It appears the grand jury probe of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, the billionaire paedophile's suspected "madam" implicated in sex trafficking and even sexual abuse itself, may soon see further developments in terms of the final number of charges brought against Maxwell, as well as prosecution of other alleged handlers and high-profile friends of the late paedophile.
"As the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has stated publicly, the investigation into the conduct of the defendant in this case and other possible co-conspirators of Jeffrey Epstein remains active", prosecutors wrote in a filing Friday, adding:
"The full scope and details of that investigation, however, have not been made public".
Prosecutors also revealed Friday how they had obtained Maxwell's deposition in the civil suit, which led them to bring two criminal charges of perjury against Maxwell.
Maxwell's lawyers assumed that Giuffre's attorneys could have provided the deposition to federal prosecutors in violation of a protective order in the civil case, but prosecutors hit back on Friday saying they had obtained Maxwell's deposition after applying for permission from two courts. One of the two courts granted permission, while the other did not, they said. The prosecutors did not notify Maxwell that they were seeking the material.
"That is how grand jury subpoenas and investigations frequently work,” prosecutors wrote.
The prosecutors said that despite the defence counsel's "overheated rhetoric", there is "simply nothing nefarious about the government obtaining materials through the grand jury subpoena process, let alone anything about the manner in which the government obtained these materials that warrants the relief requested".
They went on to find fault with the British socialite's inquiry to use the court data she has obtained from the government to block the unveiling of matter in the civil case, explaining at length:
"It would be grossly inappropriate for defence counsel to be permitted to sift through the criminal case discovery and cherry-pick materials they may believe could provide some advantage in their efforts to defend against accusations of abuse by victim plaintiffs, delay court-ordered disclosure of previously sealed materials, or any other legal effort the defendant may be undertaking at any particular time", the prosecutors wrote, implying the release of old information may jeopardise their ongoing probe.
Maxwell is currently seeking to use what her lawyers have described as "critical new information" that they managed to obtain from the authorities in the criminal case to block the release of her 2016 deposition from a federal defamation suit brought against her by Epstein's alleged sex slave Virginia Giuffre, in 2015. The suit was settled in 2017, but the prosecution aspires to have materials from the case against Maxwell made public.
The 58-year-old Maxwell, who has reportedly been scrambling to avoid the limelight since the first allegations emerged against her ex-partner and pal Epstein, was nabbed in her New Hampshire hideaway on 2 July and charged with recruiting, grooming, and ultimately abusing three alleged victims, one as young as 14 years old, as well as perjury during previous testimonies.
The daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell has since pleaded not guilty, and asked for bail, but the request was declined with prosecutors citing "a high flight risk". If found guilty, the socialite could face up to 35 years behind bars. The court proceedings are slated to start in July 2021.
Any Implications of Maxwell's Arrest?
She is now in solitary confinement at a Brooklyn prison, with her legal team dubbing her pre-trial treatment as "onerous" as compared with other inmates, insisting she has difficulties in designing her line of defence due to round-the-clock surveillance, including during talks with her lawyers.
Her case has notably cast a cloud over the fate of quite a few big names from the world of politics and business who are known to have mingled with Epstein, including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, former US Sen. George Mitchell, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and attorney Alan Dershowitz, among others, after one of Esptein’s accusers Virginia Giuffre mentioned them in her testimony. All of the men have denied the claims, with Dershowitz and Giuffre having filed defamation suits against each other.