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Wealthy financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has reached a "last-minute settlement" in a civil lawsuit brought by Bradley Edwards, an attorney for some of Epstein's alleged victims, the AP reports. The deal was made Tuesday just before jury selection was to begin, meaning none of Epstein's accusers will be able to testify in court for now.

The big picture: A bombshell Miami Herald investigative series published last week highlighted for the first time the extent of Epstein's alleged crimes and the soft treatment he received from federal prosecutors. While he was allegedly raping teenage girls, Epstein cultivated cozy relationships with America's elites, including former President Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump and Alan Dershowitz — who still provides Epstein with legal advice, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported on Sunday.

Editor's note: The headline and story have been corrected to reflect that Epstein settled a civil lawsuit with attorney Bradley Edwards — not a case involving his accusers.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.