Law & the Courts

Epstein’s Lawyer Claimed the Alleged Pedophile Helped Devise the Clinton Global Initiative

Jeffrey Epstein (center) appears in court where he pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges in West Palm Beach, Fla., July 30, 2008. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via Reuters)

Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted Monday on child sex-trafficking charges, helped president Bill Clinton devise the Clinton Global Initiative, according to a letter his attorneys sent to federal prosecutors in 2007.

“Mr. Epstein was part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project ‘bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Fox News in 2016 and resurfaced Monday by the Daily Caller.

The letter was part of an effort by Epstein’s attorneys to negotiate a plea deal after he was charged with soliciting an underage girl for sex in 2008. He ended up serving just 13 months in prison and on house arrest after pleading guilty to the offense.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York accused Epstein of creating “a network and operation enabling him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls,” in an indictment unsealed on Monday. He has pled not guilty to the charges.

Launched in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative was an arm of the Clinton Foundation dedicated to connecting world leaders who are uniquely suited to “implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.” Epstein’s name never appeared on any Clinton Global Initiative founding documents, but Lefcourt reiterated his client’s involvement in the organization’s formation in a 2016 ABC News interview.

In addition to his work launching the Clinton Global Iniative, Epstein also donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 through his own personal charity, according to the Daily Beast. That donation came after Epstein developed a close personal relationship with Bill Clinton during a month-long trip to Africa in 2002.

“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” Clinton told New York magazine through a spokesman following the trip. “I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”

Clinton flew on Epstein’s private plane on at least 26 occasions between 2002 and 2003, including as many as ten flights without his secret service detail, according to flight logs published by Fox News in 2016. Clinton distanced himself from the accused pedophile and characterized the 26 flights as representing just “four trips,” all of which he took in the company of his secret service detail, in a statement issued Monday evening.

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