A federal judge in New York on Monday ordered the unsealing of dozens of documents that will make public in the next two weeks the names of more than 180 people associated with the late financier and underage sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
The previously redacted names set to be identified, according to Fox news, include “associates, victims, investigators and journalists who covered the case.” The two week delay is intended to give anyone whose name would be disclosed time to appeal.
The revelations could shed new light on how the disgraced financier parlayed his sex trafficking operation into a high-stakes network of influence.
Some of the names will remain under seal, including those belonging to minor victims who never spoke publicly about the case and a person who the judge said was wrongly identified as an alleged perpetrator by a reporter.
At least one person asked the court not to release her name, arguing that it could put her at risk of physical harm.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska outlined her ruling in a 51-page order stemming from a 2015 lawsuit between Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and his former lover and accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre, who’s now in her 30s, alleges that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her when she was 17 years old.
That case was settled in 2017, but the judge later indicated that the names would not remain sealed indefinitely, Fox reported.
Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019. The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled his death a suicide by hanging. Federal investigators upheld that determination in a 128-page report released in June.
Epstein, already a convicted sex offender in Florida, died at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting federal trial for sex trafficking. While finding flaws with the Bureau of Prisons and its staff members, the report also uncovered no evidence to contradict the designation of Epstein’s death as a suicide.
“While the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) determined MCC New York staff engaged in significant misconduct, we did not uncover evidence contradicting the FBI’s determination regarding the absence of criminality in connection with how Epstein died,” the report read. “We did not find, for example, evidence that anyone was present in the SHU area where Epstein was housed during the relevant timeframe other than the inmates who were locked in their assigned cells.”
Maxwell is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence on sex trafficking charges.
There is still an ongoing fight to release the names of Epstein’s clients and people who traveled on his private jet – which came to a head in Congress last week when Republicans in the House and Senate accused Democrats of “stonewalling” their requests for those documents.
Epstein associated with the rich and powerful, including former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, the British royal family, and Bill Gates.
Additionally, in an explosive report in April, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Epstein had developed relationships with former Obama lawyer Kathryn Ruemmler, Professor Noam Chomsky, and Joe Biden’s current CIA Director William Burns years after he was convicted of child sex crimes.
Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein in 2014, when he was deputy secretary of state, the documents show. They first met in Washington and then Mr. Burns visited Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.
Kathryn Ruemmler, a White House counsel under President Barack Obama, had dozens of meetings with Epstein in the years after her White House service and before she became a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2020. He also planned for her to join a 2015 trip to Paris and a 2017 visit to Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, invited Epstein, who brought a group of young female guests, to the campus. Noam Chomsky, a professor, author and political activist, was scheduled to fly with Epstein to have dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2015.
While the Wall Street Journal could not prove every single scheduled meeting took place, the report did find Epstein met with Burns on three separate occasions. These meetings were held in Washington D.C. and in Epstein’s home in Manhattan.
The names of these people do not appear in Epstein’s now-public “black book” of contacts or in the public flight logs of passengers who traveled on his private jet, known as “the Lolita Express.”
But documents obtained by the WSJ show that “Epstein arranged multiple meetings with each of them after he had served jail time in 2008 for a sex crime involving a teenage girl and was registered as a sex offender.”