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Alan Dershowitz still provides legal advice to serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, he confirmed to Axios.

What he's saying: "He has called me a couple of times about legal issues, because I'm still technically his lawyer," Dershowitz told me in a phone interview on Saturday.  "But I haven't had any social, or any other kind of contact. ... You never stop being a person's lawyer."

Background: Dershowitz helped Epstein get a sweetheart plea deal from then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta (now Donald Trump's labor secretary and a rumored long-shot contender for attorney general).

  • A bombshell Miami Herald investigative series last week highlighted for the first time the extent of Epstein's alleged crimes and the soft treatment he received from federal prosecutors.
  • The Palm Beach multimillionaire would "serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes," according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

Dozens of women alleged that Epstein molested and raped them when they were underaged using a sophisticated human trafficking network. A civil trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Palm Beach County that may finally let these women tell their stories in court.

Behind the scenes: While he was allegedly raping teenage girls, Epstein cultivated cozy relationships with America's elites.

  • Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's plane, nicknamed the "Lolita Express," numerous times, according to flight logs.
  • And Donald Trump, in a profile with New York magazine written several years before the police caught up with Epstein, praised his friend as a "terrific guy." "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do," Trump said of Epstein, "and many of them are on the younger side."
  • Dershowitz was also friendly with Epstein before the broader public knew he was a pedophile.

Dershowitz confirmed to me that he received a massage at Epstein's Palm Beach home, adding that the woman who provided it was of legal age.

  • "What happened was I, um, he lent us, this was well before any of this thing came out, he lent us his house once. And I was there, my grandchildren were there, my daughter was there, and we all got massages."
  • "And, um, it was therapeutic. I had a therapeutic massage with an old old Russian, but I never never ... and that was part of when we had his house for about a week during I think it was Christmas vacation."
  • "Believe me, if I had known that anything improper had ever taken place in that house, I never would have allowed my children, my grandchildren, my wife, my daughter-in-law, my son, to have spent time there. I can tell you categorically there were no inappropriate pictures, no inappropriate anythings. It was like any other house."

One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts, has claimed Dershowitz had sex with her when she was underage. Dershowitz has denied the allegation and told the Miami Herald "the story was 100 percent flatly categorically made-up" so "she could get money."

Go deeper: Trump defender Dershowitz shunned by Martha's Vineyard

Go deeper

Anti-Trump lawmakers' private security expenses ballooned after Jan. 6 riot

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on April 14. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Members of Congress are spending tens of thousands of dollars on personal security for them and their families in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, according to an analysis of first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports by Punchbowl News.

Between the lines: Private security expenditures were especially common among anti-Trump Republicans and high-profile Democrats who earlier this year voted to impeach and convict the former president for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, signaling they fear for the safety of themselves and their families.

1 hour ago - World

Jimmy Lai among Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders sentenced to prison

Students standing under a banner during a flag raising ceremony on the first annual National Security Education Day in Hong Kong. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Hong Kong court sentenced a group of the city's most prominent pro-democracy activists to up to 18 months in prison Friday for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in August 2019 that drew an estimated 1.7 million people, AP reports.

Why it matters: Critics say the sentences send the message that even peaceful pro-democracy activism will be severely punished. They mark a continuation of Beijing's overhaul of Hong Kong's political structure, designed to crack down opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.