Court documents related to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein with many names that were previously redacted are expected to be released soon, and prominent figures on the right are holding up the impending revelations as evidence of wrongdoing by Democrats despite the lack of concrete information about what it will show.
Most of the names being made public (currently cited in the documents as John Does) have been previously identified in other court documents or news reports as being associated with Mr. Epstein.
Epstein, a longtime friend of powerful people including politicians, business executives and royalty, was accused of preying on girls as young as 14, taking them to his homes and paying them for sexual acts. He died at age 66 by suicide in prison in 2019, before he could stand trial in Manhattan on federal sex trafficking charges, but his partner Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in 2021 of conspiring with him and sentenced to 20 years in prison. . Since then, Epstein’s estate has paid around $150 million in settlements to more than 125 women.
The documents are released in connection with a defamation lawsuit against Ms Maxwell. That lawsuit was filed by one of Epstein and Maxwell’s victims, Virginia Giuffre. Previously, many of the names on the documents were sealed, but a New York judge ruled in December that some of them could be opened.
Multiple news reports have said that former President Bill Clinton will be among those named, a fact that conservative commentators have seized on, although there is no indication it is related to allegations of wrongdoing, and Giuffre has not accused Clinton. of any misconduct. His office said in 2019 that he had flown on Mr. Epstein’s private plane but had no knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s crimes, and a spokesman noted that statement Tuesday.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes to which Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida a few years ago, nor those for which he was recently charged in New York,” the 2019 statement said, acknowledging trips and meetings with Epstein in the early 2000s. He added: “He hasn’t spoken to Epstein in over a decade.”
Being named in the documents does not necessarily indicate that a person participated in or was aware of Epstein’s or Maxwell’s actions, and Epstein was already known to be friends with Clinton, as well as many other celebrities and officials, including Donald J. Trump. It remains to be seen whether the documents will say anything significant about Clinton or anyone else.
But right-wing officials and commentators have seized on the impending release unreservedly.
“For some of us, it is no surprise that Bill Clinton appears in Jeffrey Epstein’s files. We said it a long time ago, but we were labeled conspiracy theorists,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. wrote in Xand added: “Pedophiles should be in jail, not on secret government lists.”
Ms. Greene’s comment adopted some conservatives’ description of the upcoming documents as a “list” of Mr. Epstein’s associates, but according to a person briefed on the documents, many of them are statements taken from Mr. Epstein’s victims. Epstein and related court documents. .
Others who profited from the documents included far-right commentator Benny Johnson; Graham Allen, a right-wing video streamer; and Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the anti-Muslim group ACT for America.
One name expected to be included in the documents is that of Prince Andrew, who in 2022 settled a lawsuit brought by Ms. Giuffre accusing him of sexual abuse.
Matthew Goldstein and Benjamin Weiser contributed reports.