Jan 15, 2020

Dueling claims between MIT's Epstein investigator and Leon Black

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last Friday, MIT released an unredacted version of the 61-page report by law firm Goodwin Procter into Jeffrey Epstein's donations to the university.

What's new: There is a dispute as to the cooperation of Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black, a onetime Epstein client who in 2014 made an anonymous $5 million donation to MIT which Epstein claimed to have arranged.

  • Goodwin Procter's lead investigator Roberto Braceras tells Axios: "We were unable to connect with representatives of Mr Black."
  • A spokesperson for Leon Black tells Axios: “No one associated with the investigation contacted Mr. Black at Apollo or at his family office. Any suggestion that Mr. Black did not cooperate with the MIT/Goodwin investigation is categorically false.”

Someone is lying. Or, at best, painfully twisting the truth. And that brings us back to how little we still know about the relationship between Epstein and Black, the CEO of a publicly traded investment giant with more than $300 billion in assets under management.

Goodwin's report says "we did not find any evidence" that Black's donation was actually Epstein's money (i.e., no "laundering").

  • It does not address why Black donated $10 million to Epstein's charity after he pleaded guilty to soliciting underage prostitutes (186 days of silence and counting).
  • It also doesn't address how its findings square with its other findings that then-MIT Media Lab chief Joi Ito suggested that MIT "swap donations with someone else's foundation," in order to avoid the scrutiny that would come from accepting cash from a convicted child sex offender.

The bottom line: After 61 pages, the math still doesn't add up.

Go deeper: Pro Rata Podcast on MIT's Epstein loophole

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Prosecutor: Prince Andrew has given zero cooperation on Epstein probe

Prince Andrew. Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Britain's Prince Andrew has so far provided federal prosecutors and the FBI "zero cooperation" in interviews regarding Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutor Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: After stepping away from his royal duties in November, the prince said he was willing to help law enforcement investigations into Epstein and possible co-conspirators.

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020

Bloomberg: "My story might have turned out very differently if I had been black"

Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

TULSA, Okla. — Mike Bloomberg is ready to acknowledge his white privilege, and he's hoping it'll help him with black voters.

Why it matters: Bloomberg’s courtship of black voters appears an uphill climb because of his past support for stop-and-frisk in New York City. He's seeking to redefine his reputation with black voters using his biggest strength — an understanding of data and the economy — to present himself as a wealth advocate on their behalf.

Go deeperArrowJan 19, 2020

Epstein survivor Courtney Wild to be a guest at State of the Union

Courtney Wild speaks at a July 2019 news conference in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Courtney Wild, who's spoken publicly of being molested by Jeffrey Epstein at age 14, will attend the State of the Union Tuesday as the guest of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) a sponsor of a bill named for the survivor.

Why it matters: The Courtney Wild Crime Victims' Rights Reform Act of 2019 seeks to strengthen victims' rights and prevent prosecutors from reaching sweetheart plea deals like the 2008 one that saw Epstein avoid federal sex trafficking charges. Speier said Wild's presence will "send a clear message that women are done with being treated as second class citizens in our own country."

Go deeper: What we know: The life and death of Jeffrey Epstein