In 2014, current CIA directorWilliam Burns had three meetings with Jeffrey Epstein when Burns was Obama’s deputy secretary of state, and after Epstein had been convicted of child sex exploitation, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Burns and Epstein first met in Washington prior to Burns visiting Epstein and his Manhattan townhouse, according to a trove of leaked documents that include Epstein’s schedules which were not contained in Epstein’s “black book” of contacts or flight logs.
Burns, who became CIA Director under Biden in 2021, met with Epstein while he was preparing to leave his position in the government, according to agency spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp.
“The director did not know anything about him, other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” she said, adding “They had no relationship.”
Mr. Burns, 67 years old, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Russia, had meetings with Epstein in 2014 when Mr. Burns was deputy secretary of state.
A lunch was planned that August at the office of law firm Steptoe & Johnson in Washington. Epstein scheduled two evening appointments that September with Mr. Burns at his townhouse, the documents show. After one of the scheduled meetings, Epstein planned for his driver to take Mr. Burns to the airport.
Mr. Burns recalls being introduced in Washington by a mutual friend, and meeting Epstein once briefly in New York, said Ms. Thorp. “The director does not recall any further contact, including receiving a ride to the airport,” she said. -WSJ
One month after meeting with Epstein, in October 2014, Burns stepped down from this role at the State Department to serve as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank. He ran it until he was nominated by Biden to serve as CIA director in early 2021.
Epstein also had dozens of meetings with then-Obama White House attorney Kathryn Ruemmler, who went on to become Goldman Sachs’ top lawyer in 2020. Epstein also planned for her to join him in 2015 on a trip to Paris, and in 2017 to visit his private island in the Caribbean.
According to a spokesman for Goldman, Ruemmler had a ‘professional relationship’ with Epstein tied to her role at law firm Latham & Watkins LLP, and did not travel with him.
“I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” she said.
According to the documents, however, they knew each other well enough… following Epstein’s 2006 conviction for sexually abusing girls in Florida as young as 14-years-old.
He asked for avocado sushi rolls to be on hand when meeting with Ms. Ruemmler, according to the documents. He visited apartments she was considering buying. In October 2014, Epstein knew her travel plans and told an assistant to look into her flight. “See if there is a first class seat,” he wrote, “if so upgrade her.”
Within weeks of Ruemmler’s 2014 departure from the Obama White House, Epstein planned an August lunch at his townhouse, followed by a series of meetings to introduce her to his acquaintances.
The two first met when Epstein called her to ask if she would be interested in representing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a relationship which never panned out.
Epstein and his staff discussed whether Ms. Ruemmler, now 52, would be uncomfortable with the presence of young women who worked as assistants and staffers at the townhouse, the documents show. Women emailed Epstein on two occasions to ask if they should avoid the home while Ms. Ruemmler was there. Epstein told one of the women he didn’t want her around, and another that it wasn’t a problem, the documents show.
Ms. Ruemmler didn’t see anything that would lead her to be concerned at the townhouse and didn’t express any concern, the Goldman spokesman said. -WSJ
Epstein also connected Ruemmler with Ariane de Rothschild, current CEO of the Swiss private bank Edmond de Rothschild Group. Ruemmler’s law firm was hired by the bank to help them with US regulatory matters, according to the bank and the Goldman spokesman.
De Rothschild, who married into the famous banking family, met with Epstein over a dozen times.
In September 2013, Epstein asked Mrs. de Rothschild in an email for help finding a new assistant, “female…multilingual, organized.”
“I’ll ask around,” Mrs. de Rothschild emailed back.
She bought nearly $1 million worth of auction items on Epstein’s behalf in 2014 and 2015, the documents show.
Mrs. de Rothschild was named chairwoman of the bank in January 2015. That October, she and Epstein negotiated a $25 million contract for Epstein’s Southern Trust Co. to provide “risk analysis and the application and use of certain algorithms” for the bank, according to a proposal reviewed by the Journal.
In 2019, after Epstein was arrested, the bank said that Mrs. de Rothschild never met with Epstein and it had no business links with him. -WSJ
The bank admitted to the Journal that it lied in its earler statement, and that Mrs. de Rothschild and Epstein met as part of her normal duties at the bank.
Other notables in the new report include;
- Leon Botstein, president of Bard College
- Noam Chomsky, who was scheduled to fly with Epstein to have dinner at the pedophile’s Manhattan townhouse in 2015
- Anthropologist Helen Fisher, who says she ‘didn’t have anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein, “But I remembered it because of his spectacular house and because of the six young women.”
- Joshua Cooper Ramo, then co-chief executive of Henry Kissinger’s corporate consulting firm.
- Harvard professor Martin Nowak
- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
More on Ehud Barak, given rumors that Epstein was running a Mossad honeypot operation;
Mr. Ramo also was invited to a breakfast at the townhouse in September 2013 with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, another regular guest, the documents show.
Mr. Barak also met Epstein in 2015 with Mr. Chomsky, now 94, a linguistics professor and political activist who has been critical of capitalism and U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. Chomsky said Epstein arranged the meeting with Mr. Barak for them to discuss “Israel’s policies with regard to Palestinian issues and the international arena.”
Mr. Barak said he often met with Epstein on trips to New York and was introduced to people such as Mr. Ramo and Mr. Chomsky to discuss geopolitics or other topics. “He often brought other interesting persons, from art or culture, law or science, finance, diplomacy or philanthropy,” Mr. Barak said.
When asked about his relationship with Epstein, Noam Chomsky said: “First response is that it is none of your business. Or anyone’s. Second is that I knew him and we met occasionally.”
After Epstein donated $850,000 to MIT between 2002 and 2017, and $9.1 million to Harvard between 1998 and 2008, Chomsky said in a 2020 interview that people ‘worse than Epstein’ had donated to MIT. He didn’t disclose their friendship at the time.
Chomsky said that at the time of their meetings, “what was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence. According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.“