Connect with us

News

Epstein abuse victims’ IDs blocked from being made public: judge

Published

on

NEW YORK — The judge presiding over the criminal case against a British socialite charged with recruiting teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse said Friday that her attorneys are not permitted to publicly identify accusers even if they’ve spoken in a public forum.

“Not all accusations or public statements are equal,” U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan wrote in her ruling in the case facing Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Deciding to participate in or contribute to a criminal investigation or prosecution is a far different matter than simply making a public statement ‘relating to’ Ms. Maxwell or Jeffrey Epstein, particularly since such a statement might have occurred decades ago and have no relevance to the charges in this case.”

GHISLAINE MAXWELL COURT WIN: RELEASE OF 2016 TESTIMONY TEMPORARILY BLOCKED, REPORT SAYS

She said the women “still maintain a significant privacy interest that must be safeguarded.”

Prosecutors had asked Nathan to block Maxwell’s lawyers from publicly identifying the women unless they identified themselves as participants in the criminal case. Otherwise, prosecutors said, the women may be harassed or intimidated and become reluctant to cooperate with the government.

Nathan’s order came hours after newly unsealed court documents provided a fresh glimpse into a fierce civil court fight between Maxwell, who was Epstein’s former girlfriend, and one of the women who accused the couple of sexual abuse.

The documents released late Thursday were from a now-settled defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, speaks to reporters in New York City, Aug. 27. 2019. (Associated Press)

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, speaks to reporters in New York City, Aug. 27. 2019. (Associated Press)

Giuffre claimed in the suit and other litigation that Maxwell recruited her in 2000 to be a sexual servant to Epstein. She said the couple subsequently pressured her into having sex with numerous rich or notable men, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, U.S. politicians, wealthy entrepreneurs, a famous scientist and fashion designer.

Maxwell, and all of the accused men, have denied those allegations for years.

Among the newly released documents were emails Maxwell and Epstein exchanged in January 2015, when Giuffre’s allegations were getting a new round of media attention.

One email, sent from Epstein’s email address but written in Maxwell’s voice, appeared to be a draft statement or set of talking points for Maxwell to use in defending herself. It said she had been the target of “false allegations of impropriety and offensive behavior that I abhor and have never ever been party to.”

Responding to a Maxwell email a few days later, Epstein wrote: “You have done nothing wrong and I (would) urge you to start acting like it.” He suggested she go outside and hold her head high, “not as an (escaping) convict.”

Epstein killed himself last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Maxwell was recently arrested on federal charges that she recruited at least three girls, including one as young as 14, for Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s. Prosecutors said she also joined in the abuse.

Maxwell is jailed awaiting trial in New York.

Many of the documents unsealed by the court Thursday had been available publicly before.

Photo from 2001 shows Prince Andrew with his arm around 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein's girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)

Photo from 2001 shows Prince Andrew with his arm around 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

They included a deposition in which Giuffre described the alleged abuse, and also answered questions about errors she’d made previously in telling her story, including originally telling a court she was 15 when she met Epstein, when records showed she was at least a year older.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Giuffre over the years has told her story to the FBI, but no charges were brought based on her allegations and she is not one of the three alleged victims in the current criminal case against Maxwell.

Two documents that were not released as scheduled Thursday were depositions Maxwell gave in the civil lawsuit in 2016.

U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska had ordered them released, but Maxwell’s lawyers appealed her ruling to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her lawyers said they should be blocked because she now faces criminal charges.

Associated Press Writers Michael R. Sisak and Jim Mustian contributed to this report.

News

Trump Withdraws Controversial Nomination Of Anthony Tata To Pentagon

Published

on

By

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general who has called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader,” to be undersecretary of defense for policy, the White House said on Monday.

The White House statement came a day after a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tata, who failed to secure a Senate confirmation hearing, had taken a different, less-senior policy role at the Defense Department.

Continue Reading

News

2020 election: Trump continues to lose ground as nation grapples with coronavirus

Published

on

By

Given the continuing widespread coronavirus pandemic, the persistent economic devastation millions of Americans are experiencing in its wake and President Donald Trump’s inability to wrest control of the crisis in the minds of a majority of Americans, it is probably not all that surprising that his reelection chances have taken a substantial hit.

From launching a law-and-order message in the face of mostly peaceful protests for racial justice, to Trump shaking up the campaign by demoting his campaign manager, to a short-lived attempt at having the President portray himself as a leader in command of the Covid-19 response, the race for the White House has continued to move in Biden’s direction.

While the cliché is true that the three months from now until Election Day is an eternity in American politics and the race is almost certain to tighten, it is also true that Americans are just six weeks away from beginning to cast ballots and the defining characteristic of this presidential race thus far is Trump’s failed leadership in managing the coronavirus pandemic and an inability to convince enough of the public that Biden is an unacceptable alternative.

Whatever thin cushion existed for Trump’s reelection prospects at the start of this election year has completely evaporated. The President’s path to 270 electoral votes is as narrow as it has ever been. For his part, former Vice President Biden is shoring up some traditionally blue-leaning battleground states, expanding the 2020 battleground map into what has recently been more Republican leaning terrain, and opening up multiple pathways to victory.

Based on public and private polling, where the campaigns are placing their strategic bets with millions of advertising dollars, where the candidates and their surrogates are spending time in person or virtually, conversations with Trump and Biden campaign advisers, Republican and Democratic political operatives, members of Congress, and political professionals involved with outside groups, our current Electoral College outlook reflects that substantial movement in Biden’s direction.

Since our last outlook, we have moved five states (and one congressional district) in the direction of the Democrat. Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states Trump won in 2016 that had been reliably blue for the better part of two decades in presidential elections, are being moved from battleground to lean Democrat, placing an additional 36 electoral votes to Biden’s total. We’ve also moved Virginia from lean Democrat to solid Democrat as the demographics and population shifts in the commonwealth continue to trend away from Republicans and both campaigns appear to be disinclined to spend substantial dollars competing there.

In addition, Georgia, Ohio and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District had all been leaning in Trump’s favor in our last outlook and have now all been moved to the battleground category, which reduces Trump’s electoral vote count by 35 votes.

In this new outlook, Trump starts with a solid base of 125 electoral votes from 20 states that are most likely to be uncontested in the fall. When you combine that base of solid states with the additional 45 electoral votes that are currently leaning in his direction, it brings Trump’s total to 170 electoral votes — 100 votes away from reelection.

Biden’s quest for the White House starts with a solid base of 203 electoral votes from 16 states and the District of Columbia. When you add in the 65 electoral votes that are leaning in his direction, it brings his total to 268 electoral votes — just 2 away from winning the presidency.

That leaves us with six states and a congressional district worth a total of 100 electoral votes that will likely prove decisive in selecting the direction the country heads in for the next four years: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

If Biden were to win everything in dark or light blue on this map, Donald Trump would need to run the table and win every single battleground to get reelected.

Solid Republican:

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3) (125 total)

Leans Republican:

Iowa (6), Nebraska 2nd Congressional District (1), Texas (38) (45 total)

Battleground states:

Arizona (11), Florida (29), Georgia (16), Maine 2nd Congressional District (1), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Wisconsin (10) (100 total)

Leans Democratic:

Colorado (9), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), Nevada (6), Pennsylvania (20) (65 total)

Solid Democratic:

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), DC (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (3), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12) (203 total)

Continue Reading

News

Maryland Gov. Hogan overrules county mandate for private schools to go virtual

Published

on

By

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday revoked the authority of county officials to mandate schools close amid a clash with local health officials.

Local health officials in Maryland’s Montgomery County last week made the decision to keep private and parochial schools closed through October for in-person learning, arguing that having students in the classroom would present a danger to pupils and teachers as the state grapples with COVID-19.

But Hogan amended an emergency executive order, which he issued April 5, that allowed local health departments to have the authority to close any individual facility deemed to be unsafe. He called the Montgomery County mandate “overly broad.”

“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials,” Hogan said in a statement. “Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials.”

HOGAN CLASHES WITH OFFICIALS OVER MANDATE FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS TO GO VIRTUAL

Hogan added that “private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines.”

“The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer,” Hogan said, adding that the state’s recovery “continues to be based on flexible, community-based approach that follows science, not politics.”

“As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community,” he said, thanking parents, students and school administrators “who have spoken out in recent days about this important issue.”

TENNESSEE MAN, 27, RECOVERING AFTER CORONAVIRUS PNEUMONIA: ‘IT WAS PRETTY SCARY’

Hogan’s move Monday came after Montgomery County Health Officer Travis Gayles in a statement Friday said that opening those schools in any capacity would be unsafe, and as private and parochial schools had signaled their wishes to open for in-person learning, citing their classes, which are smaller in size than public schools, could make them more flexible to follow social distancing guidelines.

Montgomery County Public Schools, as well as most other public school districts across the state, have announced their decision to offer virtual-only instruction this fall.

“At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers,” Gayles said Friday, according to The Baltimore Sun. “We have seen increases in transmission rates for COVID-19 in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, particularly in younger age groups, and this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of Montgomery County residents.”

Continue Reading

Trending