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There are more than a few odd things about this scandal:

  • Labor secretary Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d cut Epstein a generous plea deal in 2007, told the Trump transition team, according to this Daily Beast article: “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”

  • John Schindler added on Twitter: “Note: not US intelligence.”

  • The groundbreaking Miami Herald article, from November 2018, noted that the Acosta-negotiated deal “included wording that granted immunity to ‘any potential co-conspirators’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane. “

  • More from the Miami Herald article: “Acosta and the lead federal prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaña, acquiesced to Epstein’s legal team’s demands, which often focused on ways to limit the scandal by shutting out his victims and the media, including suggesting that the charges be filed in Miami, instead of Palm Beach, where Epstein’s victims lived. ‘On an ‘avoid the press’ note … I can file the charge in district court in Miami which will hopefully cut the press coverage significantly. Do you want to check that out?’ Villafaña wrote to [Epstein attorney Jay Lefkowitz] in a September 2007 email.”

  • Christine Pelosi’s tweet this week: “It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may - whether on Republicans or Democrats. #WeSaidEnough #MeToo”

  • President Trump on Fox News talking about Bill Clinton in 2015, according to this Vanity Fair article: “Got a lot of problems coming up, in my opinion, with the famous island with Jeffrey Epstein… Lot of problems.”

  • Investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff said, according to this Fox News article: “I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein’s 27 times…many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him and many times he did not.”

  • This Salon article reports, emphasis added: that Epstein may “agree to cooperate with the investigation, including giving up the names of individuals that paid for activities with underage girls… [But] the rich are famously cheap. Pay for sex in a friend’s house? They’d never. And their host would never ask. The girls were just a perk.”

  • This New York Times article reports: “During a hearing in 2011, a seasoned sex-crimes prosecutor from Mr. Vance’s office argued forcefully in court that Mr. Epstein, who had been convicted in Florida of soliciting an underage prostitute, should not be registered as a top-level sex offender in New York… Justice Ruth Pickholz vehemently denied the request and expressed incredulity that the district attorney’s office would argue in support of a man accused of sexually molesting dozens of teenage girls in Florida.”

Some of the “honey trap” theories:

  • Thomas Lifson’s article: “My dominant hypothesis is that he was video-recording highly illegal and morally reprehensible rapes for use as blackmail material… The sad truth is that in the course of my decades of academic and consulting work, I have come to believe that honey traps and blackmail are far more common than most people realize.”

  • The UK Mirror’s article from 2015: “Prince Andrew’s tycoon pal may have taken compromising photos of him with the underage girl he is alleged to have abused. Details buried in original court papers filed against pervert Jeffrey Epstein, 61, reveal that he recorded the sordid orgies he threw for VIPs at his luxury homes using cameras hidden in the walls of guest bedrooms.”

  • Sam Nunberg, then a Trump Organization employee, reportedly said about National Enquirer owner David Pecker, according to this Vanity Fair article: “Michael was sitting in there when I came in, and the issue of the National Enquirer with the pictures of Prince Andrew was on [Trump’s] desk… He said not to tell anyone, but that Pecker had just been there and had brought the issue with him. Trump said that Pecker had told him that the pictures of Clinton that Epstein had from his island were worse.”

  • Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim noted that law enforcement discovered this week: “CD’s in Epstein’s safe labeled: “Young [Name] + [Name]” That looks an awful lot like they found the blackmail tapes”

  • This NY Mag article notes: “In a 2015 court filing, alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims that U.S. authorities were in possession of footage of her having sex with members of Epstein’s elite friend group. “Based on my knowledge of Epstein and his organization, as well as discussions with the FBI, it is my belief that federal prosecutors likely possess videotapes and photographic images of me as an underage girl having sex with Epstein and some of his powerful friends,” she said. Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him.”