Friday, July 19, 2024

FBI Allowed to Keep Epstein Documents Secret, Judge Rules

'What records has Ghislaine Maxwell not already seen? What potential jury member (or witness) could possibly be affected by the release of the requested records at this point?...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the FBI is allowed to keep its records about pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein secret because there’s a risk that his co-conspirator, Ghislaine Maxwell, could go back to trial.

The plaintiff seeking the Epstein records, news outlet Radar Online, filed its Freedom of Information Act request in 2017, about two years before Epstein allegedly killed himself in prison. Maxwell went to trial in 2021 and was found guilty on sex-trafficking charges, and she has an appeal pending.

Even though the Justice Department presented its evidence against Maxwell publicly at her trial, the FBI argued that there’s much more evidence that wasn’t made public. Making that evidence public now could influence witness testimony ahead of a potential second trial, the FBI argued.

“Because the majority of the records in this category were not introduced as public exhibits during Maxwell’s first trial, they remain non-public, though the Government may still seek to introduce them should Maxwell be granted a retrial,” argued DOJ lawyer Maurene Comey, the daughter of former FBI Director James Comey.

“The premature release of these materials could influence the testimony of witnesses by providing the opportunity for witnesses to shape their testimony to conform with other evidence gathered during the investigation, including both records and witness statements.”

The plaintiff, Radar Online, had pushed back against this argument. Most records were already provided to Maxwell during her pretrial proceedings, and the likelihood of her having a new trial after a jury conviction is slim, the outlet argued.

Now, with Maxwell convicted after a month-long public trial, there is even less basis to credit the FBI’s unsupported concerns of interference,” the outlet argued.

“What records has Ghislaine Maxwell not already seen? What potential jury member (or witness) could possibly be affected by the release of the requested records at this point?”

However, the judge sided with the FBI in his Tuesday order. In granting the summary judgment for the FBI, the judge ordered the roughly seven-year case to be closed, too.

Meanwhile, Maxwell has been moved to the  “honor dorm” of a low-security prison in Tallahassee, according to a March report in the Daily Mail.

Investigative reporter Nick Bryant noted that the honor dorm is typically reserved for prisoners who are just about to be released.

Maxwell’s lawyers are contesting her conviction on five charges of recruiting and grooming four underage girls for the late pedophile financier to abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell’s lawyers reportedly told New York’s Second Circuit appeals court this week that she should not have been prosecuted for grooming Epstein’s victims because of a provision in his 2008 sweetheart plea deal.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

Copyright 2024. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner other than RSS without the permission of the copyright owner. Distribution via RSS is subject to our RSS Terms of Service and is strictly enforced. To inquire about licensing our content, use the contact form at https://headlineusa.com/advertising.
- Advertisement -