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July 10, 2019

Acosta Press Conference; Livestream Added

He will offer context for his decision to give Jeffrey Epstein the lightest of slaps on the wrist.

The rep billed the appearance as a "general press conference," without elaborating and answering questions about Epstein.

Acosta is not expected to resign, an administration official told CNN, but he will further explain the circumstances surrounding the Epstein case.

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, also told reporters at the White House that Acosta "will probably be sharing more information with you all."

"And as you heard Alex say yesterday, we welcome the fact that there's additional evidence that can be prosecuted, the crimes and atrocities, and certainly should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he added, according to CNN.

People are wondering: Was Epstein blackmailing the DC power elite?

It strikes me as quite unlikely that Jeffrey Epstein's motive for allegedly inviting powerful figures from the U.S. and Europe aboard the Lolita Express on a trip to Orgy Island was mere fellowship -- as if they were playing a round of golf together. My dominant hypothesis is that he was video-recording highly illegal and morally reprehensible rapes for use as blackmail material.

Or was it all just a matter of having money and influence and the shady "friends" that buys you?

Some questions are obvious -- and demand answers. The most compelling one about the 2008 case is 'why did Epstein get such kid gloves treatment?' The most obvious one about the 2019 case is 'why the hell did it take so long?' Wasn't it common knowledge among Manhattan's rich and famous that Epstein was constantly flying young women (some allegedly underage) to his mansion in Palm Beach and his island hideaway? Didn’t people call the Caribbean estate 'orgy island'? Wasn’t his private jet known as 'The Lolita Express'? I'm not saying these should have been hints, but...

As blogger David Burge put it, 'It's always the billionaire convicted pedo with private Lolita Express jets to his own orgy island that you least expect'’ Droll but accurate. How did the Department of Justice manage to miss this ongoing scandal for years?

The likely answer is that Epstein has lots of rich and powerful friends. As we say in Chicago, 'He knows a guy who knows a guy.' He must have known lots of guys. They were passengers on his planes, visitors at his estates.

Was Epstein some kind of asset of US intelligence, gathering blackmail video on foreign leaders?

Or maybe US leaders too? I wouldn't put that past the Brennan and Clapper types.

"Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?" Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he'd had just one meeting on the Epstein case. 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.)

I don't expect anything like that to be mentioned in this press conference, even if it were true.

Video stream below.

Update: Acosta said something like, when I came onto the case, there was already a deal in place to let Epstein off with no jail time whatsoever and no admission of having committed any sexual offenses; I and my prosecutors pushed to at least get some jail and a plea to soliciting an underage girl.

He now says that most of the witnesses against him didn't want to testify against him, because they didn't want to be identified. He's saying that this sort of plea arrangement is common, as prosecutors have to weigh seeking real justice against a sex offender, versus protecting his victims from further humiliation and pain.

He's stressing that at least his team got Epstein to admit to a crime that would force him to register as a sex criminal.

He now stresses that it's highly unusual that a federal prosecutor would intervene in a state case -- and remember, he's saying the state had already given Epstein a complete pass -- and pointing out that it's big deal that he even got involved at all to get something harsher. Without naming Harvey Weinstein, he points out that some sex offenders are let off with no charges at all.

He's pointing out that the female career prosecutor who handled this worked out an odd concession from Epstein: That any victim who came forward to sue him civilly would have her lawyer paid for by Epstein, and that he would have to plead no contest to the suit, agreeing to pay restitution. That career prosecutor did not want to notify potential victims, because Epstein could use knowledge of this deal to say, if they had to go to trial, "The DOJ is basically recruiting witnesses against me via this I-must-pay-restitution agreement. These 'victims' are just coming forward due to the smell of money in the air." So they decided to not notify victims until after Epstein agreed to plead guilty.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 02:25 PM

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