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The corruption proceeds apace! Bill Barr took a break from burning down the Justice Department to fulfill the illegal Census promise Donald Trump made in a shit-tweet to unrecuse himself from the Jeffrey Epstein investigation. This will do wonders to tamp down rampant speculation that Epstein has dirt on every powerful pervert in Washington, including Trump and Bill Clinton!

During his confirmation hearing, Barr responded to a question from Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse about the Epstein case by suggesting he'd be obliged to recuse himself, saying, "Senator, I have to recuse myself from Kirkland & Ellis matters, I am told. And I think Kirkland & Ellis was maybe involved in that case, so I need to sort out exactly what my role can be. I will say that if I'm confirmed I'll make sure your questions are answered on this case."


Yesterday, it was reported that Barr had indeed recused himself from all Epstein matters. But, as it turns out, that was only half true. After "consulting with career ethics officials," the Attorney General has decided that he need only abstain from retrospective investigations of the pathetically lenient plea agreement negotiated by current Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta in Florida back in 2007, when Acosta was the US Attorney in the Southern District. Barr signed his own permission slip to ratfuck the current New York investigation at will.

So, what will happen to the thousands of pornographic images of young girls who may or may not have been photographed in compromising situations with Epstein's powerful friends, according to the government memo arguing against bail?

While these items were only seized this weekend and are still being reviewed, some of the nude or partially-nude photographs appear to be of underage girls, including at least one girl who, according to her counsel, was underage at the time the relevant photographs were taken. Additionally, some of the photographs referenced herein were discovered in a locked safe, in which law enforcement officers also found compact discs with hand-written labels including the following: "Young [Name] + [Name]," "Misc nudes 1," and "Girl pics nude."

That's anyone's guess!

Back in 2007, the "billionaire" pervert Epstein hired a whole squadron of lawyers including Alan Dershowitz to defend him against charges that he trafficked and sexually assaulted dozens of underage girls. Among those lawyers was the firm Kirkland & Ellis, whose senior partner Jay Lefkowitz negotiated that sweetheart deal for Epstein, allowing him to plead down to one count of violating state law by soliciting a 16-year-old for prostitution, when he was credibly accused of assaulting multiple girls as young as 14.

On October 7, 2007, Lefkowitz sent a letter to Acosta detailing their agreement to keep Epstein's alleged victims in the dark about their plea negotiations, in violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act, saying, "Neither federal agents nor anyone from your Office should contact the identified individuals to inform them of the resolution of the case, including appointment of the attorney representative and the settlement process. Not only would that violate the confidentiality of the agreement, but Mr. Epstein also will have no control over what is communicated to the identified individuals at this most critical stage."

Five days later, Lefkowitz and Acosta met for breakfast, after which the Kirkland & Ellis lawyer followed up with a confirmatory email saying,

I also want to thank you for the commitment you made to me during our October 12 meeting in which you . . . assured me that your Office would not . . . contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants and their respective counsel in this matter.

Safe bet that Barr, who was employed by Kirkland & Ellis in 2007 and then again in 2017, has more than a passing association with the firm's senior partner, so it makes sense that he recused from the Florida portion. But lawyers are supposed to recuse themselves from any case where their participation might give even the appearance of impropriety. And this case, implicating Barr's former law firm, his fellow Cabinet member, and quite possibly his own boss, reeks to high heaven.

Put simply, this seems to be a distinction without a difference. The New York case rests on some of the same conduct at issue in Florida, since Epstein's procurers called from New York to arrange for girls to meet him for sexual encounters in Palm Beach. Epstein's lawyers will doubtless use the Acosta plea agreement to argue that the New York charges are precluded, under a theory of double jeopardy or equitable reliance. The Florida plea itself will likely be admissible at the New York trial, because child molestation is treated differently from regular "prior bad acts" under the rules of evidence. And, oh by the way, Barr's boss socialized with Epstein extensively during the time period in question. In fact, Epstein met one of the original teenage accusers when she was working as a coat check girl at Mar-a-Lago. So, yeah, there's an appearance of impropriety here!

But when you're rigging the Census, taking healthcare away from millions of Americans, covering up the actual findings of the Mueller Report, and going to court to defend the government's sacred right to lock babies in cages without soap, the appearance of impropriety is probably at the bottom of the list.

DESE ARE NIHILISTS. DEY CARE ABOUT NUSSING!

[NYT / Bail Memo / Order]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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