstein agreed to guarantee the whole thing, he told Insider, meaning he’d lose that amount of money if his brother tried to flee authorities.”
“‘If you get bail, you’re gonna be home for a year – under house arrest, with an ankle bracelet, armed guards, video cameras, whatever the conditions were – but he’ll be in his house,’ Mark Epstein said. ‘So why kill yourself then?’”
Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples.
Pictured Top – Steve Bannon’s likely shelved film ‘The Monsters: Epstein’s Life Among The Global Elite’ would (or will) undoubtedly feature not only the croaked paedophile, but also his lover and co-collaborator Ghislaine Maxwell, his “heartfelt” friend and banker Jes Staley and the ‘bestie’ that came to “end their friendship in December 2010,” Prince Andrew.