A new investigation by the Miami Herald is shining a light on Jeffrey Epstein’s long ignored crimes.
We are only two days away from the beginning of Jeffrey Epstein’s civil trial and he can no longer hide. Do a search for the billionaire, convicted sex offender and it becomes clear that Epstein’s time in the shadows is coming to an end. Headlines like “Trump’s Labor Secretary Once Helped a Billionaire Child Rapist Hide His Crimes“, “Records Show Bid to Block Info From Epstein Exposé”, “How the powerful protect Jeffrey Epstein“, and “Trump Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta allegedly helped cover up sex crimes by Jeffrey Epstein“, and it’s obvious his name will not be forgotten anytime soon.
The mainstream media’s sudden interest in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein comes as a result of an in-depth investigation published by the Miami Herald. The Herald’s investigation was itself published just one week before Epstein’s latest civil trial is set to begin in Palm Beach, Florida. The investigation repeated what many in the independent media have been reporting for years: In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein was accused of participating in sexual acts with young girls by at least 40 women before he was given a sweetheart deal by the U.S. government which allowed him to avoid spending the rest of his life in bars. Some of the girls also accused Epstein and his high-profile associates of organizing sex parties where young girls would be raped and abused.
Despite these disturbing facts, Epstein was offered a non-prosecution agreement which allowed him to plead guilty to the lesser charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution and soliciting prostitution. He was ordered to pay multi-million dollar settlements to victims and sentenced to 18 months in jail, of which he only served 13. Epstein was allowed to stay in the Palm Beach County Jail in his own private cell where he was allowed to leave the prison six days a week for “work release”. Epstein was forced to register as a sex offender for life, but with his money and his connections he doesn’t seem too bothered. He currently resides on his private island in the Virgin Islands.
The Herald’s investigation did uncover new information. The Herald’s investigative team obtained thousands of FBI and court records, lawsuits, and witness depositions, and went to federal court in New York to access sealed documents in the reporting of their series “Perversion of Justice.” The Herald also states that the team tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims, some of whom had never spoken of the abuse before. Police investigators also claimed they had found evidence of hundreds of young girls involved in the abuse in Florida, New York, and New Mexico – all places where Epstein has homes.
The investigation also revealed that the FBI’s investigation into Epstein was called Operation Leap Year. Reports also show that the FBI initially failed to investigate claims made against Epstein until the Chief of the Palm Beach Police Department pressured the bureau. We also have further confirmation that Epstein’s lawyers were harassing the victims who sought justice.
Much of the recent press has (finally) focused on the role of current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. As we report in our recent documentary, Bringing Down Jeffrey Epstein:
Trump’s appointment to Labor Secretary, is the same attorney who helped seal Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement. In the spring of 2017, former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was nominated by Donald Trump and approved by the U.S. Congress. When Acosta was questioned during his nomination hearing regarding his role in Epstein’s deal, he downplayed the collusion and claimed that there might not be enough evidence to convict Epstein. Acosta also wrote that he was subject to“a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” who investigated him and his family looking for any way to disqualify him. Whether he was a willing participant or strong armed into the agreement, Acosta helped Epstein reach a plea deal that allowed him to get away with the victimization of dozens of young girls.
Thankfully the corporate media is catching on and bringing attention to Acosta’s role. This attention may have been just enough to take Acosta out of the running for U.S. Attorney General, a position which would have made him the most powerful lawyer in the country.
Although the Herald’s great investigation included an on-camera interview with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts stating that she was sold into sex slavery and abused by Epstein’s powerful friends, the Herald does not explore the deeper implications of such claims. Fortunately, several of Epstein’s victims are scheduled to testify in the latest civil trial in the ongoing saga to bring Jeffrey Epstein to justice. The trial begins on December 4th in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The upcoming trial relates to an ongoing legal battle between Epstein and lawyer Bradley Edwards. In 2008, Edwards successfully sued Epstein on behalf of women who claimed he abused them. All of the women were teenagers at the time. Epstein would later counter sue claiming that Edwards was bringing Epstein to court as part of some type of ponzi scheme. The suit would eventually be dropped, but Edwards returned the gesture by suing Epstein for defamation of character.
Although the suit is not directly related to the crimes of Epstein, Bradley Edwards’ attorneys are expected to call some of Epstein’s victims as witnesses to corroborate the validity of the original claims against Jeffrey Epstein.
Derrick Broze will be reporting from the Palm Beach County Courthouse from December 4 to 7. Please subscribe to our channels to see our livestreams and reports.
UN Says Trump Violated International Law With Pardons for Blackwater War Criminals
A United Nations panel has strongly denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s pardons for several former Blackwater mercenaries and convicted war criminals that were found guilty of massacring over a dozen civilians in Baghdad.
The U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries released a statement Wednesday condemning the White House decision to pardon the four killers as an offense to basic justice and insult to the memory of over a dozen people killed in the 2007 massacre, reports Reuters. The panel also sharply condemned the move as a violation of U.S. obligations to international law.
“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” said panel chair Jelena Aparac.
“These pardons violate U.S. obligations under international law and more broadly undermine humanitarian law and human rights at a global level,” she added.
The four men, all of whom were American, were involved in the indiscriminate killing of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians, when the mercenaries opened fire during busy traffic at the Baghdad square. Twenty additional civilians were injured. Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder while Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough were each convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter.
The four men were employed by the private security firm Blackwater which was owned by security contractor Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Prince has reportedly served as an informal adviser to the White House while also helping to orchestrate spying efforts to infiltrate campaigns by political and labor groups considered hostile to Trump, the New York Times reported earlier this year.
The four mercenaries were included in a wave of controversial pre-Christmas pardons announced by the Trump administration that critics derided as corrupt and immoral.
“While U.S. Army contractors convicted of massacring civilians in Iraq are pardoned, the man who exposed such crimes against humanity, [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange, rots in Britain’s Guantanamo,” tweeted Greek economist and parliamentarian Yanis Varoufakis.
The pardons for the former Blackwater mercenaries, in particular, were sharply criticized by Gen. David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the two top American officials in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq at the time of the 2007 massacre, who called the move “hugely damaging, an action that tells the world that Americans abroad can commit the most heinous crimes with impunity” in a joint statement.
The U.N. working group’s chair also said that the pardons send the signal that private security contractors would essentially give them the green light to “operate with impunity in armed conflicts” as states increasingly rely on the firms to circumvent their obligations under humanitarian law.
In recent years, military contractors have increasingly been deployed in sensitive conflict zones by companies from the U.S., U.K., Russia, South Africa and other countries.
Blackwater, which has since been renamed as Academi, earned worldwide notoriety for the 2007 massacre, after which the company was stripped of its license to operate in Iraq by the country’s government.
Documents released by WikiLeaks have also highlighted major human rights abuses, including the murder of civilians, by private security services such as Blackwater throughout the Iraq War.
Trophy Hunters Killed 1.7 Million Animals Over the Past Decade – Including Endangered Species
The bloodthirsty “sport” of trophy hunting managed to kill one animal every three minutes over the past decades, according to a devastating new exposé of the industry.
Over 1.7 million animals – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – have been slaughtered by trophy hunters, with the wealthiest among them paying top dollar to kill rare and endangered creatures hovering at the brink of extinction.
The grim data underscores the ties between an industry that rakes in over $400 million per year and the global elites thirsty for a chance to kill the rare animals that conservationists have tirelessly worked to rescue.
The new book, entitled Trophy Leaks: Top Hunters and Industry Secrets, was written by Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH) founder Eduardo Gonçalves, and exposes the shocking scale of an industry that disingenuously claims that it is pursuing the aim of conservation.
Instead, the book reveals that trophy hunters have killed some “100 endangered animals” every day in 2018. The book, which also relies on analysis by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, shows that the life of an animal is taken for sport every three minutes in a blatantly irresponsible contribution to a loss of biodiversity that has seen the global rate of species extinction accelerate to unprecedented levels in recent decades.
For this reason, Gonçalves aptly characterizes the trophy hunting trade as an extinction industry that banks on the wholesale slaughter of creatures.
“An estimated 1.7 million animals were shot by trophy hunters over the past decade – the equivalent of almost 500 animals a day, or one every 3 minutes,” Gonçalves writes.
The book also reveals how shills for the game-hunting industry have run high-profile disinformation campaigns on social media to counter the efforts of the U.K. government to outlaw imports linked to trophy hunters. About £600,000 (USD $800,000) was used to prop up sock puppet accounts on Facebook and Twitter that purported to be Africans opposed to Boris Johnson’s pledge to ban trophy imports to Britain.
According to the book, nearly 800 hunters have won the “African Big 5” prize from the industry, which rewards those who have slain at least one buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and black or white rhino.
Hunting lobbyists with the Safari Club International (SCI) industry association have also awarded special prizes to hunters who have killed over 80 different African species.
Hunting advocates have also allegedly pledged over $2 million to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in hopes of seeing a generous return on investments under his administration.
While Trump has previously denounced trophy hunting as a “horror show,” his two sons are prominent trophy hunters and the Humane Society of the United States has denounced his administration for catering to wealthy trophy hunters and ignoring the pleas of conservationists to ban the import of slain animal “trophies.”
“Future generations will look back aghast at how we allowed the world’s most endangered species to be gunned down in their droves by adrenaline junkies in pursuit of grinning selfies and gruesome souvenirs,” Gonçalves told the Daily Mail.
“Trophy-hunting isn’t about a handful of sick individuals – it is about a huge global industry which wields extraordinary power and manipulates governments.”
Texas Dad Beaten, Maced, Taken to Jail for Filming Cops Arrest His Son for ‘Wide Right Turn’
As 2020 draws to a close, the year is likely to go down in history as a time when people across the United States finally decided to take a stand against systemic police brutality and widespread human rights abuses at the hands of law enforcement. Despite the protests, however, the widespread abuse of U.S. residents under color of authority is showing few signs of disappearing.
And in one especially egregious recent incident, a Texas police officer can be seen arresting a motorist for allegedly making too wide a right turn. The officer then proceeds to call for backup, after which the officers pepper-spray the driver and then beat the man’s father for lawfully filming the arrest.
The North Texas man is now suing two officers with the Keller Police Department for the disturbing incident, which occurred on Aug. 15 and has already led to the police chief disciplining the offending officer and apologizing to the family.
“It’s undeniable that their conduct was horrible,” Scott Palmer, one of the lawyers suing Keller PD, told New York Times. “They’re supposed to preserve and protect, and they caused havoc and mayhem.”
Dillon Puente, 22, was on his way to his grandmother’s home when he was pulled over for making a wide right turn. In police bodycam footage, Sergeant Blake Shimanek can be seen requesting that Dillon exit the car before he placed him in handcuffs.
In a police report reviewed by WFAA, Shimanek claimed that he arrested Puente for the mere traffic infraction out of fears for his own safety.
After Dillon was arrested, his father Marco Puente arrived at the scene to video record the arrest.
“He was ticketed and taken to jail for a wide right turn,” Marco later recounted.
Marco parked his truck in the lane adjacent to his son before Shimanek sharply warned him to move his vehicle, warning that he could be arrested for obstructing the roadway. Marco quickly complied before returning to record the arrest with his phone from the sidewalk across the road.
“The officer didn’t like me being there recording anything,” Marco said.
At that point, Shimanek ordered Officer Ankit Tomer to place Marco under arrest for filming the scene, which was well within his rights.
“Put your phone down,” Tomer said in footage captured by his bodycam. “Put your hands behind your head.”
“This guy is arresting me for just standing here,” Marco said.
It was at that point that Tomer escalated the situation by initiating force against Marco, an innocent civilian who was simply watching out for his son.
“They tried to take me down and pepper spray me, and it was a fiasco,” Marco said.
In the video, the officers can be seen tackling Marco to the ground and repeatedly spraying him with mace before placing him, too, in handcuffs. The father-son pair were then detained and hauled to the local jail.
However, Dillon Puente was ultimately only given a minor citation for the initial wide turn. Marco wasn’t charged with any crime, and he was quickly released.
Two days after the incident, the Keller police chief himself met with Marco to apologize for the conduct of his officers. Shimanek was also demoted from sergeant to officer for his role in the unnerving altercation.
In the lawsuit against the two officers, Keller PD leadership are quoted as calling the use of force and arrest of Marco Puente entirely “inappropriate.”
Regardless of the police department’s apologies, the lawsuit is being filed as a matter of ensuring basic accountability.
“Marco is not a criminal. This is a man, a concerned father, and if this can happen to him, it can happen to anyone,” Marco’s attorney Scott Palmer said. “These officers knew better. I believe they were trained better, but why did they not execute better? I don’t know.”
Shimanek also has a history of misconduct, including a 2016 incident where he unlawfully entered a home without a search warrant and other incidents.
“It’s disturbing to know that these are the people we are entrusting with providing safety in the community and they are abusing that power,” said James Roberts, an attorney who works with Palmer’s law firm. “I know that they knew better. I know that they knew what they were doing was wrong, yet they still did it.”
The Puente family is still disturbed by the incident, months after it transpired. And while Marco recognizes that the apology was a “nice” gesture, further accountability is required.
“This is going on everywhere,” Puente said about police brutality. “If people keep on brushing it under a rug, it’s going to keep happening.”
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