Two pieces of information have me a bit flummoxed on the federal indictment charging pedophile Jeffrey Epstein with sex trafficking.
The first is that the case is being handled by the Southern District of New York’s Public Corruption Unit. Below is the SDNY’s description of the department:
The Public Corruption Unit works, in close partnership with the FBI and other federal, state and city investigative agencies to maintain and protect the integrity of all levels of government. The unit oversees the investigation and prosecution of corruption crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and individuals and companies doing business with the city, state, and federal government. Corruption crimes investigated by the unit include bribery, embezzlement, and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies.
Without getting too far into the weeds, why would a department more accustom to looking at thwarting corruption in local and state government, take on such a case as sex-trafficking?
For all the murkiness over Epstein’s source of wealth, it was never alleged he committed bribery, embezzlement and frauds committed against local, state, and federal government agencies unless the feds are going to charge him with tax evasion?
There are certainly better divisions within the SDNY to handle this complex case, such as the Violent and Organized Crime Unit . Well this question leads to the second piece of information that has me wondering about the case. Below is from the fed’s charging document:
This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Rossmiller, Alison Moe, and Maurene Comey are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from the Office’s Human Trafficking Co-Coordinator, Abigail Kurland.
As some may know Maurene Comey is James Comey’s daughter and this deserves a bit of history.
James Comey was the Deputy Attorney General under then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in Bush II White House in 2007.
Certainly former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who in 2007 was the Federal Attorney in Miami and signed off on the controversial non-prosecution agreement his office made with Epstein’s lawyers. The deal allowed Epstein to only face state charges at the time and received a sweetheart deal.
Realize — of course — that a US Attorney in Florida would never enter into this plea agreement without the approval of Gonzalez and Comey. Especially with Acosta alleging now that his office was told Epstein had an intelligence background.
So the question is why is Comey’s daughter on the case? She should recuse herself for the sake of optics. There are plenty of great lawyers working in the SDNY to oversee this case.