This was something that Ed Morrissey was speculating about after we learned that Ghislaine Maxwell had been found guilty at her trial for sex trafficking minors. All through the process, Maxwell had refused to name any of the high-profile “clients” that she and Jeffrey Epstein procured young girls for. But now, facing the potential of decades behind bars, would she seek some sort of a deal for a lighter sentence in exchange for naming names? That may be what we’re seeing this weekend. Her attorneys have informed the court that she will “no longer fight to protect the identity of eight” of their “customers.” And you can bet that there are some very famous people out there who are looking around quite nervously today. (NY Post)
Convicted sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell will no longer fight to protect the identity of eight johns who allegedly had sex with young women she and her billionaire pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein procured for them.
A lawyer for Maxwell stated in a letter to federal Judge Loretta Preska this week that she would no longer object to the identities of the “John Does” in a 2015 civil lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre.
“After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93, and 151, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections,” said the Jan. 12 letter, signed by Laura Menninger.
All of the names, presumably including Prince Andrew, came from the lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein and Maxwell’s victims. Speculation about who else might be on the list has run rampant for some time now, with people such as Bill Clinton being frequently mentioned, but no confirmation had been forthcoming. That may be about to change.
I’ll confess to having been a bit puzzled as to why Maxwell didn’t give up the names long before this. It seems as if she could very likely have spared herself a lot of legal pain and been offered an early plea deal for significantly reduced charges if she had done so. It’s certainly possible that Maxwell believed there was no reason to do it because she thought she would end up beating the rap at trial. A darker possibility that many pundits have pointed to is the idea that her life might be in danger if she started blowing the whistle on some rich and powerful figures.
But now that she’s been found guilty, all she has left is the hope that prosecutors will ask the judge for a much lighter sentence in exchange for a promise to name names and perhaps even testify in future prosecutions. This assumes that any of the charges against the suspected Johns could still be brought to court and haven’t run afoul of the statute of limitations. Even if that’s not the case, the men on the list could still wind up in civil court where Maxwell’s testimony could be central to such cases.
Maxwell is unlikely to get as light of a sentence out of this as she would have if she had just offered to cooperate initially, but it could still be an improvement for her. If she takes anywhere near the maximum possible sentences being discussed, it could turn out to effectively be a life sentence for her. But one could see how the court wouldn’t want to go too lightly on her. The people who traffick underage girls are arguably even worse than the men who sexually abuse them. As Ed pointed out in the article I linked above, Maxwell will still be able to appeal the convictions, but unless the prosecution really screwed up something that no one seems to have noticed yet, her chances don’t seem very promising. Maybe that’s what drove the decision to allow the names of the Johns to be released.
Now, of course, the court and the jailors will find themselves in pretty much the opposite position from when they had Epstein behind bars. In that case, they were supposedly worried about Epstein committing “suicide.” But if the names on the list are as high and mighty as many people suspect, they’ll need to make sure that nobody reaches Maxwell in jail and finishes the job for her. (Assuming you actually believe that Epstein killed himself, of course.)