And we all have zero surprise over it. Buckingham Palace insisted that Prince Andrew would cooperate with an FBI investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking of underage girls. In fact, Prince Andrew himself declared his willingness to cooperate with investigators:

Prince Andrew, following a disastrous TV interview over his ties to Mr. Epstein, said in a statement late last year that he was willing to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their investigations into the disgraced financier and his associates.

“Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,” his statement said.

Guess what? The FBI decided it was “required.” To no one’s great shock, the royal has clammed up in response to their inquiry:

A U.S. prosecutor overseeing the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking investigation said Monday that Britain’s Prince Andrew has been uncooperative in the inquiry so far.

Speaking at a news conference outside Epstein’s New York mansion, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said prosecutors and the FBI had contacted Prince Andrew’s lawyers and asked to interview him.

“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said.

That’s a rather strong statement coming from the Department of Justice. Normally, they decline to comment on ongoing investigations, preferring to perform their tasks quietly to prevent … well, what happened in the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump investigations. In this case, everyone already knows about the Epstein probe, but publicly singling out particular witnesses and potential targets still presents a risk for the DoJ. If Berman’s going public, it’s not because the FBI’s playing phone tag with Prince Andrew. The FBI must have gotten seriously stonewalled for it to hit this pitch.

Contrast that with the relative radio silence on a figure closer to Epstein in his trafficking ring. What has the FBI heard from Ghislaine Maxwell? The DoJ’s been very quiet about their interest in her, and yet the Daily Mail reports on new developments with Maxwell — and those also involve Andrew Windsor:

Ghislaine Maxwell was so close to Prince Andrew she visited him at Buckingham Palace up to four times a day, an ex-cop claims.

The British socialite, accused of being a fixer for depraved paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, also allegedly enjoyed intimate picnics with Andrew in the grounds – in view of the Queen’s bedroom window.

The revelations by former Met cop Paul Page, who was a protection officer for Andrew from 1998 to 2004, come as the prince faces further scrutiny over his relationship with Epstein.

Page says that the palace took steps to keep the meetings quiet even at that time, prior to Epstein’s first arrest:

Mr Page said: “The first occasion I had cause to meet Ghislaine was when the privy purse phoned down and said, ‘We’ve got a guest coming for Andrew but the name is not to be entered in the book’. That was about 2001.

“She turned up in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover and we let her in. Half an hour after that me and my colleague walked through the garden to go back to the police lodge and he was having a picnic with her by the summer house, opposite the Queen’s ­bedroom window. One of my colleagues saw her come in and out the Palace four times in one day.”

What in the world would that have been about? It sounds as though Maxwell had something else going with Andrew more than an organizing effort for Epstein Airways. If that’s true, then it would be a weird echo of Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein himself, allegedly acting as both a devoted girlfriend and procurer.

Clearly the royal family thought it was strange enough to cover up, even 16 years ago. No doubt the FBI would like to know more about those meetings and others, which is why Andrew has become uncooperative enough for the DoJ to go public with it. Thanks to a series of pratfalls by the Windsors, including especially Andrew’s attempt to get past the Epstein scandal with a television interview in November, the British public might be getting fed up with the royals. That seems to be what Berman thinks, anyway, in what’s clearly a bid for public pressure to force Andrew into fulfilling his promise to cooperate.