Oh, c’mon. There’s no evidence that Jeffrey Epstein was receiving favors from law enforcement that allowed him to prey on children with impunity.

Well, except for that time he turned his jailors in Florida into his own private security service while he was serving time.

And the fact that the NYPD never bothered to make him check in regularly like every other sex offender in the city is required to do.

And that ludicrous sweetheart deal he got from Alex Acosta’s U.S. Attorney’s office, about which Epstein’s victims weren’t even notified despite legal requirements to the contrary.

Igor Zinoviev is a UFC fighter who used to work as a bodyguard for Epstein. He spoke to New York magazine reporter M.L. Nestel in 2015, when Nestel was still at the Daily Beast. Nestel decided to call him back this week to get his reaction to Epstein’s death and to follow up on some choice quotes from the 2015 interview. The whole interview is worth reading but this passage left mouths agape on political Twitter last night when it made the rounds:

One thing you told me, for instance — okay, one thing you told me is he got a heads up when the authorities were going to come to his house the night before.

Listen, what you say is between you and me —

You told me he would get phone calls the night before and eight o’clock the police are going to come. He would get a heads up from local police.

[Silence.]

You told me that, Igor. Want me to read the quote?

Well, you can read whatever you want right now. Don’t just — you can put yourself in big trouble.

You said: “He always do something wrong. There was some nights in question. There was at home arrest and police, before they come to the house, they call him and tell him they coming in at eight o’clock in the morning. It’s all corruption you know. It’s all bullsh*t.”

Listen, don’t put yourself in trouble. Seriously.

Another quote from 2015 which Zinoviev now has no memory of involves Epstein’s interest in teenaged girls: “So many time I tried to stop him. I try to tell tell him my opinion about that. He don’t listen to me. That’s the reason why I’m not working for him no more. I make him do that — to let me go.” Zinoviev’s response to that quote today: “It’s not the teenage girls. I never see the teenage girls. I tell you I never see teenage girls.”

Can we not go six hours without the Epstein saga somehow turning even shadier? Like, wasn’t the news this morning about a broken hyoid bone enough to weaken public faith that it’s being told the whole truth about Epstein for this 24-hour period without the dubious Russian bodyguard suddenly developing selective amnesia about Epstein’s predation and his friends on the local police force?

Here, a little more fuel for the fire:

Jeffrey Epstein was confident he could fight the child sex trafficking charges against him and was in “great spirits” just hours before his jailhouse death on Saturday morning — even telling one of his lawyers, “I’ll see you Sunday,” The Post has learned…

Epstein’s optimism behind bars — expressed during daily visits with his lawyers that lasted up to 12 hours each — was so great that it struck some of those around him as “delusional,” the source said.

“He thought he was going to win the double-jeopardy motion” that his defense lawyers were planning to file in connection with his 2008 Florida prostitution conviction, the source said…

“Every day he was very positive and the night before he was real positive,” the source said. “He was in great spirits the night before.”

Supposedly he also told his lawyers that his previous “suicide attempt” was actually an assault by that accused-murderer ex-cop he was sharing a cell with, information that may have been used to help get Epstein off suicide watch. It’s possible that all of that “positivity” was a front put on by an expert liar aimed at getting everyone to lower their guards before a new suicide attempt he was planning. The more optimistic Epstein seemed, the less concerned his legal team and the prison psychiatrist would be that he might try to kill himself again. But the idea of Epstein believing he could somehow wriggle off the legal hook again rings true to me, just because he’d been doing that successfully for decades. I asked this question after his first “suicide attempt” and will ask it again now: Why would a criminal as cunning as Epstein, who had every reason to think he could talk his way out of a stiff sentence — even if it meant giving up powerful former clients in exchange for leniency — throw in the towel so early in this process? Had the DOJ categorically refused to talk plea deals with him? How could they do that when they can’t possibly know yet what sort of evidence of sex crimes committed by others he’s amassed over the years?

As noted in the excerpt, there was at least a chance (a small one) that he couldn’t be prosecuted this time at all thanks to the plea deal he obtained from Acosta. Why wouldn’t he at least wait for a ruling on that before deciding his cause was hopeless?

Zinoviev told Nestel that he believes Epstein killed himself but that someone “helped him,” for whatever that’s worth.