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Michael Swartz / July 12, 2019

Trying to Hang Epstein Around Trump’s Neck

Labor Secretary Acosta fell on his sword over the sordid affair, but Epstein is a Democrat problem.

For the record, Donald Trump appears to have taken a single flight on the so-called “Lolita Express,” the private plane of billionaire financier, Democrat donor — and later convicted pedophile — Jeffrey Epstein. While it’s certainly more exposure than the average man on the street receives with the rich and infamous, the Left is playing up this one alleged trip, along with some throwaway remarks about Epstein’s preference for young female companionship made to a magazine over 15 years ago, and the questionable prosecutorial decision made by one of Trump’s now-former Cabinet members back in 2007 in yet another obsessive effort to “Get Trump.”

Anything to take the public’s eyes off a roaring economy and a notable bump in his approval numbers, right?

Well, yes and no. As reported by the Miami Herald in November 2018, the crimes Epstein is accused of committing are both chilling and heartbreaking at the same time. Dozens of underage girls were lured to Epstein’s Palm Beach estate to ostensibly give him massages for cash, but were then sexually victimized by Epstein.

It’s a “horrific history,” as Jim Geraghty notes in National Review, but the Herald chose to make the story about then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta — who is now the former secretary of labor after resigning this morning — and the very lenient slap on the wrist Epstein received for charges that could have put him in prison for the rest of his life. It’s an angle that was gleefully embraced by the partisan media with Epstein’s arrest last week, so Acosta fell on his sword today.

Other hand-wringers believed President Trump had reason to worry, including former Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien, who tut-tutted, “If [Epstein] has anything sordid or compromising that he’s willing to trade about Trump, however, the president could be in for an uncomfortable summer.”

On the other hand, those who’d like to keep the public from learning about the more than two dozen flights Bill Clinton allegedly took with Epstein and underage girls are busy scrubbing Wikipedia of any mention of Democrats and Epstein together. (Or, as Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine admitted, it’s “quite likely that some of our faves are implicated.”) Several years ago, an Epstein “black book” with a number of recognizable names was revealed, so it’s a fair wager this may be what the younger Pelosi is referring to. A single offense is obviously one too many when it comes to such matters, but there’s clearly a question of scale here that some would prefer not be asked.

The Left’s white-hot spotlight, though, was on Acosta — and for obvious reasons: He’s the son of Cuban refugees, a first-generation college graduate, and the first Hispanic to serve as assistant attorney general (during the George W. Bush administration). Derailing this man’s career takes him off the board as a rising Hispanic star in Republican politics.

Acosta’s record is one of a complex case against an all-star team of legal minds for an exceptionally wealthy client and the prospect of gaining leads in a separate high-profile financial case, argue Acosta’s defenders. But it also left a nagging sense that justice wasn’t properly served the first time, and in such a time where the Harvey Weinstein saga and #MeToo movement has heightened awareness of other similar cases affecting politicos like Al Franken, Anthony Weiner, and Roy Moore, it’s almost impossible to believe Jeffrey Epstein will get another plea deal. The only question is how far into the corridors of power will the investigation go?

Could it really drain the Swamp? Or will it merely serve the Left’s dual purpose of ruining the career of a talented Hispanic Republican and imperiling Donald Trump’s chance for a second term?

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