Will the Maxwell Trial Expose Epstein's Rich & Powerful Friends or Turn Into Another Cover-Up?
The trial of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's confidant Ghislaine Maxwell starts on 29 November. Maxwell, a 59-year old British socialite, is being tried on six sex trafficking counts, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. Will the truth about Epstein's murky schemes see the light of day?
Rolling Stone noted
on 18 November that during the penultimate pre-trial conference Epstein's alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, looked radiant and confident. The American magazine further quoted some of the socialite's old friends who doubt that she is "really the monster" she's been pictured as in the media and wonder whether the government can prove its case.
"I don't believe, and nobody that's ever met her believes that she sat in a car recruiting school-age girls. No. Nobody believes that", one person told Rolling Stone contributor Vicky Ward, a British-born American author.
At the same time, British PM Boris Johnson's sister, Rachel Johnson, wrote an article
for the British weekly magazine The Spectator
eloquently titled "It's hard not to pity Ghislaine Maxwell". On top of this, bombshell accusations made by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre were left out of the Maxwell case apparently causing Britain's Prince Andrew to breathe a sigh of relief.
Maxwell: Well-Connected Daughter of British Media Mogul
Maxwell's confidence probably stems from her being very well-connected, according to Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel.
"Though her father was also flamboyant and, in the end, criminal, Maxwell grew up with people around the world who were and now are powerful", says Ortel. "It was she who widened Epstein's circle of acquaintances and not the other way around".
Ghislaine's father was British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell, a former member of the UK Parliament and suspected spy. The Guardian notes
that when the press baron was 68 he fell to his death from his £15 million yacht, Lady Ghislaine, off the Canary Islands. There is still talk over whether it was a suicide or murder, purportedly by foreign intelligence agencies, according to the media outlet.
"There are suggestions that Robert Maxwell and others had deep ties with foreign intelligence services, including in the UK and in Israel", remarks Ortel.
Similarly, Ghislaine's associate Epstein – whose suicide still triggers a lot of speculation
– was rumoured to be in cahoots with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad in order to blackmail the rich and powerful.
"As a guess, multiple intelligence services were aware of the true nature of Epstein's dealings
and did not stop them long ago when they should have done so", the Wall Street analyst presumes. "Why did so many wealthy people travel to and with him, often in the company of young and vulnerable women? The simplest answer is likely that he was a grifter who served as yet unknown masters or mistresses who acquired outsized influence by tempting celebrities who should have not been so willing to succumb to temptation".
24 November 2021, 07:08 GMT
Maxwell-Epstein Case: Little Coverage, Little Transparency
What strikes numerous observers is the lack of media coverage of the Epstein-Maxwell case. "In 2021, why is there not a livestream of every single moment of this trial?", asks Jason Goodman, an investigative journalist and founder of Crowdsource the Truth.
Twitter users insist that it seems very odd that "the Rittenhouse trial occupies public airwaves 24/7 while the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, happening at the same time, receives little coverage".
"Fairly covered, the Maxwell trial should attract far more focus than the Rittenhouse trial because the alleged crimes happened for years around the world, are lurid, and potentially touch so many powerful men and women who should have seen through Epstein from the start", Ortel says.
The sudden change of tone and pitying Maxwell in the press is notable, according to the Wall Street journalist. However, "pitying Ghislaine is like pitying Bonnie and arguing that a crime wave was all the fault of Clyde", he says.
Goodman does not rule out Maxwell being deliberately shielded by the corporate media: "Readers should google 'Robert Maxwell Rupert Murdoch' and take note of the decades-long, extremely close relationship those men had", Goodman says referring to Murdoch's media empire News Corporation.
"This story gets to the heart of a dark and dirty secret of the intelligence community that would seem to span nations and generations", says the founder of Crowdsource the Truth. "The major news outlets are owned by people who work in lockstep to hide things that do not advance their agendas".
23 November 2021, 13:49 GMT
Do Rich & Powerful Have Anything to Fear?
Despite the rich and powerful having on numerous occasions been spotted rubbing shoulders with millionaire paedophile Epstein
and his alleged madam, anyone of significance has nothing to fear from the outcome of the forthcoming trial, believes Goodman.
Aside from the surprisingly scant coverage of the case as well as the lack of up-to-date photos and video footage of the defendant, the investigative journalist refers to federal prosecutors' decision not to offer Maxwell a plea deal.
"In a conspiracy case, a lower-level participant might be offered immunity or some sort of reduced sentence in exchange for testifying against higher level conspirators", says Goodman. "Perhaps if they think Maxwell is the top of the pyramid, they might prefer to prosecute her but even then, I think prosecutors usually try to guarantee a win by getting a defendant to plead guilty in exchange for a shorter trial and more lenient sentence. On the other hand, it could also be another signal that the prosecutors already know the case will be a charade intended to make people like Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew look good".
11 November 2021, 14:38 GMT
While Maxwell likely knows much concerning the evolution of Epstein's "business", "ratting out co-conspirators places her in danger", according to Ortel.
"Ghislaine Maxwell and her team may believe they have a better chance protecting the powerful by not implicating them, and then fighting at trial to paint Epstein as the true criminal mastermind, and Ghislaine as merely a 'Sloane Ranger' party animal, along just for a jolly good time", the Wall Street analyst suggests.
Yet, she appears to be well aware of Epstein's murky deeds, according to Ortel. He refers to Maxwell having started working with Epstein in the 1990s and expanding her work with him after he was released from house arrest following his conviction in 2008 by a Florida court for procuring a child for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute.
Time will tell whether Maxwell's trial will answer the questions raised during the litigation abruptly ended by Jeffrey Epstein's controversial suicide. Still, Jason Goodman is not optimistic about its outcome, suggesting that it will be a Southern District of New York cover-up.