The Epstein File: What We Know About This Week’s Document Release


Welcome to this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief… in this first installment of 2024, we look at the first batch in a series of U.S. court records detailing people associated with Jeffrey Epstein that were released on Wednesday. In our analysis, we’ll be looking at 1) what the recently released documents detail, and events leading up to their release, 2) how former President Bill Clinton is described in the documents, and 3) the other politicians and public figures described in the documents, and what that means.

Quote of the Week

“He who helps the guilty, shares the crime.”

– Publilius Syrus

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With that all behind us, it’s time to take a look at the big story this week involving the release of a series of U.S. court records that describe Jeffrey Epstein and his associations with dozens of high-profile individuals.

The Epstein File

This week, a trove of documents was released featuring more than 900 pages detailing the names of individuals connected with American financier and sex offender Jeffery Epstein. The documents were released Wednesday following a ruling last month by a federal judge that the information be unsealed.

Epstein, once a wealthy socialite with connections to dozens of celebrities, academics, and even American presidents, was accused of paying an underage girl for sex, leading to his arrest in Florida in 2005. After pleading guilty in 2008, he was sentenced to 13 months, most of which was served as part of a jail work-release program. Renewed interest in the case resulted in federal prosecutors in New York charging Epstein with sex trafficking in 2019, and he was thereafter found dead of an apparent suicide in jail while awaiting trial.

Following his death, Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted in 2021 and is currently serving a 20-year prison term for aiding Epstein in recruiting underage victims.

Epstein’s notorious island in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Credit: Navin75/Wikimedia Commons)

Although much of the information in the newly unsealed court documents had already been public knowledge, the dozens of famous individuals associated with Epstein named in the more than 900 pages have generated significant public interest. Here is a look at the information contained in the documents, and what they say about the individuals connected with Epstein that are named.

Bill Clinton’s Connection

Behind the release of the new documents is a defamation lawsuit originally brought in 2015 by Virginia Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of helping to facilitate the abuse by Epstein. The suit was settled in 2017. The new documents were unsealed on Wednesday, and more could be released before the end of the week.

Among the most well-known figures mentioned in the documents are politicians including former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as Britain’s Prince Andrew.

Nothing in the new documents points to illegality arising from Clinton’s associations with Epstein, although one now widely reported statement appearing in the records is attributed to Jeffrey Epstein victim Johanna Sjoberg, who testified that she was once told by Epstein that Clinton “likes them young, referring to girls.”

Clinton pictured speaking with Epstein and Maxwell at a White House event in 1993 (Credit: Ralph Alswang/Public Domain).

Between 2002 and 2003, Clinton is known to have flown on Epstein’s plane four times, according to Angel Urena, a spokesperson for Clinton, who has stated in response to numerous requests for comment since the documents were released on Wednesday that “nothing has changed” since a previous statement was released in 2019. Prior to this period, Clinton had traveled on Epstein’s plane several times to Africa during what were characterized as “humanitarian trips” that occurred in the early 2000s.

Although Giuffre has alleged that Clinton had visited a private island in the Caribbean once owned by Epstein, she has not claimed knowledge of any misconduct or illegality during those visits. However, one portion of the documents also conveys that a lawyer representing Maxwell had tried to debunk a report alleging that Clinton had traveled to the island, stating that the former president never traveled to, “nor was he present on, Little St James Island between January 1, 2001 and January 1, 2003,” citing travel logs that Secret Service agents would have been required to file if these trips had occurred.

Clinton and Epstein reportedly had not spoken in more than a decade at the time of Epstein’s death, although in the past the former president had praised him for his philanthropic endeavors.

Princes, Presidents, and Performers

Also within the newly-released files are references to claims by Sjoberg involving a groping incident involving Prince Andrew that occurred in 2001 at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment.

In 2022, Prince Andrew settled a lawsuit with Giuffre, although he denied accusations involving her abuse. According to a statement provided by his attorneys at the time of the filing, the prince “regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”

According to a deposition provided by one witness in another portion of the documents, during an incident where a storm grounded Epstein’s jet in Atlantic City, he reportedly mentioned calling Donald Trump and visiting his casino. Although Trump has said previously that he knew Epstein “like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” the former president said he hadn’t spoken to Epstein in 15 years, and that he “wasn’t a fan.”

Former President Donald Trump responds to a question about his past associations with Epstein on 9 July, 2019, during a Bilateral Meeting with the Amir of the State of Qatar (credit: White House/Public Domain).

Entertainers David Copperfield and Michael Jackson are also named in the newly released documents, as well as physicist Stephen Hawking and several other famous individuals. Here again, the fact that an individual is named in the documents does not by itself indicate wrongdoing; in fact, many of the individuals named in the documents are people who were witnesses serving in various capacities that range from medical care providers to law enforcement officials.

Although it does appear that the requisite hype one would expect preceded the release of this first batch of documents, more are expected to be unveiled before week’s end, whereby additional details about one of America’s most notorious public figures and his famous associates may yet be revealed.

That concludes this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief. You can read past editions of The Intelligence Brief at our website, or if you found this installment online, don’t forget to subscribe and get future email editions from us here. Also, if you have a tip or other information you’d like to send along directly to me, you can email me at micah [@] thedebrief [dot] org, or Tweet at me @MicahHanks.

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