Ghislaine Maxwell: Too “difficult” to publish the Epstein files
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre, the woman who accused Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew for using her as a sex slave as a minor, filed another petition for full disclosure of unpublished documents in the seemingly endless affair between the alleged victim and Epstein’s close friend and accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell.
In one five page letter Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, Giuffre sharply criticized Maxwell’s latest argument that releasing the entire slice of documents would be somehow difficult for the powerful men mentioned in those documents.
The record rejects these arguments as being grossly inappropriate:
[T]The first three pages of Maxwell’s submission, which (1) detail “the difficulty and complexity” of complying with the Court’s instructions to justify keeping under seal court documents to which the public has a presumed right of access, and (2) describe the “importance hard to overstate for the life of Mrs. Maxwell and non-parties” of the task to no avail. The “difficulty” is not a reason for denying the public access to documents to which they are entitled under the law. Maxwell is the party seeking to protect these court documents from public scrutiny. The onus to provide specific reasons for doing so therefore falls on Maxwell, not the claimant or the Court.
Maxwell also recently claimed that “the media’s interest” in Epstein’s files was one reason they shouldn’t be released as it led to “journalists hiding in the bushes” trying to get comments from the friend of Epstein and alleged preparer of minors.
Giuffre’s lawyers also looked at this particular argument.
“On the contrary, [media interest] demonstrates the strong public interest in these documents, for which a strong presumption of public access applies, ”continues the file.
”Maxwell’s [latest filing] suggests that the Second Circuit’s unsealing of 2,000 pages of sealed and redacted summary judgment documents sparked increased media interest in Maxwell, ”Giuffre’s case continues. “To be clear, Maxwell has been charged with serious wrongdoing by several people in several lawsuits. Media attention on Maxwell began long before the Second Circuit released the summary judgment documents in this case. “
Adding another layer of secrecy – and a decidedly bizarre attempt at procedural daring – to the ongoing battle for the treasure trove of Epstein-related documents, Maxwell recently filed his latest opposition to the release of those documents under seal. This filing took place without prior court authorization to do so.
The filing of a court document under seal is usually done at the request of a court or with the leave of the court. A party that files under seal without court approval is extremely atypical and will likely only call for further consideration.
“Maxwell identifies no grounds for sealing the letter itself, which contains no sensitive information,” Giuffre’s lawyers point out in a footnote. “The public has a keen interest in this unsealing process and has a right to examine Maxwell’s arguments in favor of the withholding of these documents. “
The underlying case is stylized as Virginia Giuffre v. Ghislaine Maxwell, and was originally brought in 2015 by Giuffre against Maxwell for libel after Maxwell claimed Giuffre was lying.
Maxwell’s attorneys fought the libel lawsuit for years before finally settling the case. The struggle for the publication of the records – asserted by various courts to contain allegations against (and denials) of multiple powerful elites – has become a huge public policy issue after the Second Circuit ordered the documents to be released as a result. of Epstein’s arrest in July of this year.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska weighed each party’s competing arguments for and against disclosure for several months and a timeline for its final decision is currently unknown.
Read Giuffre’s full submission below:
[image via mugshot]
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