The decade's most triggering comedy
Newly disclosed records show the late Jeffrey Epstein scheduled meetings with now-CIA Director William Burns in the years after the wealthy and well-connected financier registered as a child sex offender, according to a new report.
The documents, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, divulged planned meet-ups with a number of high-profile people, some of whom acknowledged meeting with Epstein but disputed or claimed a lack of memory concerning details that appeared in the documents, such as the number of meetings.
Burns, who became President Joe Biden‘s CIA director in March 2021, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein in 2014 when Burns was deputy secretary of state, the documents show. The report mentioned a planned lunch in August at a law firm in Washington and two evening appointments in September at Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.
At the time, Burns was planning on leaving the government, a CIA spokesperson told the publication. One month later, in October of that year, Burns left the State Department to become president of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace think tank.
The CIA spokesperson said Burns recalls only being introduced to Epstein by a mutual friend and meeting briefly with Epstein one time in New York. Although Epstein planned for his driver to take Burns to the airport, the CIA spokesperson said Burns does not recall receiving a ride.
“The director did not know anything about [Epstein], other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” the CIA spokesperson said. “They had no relationship.”
In 2008, after Epstein was accused of sexually abusing female minors in Florida, he reached a deal with federal prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to state-level prostitution charges, registered as a sex offender, and served roughly 13 months in jail and in a work-release program. Epstein died at the age of 66 in his New York City jail cell in 2019 after being arrested on sex trafficking charges involving young girls.
The Wall Street Journal report mentions several other people who appear in a trove of schedules and emails, adding to a long list of Epstein’s known connections, including former presidents. Among the new revelations appeared Kathryn Ruemmler, whom the documents show had dozens of meetings with Epstein in the years after she served as a White House counsel to President Barack Obama and before becoming a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs.
A Goldman Sachs spokesperson told the publication that Ruemmler had a professional relationship with Epstein in connection to her role at the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP and did not travel with Epstein as was indicated in the records.
“In the normal course, Epstein also invited her to meetings and social gatherings, introduced her to other business contacts and made referrals,” the Goldman Sachs spokesperson added. “It was the same kinds of contacts and engagements she had with other contacts and clients.”
The report noted that a spokesperson for Latham & Watkins denied Epstein had been a client of the firm.
“I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” Ruemmler said.