Monday July 08, 2019
Like a lot of people today, I‘ve been reading up on the arrest of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex-trafficking charges and what it might mean for others—particularly, of course, Trump and members of his cabinet.
Even in the relatively sterile language of the legal system, the accusations against Mr. Epstein are nauseating. From “at least in or about” 2002 through 2005, the defendant “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls,” some as young as 14 and many “particularly vulnerable to exploitation.” The girls were “enticed and recruited” to visit Mr. Epstein’s various homes “to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would give the victims hundreds of dollars.” To “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” he paid some of the girls “to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused,” thus creating “a vast network of underage victims.”
The detail that really stunned me was not that the plea deal that got Epstein a light sentence back in 2008—about a year in prison, most of which he spent in his own office, continuing to work—has been negotiated by Trump's current secretary of labor, Alex Acosta; I knew that. It's that when Epstein was 20, and a two-time college dropout, he somehow managed to get a job teaching math at the presitgious Dalton School. The man who hired him? The father of Trump's current attorney general, William Barr.
Small world. Both senses.