From Clinton To Trump: The Powerful Men In Jeffrey Epstein's Orbit

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President Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell
Financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was arraigned on sex-trafficking charges on Monday, saw himself as a collector of famous friends. "I invest in people — be it politics or science," he told New York magazine in 2002. "It's what I do."
But it's not all he did. Now that Epstein is facing up to 45 years in prison ("basically a life sentence," according to prosecutors) for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls as part of his sex-trafficking operation, there's renewed interest in the people he surrounded himself with. This is especially because when he faced similar charges more than a decade ago, he struck up a shockingly lenient plea deal that promised immunity for his "co-conspirators."
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Epstein's indictment describes how the 66-year-old, who pleaded not guilty, ran what's been called a "sexual pyramid scheme," through which he ensnared the girls he allegedly abused to bring in more girls, at his residences in New York City and Palm Beach, FL, between 2002 and 2005. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly helped him, luring girls under the guise that they would obtain modeling and educational opportunities.
The billionaire investor had connections to some of the most powerful people in the world, including former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump. His "little black book," which Gawker obtained and published in 2015, was full of contacts for politicians, celebrities, and wealthy people.
Ahead, the powerful men who have been linked to Epstein.

Former President Bill Clinton

In the early 2000s, Epstein flew former President Bill Clinton, actor Kevin Spacey, and comedian Chris Tucker to Africa so they could participate in a tour of prevention and treatment centers for AIDS. Epstein was reportedly a supporter of the Clinton Foundation.
Flight logs obtained by Gawker in 2015 show that Clinton, who has been accused of sexual assault, flew in Epstein's private plane at least 11 times in the mid-2000s. In a statement, Clinton's press secretary Angel Ureña said that Clinton had only taken four flights on Epstein's plane.
"President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York," he said. Ureña added: "He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to [Epstein's private island] Little St. James Island, Epstein's ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida."
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President Donald Trump

Epstein used to frequent President Donald Trump's Palm Beach property, Mar-a-Lago, and the real estate magnate spoke highly of him. "I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy," Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by at least 21 women, told New York magazine in 2002. "He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
According to Politico, court filings show Trump flew on Epstein's private plane at least once. The financier also had Trump’s phone numbers in his personal phone directory. The legal team for one of Epstein's accusers has also claimed Epstein was banned from Mar-a-Lago after being accused of sexually assaulting a young girl at the property. Trump has not confirmed this.
“As I have previously explained, he had no relationship with Mr. Epstein and had no knowledge whatsoever of his conduct,” Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten told Politico in 2017. “This has all been reported countless times in the press.” On Tuesday, Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president has not spoken to Epstein in “years and years and years.”

Attorney Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz, a high-powered attorney and Harvard Law professor, was part of Epstein's legal team in 2007. He was one of the lawyers who helped broker the lenient plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal prison, serve only 13 months in county jail, be granted a work release, and obtain immunity for "any potential co-conspirators" in his crimes. Dershowitz was also named in a civil lawsuit brought forward by one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre claims that Epstein trafficked her to Dershowitz while she was a minor. The Palm Beach Post reported that in 2017, he won the legal fight against her. A second alleged survivor of Epstein's alleged abuse, Sarah Ransome, also claims Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz. The documents related to Dershowitz are currently sealed, according to The Daily Beast.
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Dershowitz has denied all the allegations. "The accusation by Virginia Roberts Giuffre is the same one she made, and I conclusively disproved, more than four years ago. I produced all my travel and American Express records, which proved that I could not have been, and was not at the places and times she claims to have had sex with me. The former Director of the FBI carefully reviewed these records as part of a thorough investigation and concluded that 'the totality of the evidence found during the investigation refutes the allegations,'" Dershowitz told The Daily Beast. Of Ransome, he said: "Let me be clear: I never met either of these liars."

Prince Andrew, Duke of York

According to The Guardian, Prince Andrew and Epstein's relationship goes back to the early 1990s. Virginia Roberts Giuffre has claimed that Prince Andrew forced her to have sex with him as well. (See: A court filing obtained by The Guardian.) Buckingham Palace has denied the allegations.
Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images.
Jeffrey Epstein and Alan Dershowitz

U.S. Attorney General William Barr

U.S. Attorney General William Barr served as counsel for the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, which was part of Epstein's legal team in 2007 and helped him obtain his plea deal. Barr is not recusing himself from the current case against Epstein, but he "has been and will remain recused from any retrospective review of the resolution of the earlier case in Florida," according to CNN reporting.
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Attorney Kenneth Starr

Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, was also part of Epstein's defense team in 2007 and played a role in securing the infamous plea deal. Dershowitz said in 2015 that Starr was brought on board because he "had experience in investigating sex investigations. He had experience as the solicitor general and as a judge. He had all the bases covered."

Filmmaker Woody Allen

The Daily Beast reported in 2011 that Epstein hosted Woody Allen, who has faced sexual assault allegations himself, and other celebrities for dinner at his New York City townhouse in December 2010, more than a year after Epstein had served 13 months in jail for soliciting underage prostitution.

Physicist Lawrence Krauss

Krauss, a so-called “celebrity scientist,” directed a Harvard University program that was made possible by Epstein's $30 million donation. In 2011, he defended Epstein in a Daily Beast article. “If anything, the unfortunate period he suffered has caused him to really think about what he wants to do with his money and his time, and support knowledge,” Krauss said. “Jeffrey has surrounded himself with beautiful women and young women, but they’re not as young as the ones that were claimed. As a scientist I always judge things on empirical evidence and he always has women ages 19 to 23 around him, but I’ve never seen anything else, so as a scientist, my presumption is that whatever the problems were I would believe him over other people.” Krauss, who taught at Arizona State University, would go on to be accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. The school found the allegations to be truthful, while Krauss still denies the claims.
Refinery29 reached out to Alan Dershowitz and Lawrence Krauss for comment, and we will update this story if we hear back.
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