Ted Cruz under fire for attempt to link Hillary Clinton to Epstein associate found dead in cell

Republican senator referenced conspiracy theory after Jean Luc-Brunel found dead in France

<p>Senator Ted Cruz has come under fire </p>

Senator Ted Cruz has come under fire

Leer en Español

Senator Ted Cruz has come under fire after attempting to link Hillary Clinton to the death of Jean Luc-Brunel, an associate of child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

The 76-year-old billionaire, who faced trial on charges of rape of a minor and sexual harassment, was found dead in his prison cell in France on Friday night.

He was suspected of being involved in a global paedophile ring organised by the late disgraced financier Epstein, who took his own life in prison while awaiting trial for sex crimes, in 2019.

Texas senator Mr Cruz replied to a breaking announcement asking for the whereabouts of Hillary Clinton that weekend.

Jean Luc-Brunel was facing charges for sexual abusing minors

He wrote on Twitter: “Anyone know where Hillary was this weekend?”

Mr Cruz’s quip is believed to be in reference to longstanding conspiracy theories in US right-wing politics about the Clintons being involved in the deaths of people who may have unflattering information on them.

The decades-old and unsubstantiated claims resurfaced after the death of Epstein with memes claiming his death was murder rather than suicide and the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily.

The claims led by the likes of QAnon activists have been consistently rubbished as absurd theories without any evidence or basis.

Senator Cruz’s attempt to reignite the conspiracy theory was met with anger on social media, where some took the opportunity to reference the Republican’s family holiday to Mexico amid a winter storm that left millions in his state without power and water in February last year.

Former congressman Joe Walsh wrote in response: “Definitely not Cancun. Ted, would you please get serious and be a United States Senator? Please?”

Political commentator Keith Olbermann added: “Say, @twitter, how do you allow this piece of s*** to continue to consistently spread lies, racism, hatred and innuendo?”

US prosecutors accused Brunel of finding young girls for his longtime associate and financier.

Lawyers for the fashion agent suggested he had killed himself, according to reports in the French press.

Le Monde reported his legal team as saying: “His decision was not driven by guilt, but by a deep sense of injustice.”

Brunel was arrested in December 2020 at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport while trying to board a plane to Senegal.

He co-founded modelling agency MC2 Model Management in the US with funding from Epstein.

Several women accused Brunel of sexual assault, and at least a dozen people were known to have given evidence for the French investigation into allegations against Epstein and his circle.

Senator Ted Cruz

Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein as a teenager, alleged that Brunel procured women, some of them minors, for sex with Epstein and others. He lured them with promises of modelling work, she said.

During the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the pilot of the so-called “Lolita Express,” Epstein’s private plane, said he flew presidents including Bill Clinton.

Larry Visoski name-dropped the high-profile passengers, along with actor Chris Tucker and violinist Itzhak Perlman, when asked during cross-examination if he remembered them specifically.

The Independent has contacted Senator Cruz’s representatives for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in