Ghislaine Maxwell is being subjected to two different trials with two different sets of witnesses. One is in the courtroom; the other is on the courthouse steps and in the media.
The trial in the courtroom accuses her essentially of perjury and of grooming underage females for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein. The trial in the media accuses her of helping Jeffrey Epstein traffic two adult women – Virginia Giuffre and Sarah Ransome — to numerous prominent men and women.
It's the second trial that has garnered the most attention because Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew, Senator George Mitchell, Ambassador Bill Richardson, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, billionaire Leslie Wexner, Professor Marvin Minsky, real estate mogul Tom Pritzker, hedge fund operator, Glenn Dubin — and me. Ransome has named Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Richard Branson — and me.
These media accusers have made the most serious and detailed accusations against Maxwell and Epstein, both under oath and in the media.
The obvious question arises therefore: Why is the government not using them as witnesses against Maxwell and why were they not included in the original indictment against Epstein.
The media should be asking that critical question.
The answer should be clear, to anyone who examines the evidence.
As to Virginia Giuffre, her own lawyers have disputed her accounts in recorded statements.
In a TV interview, Bradley Edwards has said that based on his 11-year investigation, he does not believe that "any high-profile people would be implicated;" he also said that Leslie Wexner did not participate in any sexual activities with Giuffre.
In other words, he has essentially called Giuffre a perjurer since she swore under oath that she had sex on multiple occasions with prominent people including Wexner.
Giuffre’s other lawyer, David Boies, said in a recorded conversation with me that my travel and other records convinced him that it would have been impossible for her to have had sexual or any contact with me during the relevant time period.
Her own emails and writing establish that I never even met her.
Sarah Ransome, who was outside the courtroom on the first day of the trial, has admitted to the New Yorker that she made up fantastic stories about having sex tapes of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, and others.
During the 2016 election, she sent dozens of emails to Maureen Callahan of the New York Post demanding that they publish stories, about these "pedophiles" and the sex tapes.
But she then told The New Yorker that she had no such tapes and that she had made up the stores in order to have something over Epstein.
If Giuffre and Ransome had been telling the truth, they would be the most incriminating witnesses against Maxwell. To my knowledge they are the only women who claim they were trafficked to Epstein associates.
But the government is obviously aware of the above evidence that destroys their credibility. So, they carefully crafted the indictment against Maxwell (and the previous one against Epstein) to avoid using these women as witnesses.
It's unethical for a prosecutor to rely on witnesses who they know or believe, lacks credibility. But the media has no such constraints.
Most media have simply continued to present Giuffre and Ransome as credible witnesses, without reporting on the incontrovertible evidence — including their own lawyers’ statements and their own writings and admissions — that prove that these witnesses have histories of making false accusations.
Journalists seem unwilling to challenge the credibility of "victims," lest they be accused of "victim shaming." They refuse to recognize the nuanced truth that a woman can be both a victim of Epstein and a victimizer of his associates.
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell inside the courtroom will not disclose this complex reality.
That's not its proper function. It's the role of the media, to investigate, with equal resources, the credibility of both accused and accusers.
Thus far, it has failed in this important duty.
It’s not too late.
The evidence is available. All that is required is the courage to pursue uncomfortable and unpopular truths, even in the age of #Me Too.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Guilt by Accusation" and "Case Against the New Censorship: Protecting Free Speech from Big Tech, Progressives, and Universities." Read more of Alan Dershowitz's reports — Here.
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