{{featured_button_text}}

It helps to know people in high places, especially if you’re a sex offender and your name is Jeffrey Epstein.

Some might say that Epstein, the multimillionaire financier, reached the summits of wealth and self-indulgence by his own volition.

He is undeniably intelligent, a whiz kid at math and science in his early years who built his fortune in part by running a money-management firm that catered to the mega-rich. He’s also a philanthropist who specializes in collecting brilliant minds.

Kathleen Parker mug

kathleen parker

His ascent from the middle class in which he was raised to his place among the wealthiest of the wealthy has allowed him to surround himself with the highest and the mightiest, including two presidents, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Although Trump now denies a relationship with Epstein, in 2002 he told New York magazine a different tale:

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Facing a federal indictment in 2007 for sex crimes that could have put him in prison for life, Epstein instead got off easy.

His legal team, which included high-priced attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, secured a sweetheart, non-prosecution deal for Epstein that allowed him to plead guilty to lesser state charges.

Epstein’s lawyers received no small amount of cooperation from Alexander Acosta, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida and now the U.S. secretary of labor.

Thanks to these two sharp legal minds and one dull puppet, Epstein ultimately served just 13 months in county jail and was allowed to spend up to 12 hours a day on “work release,” six days a week. He also had to pay restitution to some of the victims and register as a sex offender.

This was in spite of a 53-page federal indictment prepared by the FBI that identified 36 potential victims, some as young as middle-school aged.

There’s little question that Acosta was out-lawyered, but perhaps he was also disarmed by the attentions of these celebrity attorneys. Dershowitz, then a Harvard law professor, had famously defended O.J. Simpson. Starr, of course, was the independent counsel who investigated the Clinton Whitewater case, leading into the Monica Lewinsky cliffhanger.

In a 2011 letter trying to defend himself after the cushy plea deal, Acosta wrote that he faced “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars.” He also asserted that defense lawyers “investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.”

Go on, grab a hanky. Acosta also has said he feared the young accusers might not be their own best witnesses. Perhaps not. Then again, seeing girls interrogated and cross-examined by high-profile lawyers might have worked in their favor. Instead, the alleged victims were kept in the dark about the non-prosecution agreement and the records were sealed, in contravention of the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

Justice is sometimes slow, but she appears to be catching up with Epstein.

On Monday, a new 14-page federal indictment was unsealed in New York accusing Epstein of sex trafficking and abuse of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. The details are as disgusting as they are creepy. In short, Epstein allegedly had young girls brought to his homes to perform massages and sex acts in exchange for money. After girls had been brought in, they were sometimes enticed to recruit other girls — and so it went on for years, according to the indictment.

No one has ever overestimated the power of money, and its power to corrupt is absolute. The hubris that passeth all understanding belongs to Epstein.

Pending further revelations, one thing is clear: Acosta should step down from his Cabinet position for dereliction of duty in his prior role — and because he has the spine of a mollusk. In deciding not to fully prosecute Epstein in 2007 — and then agreeing to bury the proceedings without advising the victims — he violated the law, betrayed the victims’ trust, and displayed rare cowardice before justice.

Finally, nobody likes a whiner.

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker can be reached at kathleenparker@washpost.com.

1
0
0
0
0

(38) comments

johnnybragatti

Too bad you have daughters, especially young ones....since a Father of young girls and being a bonafide,certified, card carrying Trump-Humper, is something one would, certainly, not want to advertise. Trump ain"t exactly, what you"d call a role model. Think about when they"re 13 years old, or 14-15-16? and they discover Daddy was a trumpanzee . You may think it will all go away. It will not.

Jobaba

Have you ever pulled into a back bay, a slough, or dead water that just reeks of foul rotting fish? This is the world Trump has created, And all of his people smell the same.

DMoney

One mention of Trump in this column, about how he liked Epstein 17 years ago, and all the comments are about how bad Trump is and how terrible his supporters are. You guys have officially gone off the deep end.

oldhomey

Well thank you for your vote of confidence in the confidence man, D. My comment was intended to underscore how the president lies about everything, even when the record is very clear that he is lying. That is a crucially important characteristic of the person in whom we invest so much of the nation's power and resources -- the ability to be believed when he opens his mouth. This man is not to be believed, as he has proved over and over again, despite you coming to his defense over and over again. It makes Trump look bad and his supporters look terrible. Who is off the deep end here?

DMoney

"I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”. That's what Trump's most recent comment was. Has this never happened to you? Have you never changed opinions on someone? Would it be fair for someone to label you for your feelings 15+ years ago? You are so desperate to find anything/everything to demonize Trump that logic, reason, truth are no longer important. It's unbecoming.

martian2

oh gawd, Trump said he never paid off those women to keep silent either, said NK was no longer a nuclear threat, I could go on for thousands of lies Trump has told. But you keep believing his every word. Truth matters, and the truth is Trump is a habitual liar, that's what unbecoming.

DMoney

Prove a single lie, and maybe I'll believe you. Just one.

oldhomey

D, look on google for "proven lies by Donald Trump" It will make your head spin. If that is too onerous for you, I or others on here will be happy to supply some for you, like tariffs are "paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us." By the way, Trump at first, when the new charges were leveled against Epstein, protested he hardly knew the guy. Then the magazine quote came out his relationship with Epstein. Now Trump is protesting that he has had a "falling out" with the guy and he is no fan of Epstein. Of course you believe the last thing Trump says. You do every time. He could come out and say something completely contradictory tomorrow, and that is what you will choose to believe. Most of us choose not to believe a congenital liar. Is that what you mean by all of your good choices?

martian2

prove a single lie you say. Nope if you are that inept and can't see even one lie your dear leader says no use even bothering. You got blinders on, and fanatical view of Trump and you instinctively ignore facts all the time. Not playing your little game.

DMoney

A lie is an intentionally false statement. Prove one intentionally false statement.

oldhomey

D, look on google for "proven lies by Donald Trump" It will make your head spin. If that is too onerous for you, I or others on here will be happy to supply some for you, like tariffs are "paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us." By the way, Trump at first, when the new charges were leveled against Epstein, protested he hardly knew the guy. Then the magazine quote came out his relationship with Epstein. Now Trump is protesting that he has had a "falling out" with the guy and he is no fan of Epstein. Of course you believe the last thing Trump says. You do every time. He could come out and say something completely contradictory tomorrow, and that is what you will choose to believe. Most of us choose not to believe a congenital liar. Is that what you mean by all of your good choices?

PhysicsIsFun

Sure D we are the ones with the problem. Go look in the mirror. Trump and his supporters are a pox on our country.

martian2

wrong again D. 17 years ago Trump was asked about Epstein by a reporter. And at the time he said he like him very much. That doesn't mean he didn't like Epstein ten years ago, or five years ago. 17 years ago passed since Trump commented on him.

DMoney

Ok... How does that equate factually to how he feels now? How the hell does this have anything to do with Trump whatsoever?

martian2

how does that equate? How Trump feels now about Epstein is to throw him under the bus cause he got caught. Trump has a history of doing that often. Just look at his once buddy Paul Ryan. Ryan now tells the truth of what is going on, and Trump lashes out like a second grader. Very becoming of the office wouldn't you say? that is why this is important, to point out the pattern of behavior of Trump. Of course if you are blinded by fanatical loyalty then you won't see or understand any of this.

oldhomey

Fair enough, D. We shouldn't automatically feel that something said 15 or 20 years ago is a reflection of where they stand morally, emotionally or philosophically. We should be more holistic and take into account that person's record of showing how they have changed, evolved and demonstrated that they are capable of learning and rising above what they were in the past. That is how all of us should regard outrageous statements made by Donald Trump in the 1980s, 90s and into the new century. Can you honestly say you believe he has changed or shifted his opinions on anything? Would you believe anything he said about what caused him to break off his friendship with this man that he seems to have acknowledged as a pedophile even when they remained friends? Was it out of moral outrage over a matter of money? Hmm.

PhysicsIsFun

Trump has a history very similar to Epstein's. The last thing Trump wants is to have the guy who gave Epstein a pass on his despicable behavior around causing the press to bring up parallels to stuff Trump has done. Epstein is a creep. Trump is a creep, and Acosta is the guy who lets creeps get away with being creeps. It looks like Epstein is finally going to get his due. When is Trump going to be held accountable for his behavior? Would you let one of your daughters at age 16 hang around with a 45 year old Donald Trump? I doubt you would.

DMoney

Entirely, absolutely, completely, utterly, undeniably your opinion and speculation. ero facts, zero evidence. You are entitled to your opinion but surely you must know deep down you are very likely wrong. Would I want my daughter's to be around a Trumpish person at 16? Hell no. And they won't because they are raised better than that. As I've said countless times I'm not a Donald Trump fan.

oldhomey

Now D is even adopting Trump's vocabulary when lying, protesting he is no "fan" of Donald Trump, the man he endlessly supports.

martian2

Oh they are raised better than that?Better than what? Being assaulted and rape is not the fault of the victim ever. Your daughters will date many men and you can't always tell at first glance what kind of person men are. D you are blaming the women of Epstein's assaults and rapes because of their up bringing? It's their fault if they go out with someone who turns violent and assaults them? Let's not blame the perpetrator, in this case a rich wealthy white male, the type that are the bulwark of the GOP. So what are you going to do to prevent assaults on your daughter? Keep them locked up all their lives in their rooms.

PhysicsIsFun

Dmoney you are a fan of the most ridiculous stonewalling defense of Trump and his horrendous administration. As the evidence of his malfeasance builds up your protestations of facts versus opinions is getting really old. For a guy who claims to not be a Donald Trump fan you do a pretty good job of acting like one.

PhysicsIsFun

There are plenty of facts with regard to Trump's behavior towards women. I have lost count of the credible accusation women have made with regard to his sexual assaults, but it is over 20. There is no doubt he had sex with a pornographic actress while his wife was recovering from childbirth. He paid her off to be quiet about it. He also had a sexual relationship with a Playboy model and paid her off. He brags often about his conquests, and how he can just "grab them by the pu$$y". I guess this is OK with you or you don't believe it. You are sounding like a broken record, and a rather dull one at that.

DMoney

Oh! So sorry to be the stick in the mud, constantly demanding facts and not blindly following opinion. You are right, I just oughta take your word for it...

DMoney

Martian, you are hopelessly lost and confused.

martian2

google it!!

PhysicsIsFun

We are not supposed to name call on here Dman, but your denials bring to mind several terms I could use to characterize you, and none of them are complimentary. Just let it be said that it must be getting hard to breathe in that hole you have placed your head in. I'll leave RickyBoy the chance to be top name caller on here. Please Tribune ban Rick Czeczock. He constantly breaks the rules set up for commenting. By allowing his behavior you endorse it.

oldhomey

D, I asked you for three days on boards under different columns to provide the data you used to make some utterly ridiculous statements. You had asked me to do the same thing the day before about opinions I made, and one by one I provided them. You ignored me until you could conveniently say, "Oops, your questions aged out and are no longer online. Sorry, can't help you." And now you have the gall to get on here and tell us that you can back up everything you say? You are full of male bovine excrement.

DMoney

First of all, that quote you attributed to me is entirely non-existent. I never said anything remotely like that. Glad you still have a vivid imagination at your age. Regarding your challenge to post facts of Trump not lying, I did Google search what you suggested. I found thousands and thousands of idiotic comments, asinine proclamations, entirely wrong statements, etc. What I didn't find is a true lie. Which is something said that is intentionally misleading. In some ways, Trump is the most HONEST president ever. He believes what he says and does, no matter how wrong he is.

oldhomey

Well, D, indeed I was merely paraphrasing (but accurately) what you said when you ignored my requests to back up a lengthy list of statements that you alleged to be true. I did not make my request out of the blue. You had done the same thing to me a day earlier, and I spent some time assembling my sources and presenting the to you to show that my statements were factual. I thought i deserved the same from you, and you ignored my request until my list for you disappeared, aged out. And you, and I now paraphrase again, said in effect, "Oops! Too late." How convenient of you. As for you going through the lists of proven lies and telling us they prove nothing, I will refer you to the first site that pops up when you Google (I Yahooed) "proven lies by Donald Trump". It was a Politifact list so long that I didn't count the lies, but these were the three most recent: [Trump says] Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was "speaking about how wonderful al-Qaida is." Politifact goes into great detail showing that she never said anything remotely like how wonderful al-Qaida is, nor has she ever endorsed or given any sort of verbal support to the terrorist group. (Trump has also lied about al-Qaida as being formed during Obama's administration because of Obama's and Sec'y of State Clinton's ineptitude, but it formed during the George W. administration due to the failure of George W's failed war in Iraq). [Trump said] "We won (Wisconsin in 2016) not so late in the evening — a little bit early in the evening, actually, which is even better." The razor thin Wisconsin outcome in Wisconsin was not declared until 1:29 am, not early. Not a big deal, granted, but why did Trump feel the need to lie about it? Because he cannot help himself, apparently. [Trump said] "The Obama administration was begging for a meeting" with Kim Jong Un. This is a hoo-hah of a lie. There is a voluminous record of Obama in fact telling the North Koreans that they had to meet certain expectations before we could talk with them, let alone Obama taking direct meetings with them. And, D, you have the hoo ha of the week declaring Trump may be the most honest president in history because he believes his own lies. If you find this admirable, everything you say you stand for should be regarded as suspect both in fact and in terms of ethics.

Cassandra2

Just another example of the toxic sewer that Trump and many others call home.

johnnybragatti

Just one of the hundreds of sexual assault victims of the trump, was a poor 13 year old girl, no doubt, a procurement from Epstein. It will come out sooner than later, exactly how trump raped her repeatedly. But guess what??? It was all OK, "cos Epstein has mucho money and so does trump.He doesn't realize grabbing p____ is assault ,just like rape. At some point in time, it needs to be taken, above and beyond serious, no matter how much money one has. Hopefully ,this will come back to haunt trump,in a big kinda way. He"s gonna find out , he cannot lie about everything.Meanwhile the Trump-Humpers will bring up Bill Clinton"s name,once in awhile to try and take the heat off their boy. Ya think?

martian2

We all know there are two types of justice in this country, one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us. Watching Acosta in the press conference yesterday it was clear he is twisting things around to save face. His plea deal was a sham, and slap in the face to the victims to which Acosta never cared about. Epstein was soon a free man to do more of the same. Ms Parker is right about one thing when she said "No one has ever overestimated the power of money, and its power to corrupt is absolute." Not only is Epstein a prime example of that, but so is the president and his many alleged sexual assaults and pay offs to keep some things quiet. Some feel money is the only thing that matters, their morality is as corrupted as Epstein's.

PhysicsIsFun

And yet Trump's supporters continue to think their guy is just so great. Trump is a horrible human being who somehow managed to win an election to the most important job in the world. We are all going to suffer the consequences of that terrible outcome.

oldhomey

Agreed, Physics. This excerpt from the column says it all about our esteemed president: "Although Trump now denies a relationship with Epstein, in 2002 he told New York magazine a different tale: “'I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.'” You can probably take it to the bank that Trump supporters here like D and crank will ignore the facts and insist that Trump had nothing to do with Epstein. At least he did nothing with Epstein that should stop him from continuing as our most corrupt, ignorant, ill-prepared and immoral president in the history of the country.

PhysicsIsFun

Personally I have come to the conclusion that many of Trump's supporters are as bad as he is. How anyone defends Trump and his administration is totally beyond my understanding. I just don't get it. To believe that Trump is good for our country because he is supercharging our economy (highly debatable!) while he stomps on every norm that we accept as appropriate behavior takes a certain type of person. That type of person is on here everyday. I'm just glad I don't have to interact with them in real life. I might catch something, because they sure are awful.

martian2

the Trump supporters believe it is their job to normalize the behavior and all decisions of this president, even the most absurd and ridiculous. You have the whataboutisms from fox news newt, to money is all that matters D, to the childish brats here like ricky boy and redwall/freehan and others. Normalizing the inexcusable is what tyrants did throughout history and still do. For Trump its all about himself and his best pal dictators. Trying to minimize or do away with democracy, humans rights, alliances, and treaties is his agenda. And he's doing a great job reducing the number of family farms right here.

DMoney

Money isn't ALL that matters. Peace matters, stability matters, freedom matters, security matters. All check marks from your president.

oldhomey

Wow. If your 12:49am post is any indication, D, I would recommend you take a quick retreat from your boast that you have superior knowledge geopolitical issues. Perhaps there is some other topic where you could more credibly offer your opinions. Not healthcare. You have blown that, too. Nor world history, you have proven that you either didn't read very carefully or your library consists of classic comics. You have also been spectacularly wrong on civil rights. Do you like to bake? Perhaps you could offer opinions on what makes a good brownie or chocolate chip cookie. I know nothing about that, so you would get no criticism from me if you go in that direction. But please, don't boast about how you know more about baking than anybody else on these boards. You see where that got you with geopolitics and WWII.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.