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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ranking Weaponization Committee Democrat Closely Tied to Jeffrey Epstein

'We were under the impression we had put this story behind us...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USARep. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, the ranking member of a committee formed to investigate the weaponization of government agencies, has made headlines in recent weeks for her full-throated defense of the FBI—including her attacks against journalists and bureau whistleblowers.

Nearly four years ago, Plaskett was making headlines for an even more nefarious reason. According to reports from the time, Plaskett was under scrutiny for declining to return donations made from deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was once a resident of Plaskett’s U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Epstein contributed directly to Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett’s last two campaigns for Congress. The U.S. Virgin Islands lawmaker has decided she will be keeping the cash, even after Epstein’s arrest in New York, at least for now,” CNBC reported on July 8, 2019, which was after Epstein’s arrest but before his death.

Mike McQueery, then the spokesman for Plaskett’s office, reportedly told CNBC she has no immediate plans to refund the donation.

“I’m pretty sure she’s not,” McQueery said at the time, according to CNBC.

McQueery reportedly later confirmed that his boss was unlikely to return the contribution, declining to comment further about the investigation and how Plaskett knew Epstein.

A day later, Plaskett reportedly reversed course and decided to send the Epstein donations to non-profit organizations.

“In light of new information and allegations that have been made against Jeffrey Epstein I have decided to make contributions to Virgin Islands organizations that work with women and children in the amount of his previous contributions,” Plaskett said in a statement to CNBC.

Plaskett’s ties to Epstein were later investigated more extensively by the USVI’s local newspaper, the Virgin Islands Daily News.

The Daily News reported in February 2020 that Plaskett is a former attorney for the territory’s Economic Development Authority, which granted Epstein tax exemptions while he lived in the USVI.

In 2013 and 2014, Plaskett also worked for a law firm whose founding partner later helped Epstein purchase Great St. James in 2016, according to the Daily News.

The private island near St. Thomas is adjacent to Little St. James, which Epstein also owned—and which became known, colloquially, as “Pedophile Island” for the ribaldry that he allegedly conducted with prominent clients who flew there on Epstein’s plane, the “Lolita Express.”

The local newspaper attempted to interview Plaskett about her connections to Epstein, but was rebuffed by her communications director at the time.

“We were under the impression we had put this story behind us,” the communications director reportedly said.

“I must inform you though that I think the Congresswoman has said the last she has publicly and privately about Jeffrey Epstein and his dealings with her and his past campaign contributions,” the spokesperson continued. “Also, with lawsuits still pending regarding the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, we have refrained from commenting further on this situation.”

Headline USA emailed Plaskett’s staff questions about whether her ties to Epstein prevented her from effectively serving on a committee designed to investigate the FBI, given that the FBI covered up Epstein’s crimes for decades. Her staffers did not respond.

After the publication of this article, Plaskett’s new comms director, Tionee Scotland, provided Headline USA with the following statement: “Rep. Plaskett was not with the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (EDA) at the time that Jeffrey Epstein was granted his EDA benefits. In 2016, Rep. Plaskett was not with the firm listed in your article. She was already a Member of Congress and did not engage in outside employment.”

Headline USA has also updated its article to reflect that Plaskett did not return the Epstein donations, but instead sent them to non-profit organizations.

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

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