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For the feckless masses in our midst who thought that the Russia scandal ended with Donald "The Chosen One" Trump's declaration of "no obstruction, no collusion" after a whitewashed summary of the Mueller report gurgled to the surface of the Washington swamp, here's another inconvenient wake-up call about the abject immorality of American government and society: Sex-trafficking financier Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide did not end anything other than a very wicked life.
Indeed, Epstein's death has only served to magnify the many troubling questions swirling around him and his coterie of rich, famous and powerful friends, and suggest that really important people wanted him dead because of the tales he might tell about them.
There is a simpler explanation: That Epstein was the victim of the bureaucratic incompetence rife in the federal prison system, but that doesn't fit the circumstances.
But even if Epstein killed himself, he almost certainly had help. And in the latest nibble at that elusive nugget of truth, The Washington Post reports that at least eight officials of the Bureau of Prisons, with attorney general and Trump lawn ornament William Barr at its head, knew that there was an order that Epstein not be left alone in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan and ignored it.
Repeat: At least eight.
Add this to what we already know about Epstein's final days -- that he had been taken off a suicide watch despite a July 23 hanging attempt and returned to Nine South, the prison's segregated housing unit, that his cellmate was moved elsewhere on August 9, and that his guards slept while he apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet tied to a bunk bed early the following morning, reportedly failing to make the required 30-minute check-ins on him, that prison logs were doctored to cover this up -- and you have the makings of both a conspiracy and another Department of Justice whitewash.
The big question, of course, is who conspired to pull all the strings necessary to enable 66-year-old Epstein to take his life.
He had been held without bail since his rearrest on July 6 and was awaiting what was going to be the latest trial of the century on sex trafficking charges that could have led to a prison sentence of as much as 45 years, as well as possibly implicate others in his serial schemes to lure women as young as 15 into sexual servitude.
The cast of characters in Epstein's sleazy orbit included celebrity lawyer and Trump toady Alan Dershowitz, independent counsel Ken Starr, Victoria's Secret CEO Les Wexner, modeling agency head Jean-Luc Brunel and socialite and procuress Ghislaine Maxwell, with Prince Andrew, Ehud Barak, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and Bill Clinton peering in from the darkness of his sordid shadow world.
And lest we forget, there is Trump's late unlamented Labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, who brokered the secret 2008 Florida wrist-slap plea deal with a law firm that Barr subsequently joined allowing Epstein to keep on chasing and enslaving young girls for his sexual gratification, which he did with great gusto with the knowledge and involvement of some, if not many, of those characters until he was rearrested.
Then there is Trump, who palled around with Epstein for many years, sharing his fondness for young women, before they parted ways when Trump outbid him in a 2004 auction for a $41 million oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach.
Epstein's many victims, who hoped to confront him in court, have expressed outrage that the justice they sought has now eluded them, although the federal judge overseeing his case has ordered a hearing next week before he dismisses the charges against the deceased financier. That decision is somewhat unusual, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman said he would allow Epstein’s victims to speak at the hearing, as well as prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers.
Complicating matters is that the will Epstein signed just two days before his death puts more than $577 million in assets into a trust fund -- named the 1953 Trust for the year of his birth -- that could make it more difficult for his accusers to collect damages. The assets listed in the 20-page will include more than $56 million in cash; properties in New York, Florida, Paris, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands; $18.5 million in vehicles, aircraft and boats; and art and collectibles that will have to be appraised.
Estate lawyers and other experts say prying open the trust and dividing up the his riches could take years because by putting his fortune in a trust, Epstein shrouded from public view the identities of the beneficiaries, whether they be individuals, organizations or other entities. For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details.
Last but not least, a little-known science fiction novel penned by Barr's late father is being sold online at astronomical prices by sellers eager to attract Epstein conspiracy theorists.
Copies of Space Relations: A Slightly Gothic Interplanetary Tale, which was written in 1973 by Donald Barr when he was headmaster of Dalton School, where Epstein later briefly taught until his lust for the exclusive school's young coeds caught up to him, are selling online for up to $5,000. Donald Barr died in 2004 at age 82.
The novel portrays an Earthling named John Craig, who is sold into slavery on a planet called Kossar. Craig falls in love with Lady Morgan Sidney — a Kossar leader described as having "high breasts and long thighs."
Craig goes along with Lady Morgan’s demands to sexually assault a teenage slave as part of a clinic used to "breed" people, which uncannily -- and disturbingly -- calls to mind Epstein’s unfulfilled scheme to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.