Fox News commenter Geraldo Rivera sparked an argument on The Five on Monday after he complained that Ghislaine Maxwell – who is facing sex trafficking and perjury charges connected to her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein – was not granted bail.
Ms Maxwell formerly dated notorious child sex abuser Epstein, and has been accused of recruiting and grooming the girls he abused. She denies the allegations against her. Her trial began on Monday.
During the show on Monday, Mr Rivera compared Ms Maxwell's case to that of Darrell Brooks, who was charged with six counts of first-degree homicide after he plowed his car through a group of people attending a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He noted that Mr Brooks was granted bail, but Ms Maxwell was not. He called the rulings “political lawyering”.
"I am outraged by the Maxwell case. You talk about Darrell Brooks, the creep that ran over his girlfriend and then killed six people," he said. "He was out on a $1,000 bail, Ghislaine Maxwell has been in jail for 17 months for no bail. She is sitting in prison prior to trial, accused of events that happened between 1994 and 2004."
Fox News' Jesse Watters and Dagen McDowell pushed back against Mr Rivera's argument, noting that Ms Maxwell – who disappeared for a year after Epstein was arrested before she was located and arrested – was a flight risk.
Mr Rivera pointed out that Ms Maxwell offered to put up a $28.5m bond to secure her release. Mr Watters pushed back on that point, noting that Ms Maxwell – who has passports for the US, the UK and France, as well as contacts across the globe – could have fled to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the US.
The group began shouting over each other, before Mr Rivera complained that Ms Maxwell was placed "in solitary confinement for 17 months”.
Ms McDowell responded that Ms Maxwell "deserves to sit in jail" because of her flight risk.
"She is a flight risk because she was hiding during COVID in the northeast. Here is federal bail law ... in 1984 Congress passed federal bail law, you are allowed to deny bail on two grounds. A flight risk and a danger to the community," she said.
Mr Rivera asked where Ms Maxwell could hide if she did flee.
"She can hide overseas because nobody knows where the money is," Ms McDowell said. "Way to stand up for a sex trafficker."
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