Uh, I mean probably. Allegedly. The Beast:
Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.
“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta.
Acosta now says:
“So there has been reporting to that effect and let me say, there’s been reporting to a lot of effects in this case, not just now but over the years and, again, I would hesitant to take this reporting as fact,” Acosta said during a press conference.
“This was a case that was brought by our office, it was brought based on the facts and I look at the reporting and others, I can’t address it directly because of our guidelines, but I can tell you that a lot of reporting is going down rabbit holes.”
Here, Benjamin Netanyahu trashes Ehud Barak for being Epstein’s close friend and business “associate.”
As the Epstein saga has exploded across the media since the financier’s arrest Saturday for the alleged sex trafficking of minors, Netanyahu and his supporters have chosen to make Barak’s ties to Epstein the focus of their campaign ahead of September’s election. Spearheading the attack is Netanyahu’s eldest son, Yair, who tweeted relentlessly about Epstein and Barak while berating the press for not covering it more intensively. “If it was my father photographed walking out of Epstein’s townhouse,” he asked, “wouldn’t it be all over the news?”
Barak is legitimately vulnerable on the Epstein question. He still has never given a satisfactory explanation for what has been documented: Receiving $2.3 million from the Wexner Foundation in 2004 for “research.” Epstein was a trustee and board member of the foundation at the time, part of the intertwined business and philanthropic relationship with his biggest client, Leslie Wexner. The Manhattan townhouse in which Epstein is accused of luring underage girls was owned by Wexner before he gave it to Epstein outright. Wexner, who cut ties with Epstein in 2008 when accusations of Epstein’s sexual transgressions began to emerge, has for decades underwritten a family foundation dedicated to cultivating Jewish leadership in Israel and the Diaspora. A countless number of Israeli government and military figures have spent time at Harvard under its auspices — but the Barak payment stands out as irregular and different from the foundation’s usual activities.