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Court releases documents about Jeffrey Epstein, accused in sex traffic case, and his alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell

Key Points
  • A federal appeals court unseals more than 2,000 of pages of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged with child sex trafficking, and his alleged procurer of underage girls, Ghislaine Maxwell.
  • The documents are part of a defamation lawsuit that Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre filed against Maxwell years ago.
  • The documents include one containing flights records showing that President Donald Trump flew on Epstein's private plane in 1997, and another in which Giuffre, says Maxwell directed her to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and other prominent people. 
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.
Joe Schildhorn | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unsealed nearly 2,000 pages of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged with child sex trafficking, and Ghislaine Maxwell, his former girlfriend and his alleged procurer of underage girls.

The documents include one containing flight records showing that President Donald Trump flew on Epstein's private plane in January 1997, from a Palm Beach, Florida, airport to Newark, New Jersey.

In another document, one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre, says Maxwell directed her to have sex with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and other prominent people.

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Jeffrey Epstein dies by apparent suicide after arrest in child sex trafficking case

Giuffre, who had worked as a locker-room attendant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, also said that Epstein "told me that Donald Trump is a good friend of his," but that she never saw the two men together. And she said in a deposition that she never had sex with Trump or flirted with him.

The White House had no immediate comment on the mention of Trump's name on the flight logs. Richardson's office denied he ever met Giuffre, and called the allegations "completely false."

Mitchell in a statement said, "The allegation contained in the released documents is false. I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre."

The files released Friday are part of a defamation lawsuit that Giuffre filed against Maxwell several years ago. The suit accused Maxwell of calling Giuffre, a liar for claiming that Maxwell and Epstein sexually abused her when she was underage.

Giuffre had also alleged that she was sexually abused while in Epstein's circle by "numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister and other world leaders," as well as noted lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor.

Maxwell, a British socialite who is the daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, later settled that defamation case with Giuffre. The terms of that settlement are not known.

But Maxwell had tried to keep filings in the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan sealed.

On Friday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Maxwell's request to have the full circuit review an earlier decision by a three-judge appeals panel that had denied Maxwell's effort to keep the entire case sealed.

The circuit court sent the case back to the district court, where a judge will decide how much of the remaining documents will be unsealed. It also unsealed documents that included pleadings in the defamation case, depositions, and other material.

Included in the material is a September 2016 deposition of Epstein in which he repeatedly invokes his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions like whether it was "standard operating procedure for Maxwell to bring underage girls up to your room for you to sexually abuse."

On Friday, Dershowitz's lawyer Imran Ansari said, "Professor Dershowitz has denied the accusations made against him by Virginia Giuffre since day one and has sought to unseal these records for the past three years."

"The unsealed documents seriously call the accusations made against Professor Dershowitz into question, including an email in which reporter Sharon Churcher tells Giuffre that Professor Dershowitz is 'a good name for your [book] pitch' while admitting that there is 'no proof' and suggesting to Giuffre that she 'probably met him,' " Ansari said.

"Professor Dershowitz is pleased that these documents are finally coming to light and is confident that the truth will prevail."

Astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn was listed on one of the flight logs for Epstein's plane, as well. Dershowitz told CNBC that Glenn flew with him, Epstein and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to Ohio to attend a birthday party for L Brands founder Leslie Wexner.

Dershowitz added that he flew a "number" of times on Epstein's plane, but "never, never, never, in the presence of any underage or even close to underage person."

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Glenn and Peres both died in 2016.

Among the documents unsealed Friday is deposition of Giuffre, in which she says that Maxwell directed her to have sex with Prince Andrew of Britain, Mitchell, Richardson, hedge funder Glenn Dubin, late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, modeling company founder Jean Luc-Brunel, the owner of large hotel chain, and another prince.

"There was, you know, another foreign president, I can't remember his name," Giuffre said in one deposition. "He was Spanish. There's a whole bunch of them that I just — it's just so hard for me to remember all of them."

"I was told to do something by these people constantly ... my whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy," Giuffre said. "Their whole entire lives revolved around sex."

Prince Andrew has denied Giuffre's claims against him, which were previously known.

Richardson's spokeswoman, Madeleine Mahony, in an emailed statement said, "These allegations and inferences are completely false."

"Governor Richardson has never even been contacted by any party regarding this lawsuit," Mahony said. "To be clear, in Governor Richardson's limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls. Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein's residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre."

Mitchell's statement, in addition to denying he had any contact with Giuffre, said that, "In my contacts with Mr. Epstein I never observed or suspected any inappropriate conduct with underage girls."

"I only learned of his actions when they were reported in the media related to his prosecution in Florida. We have had no further contact," Mitchell said.

A spokesman for Dubin said, "Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory. The Dubins have flight records and other evidence that definitively disprove that any such events occurred."

In her deposition, Giuffre was asked, "Is there anyone else that Ghislaine Maxwell directed you to go have sex with?"

She answered, "I am definitely sure there is. But can I remember everybody's name? No."

In that deposition, when asked if she was angry at Epstein, Giuffre answered, "Furious."

Asked if she was angry at Dershowitz, Giuffre said, "Absolutely."

"Are you angry with famous politicians?" Giuffre then was asked.

She said: "I'm angry with anybody who has it in their mind that they can hurt and abuse a minor child and continue to lie about getting away with it and that what they've done is okay and they can continue to harass victims, yes, I'm furious."

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NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

Epstein, 66, was arrested in early July on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.

Prosecutors say Epstein, who also had been a friend of President Bill Clinton, sexually abused dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005 in New York and Florida. The defunct news site Gawker in 2015 published flight logs for one of Epstein's private jets that showed Clinton had taken more than a dozen trips on the plane with Maxwell.

Prosecutors also allege that Epstein worked and conspired with employees, associates and others "who facilitated his conduct by, among other things, contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with Epstein."

Maxwell has not been charged in that case. But prosecutors in late July said they were investigating other "uncharged individuals" in the case.

Epstein is being held in jail without bond. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that could bring a 45-year prison sentence if he is convicted.

He already is a registered sex offender, having pleaded guilty to prostitution charges involving an underage girl in 2008. Epstein served 13 months in jail in that case.

Read the court documents unsealed Friday here.