FBI Chain of Command Blocked Reopening of Epstein Case in 2011, Victim Claimed

July 31, 2020 Updated: July 31, 2020

Special Agent Jason Richards wanted to reopen the case against convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein nearly a decade ago but gave up due to pressure from his management at the FBI, according to the testimony of Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged victims.

In a deposition conducted on May 3, 2016, Giuffre said that Richards wanted to reopen the investigation into Epstein, but could not because “his hands were tied” by people up above “the chain of command.”

“He wanted to reopen the case. And the last conversation that I had with him, I can’t remember when it was, he said that he was having trouble doing it from the people above him,” Giuffre said.

At the relevant time, Richards served as a special agent with the FBI in Washington, but it is unclear if he worked at the field office or at the headquarters. The FBI and Richards did not respond to requests for comment.

Giuffre’s deposition was released as part of an unsealing of hundreds of pages of documents in her defamation case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s one-time girlfriend. Maxwell was arrested earlier this month and is in jail in New York awaiting trial on child-sex-trafficking charges. Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell recruited her and groomed her for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein. Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell and Epstein subsequently trafficked her to powerful politicians and business people, including Prince Andrew. Maxwell has denied the allegations against her.

Giuffre reconnected with special agent Richards via email in 2014, asking if he could provide evidence the FBI collected in its case against Epstein to aid in another lawsuit. Richards responded by recommending Giuffre file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Maxwell’s arrest drew international attention because she was allegedly directly involved in Epstein’s child trafficking enterprise. Epstein and Maxwell were connected to some of the most prominent politicians, celebrities, and businesspeople in the world. 

One of the newly released records shows Giuffre telling an attorney litigating a separate case against Epstein that former president Bill Clinton owed Epstein a favor. According to Giuffre, Epstein spoke of the favor in a joking manner in response to her question why Clinton was on Epstein’s island. Giuffre said the former president stayed in one of the villas on the island at the time that she and two girls from New York were also on the Island. 

Giuffre had previously said she saw Clinton on the island but did not witness any misconduct by the former president. Clinton, through an attorney, had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Urena, pointed reporters to a statement on the matter from 2019.

“He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida,” the statement said.

The former president, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, had previously denied being on Epstein’s island, but admitted that he flew on Epstein’s plane, infamously nicknamed the “Lolita Express.” 

Giuffre said that sexual acts were a regular occurrence on the island and on the Lolita Express, which had a bed.

Giuffre isn’t alone in alleging that Clinton was on the island. Epstein’s IT contractor said in a Netflix documentary series released this year that he saw Clinton on the island.

Epstein purportedly committed suicide in his jail cell last year while facing child-sex-trafficking charges.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov