The time has come for Ghislaine Maxwell to play Let’s Make a Deal — but does she have anything to offer prosecutors without Jeffrey Epstein himself as a target? One former friend tells the Daily Mail that Maxwell has long prepared for this day by keeping copies of Epstein’s surveillance videos. Just as the billionaire pedophile kept it as leverage, so did Maxwell, this friend says — and it will drop like a bombshell on all of their associates.

Assuming, that is, that Maxwell isn’t the top target of this probe:

Ghislaine Maxwell has a secret stash of Jeffrey Epstein’s twisted sex tapes and will use the footage as an insurance policy to save herself, a former friend exclusively revealed to DailyMail.com. …

‘Ghislaine has always been as cunning as they come. She wasn’t going to be with Epstein all those years and not have some insurance.

‘The secret stash of sex tapes I believe Ghislaine has squirreled away could end up being her get out of jail card if the authorities are willing to trade. She has copies of everything Epstein had. They could implicate some twisted movers and shakers.’

They added: ‘If Ghislaine goes down, she’s going to take the whole damn lot of them with her.’

That sounds a bit more like speculation rather than confirmation, but it’s at least informed speculation. We already have seen the extent to which Epstein used surveillance in his Manhattan town house, and it’s almost unthinkable that he and Maxwell didn’t keep the most useful bits handy just in case.

Let’s play along with it for a while. The unnamed friend made it pretty clear that Epstein ran an extortion trade, at least in principle. He wasn’t concerned about security — he wanted to get dirt on rich and powerful friends, according to this account. Perhaps that was intended as a last-ditch reserve to rescue himself, but it might have been put to other uses as well. The friend insists that Maxwell has kept this up her sleeve for just this moment:

‘Not only did Epstein like to capture himself with underage girls on camera – he wanted to make sure he had something to hold over the rich and powerful men who took advantage of his sick largesse.’

‘I’ll bet anything that once it comes out that Ghislaine has those tapes these men will be quaking in their Italian leather boots.

‘Ghislaine made sure that she socked away thumb drives of it all. She knows where all the bodies are buried and she’ll use whatever she had to save her own a**.’

If this is true, then it raises questions — again — about how Jeffrey Epstein cut his sweet plea deal with Alex Acosta a decade or so ago. Why didn’t Acosta seek out the videos himself?  Or at least charge Maxwell to get some leverage on Epstein? As it turned out, Acosta offered Epstein a deal in which he only had to plead out to misdemeanors, accept jail time rather than prison (with an astoundingly generous work-release arrangement), and most notably immunized Maxwell and everyone else who worked for him. Both Maxwell and Epstein thought that deal meant a lifetime pass from prosecution, but perhaps both thought that their stash would serve as a backup guarantee not just of immunity but of complete impunity. Did that stash come into play in the negotiations with Acosta in some regard?

If not, that might suggest that the stash isn’t as explosive as everyone assumes. Or, conversely, that it’s so explosive that the only way to defuse it is to try Maxwell to the full extent of the law and dare her to make the prosecution’s case by exposing the videos in court. Let’s not forget that any evidence that emerges from that trove likely contains evidence that Maxwell took part in all that abuse, too — if the trove exists at all.

And — this should be noted — it also depends on whether the DoJ really wants to go after Epstein’s pals on the Lolita Express. Rolling up any of Epstein’s enablers, at least those who weren’t also trafficking victims? That’s a no-brainer, but they’re not going to let Maxwell walk just to give up lower-level scumbags and hangers-on. If this was an extortion racket, the feds might not be interested in helping Maxwell set the timer for this bomb, either.

Needless to say, the potential for the value of this stash to decline rapidly might leave Maxwell feeling a little … down, shall we say. Will she take the same route out of prison as her one-time boyfriend did, allegedly? Prison officials say they are taking that threat seriously this time — more seriously than with Epstein himself:

A law-enforcement source said Monday that prison officials at the MDC in Brooklyn are determined to avoid a similar outcome with Maxwell.

“They want to make sure she’ll stand trial,” the source said, adding that the Bureau of Prisons doesn’t want another “black eye.”

Maxwell will be guarded by the prison’s highest security available, the source added.

She’ll be shadowed by prison officers every time she leaves her cell and a surveillance camera will be trained on her cell, according to the source.

I still think that putting the camera feed on the Internet would provide the greatest amount of security. And perhaps a fundraiser for MDC and MCC, both of which can use the money.