Jeffrey Epstein’s Political Connections Include A Tangled Web Of World Leaders

Photo: New York State Division of Criminal Justice/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.
Netflix just released a tell-all docuseries about Jeffery Epstein, his alleged crimes, and the intricate web of wealthy people he kept around him to ensure that he could evade punishment for decades. The four-part documentary, Filthy Rich, details countless incidents where young women and girls were abused and sexually trafficked by Epstein and numerous powerful men who – at least used to – call him a friend. Executive produced by James Patterson, whose book by the same title was used heavily as source material for the series, Filthy Rich focuses most of its screen time on the survivors and their stories rather than Epstein's circle of acquaintances. 
But it was the wealth — and many of his connections — that left Epstein unchecked for his actions for so long. Thanks to his immense wealth as a financier managing private funds for a select list of clients, and introductions made by his socialite ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein was seen socializing with some of the world’s most well-known and powerful men. 
For many of the same reasons it took so long for Epstein’s alleged transgressions to become public knowledge, the nature of his connections is shrouded in mystery as well. While many of those people were completely uninvolved in his actions, others may have been at the very least aware of Epstein's decades-long sex trafficking. Ahead, we've detailed all of the connections Epstein had to major political leaders and how he knew each of them.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein goes way back. In a 2002 profile published by New York Magazine, Trump described Epstein as a “terrific guy” and said he had already known him for 15 years. “He’s a lot of fun to be with,” said Trump in the profile. “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.”
Epstein’s evasion of justice crossed paths with Trump in more ways than their social connection. According to court filings, one of the women who accused Epstein of sexual misconduct, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, first met Epstein in the summer of 2000 while working at Trump’s resort, Mar-a-Lago. Epstein is seen in photos with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 1997 and 2000.
In 2009, an employee leaked Epstein's personal address book, which showed 14 phone numbers for Trump, his wife, and members of his staff, reports the Washington Post. Other evidence that Trump and Epstein were at least acquaintances emerged in court filings that same year. Epstein’s brother, Mark, claimed that Trump flew on Epstein’s plane at least once. Additionally, Vice News reported that Trump left two phone messages for Epstein in November 2004 on a message pad obtained by investigators from Epstein’s home. 
In January 2016, months before Epstein would be arrested on sex trafficking charges, Trump’s attorney Alan Garten told Vice that Trump had no relationship with Epstein. Garten claimed the “only connection” the two had was because Epstein was a member of Mar-a-Lago. But in a 2002 Vanity Fair story, Trump is listed among a small group of businessmen who periodically dined with Epstein in Palm Beach. The following year, a story published in New York Magazine reported that Trump also dined at Epstein’s Upper East Side home in New York City.

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein have crossed paths on multiple occasions. Clinton and Epstein first became acquainted sometime around 2002, according to the New York Times, and a number of trips on Epstein’s private jet. Clinton had been out of the White House for two years and had already started his nonprofit group, The Clinton Foundation. It was through working with the foundation that Clinton and Epstein first connected.
Flight logs show that Bill Clinton traveled on Epstein’s private jet – dubbed the “Lolita Express” by tabloids – at least 10 times, reports the Washington Post. “Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” said Clinton, through a spokesperson, in the same New York Magazine profile as Trump in 2002.
In July 2019, Clinton’s office released a statement saying that he “knows nothing about the terrible crimes” that Epstein has been accused of. The statement also claims that Clinton has not spoken to Epstein in more than a decade. The ride on the private jet was part of a visit to Africa that Clinton made in order to discuss economic development and the ongoing fight against HIV and AIDS, reads the statement. The statement specifically refers to “four trips” on Epstein’s plane between 2002 and 2003 – one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa. 
One of the flights not mentioned in the 2019 statement is Clinton’s visit to Little St. James, Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. In an affidavit from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims Epstein forced her into sexual activities while she was still a minor, she saw Clinton on Little St. James Island. However, in the same July 2019 statement, shared on Twitter by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña, Clinton has never been there. A member of Clinton's office seconded the claim that the former president has never been to Epstein's private island. None of the survivors, including Giuffre, name Clinton in connection to Epstein’s crimes, but many claim that the worst crimes against minors were committed by Epstein and friends who traveled to his private island with him.

Prince Andrew

Eighth in line to the throne of England, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, first met Epstein in 1999 through Epstein’s then-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, reports the Guardian. Prince Andrew has been accused by one of the women who also spoke out about Epstein. Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was first trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s London home in 2001. Between 2001 and 2002, Giuffre says she had sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions. Prince Andrew has denied ever having met Giuffre despite being photographed together in 2001. 
Prince Andrew insists that he and Epstein were “not that close;” however, in 2000, they attended several private dinners, parties, and fundraisers together. They also reportedly partied with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. In 2001, the two were seen on holiday together in Phuket, Thailand where Andrew was photographed surrounded by topless young women. Since Epstein’s arrest and death, as they investigate his connections to the financier, despite earlier statements suggesting that he was willing to help them.
Two men who say they saw the original picture say it is genuine, but Andrew’s friends told the London Evening Standard they thought it was fake, claiming that his fingers are “much chubbier” in real life.

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 when he obtained his controversial plea deal. Barr did not join the firm until 2009, but his family’s history with Epstein goes back further than that. Back in the early 1970s, Barr’s father reportedly hired Epstein to teach physics and math at Dalton — an elite private school in Manhattan, despite the fact that Epstein did not have a college degree.
Even with his connection to Epstein, Barr conducted an ethics counsel who said he did not recuse himself from involvement in Epstein’s 2019 case, reports Rolling Stone. This led some to be concerned that Barr might interfere with the case. “While it pains me to say this, given Barr’s conduct in the past acting more as a defense attorney for Trump than an overseer of justice, I am concerned that Barr might interfere if he thought that Epstein might implicate Trump, who was friends with Epstein,” wrote former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah.

Alexander Acosta

Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta signed off on Epstein’s plea deal in 2008 when he was the U.S. attorney overseeing South Florida. The non-prosecution agreement proved controversial and was criticized as overly lenient as it resolved the prosecution with Epstein only having to plead guilty to one charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
As a result of the plea deal, Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which he served 13 largely on day release. While Epstein did have to register as a sex offender, the deal also granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators,” reports the Washington Post. Following an in-depth investigation by the Miami Herald in 2018, the Justice Department used whether the federal prosecutors involved in Epstein’s case committed professional misconduct in offering the plea deal that they did. 
“The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence,” Acosta tweeted in 2019. “Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available, the NY prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice.”

George Mitchell

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew and testified in an affadavit to having seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island, also listed former Maine Senator George Mitchell as one of the men involved with Epstein. In an unsealed deposition from a defamation civil suit in 2015, Giuffre claims Epstein used her as a "sex slave" from 2000 to 2002 and Mitchell was one of the numerous men Epstein forced her to have sex with. Mitchell released a statement denying Giuffre’s accusations, denying that he knew or ever met her as well as denied knowing anything about Epstein abusing underaged girls. While court records do not contain direct evidence linking Giuffre to Mitchell or other men she accused, the Miami Herald investigation claims that she did provide numerous pieces of evidence that link her to Epstein and Maxwell.

Bill Richardson

In the 2015 defamation case, Giuffre also named former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as a man Maxwell and Epstein told her to have sex with. Claiming that he never met Giuffre, Mitchell denied the accusations saying they were “completely false.” He added that in his “limited” interactions with Epstein, he had never seen him with underaged girls, reports Bloomberg. Richardson reportedly visited Epstein’s New Mexico property, Zorro Ranch. Later, Epstein donated $50,000 to Richardson’s 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial campaigns, reports Vanity Fair. The 2006 donation was ultimately regifted to charity when allegations against Epstein first emerged.

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