By Robert A. Vella
Jeffrey Epstein has reportedly died in jail apparently by committing suicide. The billionaire who made a lot of friends in high places, and who had escaped the usual justice meted out to serious sex offenders for many years, finally ran out of luck and privilege thanks to the brave victims who spoke out about his crimes, and to the earnest journalists who exposed the prosecutorial and political corruption which had allowed him to go free. This case also brought down President Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta who had granted Epstein an unjustifiable non-prosecution deal over a decade ago in Florida, and other officials involved in that arrangement are still facing scrutiny. Epstein’s death, however, is not relieving any pressure to find out exactly what happened back then and who might be implicated in the Acosta decision.
The latest in a long series of deregulatory moves by the Environmental Protection Agency under President Trump has effectively ended its stated purpose to “protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment air, water, and land upon which life depends.” Now, the EPA seems intent upon doing the opposite.
In another long line of incidents plaguing the Trump administration, one more government official has resigned and issued a public statement condemning Trump’s presidency as “cruel and incompetent.”
The end of Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was long dogged by accusations of sexual abuse of girls and who was able to cultivate a stream of high-profile friends despite his lurid lifestyle, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell, two law enforcement officials said on Saturday.
Mr. Epstein hanged himself and his body was found at roughly 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
The end of the EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists that it was no longer opposing a controversial Alaska mining project that could devastate one of the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries just one day after President Trump met with Alaska’s governor, CNN has learned.
The EPA publicly announced the reversal July 30, but EPA staff sources tell CNN that they were informed of the decision a month earlier, during a hastily arranged video conference after Trump’s meeting with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor, a supporter of the project, emerged from that meeting saying the president assured him that he’s “doing everything he can to work with us on our mining concerns.”
The news came as a “total shock” to some top EPA scientists who were planning to oppose the project on environmental grounds, according to sources. Those sources asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
The copper-and-gold mine planned near Bristol Bay, Alaska, known as Pebble Mine, was blocked by the Obama administration’s EPA after scientists found that the mine would cause “complete loss of” the bay’s fish habitat.
The end of another Trump administration official
A former Foreign Service officer whose resignation took effect this week tore into President Trump on Friday evening, labeling his administration cruel and incompetent.
“What’s different is kind of the naked unapologetic cruelty. That’s the first thing. The second thing is, you know, the sheer managerial incompetence of this administration. The rollout of the Muslim ban, that executive order, was disastrous,” Chuck Park said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Park, who wrote a blistering op-ed this week about his time in the government under Trump, joined the Foreign Service in 2010 under former President Obama. He wrote this week that he could no longer be part of what he called the “Complacent State.”