AG Bill Barr clarifies prior statement, will not recuse himself from Epstein case

July 9, 2019

William Barr will bring his no-nonsense attitude to bear on the case against convicted pedophile Jeffrey Espstein, the Justice Department said Tuesday — and some liberals already see a Trump conspiracy afoot.

Barr clarified Tuesday that he will not recuse himself from a new sex crimes case against the accused billionaire, who was charged with sex trafficking of minors on Monday. The attorney general initially said that his recusal would occur because Epstein was represented in a past case by partners from one of Barr’s former law firms, Kirkland & Ellis.

The attorney general’s decision stoked conspiratorial speculation on the left, as liberals — already convinced that Barr is Trump’s toady — predicted that the Barr will somehow interfere in the case in order to protect the president, who was previously acquainted with Epstein.

Barr’s decision

Epstein was charged Monday with sexually abusing dozens of underage girls between 2002 and 2005 at his estates in New York, Florida, and other locations, as well as paying underage girls to recruit more victims.

The pedophile’s sudden arrest Saturday revived criticism of a 2008 non-prosecution agreement in a previous case that allowed Epstein to evade justice for years. Under that arrangement, Epstein pleaded guilty to two state charges for soliciting prostitution despite accusations that he abused dozens of girls, and he served a mere 13 month in prison.

On Tuesday, Barr announced that he would not in fact step aside from prosecuting the new case against Epstein, but he would decline to weigh in on any “retrospective review’ of the 2008 plea deal, given his former firm’s representation of Epstein years prior.

Pushback begins

Barr’s non-recusal decision prompted pushback from some Trump critics, who questioned whether Barr would interject himself into the Epstein case to protect Trump, much like they claim he placed his thumb on the scale in the Mueller case. President Trump socialized with Epstein in the past, when the two were neighbors in Palm Beach. Epstein also counted former President Bill Clinton among his well-connected friends.

On Monday, former Southern District of New York prosecutor Mimi Rocah called Barr’s decision “very concerning” in an op-ed on the topic.

“And while it pains me to say this, given Barr’s conduct in the past acting more as a defense attorney for Trump than an overseer of justice, I am concerned that Barr might interfere if he thought that Epstein might implicate Trump, who was friends with Epstein,” Rocah wrote in the Daily Beast.

Barr was famously accused of acting as President Trump’s “personal lawyer” in his handling of the Mueller report. While the Mueller hysteria has died down — at least until next week – the Epstein case has provided a new opportunity for liberals to project wild fancies about the attorney general and his supposedly wicked deeds designed to shield the president.

Tangled connections

The Esptein case has raised speculation about members of both major parties who have been linked with Epstein in the past, including Trump and Clinton. President Trump has denied having any current connection to or relationship with Epstein and claims he hasn’t spoken with Epstein in over 10 years.

Trump may have flown on Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express,” on one occasion. Trump banished Epstein from his Mar-A-Lago estate after Epstein abused an underage girl there, according to court documents. The case has also drawn attention to Trump defender Alan Dershowitz, a former lawyer at Barr’s firm who reportedly represented Epstein and mingled socially in his circle.

Epstein’s depraved crimes have become notorious as an example of the corruption of the same international elite often lambasted by conservatives. The billionaire allegedly abused dozens of girls and trafficked many other victims to and from his various estates, including a private Caribbean island where Eyes Wide Shut-like depravity is said to have taken place.

In a statement Monday, Clinton said that he did not know anything about Epstein’s crimes and denied ever visiting Epstein’s island. According to flight logs, however, Clinton flew on Epstein’s jet 26 times.

Meanwhile, Barr is not the only Trump official to face scrutiny over the Epstein case. Trump’s now-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was a U.S. Attorney in Florida and was a key player in the controversial non-prosecution agreement with Epstein. Acosta’s handling of the case has prompted criticism from Democrats, who are now demanding that the Trump official step down.

Could Barr really be so wicked, that he would let a man like Epstein walk simply due to some kind of blind loyalty to Trump? The left has truly jumped the shark with this hypothesis.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.