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Wealthy political financier and accused child molester Jeff Epstein contributed directly to Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett's last two campaigns for Congress.
The U.S. Virgin Islands lawmaker has decided she will be keeping the cash, even after Epstein's arrest in New York, at least for now.
Mike McQueery, a spokesman for Plaskett's office, told CNBC she has no immediate plans to refund the donation. "I'm pretty sure she's not," he said and later confirmed, in a follow-up phone call to verify her position, that his boss is unlikely to return the contribution. He declined to comment further about the investigation and how Plaskett knew Epstein.
Since the Virgin Islands is considered a territory, its representative in the House of Representatives is a delegate with limited voting power. Plaskett is involved with committees and has certain responsibilities on the floor but not if her vote is going to be decisive.
Still, the decision by Plaskett is significant as it shows that at least one politician is remaining defiant with holding onto donations from Epstein, even after Epstein's arrest. He's been accused of sexually exploiting dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005, according to prosecutors.
"Epstein created a vast network of underage victims for him to sexually exploit," the indictment read.
Epstein on Monday pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been ordered to be held without bail.
Epstein, who owns an entire private island in the Virgin Islands called Little Saint James, contributed $2,700 to Plaskett, the most an individual donor can give directly to a candidate in both the primary and the general election, during her 2018 run for re-election, according to a Federal Election Commission record. In 2016, he wrote two separate $2,700 checks for Plaskett, including one during her primary campaign which she eventually won. She finished the 2018 congressional midterms raising just over $359,000.
Plaskett appears to be one of the few candidates that received a donation from Epstein last cycle. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw a $10,000 check from him in October but immediately sent it back.
Epstein historically has been a staunch financial supporter of Democrats. He's also been friends with President Donald Trump.
From the late 1990s until 2004, he gave more than $145,000 to Democrats running for public office, including former President Bill Clinton, and associated political action committees, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. One of his former charities, the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, reportedly donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
It remains unclear if the Clinton's plan to send back the checks as both a spokesman for the former commander in chief and a representative for the foundation did not return requests for comment.