Discover more from It's Meseidy
Jeffrey Epstein | With much influence and money, much is forgiven
The WSJ has the receipts and it shows how Epstein maintained his influence even after pleading guilty to felony prostitution and registering as a sex offender in 2008.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently connected new names to Epstein over three articles (here, here & here). The WSJ's latest trove of “thousands of pages of emails and schedules” obtained demonstrates what can be “forgiven” if you have enough money and influence.
The WSJ obtained emails and calendars coordinating meetings and travel from 2013 to 2017, which followed his very public plea deal, where he was charged with felony prostitution and required to register as a sex offender.
It's Meseidy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The sweetheart plea deal resulted from an arrest and indictment on four counts of unlawful sex with minors (one as young as 14), one count of sexual abuse, procuring a minor for prostitution, and soliciting a prostitute in Palm Beach in 2006.
The FBI ultimately took the case over and began its own investigation nicknamed "Operation Leap Year," resulting in a 53-page indictment in June 2007.
However, due to the feds claiming Epstein "belonged to intelligence," which would lead one to think he was possibly an informant, Epstein was given a sweetheart deal where he pleaded guilty in Florida state court to two felony prostitution charges, served 18 months in prison (which after serving 3.5 months became a joke of a work release program), register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.
Epstein served almost 13 months before being released on July 22, 2009, on probation served while on house arrest until August 2010. House arrest included flying on his private jet and going shopping.
He did have to register as a "level three" (high risk of repeat offense) sex offender, which is a lifelong designation. A designation people of influence like CIA Director William Burns, Linkedin Co-founder Reid Hoffman, director Woody Allen, and others had no issues with.
Although, unsurprisingly, Woody Allen gave Epstein a pass, I digress.
That is not all. The timing of meetings and trips with well know philosopher and academic Noam Chomsky and Former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak's coincided with the same period Epstein was publicly accused of sex trafficking by Virginia Giuffre in 2015.
This trove of emails and calendars further demonstrates Epsteins connections and influence. Still, the WSJ points out that it could not verify that every meeting or trip occurred. If you are wondering if any of these names appear in Epstein’s little black book or flight manifests, the answer is no. I checked.
Epstein's Circle of Influence
The WSJ reporting adds several new members to Epstein's circle. Some of them we were aware of, but these documents give us more insight into those relationships. I went through the effort of compiling a complete list with details of each relationship and meeting, which you can see here. Still, for today, I will touch on just a few of the relationships I find most interesting or have the most recognizable names.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder, and billionaire venture capitalist
Suppose you have been following me for a long time. In that case, Reid Hoffman may sound familiar to you because he is a big funder of Democrat strategist Tara McGowan and the Good Information Foundation. I did a whole podcast on it if you missed it.
Reid Hoffman has a long list of accomplishments, and it appears we can add Epstein Island guest to the list.
After Epstein's arrest in 2019, Hoffman expressed regret for his previous interactions with Epstein, including inviting him to a dinner with Silicon Valley leaders in Palo Alto in 2015.
Hoffman also acknowledged meeting with Epstein to help raise funds for MIT at the request of the former director of MIT's Media Lab, Joi Ito. However, he had not previously disclosed any visits to Epstein's island or his Manhattan townhouse.
The documents show that Epstein had plans for Hoffman and Ito to visit his private island in March 2014 and November 2014.
Hoffman told the WSJ that he only once visited Epstein’s island residence, Little St. James, once for an MIT fundraising trip with Ito at Ito’s request.
Mr. Ito said in an email:
“Reid attended a few fundraising events at my request, including one trip to Little St. James, after I confirmed to Reid that Mr. Epstein had been an approved donor target for MIT in accordance with university rules and regulations.”
Hoffman said he regrets ever meeting with Epstein; his last interaction with Epstein was in 2015.
“It gnaws at me that, by lending my association, I helped his reputation and thus delayed justice for his survivors,” Mr. Hoffman said in an email. He said he met with Epstein to discuss science projects at universities. “While I relied on MIT’s endorsement, ultimately, I made the mistake,” he said, “and I am sorry for my personal misjudgment.”
According to the documents, Hoffman arrived in Manhattan on the evening of December 4, 2014, and stayed overnight at Epstein's townhouse. The following morning, he was supposed to attend a "breakfast party" with Epstein, Bill Gates, and others. However, Hoffman neither confirmed the overnight stay nor that he attended the event.
Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director
What happened to Joi Ito? Following Epstein’s arrest in 2019, he had to resign from the MIT Media Lab and apologized for accepting funding from Epstein.
According to MIT, accepting Epstein's donations was a poor choice. The institution then announced that it had contributed $850,000 to nonprofit organizations that help survivors of sexual abuse.
Woody Alen, Director
Considering the long history of allegations that followed Woody Allen around, it seems fitting that he and Epstein were such good friends.
They lived close to each other and saw each other regularly. They appeared so friendly that Epstein knew to ask his staff to order Allen flourless chocolate cakes and Beck’s beer for get-togethers at the townhouse.
They were scheduled to get together nearly every month in 2014 and 2015. Epstein arranged for Allen, accompanied by his wife Soon-Yi, to attend dozens of dinners at the townhouse.
“Woody and Soon-Yi lived in the same neighborhood as Epstein and were frequently invited to dinner parties at his townhouse,” said a spokeswoman for the couple. “There were always other guests at those gatherings.”
“Woody never had a business meeting with Epstein and not once spent time with him without Soon-Yi also being present,” the spokeswoman said.
Noam Chomsky, philosopher and academic
One evening in May 2015, Noam Chomsky flew in from Boston with his wife for a dinner with Epstein, Allen, and his wife.
Noam Chomsky is a philosopher, academic, and raging anti-capitalist, which is interesting considering he accepted dinner invitations from a billionaire.
Chomsky argues that instead of a capitalist system in which people are "wage slaves" or an authoritarian system in which a centralized committee makes decisions, a society could function with no paid labor. So he is apparently fun at parties.
Epstein coordinated several meetings with Chomsky in 2015 and 2016 while he was a professor at MIT. Chomsky appears to have been willing to set aside his anit-capitalist sentiments and the fact that Epstein was a registered sex offender to have access to the people of influence and academics in Epstein's circle for discussions on politics and academics.
Chomsky said the following to the WSJ when asked about his relationship with Epstein following his convictions.
“What was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence. According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.”
During a 2020 interview on the "dunc tank" podcast, Chomsky was asked what he thought about taking money and influence from Epstein. He said there were folks he found even worse than Epstein who donated to MIT, like the Koch brothers. According to Chomsky, David Koch's support of what he categorized as anti-global warming Republicans was much worse because Republicans are "the most dangerous organization in human history" due to their potential to bring about catastrophic consequences.
Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister
In 2015 Epstein arranged a meeting between Ehud Barak, the former prime minister of Israel, and Chomsky to discuss “Israel’s policies with regard to Palestinian issues and the international arena.”
Barak and Epstein had 30 planned visits between 2013 and 2017.
“Quite often, I came to the townhouse with my wife,” Barak said. He even accepted flights on Epstein’s private jet when visiting his Palm Spring mansion and Manhattan townhouse.
In January 2014, he met Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion and then hitched a ride to Tampa, where Epstein dropped him off and continued to New York.
“I flew only twice on his airplane, together with my wife and Israeli security detail,” Mr. Barak said. He said he remembers the trip to Florida was to visit a U.S. military installation in Tampa.
When the WSJ asked if he ever went to parties or met young women, Barak responded,
“I never participated in any party or any other improper event around [Epstein], and never met him with girls or minors, or even adult women in improper context or behavior,” Mr. Barak said.
However, 2016 photos published by the Daily Mail showing Barak, with his face covered, entering Epstein's townhouse show that is not entirely true. Barak was one of many visitors to the townhouse that day. A parade of attractive young women was also seen going into Epstein's very fancy townhouse on the same day while Barak was there.
Lawrence Summer, economist and former U.S. Secretary of Treasury
Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, was Harvard University president from 2001 to 2006. During Summer's tenure, Epstein donated millions to Harvard University—$ 9.1 million between 1998 and 2006. But following the plea deal and having to register as a sex offender, Harvard University stopped accepting donations from Epstein.
However, Summer maintained his friendship with Epstein and even reached out to him when his wife, Elisa New, was searching for $1 million in funding for an online poetry project she was developing.
“I need small-scale philanthropy advice. My life will be better if I raise $1m for Lisa,” Mr. Summers said in an email to Epstein in April 2014, referring to his wife, Elisa New, a Harvard professor. “Mostly, it will go to make it a PBS series and for teacher training. Ideas?”
On April 2014, Epstein met with Summers and his wife at a restaurant in Brookline, Massachusets. Their friendship continued with over a dozen meetings between 2013 and 2016, including several dinners.
The spokeswoman for the couple said she established the nonprofit that received the Epstein donation and later created a public-television series Poetry in America, which is currently in its third season.
William Burns, CIA Director
William Burns, the current director of the CIA, had three meetings with Epstein in 2014 when he was the deputy secretary of state. The first meeting occurred in Washington, D.C., at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, followed by two evening meetings at Epstein's townhouse in Manhattan.
“The director did not know anything about him other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on the transition to the private sector,” she said. “They had no relationship.”
Just a few months later, following their meetings, it appears that Epstein may have pulled a few strings and maybe made a few phone calls because, in October 2014, Burns left his role at the State Department to become the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace president, a think tank.
He was later nominated as CIA director by President Biden in early 2021.
A Day with Epstein
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder
Bill Gates has tried to distance himself from Jeffery Epstein following his 2019 arrest. Still, he had no issues being friends after Epstein pleaded guilty to two felony prostitution charges in 2008 and having to register as a sex offender.
Even his then-wife Melinda Gates expressed her disdain for Gates's relationship with Epstein.
Following their divorce, Melinda told host Gayle King on CBS Mornings, "I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no. I made that clear to him."
When Gayle asks if she shared her immense hatred for Epstein with Gates, Melinda nods and says, "Any of the questions remaining about what Bill's relationship there was, those are for Bill to answer. But I made it very clear how I felt about him."
“As Bill has said many times before, it was a mistake to have ever met with him, and he deeply regrets it,” said a spokeswoman for Gates.
But the disapproval of his then-wife and the sex offender registration did not deter Gates from having a relationship with Epstein. Using Epstein’s calendar, the WSJ documented a full day of appointments on September 8, 2014, on which Gates accompanied Epstein across Manhattan.
10 am - Thomas Pritzker, businessman, and Hyatt Hotels heir
Epstein meets Gates at the Park Hyatt Hotel near Central Park for a meeting with Hyatt heir Thomas Pritzker. Epstein had met with each of them before.
According to the documents, Mr. Pritzker is part of a wealthy and politically connected Chicago family and was a frequent guest at Epstein’s townhouse.
11:30 am - Leon Black, Apollo Global Management co-founder
Epstein and Gates leave the Park Hyatt Hotel and head over to Apollo Management on 57th Street for a meeting with Leon Black.
Epstein and Black had more than 100 meetings scheduled from 2013 to 2017. They were held occasionally at Black’s offices, but most were at Epstein’s townhouse, according to the WSJ.
In October 2020, the New York Times revealed that Black transferred at least $50 million to Epstein between 2012 and 2017. Black, whose net worth was estimated at $8 billion, had a professional relationship with Epstein that ended in 2018 due to a "fee dispute."
The billionaire resigned from his position as Apollo's CEO in March 2021. An investigation conducted by Apollo highlighted that Black had paid Epstein $158 million for estate planning and tax work. Although considering Epstein’s lack of qualifications, it is unclear why Black looked to Epstein for financial services.
Black has been under scrutiny over his association with Epstein since Epstein's arrest in 2019. However, he has maintained that Epstein provided services strictly related to tax, estate planning, and philanthropy and has claimed ignorance of Epstein's alleged criminal activities.
The townhouse was huge, so it is possible he saw nothing, right?
2 pm - Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of U.S. News & World Report
Speaking of Epstein’s townhouse, following their meeting with Black - Gates and Epstein headed back to the townhouse to meet with Mortimer Zuckerman, the owner of U.S. News & World Report and, at the time, the Daily News.
Epstein and Zuckerman had more than one meeting - in fact, they met on over twelve occasions. These meetings took place at Zuckerman's office and his nearby residence, which happened to be close to Epstein's townhouse.
According to the documents obtained by the WSJ, on a particular evening in January 2014, Epstein waited until after 11 pm for a scheduled appointment at Zuckerman's townhouse, which was originally set for 10:30 pm.
It seems unusual to meet in one's home that late, don't you think? While I get that businesspeople lead busy lives, it feels a little sus.
A spokeswoman for Zuckerman had no comment on the scheduled meetings.
3 pm - Kathryn Ruemmler, former White House Counsel for Obama
Their day wasn’t over yet because they had scheduled one more meeting for an introductory meeting at The Four Seasons with Kathryn Ruemmler, who had recently completed her tenure as White House Counsel for Obama.
The relationship between Epstein and Ruemmler was very friendly for a professional relationship. Epstein facilitated over thirty meetings with Ruemmler after she had left her position at the White House to join the law firm, Latham & Watkins. In 2015, Epstein arranged for Ruemmler to accompany him on trips to Paris, where he had a home and his infamous Epstein Island. Epstein may have also assisted Ruemmler in finding suitable apartments by looking into the available options.
Epstein's attention to detail in his relationship with Ruemmler is notable. He ensured that her preferred avocado sushi rolls were available during their meetings. In October 2014, when he learned of her travel plans, he instructed his assistant to check if a first-class seat was available for her and, if so, to upgrade her.
Ruemmler is now with Goldman Sachs. A spokesperson at Goldman Sachs said that their relationship was professional and related to her work at Latham & Watkins:
“In the normal course, Epstein also invited her to meetings and social gatherings, introduced her to other business contacts and made referrals. It was the same kinds of contacts and engagements she had with other contacts and clients.”
According to the spokesperson, Ruemmler never noticed anything disturbing at the townhouse, she never flew with him or visited the island, and her only comment was, “I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein.”
Ruemmler was the last meeting of the day for Epstein and Gates. Epstein then headed back to his townhouse, where he had three more meetings.
Epstein’s circle indeed appears to believe in rehabilitation and a clean slate after time served. Even if that time served allowed him to leave the jail for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, for "work release." My guess is that he was having meetings with some influential people during his “work release.”
Epstein served almost 13 months before being released on July 22, 2009, for a year of “house arrest” while on probation until August 2010. While on July 22arrest,” Epstein used a driver, flew on his jet for trips to many of his residences, and leisurely walked around Manhattan for exercise. I would venture to guess he met with some very important people while on “house arrest.”
Following Epstein’s 2019 arrest, everyone did their best to distance themselves from Epstein either by expressing regret or minimizing their relationship. A predictable response during the era of Me Too, it was no longer socially acceptable to overlook Epstein’s depravity.
I find the claim of “believing in rehabilitation” laughable. It is clear that when a person reaches a certain level of influence back but billions of dollars, it is easier to overlook unsavory behavior. Intellect, money, prestige, and power can cover many sins in a world that worships self over something greater outside of one’s self.
Each of them had their reason for looking over Epstein's history and his registered sex offender status. Some did it for money, connections, and others did it simply to have exciting and intellectual conversations with people of influence. *cough, Chomsky*
It is clear, in the circles of power and ambition, self-interests trump morals and convictions.
It's Meseidy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.