Jeffrey Epstein and the triumph of the cultural 1%

ronan farrow

The unfolding scandal of financier, liberal philanthropist, and convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein is interesting from a political standpoint but it is also revealing as a cultural marker.

The baseline of the story is that a billionaire liberal Democrat named Jeffrey Epstein was sentence to a short prison term in Florida after receiving the red carpet treatment after his arrest rather than a perp walk. Via The Daily Beast, which, to their credit, have been on Epstein for a while:

So when State Attorney Barry Krischer, who also ran Florida’s Crimes Against Children Unit, proved reluctant to mount a vigorous prosecution of Epstein, saying the local victims were not credible witnesses, Chief Reiter wrote the attorney a letter complaining of the state’s “highly unusual” conduct and asking him to remove himself from the case. He did not, and the evidence his office presented to a state grand jury produced only a single count of soliciting prostitution. (Krischer has since retired and would not comment for this article.) The day after that indictment was returned, Reiter was relieved to have the FBI step in and take over the investigation.

The details that eventually emerged were often shocking and occasionally bizarre. For Epstein’s birthday one year, according to allegations in a civil suit, he was presented with three 12-year-old girls from France, who were molested then flown back to Europe the next day. These same civil complaints allege that young girls from South America, Europe, and the former Soviet republics, few of whom spoke English, were recruited for Esptein’s sexual pleasure. According to a former bookkeeper, a number of the girls worked for MC2, the modeling agency owned by Jean Luc Brunel, a longtime acquaintance and frequent guest of Epstein’s. Brunel received $1 million from the billionaire around the time he started the agency.

The non-prosecution agreement executed between Epstein and the Department of Justice states that Epstein and four members of his staff were investigated for “knowingly, in affecting interstate and foreign commerce, recruiting enticing and obtaining by any means a person, knowing that person has not yet obtained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in commercial sex act”—that is, child sex trafficking. Yet the agreement allowed Epstein to plead guilty to only two lower-level state crimes, soliciting prostitution and soliciting a minor child for prostitution.

This story threatens the presidential bid of Hillary Clinton because Bill Clinton …read more    

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