What follows is a podcast interview which is really fascinating, as it’s a 30-minute conversation with Robert Barnes, the attorney and pundit who regularly makes the rounds on cable news and other outlets as one of those insider-types whose research and opinions it is not wise to doubt. And it’s all about Ghislane Maxwell’s arrest and what that means for the Jeffrey Epstein imbroglio.
Barnes makes all kinds of fascinating points in the interview, which is well worth a half-hour of your time.
First, he traces the career of Maxwell’s father Robert Maxwell, whose life was the stuff of a spy novel. Literally, as it’s said that the plot of John LeCarre’s The Russia House derives in no small part from Maxwell’s story. He was a double or even triple agent who managed to spent the Cold War playing the CIA, Mossad, MI-5 and KGB, not to mention the intelligence organs of various Warsaw Pact underling countries, off against each other. Maxwell was so successful at it that he managed to get MI-5 to stake him in a publishing empire which was not unlike the one portrayed in LeCarre’s book.
But Maxwell dropped dead on a yacht shortly after the Cold War ended, in circumstances making it quite obvious foul play was involved, and Barnes says it’s likely the reason had to do with his luck playing those various intelligence services off against each other.
He also notes that the similarities between Maxwell and Epstein are uncanny. Maxwell’s exploits included various scams, including the use of honey traps and blackmail, and there is no question that’s what Epstein was doing.
Barnes also makes note of the fact that Alex Acosta, the former Trump Labor Secretary who a bit more than a decade ago was the US Attorney in Florida who cut a rather generous deal with Epstein on his Palm Beach underage sex pimping, had been relatively open about the fact that he was so lenient on Epstein because he was told he had to on account of the latter’s value as an intelligence asset. Somehow (it isn’t all that hard to figure out, given the political point-scoring involved in the Epstein story), that never made it into the media narrative surrounding Acosta’s resignation as Labor Secretary over his involvement in the Epstein case.
We’ll just fill in the gaps here. It was Chuck Schumer who made a big deal over how Acosta let Epstein off easy, and ultimately that’s what led Acosta to back out. But when the deal was cut, Robert Mueller was head of the FBI, Obama was president and Chuck Schumer knew everything there was to know about Epstein. You can draw the rest from there.
What’s the common thread between Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein? Ghislaine Maxwell. She learned at the feet of her father, and she understood the interplay between the intelligence community and the world of influence, and her relationship with Epstein coincided with his rise from defrocked schoolteacher (he falsified his resume to get a job teaching privileged private-school kids in New York City) to Bear Stearns trader, to Wall Street Ponzi scheme operator to the near-billionaire hedge fund magnate he ended up being.
And what doesn’t seem to be all that commonly known, which we find inexplicable, is how Epstein made his money. Which seems pretty clear.
He was an extortionist. He found rich people with perverted sexual tastes, and he lured them into compromising situations by use of his jet and his out-of-the-way properties in the Virgin Islands and in New Mexico, where nobody else would see what was doing. Epstein plied his marks with underage girls, videotaped everything, and then demanded they invest their money with him and supply him with information he might use to compromise others.
And for their compliance, he continued plying them with underage girls they could abuse at their pleasure.
Meanwhile Epstein put their money essentially into “spiders,” market index funds which allowed him to do very little work as a fund manager while offering little risk that he would do any worse than the rest of the managers on Wall Street.
Not long ago Netflix did a series about Epstein called Filthy Rich which was a decent summation of what he did in terms of the abuse of the girls under his thumb. But the series was disappointingly incomplete in failing to flesh out (1) the connection to the intelligence agencies he clearly had, and (2) Epstein’s business model.
But now that Ghislaine Maxwell is in federal custody, at least until such time as she might meet the same end that Epstein did (the new meme has it that Ghislaine Maxwell didn’t kill herself), we might well finally get all of these strings tied together. Almost nothing happened in Jeffrey Epstein’s world that Ghislaine Maxwell didn’t play a part in. The fact that her arrest came immediately following the removal of Southern District of New York US Attorney Geoff Berman, on charges which can best be described as ancient (as in, why wasn’t she charged with them years and years before), makes this one of the most interesting cases in the history of American criminal jurisprudence.
Assuming she stays alive in that federal prison in New York long enough for the truth to come out.
Here’s the video…