Sunday, July 07, 2019


Maybe there'll finally be justice in the case of Jeffrey Epstein:
Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, and will appear in court in New York on Monday, according to three law enforcement sources. Saturday's arrest by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force comes about 12 years after the 66-year-old financier essentially got a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida....

The new indictment—which, according to two sources, will be unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court—will reportedly allege that Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for "massages" and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors—which could put him away for a maximum of 45 years. The case is being handled by the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the district's human-trafficking officials and the FBI....

In an era where #MeToo has toppled powerful men, Epstein’s name was largely absent from the national conversation, until the Miami Herald published a three-part series on how his wealth, power and influence shielded him from federal prosecution.
As many of you know -- though most Americans don't -- the person who let Epstein effectively beat the rap was the lead federal prosecutor in Miami at the time, who's now a member of President Trump's cabinet.
Epstein’s bust comes mere months after a federal judge ruled his 2007 non-prosecution agreement—secretly inked under former U.S. Attorney and current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta—violated federal law by keeping Epstein’s victims in the dark. Under the sweetheart deal, Epstein dodged federal charges that might have sent him to prison for life. He instead pleaded guilty to minor state charges in Palm Beach, and served 13 months in a private wing of a county jail, mostly on work release.
But in the Daily Beast story I'm quoting, Acosta's name doesn't come up until Paragraph 12. He doesn't come up until Paragraph 19 of the New York Times story.

Why does Acosta still have a job? Obviously, it's because there are just too many scandals and outrages in the Trump administration for the press and public to focus on this one. The Trump administration is like a 24/7 Gish gallop of outrage -- just as a Gish-galloping debater will throw out too many false arguments to refute in a short time period, the president and his associates drown us in so many outrages that we can't keep up with all of them.

And Trump has no morals. He doesn't care. So Acosta is safe for now.

We know what could change that: a lot more media scrutiny of Acosta. Trump doesn't care about right and wrong, but he really doesn't like being embarrassed by bad press coverage, and he enjoys accusing aides of doing him harm. The stories about Acosta haven't been sufficiently prominent to upset Trump. Big stories on cable news and in major newspapers with headlines such as "Epstein Case Attracts New Scrutiny to Acosta" could get Trump's attention.

Why hasn't it happened already? It's as if the media is waiting for permission to focus on Acosta. He keeps a low profile. He's not doing anything particularly scandal-worthy or ideologically outrageous right now. So he skates.

Who'll invite the media to hold Acosta accountable? Who can get the press out of its "We covered Acosta's involvement two years ago on page A17, so it's inappropriate to rehash it" cycle? A House committee? A celebrity on social media? What will it take?

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