So who were the Democratic Party 'faves' in Jeffrey Epstein's little black book?
Jeffrey Epstein, the man dubbed the "Palm Beach Pervert," by Forbes in 2011, is now in jail awaiting trial for running a child-sex racket. Up until now, he's always dodged trouble, but now he's under intense scrutiny by both the press and prosecutors. The idea, of course, was to pin Epstein to Trump, now that the Russia collusion narrative has collapsed.
But then there was that intriguing statement by Nancy Pelosi's daughter, that a lot of Democrat "faves" might be going down. Remember this from the Washington Examiner?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter said that some favorite figures of both the Right and Left may be implicated in the sex trafficking case alleged against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein."This Epstein case is horrific and the young women deserve justice. 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," Christine Pelosi tweeted Saturday after news of Epstein's arrest broke.
Faves? Really? I wrote a bit about that here.
Epstein's Little Black Book is out (actually, it's been out since 2015 and dates to 2005) and is now the subject of many news stories featuring the bankers, celebrities and billionaires who populated it, and above all, Donald Trump, who pretty well hit all the categories. You can go here, here, here and here and see how so much of the press focus is on how Trump's name appears in it.
The Trump name is likely irrelevant because quite a bit of the list, according to the New York Times, is "aspirational." Many of the high-status people whose named appeared in the book had never heard of him, the Times reported. Trump was a high-status person at the time, with enough money and celebrity to have been useful for Epstein to claim friendship, because Epstein was a social climber. His pervy ambitions were served by seemingly being surrounded by monied and famous people. There were a lot of glitzy names of supermodels, billionaires, fashion designers, socialites, royals and Hollywood people in Epstein's black book, along with airlines, hotels and massage parlors. One person, for instance, was upright David Rockefeller, whose name would have served to make Epstein look powerful and connected. Other names that would have been useful to the creep included straight-arrow Steve Forbes (I knew him, I worked for his magazine, and I can say he's the straightest arrow in the industry), and his name got on, too. It would have been useful for Epstein to get onto the Forbes billionaire's list, something a lot of them (including Trump himself, ahem) tried to influence when I was a billionaire's reporter at Forbes in the early aughts, so Forbes name would have served that. Aspirational, as the Times says. Somebody gets a business card at a party and then puts the stellar name in the black book to feel important.
But all the more that calls attention to the mostly neglected by the press aspect of all these lists -- the Democrats and their operatives whose names appear, the little guys who often wielded great power outside the spotlight, whose names nevertheless appeared in the 2005 black book whom the press are ignoring.
Here are a couple from the New York magazine piece that got a small amount of attention, buried in the longer list:
Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
A onetime White House intern who climbed his way to being Bill Clinton’s bag carrier, body man, fixer, and all-purpose gatekeeper, Band arranged for the former president to travel to Africa on Epstein’s 727 in 2002. Band would go on to help his boss found the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, a choice platform from which he launched his own lucrative favor-trading corporate-advisory firm, Teneo. Throughout that time, he took a number of trips on Epstein’s plane and attended parties at his townhouse. Band resigned from his position at CGI in 2012; leaked emails later showed Band and Chelsea Clinton trading accusations of conflicts of interest in a war of influence over her parents. More recently, Band’s been teaching a “Public Service” class at NYU.
Vance, Cyrus Jr.: Prosecutor in the crosshairs.
There are currently 475 level-three sex offenders registered in New York County, but in 2011, when an attorney from the office of Cy Vance, Manhattan DA, argued that Epstein’s risk level should be reduced, Justice Ruth Pickholz responded, “I have to tell you I am a little overwhelmed because I have never seen a prosecutor’s office do anything like this.” Pickholz denied the request — Epstein’s risk assessment put him 20 points above the required threshold for the highest level of offender — and the DA’s office later reversed its request. Though there’s no indication Vance and Epstein were friendly, his office has been criticized previously for declining to pursue sex-crimes charges against Harvey Weinstein that coincided with a donation from his attorneys (though Weinstein has since been charged by Vance’s office) and fraud charges against Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. —Irin Carmon
But there are also others. Remember Mark Middleton? The disgraced Clinton operative who had his access curbed for using his ties to the White House to impress clients? Assuming that's him in the listing under Mark Middleton, and the Daily Beast reports that it is, he not only facilitated Epstein's many visits to the Clinton White House, he also appeared in the Epstein black book. He's not a prestige player, and he was disgraced in 1996, so what's he doing on the list?
Here's another one - the long-connected Clinton operative and fixer Ira Magaziner. Just a name and number, probably from a business card. But why's he on the list?
And Cheryl Mills. Sure enough, the now-famous Cheryl Mills, the Hillary Clinton aide who got total immunity for her role in the Clinton email scandal, despite her obvious conflicts of interest as Clinton's lawyer. Well, she turned up in Epstein's list. Wonder what that was about, it certainly wasn't celebrity prestige and no one knew who she was back in 2005.
John Kerry. He ran for president in 2004. Perhaps he was a prestige name. But on the other hand, the name could have been put there quite a bit earlier. Be interesting to know why he was on the list, too.
That's a starter list for the 'faves' and there are 92 pages to scan. What's more, it's doubtless that a lot more names have been added to the list in the past 14 years since the list was stolen and published. Who are they? We know the press isn't going to be curious, so we will continue to keep watch and ask questions. The outline of Clinton fixers seems to extend well beyond the celebrity panache of just Bill.