With investor billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in federal custody on sex trafficking charges, President Donald Trump's friendship with the registered sex offender has been making headlines. However, court documents suggest that Trump had made his opinion about the convicted pedophile known years ago.
Epstein was arrested by federal agents last Sunday in New Jersey after his return from a Paris trip and was charged with child sex trafficking in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1591. He is suspected of sex trafficking minors in Florida and New York. The new charges against the billionaire suggest the Department of Justice's attempt to redeem its 2008 decision where a top federal prosecutor cut a questionable plea deal with the investor accused of engaging in sex with dozens of underage girls.
A lawsuit between Epstein and Bradley Edwards, who represented multiple underage victims in their civil suits against the billionaire, has revealed that Trump had banned Epstein from his private club in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago.
According to the filing, the reason for the move was that Epstein had "sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club." It is not yet clear when was Epstein banned from Trump's club, but it was not until years after Epstein allegedly recruited his first underage woman at the club.
The court filing also claimed that Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell used Trump's club as a hunting group for new girls, the Daily Mail reported. The details were revealed in a bid by Edwards to depose Trump in the case.
The filings outlined that there were multiple other ties linking Epstein to Trump in addition to the Mar-a-Lago ban and his recruitment of a minor female from the club. Epstein's brother reportedly testified under oath "that Trump flew on Jeffrey Epstein's plane with him" and the Republican had been to Epstein's home in Palm Beach. The court was also told that "Epstein’s phone directory from his computer contains 14 phone numbers for Donald Trump, including emergency numbers, car numbers, and numbers to Trump’s security guard and houseman."
Edwards, in the filings, wrote that based on this he believed that "Trump might have relevant information to provide in the cases against Jeffrey Epstein." Trump, however, was not deposed in the end and Epstein's recent arrest is likely to delay this trial further, which has spent nearly 10 years to make it through the courts.
Trump, on Tuesday afternoon, finally made a statement on Epstein's arrest while speaking to the media at the White House, saying: "I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I wasn’t a fan. I was not a fan of his. That I can tell you," adding that Epstein was a "fixture in Palm Beach."
The president, however, during an interview with New York magazine in 2002, had praised the financier, calling him a "terrific guy." "He's a lot of fun to be with," Trump was quoted as saying. "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it - Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
The woman, in the court filings, was known as Jane Doe 2. Later, a Jane Doe 3 revealed herself as Virginia Roberts Giuffre, was also working at Mar-a-Lago when she was recruited by Epstein. She was just 15 when she was approached by Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago. Roberts, now 35, has claimed that she was passed around among Epstein's friends for underage sex.
The disgraced 66-year-old billionaire appeared in federal court for the first time on Monday and has entered a not guilty plea to two charges of sex trafficking in federal court that carry prison sentences of 45 years.