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Audrey Strauss at a press conference today. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss urged a judge in a detention memo Thursday to deny bail to Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, calling her an "extreme flight risk" who has no reason not to attempt to flee the country.

The big picture: Maxwell was arrested and indicted on six counts Thursday for allegedly conspiring with Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide in prison last year, to traffic and sexually abuse minors.

Highlights from the memo:

  • "As a result of her disturbing and callous conduct, Maxwell now faces the very real prospect of serving many years in prison. The strength of the Government’s evidence and the substantial prison term the defendant would face upon conviction all create a strong incentive for the defendant to flee. That risk is only amplified by the defendant’s extensive international ties, her citizenship in two foreign countries, her wealth, and her lack of meaningful ties to the United States."
  • "Based on the Government’s investigation to date, the Government has identified more than 15 different bank accounts held by or associated with the defendant from 2016 to the present, and during that same period, the total balances of those accounts have ranged from a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million."
  • "The defendant’s international connections and significant financial means would present a clear risk of flight under normal circumstances, but in this case, the risk of flight is exacerbated by the transient nature of defendant’s current lifestyle.
  • "In particular, the defendant has effectively been in hiding for approximately a year, since an indictment against Epstein was unsealed in July 2019. Thereafter, the defendant – who had previously made many public appearances – stopped appearing in public entirely, instead hiding out in locations in New England."

Read the full memo via DocumentCloud.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.