In doing research on the Epstein/Acosta sordid affair, I keep finding my attention pulled away from the Trump administration and toward Dick Cheney. That may seem like an illogical jump to you, but let me explain.
When this farce in Florida took place in 2007, who, within the government had enough interest in Epstein to pressure Acosta to make this sweetheart deal?
Did Trump Influence Acosta on Epstein? Not so Fast…
It wasn’t Trump. He wasn’t holding any office at that time. He was doing The Apprentice. He could and probably would have spent a lot of money to keep Epstein quiet, but he had no power within the Justice Department. It might have been Barr but he wasn’t in government at that time, either. He had relationships with some of Epstein’s legal team, and within the Justice Department, but was that enough?
I suggest that anyone concentrating on Trump in this terrible situation is looking in the wrong place, unless the goal is to gather one more piece of misbehavior to hang on Trump. It is likely that one can find that misbehavior, but that won’t unravel the mystery of who in Bush’s Justice Department would have brought pressure to bear on Epstein’s behalf.
This was during the George W. Bush administration and Acosta apparently said during his interview with the Trump transition team that someone in the Justice department told him that Epstein belonged to the intelligence community and to make this go away. He was told it was “above his pay grade.” This was reported by Clair McCaskill recently on MSNBC and when researching I found this Acosta quote in several outlets – “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone.”
Was the Bush Administration Responsible for Epstein’s Sweetheart Deal?
So, to figure this out, focus has to shift off of Trump and back to the Bush administration, which was fertile ground for corruption.
At that time, Michael Mukasey was AG, Porter Goss was CIA Director until 2006, then General Michael Hayden took over. John Negroponte was DNI Director and Robert Mueller was FBI Director. Those names don’t set off my radar, but those are not the names that come to mind first in the Bush Administration.
I remember that time well. There was so much going on in secret. Everything was considered “intelligence.” This was in the post 9/11 era. The USA PATRIOT ACT seemed to cover everything and justified many, many sins.
This brings me to Dick Cheney. I am not for a moment suggesting that Cheney was involved with Epstein. I am suggesting that Cheney was the de facto head of government at that time, that nothing happened without his approval, and that he encouraged all government agencies to maintain as much secrecy as possible. If you disagree with my assessment of Cheney at that time, I suggest you weren’t paying attention. This nation was in a fever of fear and citizens were giving away their constitutional protections as fast as they could for the illusion of safety.
While I am not inclined to give Acosta a pass on his actions in this nasty mess, I think it is important for us to remember the atmosphere in this country when trying to get to the bottom of it.
Since the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating Acosta’s actions in this affair, we have a chance to get some answers, but it won’t be easy. The Trump administration is not known for its transparency, and while Trump himself seems to feel no loyalty to the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has a penchant for covering things up and Bill Barr is not known for his honesty. My fear is that the convoluted mind of our President will somehow add this atrocity to his list of grievances against Hillary. Crazy? Just wait.
While we are waiting for someone, somewhere to take responsibility for prosecuting this rapist of children, we can only depend on the Southern District of New York US Attorney’s office, and yesterday, Bill Barr announced that he is assuming control of that investigation. This does not bode well for justice.