Jeffrey Epstein's legal affairs are very complicated. In the interests of offering some degree of clarity (no guarantees!) I'm going to simply paste in below--with some links added--an edited version of Wikipedia's summary of the two major current legal actions against Jeffrey Epstein, as well as a Miami Herald article. The Wikipedia entry is helpful because it provides a chronological framework and also highlights some unresolved but very important issues. Given the impact that this case will have on politics in the runup to the 2020 election, I hope this clarification will be useful in getting at least a basic handle on the issues.
The cases discussed are not an exhaustive list, but the discussion does include the actions that are getting the most coverage these days. Note in particular that, while the Federal court in Florida has ruled that, the DoJ non-prosecution agreement with Epstein, reached in 2008, did indeed violate the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA), the judge has not decided on a remedy. I have in the (recent) past suggested that a possible remedy would be to void the non-pros agreement, opening the way for prosecution. That would obviously eliminate any Double Jeopardy issue.
Before we get to Wikipedia, I'll review the very recent Miami Herald article that should be helpful. Please note that the the questions re possible remedies for violation of the CVRA as well as of unsealing documents is complicated and spans two federal districts--one in Florida and the other in New York--arising from two separate lawsuits in Epsteins tangled legal affairs. The Miami Herald, in an article dated July 3, 2019 (Court to unseal up to 2,000 pages of Jeffrey Epstein-related documents), explains where the matter stands in both Florida and New York. The case documents in question relate to the summary judgment motion and are, I believe, the same in both cases:
In February, a federal judge in Florida, Kenneth A. Marra, ruled that the government violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act when it failed to inform Epstein’s victims that prosecutors had disposed of the case. He ordered prosecutors and lawyers for the victims to come up with a possible remedy. The victims’ lawyers are expected to file their response next week.
The New York case is based on the same evidence. The victim plaintiff prevailed but the documents in the case were sealed by agreement of the parties. The Miami Herald and others sued for release of the documents and, after an adverse ruling at the district court level, were successful before a three judge federal appeals court panel. A last minute (July 18, 2019) request for a full circuit rehearing has been filed by Ghislaine Maxwell:
A New York federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the unsealing of up to 2,000 pages of judicial documents that are expected to show evidence relating to whether New York financier Jeffrey Epstein and his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, were recruiting underage girls and young women as part of an international sex trafficking operation.
The New York case, filed in 2015, was brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims that she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to wealthy and powerful politicians, lawyers, academics and government leaders when she was underage. Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after Maxwell publicly denounced her as a liar.
The case was settled in Giuffre’s favor in 2017, several sources have told the Herald. Nearly all the documents filed in connection with the case, however, were sealed. ...
The Herald, as part of a November investigation called “Perversion of Justice,” went to court to unseal all the records in January. A lower court ruled against the newspaper, and the appeals court heard arguments by the Herald, Cernovich and Dershowitz in March.
In its decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a lower district court erred when it issued a blanket sealing of the case, which essentially allowed all the parties to file everything under wraps.
“The District Court failed to review the documents individually and produce ‘specific, on‐the‐record findings that sealing is necessary to preserve higher values.’ Instead, the District Court made generalized statements about the record as a whole. This ... was legal error,’’ said Judge Jose A. Cabranes, writing for the three-member panel.
The court, in a 2-1 decision, said the portion of the case involving summary judgment materials (167 documents, 2,000 pages) should be unsealed forthwith, except for minor redactions. The balance of the case history — involving perhaps thousands of additional pages — will be reviewed by the lower court. In her dissent, Judge Rosemary Pooler concurred with unsealing the documents, but disagreed with how they should be reviewed.
And here's Wikipedia:
A December 30, 2014, federal civil suit was filed in Florida against the United States for violations of the Crime Victims' Rights Act by the Department of Justice's agreement to Epstein's limited 2008 plea; the suit also accuses Alan Dershowitz of sexually abusing a minor provided by Epstein. (See Two Jane Does v. United States.) The allegations against Dershowitz were stricken by the judge and eliminated from the case because he said they were outside the intent of the suit to re-open the plea agreement. A document filed in court alleges that Epstein ran a "sexual abuse ring", and lent underage girls to "prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders".
On February 21, 2019, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Kenneth Marra said federal prosecutors violated the law by failing to notify victims before they allowed him to plead guilty to only the Florida offense. The judge left open what the possible remedy could be.
On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave parties one week to provide good cause as to why the summary judgement and case documents should remain under seal, without which they would be unsealed on March 19, 2019.
On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on sex trafficking charges. The New York Times initially reported incorrectly that he had been arrested in New York.
Two days later, prosecutors with the Public Corruption Unit of the Southern District of New York charged him with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. Court documents allege that at least 40 underage girls were brought into Epstein's mansion for sexual encounters. Judge Kenneth Marra is currently deciding whether the non-prosecution agreement that protected Epstein from the more serious charges should still stand.
Epstein's lawyers urged the court to allow Epstein to post bail, offering to post up to a $100 million bond so he could leave jail and submit to house arrest in his New York mansion. On July 18 Judge Richard Berman denied the request, saying that Epstein poses a danger to the public and a serious risk that he might flee the country to avoid prosecution, and must remain in jail pending his trial.
The double jeopardy issue would still stand, I think. In general, an error by the government can not be used to overcome this, especially since Epstein has already served the sentence. You would have to show that Epstein and his lawyers had violated the CRVA, and that isn't my reading of the case- it was the prosecution who violated the act.ReplyDelete
1) the prosecution didn't commit an "error"--the record shows clearly that they intentionally violated the clear mandates of the CVRA;
2) The prosecutorial misconduct in this case worked to the detriment of the victims--who are the ones who sued. The remedy should therefore address the harm done to the victims--which is that Epstein wasn't appropriately prosecuted.
3) Epstein's conviction for which he served time (mostly on release) was in the state court on a local "soliciting prostitution" charge. The fact that that was part of the federal non-pros agreement won't change that. The new federal charges, while based on the same facts that were known at the time, would be on federal trafficking charges.
I may be wrong, but IMO the fed prosecutors in NY will get past Double Jeopardy.
As far as violating the agreement. The violation in on the prosecution rather than the defense side. So it seems to me that only the prosecution side should be sanctioned.ReplyDelete
Or put it this way--for the reason given, the DoJ agreement with Epstein, which violated the CVRA, should not bind the federal prosecutors in NY. Epstein, the defendant, isn't actually being sanctioned--only getting what he deserves while victim rights are vindicated.Delete
They should sue him for as much as they can squeeze outa him.Delete
He's been sued and paid out a fair amount already, but nowhere near enough. I'm increasingly inclined to see him as a Deep State operative--as Acosta told the Trump transition vetters. Very troubling.Delete
Emily Latella : Never Mind!!!!ReplyDelete