Epstein denied bail (Upd2: Quick thoughts on the 33 pgs)

This will be was originally pretty short. 

Considering him to be a “danger to others and to the community by clear and convincing evidence” and a flight risk by the “preponderance of the evidence”, Judge Berman has denied Epstein bail.

For those playing along at home, the fraudulent Austrian passport was noted as a factor in this determination. The final ruling is, by the Judge’s estimate, going to be 30+ written pages, but won’t be on the docket for at least a couple hours.

In the meantime, I heartily recommend Adam Klasfeld's Twitter reporting. He has been doing yeoman’s work on all of the Epstein (and Cohen, for that matter) court proceedings.

EDIT: For context, a 30-page bail denial is, ahem, unusual. I assume that Berman is appeal-proofing it by being exceptionally thorough. We’ll see why this warrants quite so much ink sometime this afternoon, once it has been docketed.

UPDATE: Finally, here’s the ruling.

Thirty-three pages.

So… no wonder this took awhile. Berman’s ruling is a more comprehensive, more thoroughly-cited document than I have literally ever seen for a bail determination. As I expected, it sets forth the standards for evaluating release vs. remand and then systematically destroys Epstein’s claims of harmlessness. The Federal Rules of Evidence don’t apply to remand hearings, so we may not see all of the inside-baseball stuff about proposed Florida plea deals when this gets to trial, but what we do see here is ugly. Berman rejected Epstein’s various bail conditions offers mostly for the reasons I expected they would be rejected, but I was fairly enamored by the argument that Epstein couldn’t even be trusted to stay put while under armed guard, because he has a history of dragging his employees and associates into his activities, and there’s no way to guarantee that he wouldn’t just bribe the guards!

Two other things stood out to me on first reading. Other than, you know, the history of child abuse and witness intimidation. First, I’m amazed at what an objectively laughable job Epstein did at submitting financials to the court — and then had the gall to say that he’d do a better job if he were granted bail. So, tip to anyone who is ever before a federal judge: don’t do that. Second, I’m shocked that his lawyers haven’t filed a motion to dismiss citing the non-prosecution agreement. I think any such motion is doomed to failure because the lack of a specificity clause in the agreement doesn’t magically make it binding everywhere. And because it’s probably an illegal agreement in the first place due to the lack of victim notifications. But I can’t understand why they’d even let this process get this far without filing it anyway.

In any case, Epstein now gets to enjoy the posh lifestyle of the federal prison system. There will likely be assorted motions over the next two weeks, but the next actual event date is currently expected to be a conference on 31 July, at 11 Eastern, which will probably set the schedule for pre-trial motions and deadlines, assuming the rest of this case proceeds in a vaguely normal manner.

Its entirely plausible that this could be appealed, but since this court has direct jurisdiction over remand determinations, that would be a staggeringly uphill climb. If Epstein’s crack legal team can’t get a competent financial disclosure together, and can’t be bothered to make the (futile, but way easier) attempt to get this dismissed via the NPA, I sort of don’t expect them to bother appealing the remand either.

EDIT: And I’m probably out for the evening, although I may try to answer a few questions in the comments if I have the opportunity. Remember that the arc of history does bend toward justice, people like Epstein and Trump notwithstanding.