The raid of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's home turned up what is being described as "blackmail tapes" that could include incriminating information about some of the convicted felon's famous friends.
Epstein was arrested on Saturday for allegedly trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida for sex, The Daily Beast reported. The arrest came 12 years after Epstein was given a controversial "slap on the wrist" for molesting dozens of underage girls in Florida, the report added.
Saturday's arrest included a search of Epstein's mansion in Manhattan's Upper East Side, one that reportedly hauled in a series of CDs in a safe with suspicious labeling. As reporter Ryan Grim of The Intercept reported on Twitter, the description of the CDs "looks an awful like like they found the blackmail tapes" that Epstein was alleged to possess.
There have been accusations in the past that Jeffrey Epstein kept blackmail material. As The Week noted, the billionaire faced a 2015 lawsuit from a woman named Virginia Roberts, who claimed that U.S. authorities had "footage of her having underage sex with powerful friends of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein."
The report noted that Roberts claimed Epstein would "debrief her" after she had sex with these powerful associates so that she would garner "intimate and potentially embarrassing information" that would then be used to blackmail those people.The report from The Week noted that the discovery of the compact discs in a safe in Epstein's home seemed to bolster the claims made by Roberts. As the report noted, there are some very powerful people connected to Epstein, including President Donald Trump,who had plenty of praise for the billionaire in a 2002 interview with New York magazine in which he noted Epstein's penchant for very young women.
"I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy," Trump said in the interview, via Washington Monthly. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life."Epstein has also been connected to Britain's Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton, who was listed on the flight logs for Epstein's private jet more than two dozen times.
Some who have followed Epstein's case closely believe that his arrest will spell trouble for some of the powerful people around him. Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, whose reporting on Epstein helped to reveal many details about his initial prosecution and is credited with creating the public pressure leading to his recent arrest, said in an MSNBC appearance (via Real Clear Politics) that some people close to Epstein are "sweating a little bit" after his arrest.