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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

Reports: More than 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party over Trump

Former President Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Dozens dead as Israel and Hamas intensify aerial bombardments

People gather at the site of a collapsed building in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City on May 11. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

At least 35 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed as fighting between Israel's military and Hamas entered a third day, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Scoop: Stephanie Murphy announcing challenge to Marco Rubio

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy is planning to announce a campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in early June, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Murphy is a proven fundraiser. Jumping in now would give her an early start to build her case for the Democratic nomination and potentially force Rubio and allied GOP groups to spend heavily to retain a seat in a state that’s trending Republican.