Jul 8, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Today's PM is 578 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: The Epstein files

The initials "JE" and doorway damage at the Manhattan residence of Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

The unsealed Jeffrey Epstein indictment is public, with pages of documents alleging the sexual abuse and trafficking of underage girls in Florida and New York.

  • The latest allegations date to the early 2000s, with 3 unnamed victims cited in the case, Axios' Ursula Perano notes.
  • Epstein is accused of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars to partake in sexual acts during massage sessions, in addition to asking them to recruit others for his use.
  • Investigators also claim they've seized a series of nude photos depicting underage girls from Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. [NYT]
  • Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges. [New York Post]

Why it matters: Epstein's alleged sexual misconduct with minors has been in the public eye for some time, but he'd benefited from a 2008 plea deal that involved then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Trump's Secretary of Labor.

  • In November 2018, the Miami Herald issued a scathing report dissecting the deal. A judge later ruled that prosecutors had broken the law in reaching the previous plea.
  • This time around, such a plea deal is virtually off the table, giving his accusers a new shot at justice.

Epstein had once walked among a high-profile crowd:

  • His 2008 case plummeted his status, removing him from social circles that had once included President Trump and former President Bill Clinton.
  • In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, Trump said he enjoyed Epstein's company, stating, “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Between the lines: "For all his infamy, there are scant details of how [Epstein] made his money," Bloomberg writes.

  • "While he’s frequently been called a billionaire, his net worth is hard to ascertain. He ran a money management firm catering to the ultra-rich, ... but its assets were never made public and few on Wall Street have dealt with him as a financier or money manager."

What's next: Prosecutors made an appeal Monday for any more of Epstein's victims to come forward.

  • “They deserve their day in court and we are proud to stand up for them by bringing this indictment."
  • "Mr. Epstein 'is not reformed, he is not chastened, he is not repentant,' prosecutors wrote to the judge, arguing against bail." [NYT]

Go deeper: Read the indictment

Bonus: Pic du jour

Heavy rainfall flooded the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Ave. near the National Mall. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

It rained a ton today in the DMV, as the WashPost reports:

  • Reagan National Airport got 3.41 inches.
  • Arlington got 4.5 inches.
2. What you missed
  1. Elizabeth Warren raised $19 million last quarter, her campaign said. Go deeper.
  2. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing the release of Trump's state tax returns.
  3. A new book has behind-the-scenes details about the secret White House meeting where former Justice Anthony Kennedy told Trump he was planning to retire. Go deeper.
  4. WeWork is seeking to secure a credit line of between $3 billion and $4 billion, which could eventually expand to $10 billion, as first reported by the WSJ and confirmed by Axios.
  5. Eric Swalwell dropped out of the 2020 race after struggling to build much of a following. Go deeper.
3. 1 ⚽️ thing

Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The next challenge for the twice-defending USWNT world champs: helping build a sustainable soccer league, the AP notes.

  • Now "the hard part remains: the weekly work of boosting the National Women’s Soccer League, where average attendance remains at a minor league level."
  • “On the men’s side in MLS, they have owners with extremely deep pockets,” defender Crystal Dunn said. “If the women’s game is going to grow, it’s going to come down to us not kind of penny-pinching on things and really putting a lot of resources in.”

Worthy of your time.

Go deeper: The queens of Lyon

Mike Allen