After sitting dormant for almost a year since famous financier and jet-setting pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell, the international sex trafficking case roared back into the national news last week when the woman who spent years as Epstein’s constant companion was arrested in New Hampshire by an FBI tactical team, assisted by NYPD detectives.
Ghislaine Maxwell was taken into custody, after trying to avoid authorities for more than a year, at what was described as a “gorgeous” 123-acre estate called, ironically, “Tucked Away.”
During a press conference announcing Maxwell’s arrest, William Sweeney, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office, and Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), made some revealing statements.
Sweeney said the FBI had actually been “discreetly keeping tabs” on Maxwell for some time, implying the agency has known her whereabouts over the past year but waited until now to move in and make an arrest.
Their reasons for letting Maxwell think she was successfully avoiding authorities aren’t known.
Although neither Epstein nor Maxwell had ever held any public office, Strauss made it a point to thank the SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit (PCU) for its hard and continuing work on this case.
The Real Target Has Never Been Epstein
Sex crime investigations and prosecutions usually aren’t run out of the PCU; the SDNY has a very capable Sex Crimes Unit for those cases.
What the PCU primarily deals with are cases involving public officials engaged in acts of corruption, and there’s a very real and valid reason that the case against Epstein has been run out of that unit.
Here’s what SDNY says about its PCU on the Department of Justice’s own website:
“The Public Corruption Unit works, in close partnership with the FBI and other federal, state and city investigative agencies to maintain and protect the integrity of all levels of government. The unit oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government. Corruption crimes investigated by the unit include bribery, embezzlement, and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies.”
It’s not exactly a huge stretch to think that one of the reasons that a billionaire such as Epstein managed to roam free for so long and escape prosecution was that he was simply bribing public officials to look the other way.
It certainly does appear that several very strange and unusual decisions were made when he was placed under investigation in Florida in 2005, which led to that probe having a most unsatisfactory conclusion.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of evidence collected by 2009 to charge Epstein and his rich and powerful friends for their alleged crimes.
Geoffrey Berman’s Curious Exit
It has been commented on extensively in the media that the Maxwell arrest happened so soon after the previous U.S. attorney for SDNY, Geoffrey Berman, had such a curious exit from the job.
Barr had originally given Berman, who was appointed only temporarily as an acting U.S. attorney, a chance to leave quietly on July 3. Berman opted not to do that, instead immediately calling a press conference in which he accused Barr of trying to force his resignation. That press conference led to Berman being fired by President Donald Trump.
Then, a mere two weeks later, it was decided it was time to move in and take Maxwell into custody.
Epstein’s Death Didn’t End the Case
Many people confidently stated at the time of Epstein’s demise that the case at the Justice Department was now as dead as he was. I had my doubts about that, and for good reason.
At the time, many political commentators assessed these statements as empty talk; they assured their audiences that the Epstein case was over.
And now it’s quite clear they were wrong.
History Repeats Itself in Embarrassing Fashion
Another result of the Maxwell arrest is that its announcement triggered a repeat of the embarrassing nonsense that followed the Epstein arrest last year. Immediately after the billionaire’s apprehension, speculation erupted that this spelled major disaster for … Trump.
Progressive websites were replete with claims that somehow it had been an “open secret” for years among the elite class that Trump was an active member in Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
This would be comically absurd if so many people weren’t claiming it in utter seriousness.
Trump is the most thoroughly vetted and investigated political candidate and president in the history of this country. Any evidence that existed to prove he had been sexually abusing underage minors back in the 1990s or at any other time would’ve leaked out long ago.
Wherever the Epstein case goes next, I’m pretty sure it’s not headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.