Donald Trump reportedly asked whether Ghislaine Maxwell will “roll on anybody” or is “going to talk” about him after she was arrested and charged with luring minors to Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier and convicted sex offender who reportedly killed himself in prison after he was charged with sex trafficking.
In an excerpt from Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, author Michael Wolff also alleges that the former president – in the final days of his presidency – grew “annoyed” with pardon requests and “bored” by the process as he sought out potential pardon candidates from White House aides and other officials.
“Has she said anything about me?” he asked about Ms Maxwell, according to the excerpt published by The Times on 5 July.
Wolff also alleges that the former president believed he had “unlimited pardon power” and could pardon himself, but was dissuaded by adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who allegedly argued that doing so would draw even more scrutiny into looming criminal probes and civil cases against him.
After Epstein’s first appearance in federal court in 2019, the former president downplayed his connection to his longtime associate, claiming that they had a “falling out” and that he was actually “not a fan.”
In a New York magazine profile in 2002, Mr Trump said: “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Following Epstein’s death, Mr Trump amplified a conspiracy theory that Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved.
On 2 July 2020, Ms Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire and charged with enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children and perjury.
During a White House briefing, a reporter asked then-president Trump whether he believed Ms Maxwell was going to “turn in powerful men” and cooperate with prosecutors.
“I don’t know, I haven’t really been following it too much,” Mr Trump said. “I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach and I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well, whatever it is.”
In March, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed two additional charges against her, including sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor.
The superseding indictment extends the timeline of Ms Maxwell’s alleged involvement in Epstein’s abuse of young women from 1994 through 1997 up to 2004.
She has denied all charges and pleaded not guilty. She is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York, and a trial is scheduled for November.
The Independent has requested comment from Mr Trump’s office.
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