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Appeals Court Refuses to Overturn Jeffrey Epstein’s Infamous “Sweetheart Deal”

Epstein’s victims were dealt another blow from the legal system after an appeals court ruled against overturning the serial abuser’s infamous “sweetheart deal” from 2007.

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(TMU) — On Tuesday, a 2-1 majority rejected an appeal from one of the victims of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein which would have thrown out a non-prosecution agreement that provided immunity to Epstein, his aides, and unnamed “co-conspirators.”

Epstein’s escapades became front page news in the summer of 2019 when he was arrested and faced charges for abusing dozens of young girls at his homes in Florida, New Mexico, New York, and Paris. Epstein died of an alleged suicide on August 2019 while in custody on new sex-crime charges filed in New York.

The latest attempt to overturn Epstein’s arrangement with Florida prosecutors was filed by Courtney Wild, who says she was sexually abused by Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion at the age of 14. ​​​The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Wild’s appeal, stating that despite the government’s attempts at shielding Epstein from harm, the Crime Victims’ Right Act (CVRA) does not allow for relief for victims who are mistreated by prosecutors prior to a formal charge being filed.

Courthouse News reports:

“Claiming rampant violations of the Crime Victims Rights Act, women abused by Epstein in their youth have been fighting in court since 2008 to overturn his and his aides’ federal immunity, to obtain grand jury records and hold Florida public hearings where they can air their grievances against the Justice Department.

‘Despite our sympathy for Ms. Wild and others like her, who suffered unspeakable horror at Epstein’s hands, only to be left in the dark—and, so it seems, affirmatively misled—by government lawyers, we find ourselves constrained to deny her petition,’ U.S. Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom, an appointee of President Donald Trump, wrote for the majority.”

After the decision, Courtney Wild stated, “The government intentionally misled the victims but found a way to get away with it by working with a child molester to get around the law. The judges ruled in their favor. How?”

The two judges who ruled against Wild claimed that overturning the original non-prosecution agreement could potentially infringe on prosecutors and law enforcement officials decision making process if they feel their decisions may be later overturned. Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Hull, the one dissenting vote, said the other judges decisions ignores the terms of the CVRA. The majority’s contorted statutory interpretation materially revises the statute’s plain text and guts victims’ rights under the CVRA. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the CVRA’s plain text requires the majority’s result,” she wrote. ​​

Wild’s attorney Paul Cassell told Courthouse News that it’s “clear that the [Act] as written by Congress can apply even before an indictment is filed.”​​ Cassell said that Wild plans to file for an en banc rehearing before the full 11th Circuit. ​​If that rehearing is rejected, the claim could eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Despite rejecting Wild’s appeal, the judges acknowledged that, “mysteries still exist about how Epstein and his co-conspirators escaped federal prosecution for multiple sex-trafficking crimes against over 30 minor girls in Florida.”

A History of Cover Ups

This is not the first time the controversial plea deal has been discussed in court. In 2008, following Epstein’s plea agreement, attorney Bradley Edwards filed suit against the U.S. government claiming the feds failed to involve the victims in the settlement, an obligation required by the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. Edwards was one of the lawyers representing the women who brought the original suit against Epstein.

In 2015, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sided with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Epstein in asserting that 15,000 pages of documents must remain private. The women behind the suit state they believe Epstein’s connections helped him get his “sweetheart” prison deal.

The fact that U.S. Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom was appointed by Donald Trump should not be ignored. Trump was an associate of Epstein throughout the 1990’s and the 2000’s. And after becoming President, Donald Trump appointed Alexander Acosta to U.S. Labor Secretary. Acosta is the same attorney who helped seal Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement.

In the spring of 2017, Acosta, who was at that time serving as the Miami U.S. Attorney, 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.

In 2015 Politico reported that court documents released through litigation appeared to show prosecutors cooperating with Epstein’s lawyers to keep the deal secret. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafaña used her personal Gmail account to suggest to one of Epstein’s lawyers that they file legal papers in a different jurisdiction as a way to “hopefully cut the press coverage significantly.” Villafaña told Epstein’s attorney that she would “include our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention ‘co-conspirators,’ but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all of the other persons that we could charge.”

Edwards and Paul Cassell filed a court document in response to the revelations, stating that “the victims’ allegations of a conspiracy between the Government and Epstein’s attorneys to conceal the existence of a broad non-prosecution agreement are not mere speculation, but appear to be well supported.” The suspicion of improper deal-making is one of the key reasons these women and Bradley Edwards have fought for this lawsuit for the last 12 years.

The closing of yet another case against Epstein and his co-conspirators will likely continue to fuel theories that Epstein was working for an as yet unnamed intelligence agency.

By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Corruption

Chris Cuomo “indefinitely” gone from CNN after his deep role in brother’s sex scandal is revealed

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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was suspended indefinitely by CNN on Tuesday after it was revealed by the New York Attorney General’s Office that the star anchor, the most popular on the news network, was deeply involved in assisting his scandal-embroiled brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations that ultimately led to him resigning.

While Chris Cuomo had apologized in the past for advising his brother’s senior aides – effectively shattering the wall typically standing between policymakers and journalists – the thousands of pages released by Attorney General Letitia James show that the anchor played a deeply intimate role in damage control efforts stemming from the accusations.

The network and its top leadership, including president Jeff Zucker, had backed their star anchor to the hilt in recent months despite accumulating info showing Cuomo’s breach of basic journalistic standards. The anchor also had apologized for advising the governor while simultaneously downplaying or omitting the extent of his direct involvement in the scandal.

Late Tuesday, the network released a statement acknowledging that “the documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the statement explained. “However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

Text messages show that Chris Cuomo clamored to play an increasingly direct role in the scandal, ranging from offers to draft statements for his brother to demands that he play a commanding role in strategic matters. Cuomo also looked into potential angles for news reports and researched the women who accused his brother of sexual misconduct.

“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo wrote at to his brother’s top aides as evidence damning the governor mounted.

The move to indefinitely suspend the argumentative and charismatic anchor came as a shock to some anchors, who were aware that he was dear to CNN management. CNN president Zucker also declined to discipline him as reports poured in about his misconduct, reports New York Times.

Chris Cuomo had long admitted that for him, the matter was about “family first, job second.”

“I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family,” he said on May 20. He also played down his fervent role in the scandal, claiming that he had been haplessly “looped into calls” with the governor’s inner circle, which he claims was a “mistake” that spilled over onto his work life and placed his CNN colleagues in a “bad spot.”

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Jeffrey Epstein’s pilot testifies: Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew among “Lolita Express” passengers

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Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot took the stand on Tuesday, the second day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, and detailed the names of famous passengers who rode in the private jet of the disgraced financier who has been accused of a range of crimes, including sex trafficking minors.

Testifying at the trial of Maxwell, who was Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, pilot Larry Visoski explained how he met a number of notable and powerful people. The names included Prince Andrew, Donald Trump (before he was president), former President Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, George Mitchell, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and astronaut John Glenn.

The pilot explained that he met the celebrities over the course of decades while flying Epstein’s Boeing 727 Gulfstream jet — often referred to in media as the “Lolita Express” — as well as helicopters.

“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot said during cross-examination by Maxwell’s defense team, adding that the future head of state flew on the plane before he became president in 2016.

Clinton was mentioned as Visoski testified about a meeting with a female singer in the cockpit of the jet before flying off from an airport in Palm Beach, Florida. Visoski claims that he remembered the singer, identified as Jane Doe in the courtroom, by her “piercing blue eyes” and that she didn’t appear to be young at the time.

“You’ll forgive the question, Mr. Visoski, but I think you’ll remember that at the time you saw her, you also remembered she had large breasts. Isn’t that right?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Comey.

“Uh. She was a mature woman,” Visoski answered in response.

According to prosecutors, Jane was 14 years old when she was essentially “recruited” by Maxwell in 1994, not long before Visoski met her in the cockpit.

“I can’t visualize her sitting in the passenger compartment like I would, say, President Clinton. It was so long ago,” the pilot said.

“Jane Doe” also testified on Tuesday and explained how she was eating ice cream at a youth summer camp when Maxwell and Epstein approached her in a friendly manner.

Before long, however, Maxwell allegedly began training her on how to “massage” Epstein.

Eventually, she explained, she took part in orgies involving both Maxwell and Esptein at the late financier’s massive homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and New Mexico.

Prosecutors have depicted Maxwell as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on young women and underage girls. The U.S. government has alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

The British media heiress has pleaded not guilty to the six felony counts.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in Manhattan while facing a likely prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

According to Visoski, from 1991 until 2019, he regularly flew Epstein to his private island in the Caribbean, Little St. James – an island popularly referred to as “Pedophile Island.”

“Every week to every 10 days if we weren’t elsewhere in the world, but, you know, it was a regular destination,” Visoski said.

Visoski also noted that he remembered Maxwell, a one-time girlfriend of Epstein, as an employee of the late sex criminal – albeit one whose specific role was unclear.

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Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins as Epstein’s shadow looms large

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On Monday, opening arguments began in the widely anticipated federal trial of accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, the notorious British socialite who allegedly helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein commit a dizzying array of abusive and exploitative acts toward multiple women and girls, including one as young as 14.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

The Maxwell trial could be a last-ditch opportunity for the government to secure a conviction for the crimes of Epstein, in effect making this the trial that he prevented from ever occurring.

“The shadow of Epstein is going to loom large here,” former federal judge Moira Penza told the New York Times. “The case is obviously going to be about Maxwell, but he’s going to be right at the center of it as well.”

Early Monday, jury selection drew to a close.

The trial won’t be broadcast on television or online, while attendees will be prevented from broadcasting or photographing the trial, reports NPR.

Maxwell, 59, faces charges of grooming multiple minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, and sex-trafficking a minor. The indictment accuses the British media heiress of conspiracy, including recruiting one of her partner’s victims to help recruit other girls to be paid to undergo abuse at the hands of Epstein.

On Monday, prosecutors depicted Maxwell, who circulated in wealthy and powerful circles in the U.K. and U.S., as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on teenage girls. U.S. Attorneys have alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while her multiple attempts to be released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, have all been shot down.

Prosecutor Laura Pomerantz said Monday that Maxwell was a key component in Epstein’s “pyramid scheme of abuse” and criminal sex acts carried out under the color of respectability, reports BBC.

Pomerantz noted that one accuser befriended by the pair was promised bright opportunities in the future.

Prosecutors will call on witnesses including four alleged victims and experts on sexual abuse and those who can inform the jury about the credibility of the couple’s victims, including those who may not have been aware that they suffered abuse at the time.

Experts say that the prosecution will have their work cut out for them and must refrain from making the trial center too much on Epstein’s crimes rather than those of his alleged co-conspirator Maxwell.

Maxwell’s defense will also have to convince the 12-person jury that she was an unwitting player in Epstein’s game, likely by delving into the details of the deceased criminal’s dealings at the top levels of philanthropy, academia, politics, and high finance.

On Monday, the defense protested Maxwell being held liable for Epstein’s crimes and depicted her situation as being one where “memory, manipulation and money” play crucial roles.

However, federal attorneys have pushed back at the idea that she was a victim of Epstein, as opposed to a willing accomplice.

“The government’s yearslong investigation has not developed any evidence that the defendant was victimized in any way by Jeffrey Epstein,” read court papers that were recently filed by the government.

Prosecutors are expected to draw on Maxwell’s so-called “black book,” which meticulously recorded the friends and contacts of Epstein. The FBI gained possession of the book in 2019 when Epstein’s former butler tried to sell it. The government is confident that the book contains “compelling evidence of her guilt,” according to court filings.

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