It's been nearly four years since Jeffrey Epstein died in a New York prison cell. But the investigations into his empire of money, political connections, and the rape and sex trade of underage girls continue getting exposed. The Wall Street Journal's coverage, in particular, is taking apart the Epstein kingdom by looking at all its connections to the rich, powerful, and famous in politics, finance, and industry.
After pouring over Epstein's personal calendar, the Journal revealed multiple new connections no one knew previously. We now know Epstein was connected with William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021, Kathryn Ruemmler, a White House counsel under President Barack Obama, Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, and Noam Chomsky.
These connections are on top of Epstein's numerous contacts at J.P. Morgan, the largest and most powerful bank in the United States. J. P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is set to testify in depositions regarding his and the bank's ties to Epstein later this year. J. P. Morgan has issued several statements saying it closed Epstein's accounts in 2013. Still, WSJ reporting shows the relationships with the bank continued for years afterward.
The latest tranche of documents reveals that Epstein continued getting service from J. P. Morgan and was entertained by the rich and famous after his 2008 convictions of sex crimes.
According to the Journal, "Most of those people told the Journal they visited Epstein for reasons related to his wealth and connections. Several said they thought he had served his time and had rehabilitated himself. Mr. Botstein said he was trying to get Epstein to donate to his school. Mr. Chomsky said he and Epstein discussed political and academic topics."
It's just hard to take any of these claims very seriously. The WSJ's reporting on J. P. Morgan says, "The new details show that JPMorgan was treating Epstein like a star client after his first conviction and despite repeated warnings from its own employees. And after JPMorgan closed Epstein's accounts, bankers kept meeting with him for years."
And even before that, it seemed clear J. P. Morgan executives knew what was happening. "JPMorgan executives were aware that Epstein had been accused of using cash to pay for girls to come to his house, Ms. Erdoes said in a previously reported deposition for the lawsuits. A compliance team pointed out that Epstein routinely made large cash withdrawals, up to $80,000 at a time and more than $750,000 a year, according to the lawsuit."
In a stunning notice, J. P. Morgan's compliance department wrote, "See below new allegations of an investigation related to child trafficking—are you still comfortable with this client who is now a registered sex offender?" The Wall Street Journal summarized the bank's response: "JPMorgan stuck with Epstein and granted him the ability that year to borrow against his $50 million account."
It was easy to brush off these claims. Everyone else on Epstein's calendars gives the same statements of denial. No one claims to be friends with Epstein or had anything to do with him. Yet, "Despite the negative press, Epstein's days were filled from morning to night with meetings with prominent people, the documents show. There were dinners at New York restaurants, meetings at luxury hotels and gatherings in the offices of prominent law firms. Many appointments were held at Epstein's townhouse in Manhattan."
For a guy that no one associated with or claims to know anything about, everyone seemed to clamor for Epstein's time and attention. These aren't just random Joes on the street. We're talking about the most powerful and wealthy people in the United States. People involved with Epstein came from the highest levels of law, finance, politics, academia, and more.
I'm not saying they're all guilty. Some are unquestionably telling the truth that they didn't know anything about him. But that's not true of everyone; there are certainly liars. And when the list of people Epstein cavorted with continues to get longer and longer, it's harder to take the excuses and denials seriously.
The fallout continues too. A Citi Bank executive got fired over connections to Epstein while working at J. P. Morgan. Citi Bank said, "Until recently, Citi was unaware of Paul Barrett's association with Jeffrey Epstein, which predated his employment at our firm ... Mr. Barrett is no longer employed by Citi." Those meetings occurred well after Epstein was supposedly not a client at J. P. Morgan.
We're seeing more and more fallout from the Epstein trials and investigations. Every level of society and government is somehow implicated with this monster, who operated an island where he raped underage girls. An island that the rich and famous, who deny connections with Epstein, also traveled to.
We don't know where this rabbit hole will end, but it's worth exploring it. The lurid details continue to get worse.