Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, who has done original reporting on details of the alleged sex trafficking crimes of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein for the past several years, joined MSNBC Sunday morning to discuss the evidence against Epstein and the "rogues gallery" of rich, powerful, and famous people who are suspected to have used his services. Epstein was arrested Saturday in New Jersey on sex trafficking charges.
"I've felt a lot of pressure," Brown said. "Needless to say, these are very powerful people and I think that they're sweating a little bit, especially today. We don't know how much, how deep this went, how far-reaching it went in government, but there have been a lot of names that I could see on these message pads [listing clients] on a regular basis as part of the evidence. These message pads where they would call and leave Epstein messages, such as, 'I'm at this hotel.' Why do you do that, unless you're expecting him to send you a girl to visit you at your hotel? So there are probably quite a few important people, powerful people, who are sweating it out right now. We'll have to wait and see whether Epstein is going to name names."
She said Epstein's relationship with fellow Palm Beach resident Donald Trump was "friendly." "They went to dinner parties at each other's houses, Trump was also on his plane. Probably not as much as a lot of other people because, you know, Trump had his own plane. But they had a lot of social relationships. And the other interesting thing is Trump had a modeling agency, and Epstein also had a stake in a modeling agency, which they suspect he used to bring in underage girls from overseas."
"There is a comment in one of the court files where Epstein is quoted as saying, 'I want to set up my modeling agency the same way Trump set up his modeling agency.' I don't know what that means, but it is curious he was trying to do something similar to Trump." Brown said.
President Trump has commented on the case:
ICYMI: Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex trafficking charges, in custody in NYC. https://t.co/jxzvgVACih— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) July 7, 2019
"I started this story before the #MeToo movement, before the Harvey Weinstein story broke," she said. "But I think the story and my journalism benefited from the #MeToo movement because we're at a point in our culture where we're giving these cases a lot more scrutiny. I also think the reason why this case has touched a lot more nerves than some of the others is that these cases involve vulnerable girls -- 13,14,15-year-old girls."
"There are a lot of powerful people --men and women, by the way-- who take advantage of poor vulnerable women, whether they are underage, or even women who are young and come to this country trying to make a life for themselves, and really it is up to authorities to nail these cases and start to go after them, but it has been spotty," she also said.
Full segment via MSNBC: