Earlier today, I covered the Miami Herald’s in-depth AF report on how serial child molester Jeffrey Epstein bent federal, state, and local governments to his will despite the FBI possessing a goddamn mountain of evidence that he was allegedly raping underage girls while almost blatantly trafficking them in and out of his Palm Beach mansion. However, while the Herald mentioned his friendship with Donald Trump, and allegations that Epstein often pooled young girls from Mar-a-Lago, the report bluntly stated, “There has been no evidence that Trump engaged in underage sex activities.”
After spending over an hour reading the three-part series, I took the Herald’s reporting at its word, and never once did it click that the woman who accused Trump of raping her when she was 13 years old, claimed it happened at one of Epstein’s party.
But the commenters sure remembered, so I did some digging. And I cannot believe I’m actually saying this, but Donald Trump is probably innocent. Hear me out.
Just like when I defended Dan Crenshaw from being accused of running a Nazi Facebook group, my intentions are not to absolve Republicans who are actively trying to turn America into a Christofascist waterpark for whites and guns only. In the case of Trump, there’s no f**king way that guy isn’t a sick, orange goose-monster who probably did 99 percent of the shit woman have accused him of doing. We heard the asshole say it himself on tape.
What am I trying to do is steer folks away from the wrong stick to beat Trump over the head with. We should be striving for the smarter arguments, not seeing evidence we don’t like and saying, “Well, f**k that, I’m not interested in splitting hairs.” And as much as I loathe to not believe an allegation of sexual assault, there is compelling evidence that the allegations were cooked up by opportunists, and that the accuser “Katie Johnson” might not even exist. It’s not good.
So after digesting the Herald’s full exposé on Epstein, I was able to look at reporting from when the accusation against Trump broke with a deeper knowledge of the work that went into nailing Epstein to a wall, only to watch him slither away. Part of that work involved Mike Fisten — who needs to switch last names with me today — a former homicide detective who became a private investigator for attorney Bradley Edwards, who not only represented Epstein’s victims, but next week, he may actually overturn the gross, backdoor non-prosecution deal that let Epstein practically skate.
In June 2016, The Daily Beast reported that both Edwards and Fisten had contact with Johnson’s handlers, and Edwards made it clear that he would not be taking the case.
Let me repeat that. The top lawyer who had been doggedly pursuing Epstein wanted nothing to do with accusations that Trump allegedly raped one of Epstein’s trafficking victims.
“I will say I’ve never represented [Johnson] and I won’t be representing her,” Edwards told The Daily Beast.
Edwards couldn’t comment on the conversations he had with Johnson or her representatives, citing attorney-client privilege. Concerning Trump’s involvement in Epstein’s illicit affairs, Edwards said he hadn’t seen any evidence that would implicate the GOP nominee and described Trump as “extremely helpful and honest,” during questioning.
Fisten provided even further details and makes a point that tracks with the Herald’s reporting. The FBI, local police, and investigators uncovered an almost never-ending number of victims and evidence, and not once did anyone say anything about Trump.
Fisten says Epstein had in effect two lives: “a business life and deviant pedophile life.” To find out which friends were involved in which life, Fisten carried a book with photos of Epstein’s contacts. In hundreds of interviews with hundreds of witnesses, he said no one has ever identified Trump as being involved in any kind of sexual activity with underage girls. In fact, Fisten recalls learning in the early 2000s that members of Trump’s private Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, complained that Epstein was often accompanied by very young girls-“a different girl every week”—each of whom he would refer to as “his niece.”
Shortly before the 2016 election, Vox rehashed the rape allegation against Trump, and what it found was pretty effin’ dubious.
It was the end of an incredibly strange case that featured an anonymous plaintiff who had refused almost all requests for interviews, two anonymous corroborating witnesses whom no one in the press had spoken to, and a couple of seriously shady characters — with an anti-Trump agenda and a penchant for drama — who had aggressively shopped the story around to media outlets for over a year.
Those shady characters — a former reality TV producer who calls himself “Al Taylor” and a “Never Trump” conservative activist named Steve Baer — had been mostly unsuccessful in getting the media to bite. There are a few very good reasons for that, which the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim succinctly summed up: Taylor and Baer have been really sketchy about the whole thing, and since the accuser is anonymous, journalists can’t do anything to verify her claims. The only journalist who has actually interviewed Johnson, Emily Shugerman at Revelist, came away confused and even doubting whether Johnson really exists.
Ultimately, the Johnson case evaporated when she pulled her lawsuit after supposedly receiving death threats, which tracks with America’s shit-awful treatment toward rape accusers. However, as much as Trump is the direct result of racism and sexism farting out a Day-Glo baby that only Putin could love, I would probably steer clear of arming yourself with the whole allegedly raped a 13-year-old thing.
Granted, he’s the same guy who said this about a 12-year-old Paris Hilton:
“The first time I saw her, she walked into a room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’” he said.
But for once, the facts are actually in Trump’s favor, so now would be a good time to reboot the simulation because I’m pretty sure I just saw the same cat twice. They’re changing things, man.
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