With each passing day, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal becomes more vile and more interesting, and a recent report in the Daily Beast involving espionage has added yet another layer of intrigue.
Former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer John R. Schindler broke down the report in the Observer — along with other known facts of the case — in an effort to piece out just whose intelligence Epstein might have been working for.
Investigative journalist Vicky Ward got the ball rolling in her Daily Beast report, which provided this little nugget about Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who in the early 2000s was a U.S. attorney for South Florida involved in Epstein’s extraordinarily lenient plea deal:
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. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)
Schindler pointed to Acosta’s less-than-a-denial answer to questions about this reporting on Tuesday as evidence that Ward is on to something:
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. 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.
Schindler insisted that Acosta’s answer is essentially an admission that Ward’s report is true — that Epstein was involved with intelligence and therefore a protected asset.
This makes some sense, he said, considering that no one has ever nailed down exactly how Epstein supposedly made so much money as a financier to the wealthy and yet had so much free time.
The question, then, is with which intelligence agency. Schindler does not believe U.S. intelligence would stand for Epstein’s behavior, even as a prized asset, writing: “The U.S. Intelligence Community is lenient about the private habits of high-value agents or informants, but they won’t countenance running sex trafficking rings for minors on American soil, for years.”
But Epstein’s closest friend and business partner, also implicated in his child sex trafficking scheme, might provide clarity on the matter.
Ghislaine Maxwell is the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, “the media mogul who died under mysterious circumstances in 1991,” Schindler noted. He continued: “Something of a Bond villain turned real life, Maxwell loved the limelight, despite being a swindler and a spy. British counterintelligence assessed that Maxwell was working for the KGB, while pervasive allegations that he was working for Mossad too are equally plausible.”
And all of this would make perfect sense, according to the former intelligence officer, because after all, among the items found in Epstein’s New York residence were what appeared to be blackmail discs, labeled in ways like, “Young [Name] + [Name].”
In the end, someone like Epstein would certainly prove useful to numerous intelligence agencies. Said Schindler: “a sex trafficking ring centered on minors, which involved numerous global VIPs in compromising situations, would be of high interest to quite a few intelligence services.”