1990 – EPSTEIN MOVES TO PALM BEACH
In 1990 Jeffrey Epstein purchased his now infamous property in Palm Beach. This location is 1.6 miles from Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort.
1992 – EPSTEIN, TRUMP AND GHISLAINE PICTURED AT MAR-A-LAGO
Archive footage from CNBC shows Trump and Epstein at Mar-a-lago, chatting away while Rhythm of the night by Corona is playing in the background. In the video (which can be found here) you can see Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.
1992 – TRUMP AND EPSTEIN HAVE A PRIVATE CALENDAR GIRLS COMPETITION AT MAR-A-LAGO
WASHINGTON — It was supposed to be an exclusive party at Mar-a-Lago, Donald J. Trump’s members-only club in Palm Beach, Fla. But other than the two dozen or so women flown in to provide the entertainment, the only guests were Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.
The year was 1992 and the event was a “calendar girl” competition, something that George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman who ran American Dream Enterprise, had organized at Mr. Trump’s request.
“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Mr. Houraney recalled in an interview on Monday. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”
Mr. Houraney, who had just partnered with Mr. Trump to host events at his casinos, said he was surprised. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’”
In fact, that was the case, an indication of a yearslong friendship between the president and Mr. Epstein that some say ended only after a failed business arrangement between them. The full nature of their eventual falling out is not clear.
But through a mutual appreciation of wealth and women, and years of occupying adjacent real estate in Palm Beach and on Page Six, the lives of the two men routinely intersected for decades — until the connection turned from a status symbol into a liability, and Mr. Trump made sure to publicize the fact that he had barred his onetime friend from his clubs.
“In those days, if you didn’t know Trump and you didn’t know Epstein, you were a nobody,” said Alan Dershowitz, the longtime Harvard University Law School professor who later served on Mr. Epstein’s defense team when he was charged with unlawful sex with minors in 2006.
Before Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to the charges, and was mainly known as a reclusive, sweat-shirt-sporting billionaire who liked the company of young women, Mr. Trump spoke enthusiastically about their relationship.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Mr. Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “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.”
He also dismissed Mr. Houraney’s warning about his friend’s conduct.
“I said, ‘Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls,’” Mr. Houraney remembers. “He said, ‘Look I’m putting my name on this. I wouldn’t put my name on it and have a scandal.’”
Mr. Houraney said he “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events — Trump didn’t care about that.”
Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Houraney accused Mr. Trump himself of inappropriate behavior toward his girlfriend and business partner, Jill Harth, during their business dealings.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
But speaking Tuesday to reporters in the Oval Office, the president distanced himself from Mr. Epstein, noting that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.” But Mr. Trump added: “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
Mr. Epstein, who was charged on Monday in Manhattan with sex trafficking, is better known as a longtime friend of former President Bill Clinton’s than as a close associate of Mr. Trump’s. In fact, the relationship with Mr. Trump turned so toxic that Mr. Epstein at one point told friends that he blamed Mr. Trump for his legal problems with the Palm Beach County police.
But while Mr. Trump has dismissed the relationship, Mr. Epstein, since the election, has played it up, claiming to people that he was the one who introduced Mr. Trump to his third wife, Melania Trump, though neither of the Trumps has ever mentioned Mr. Epstein playing a role in their meeting. Mrs. Trump has said that her future husband simply asked for her phone number at a party at the Kit Kat Club during Fashion Week in 1998.
Mr. Epstein was never a dues-paying member of the Mar-a-Lago club, according to an official at the Trump Organization. But as a guest of a guest, he was treated like a close friend by the club’s owner and self-appointed headwaiter, Mr. Trump.
The two were photographed together there in the 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Trump always in a tie, Mr. Epstein always without. And in Manhattan, they attended many of the same dinner parties, like the one that Mr. Epstein hosted for Prince Andrew, where the guest list also included Ron Perelman and Mort Zuckerman, among others.
But longtime Trump associates played down their closeness, saying that was simply how Mr. Trump treated any guest at his club — checking on their steaks, bragging about his meatloaf, scanning the room for a better table so guests felt like they were getting special treatment.
Since Mr. Trump’s decision to enter the presidential race in 2015, his aides and allies have been eager to minimize any connection to Mr. Epstein, knowing that Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Mr. Clinton would be investigated at a time Hillary Clinton was likely to be his opponent.
Roger J. Stone Jr., the former Trump adviser, wrote in his book “The Clintons’ War on Women,” which was published during the campaign, that Mr. Trump “turned down many invitations to Epstein’s hedonistic private island and his Palm Beach home.” Once when Mr. Trump visited Mr. Epstein at his Palm Beach home, Mr. Stone wrote about the scene of underage girls he witnessed there.
“The swimming pool was filled with beautiful young girls,” Mr. Trump later told a Mar-a-Lago member, according to Mr. Stone. “‘How nice,’ I thought, ‘he let the neighborhood kids use his pool.’”
Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide to Mr. Trump, said he raised concerns about the candidate’s involvement with Mr. Epstein before Mr. Trump officially began his presidential campaign. But Mr. Trump assured Mr. Nunberg that he had barred Mr. Epstein from entering his clubs after Mr. Epstein had tried to recruit a woman who worked at Mar-a-Lago.
“Trump said, ‘I kicked him out of the clubs when this stuff became public, and I made sure NBC knew,’” Mr. Nunberg recalled.
Mr. Trump appeared fully aware of what a liability his onetime Palm Beach pal had become.
Mr. Nunberg said that in early 2015, he was beckoned into Mr. Trump’s office at Trump Tower in Manhattan, along with Corey Lewandowski, then his campaign manager, and Michael D. Cohen, then Mr. Trump’s private lawyer, after David J. Pecker of The National Enquirer had just left the building.
Mr. Trump showed the two men a copy of a new issue of The Enquirer that had yet to hit the stands, with pictures of Mr. Epstein’s private island. Mr. Trump was gleeful about Mr. Epstein’s connection to the Clintons and hinted there would be more to come.
1993 – EPSTEIN AND TRUMP AT THE HARLEY DAVIDSON CAFE OPENING IN MANHATTAN
1995 – MARIA FARMER RECALLS MEETING TRUMP WHEN VISITING EPSTEIN
In an interview with the New York Times, Maria Farmer describes meeting Donald Trump while visiting Epstein at his New York townhouse. Maria Farmer was recently featured in a Netflix series called Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, and 60 Minutes Australia was one of the the first people to bring charges against Epstein. Maria Farmers sister was also abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
1995 – JEFFREY EPSTEIN AND GHISLAINE MAXWELL ARE PHOTOGRAPHED AT A PARTY AT TRUMP’S MAR-A-LAGO CLUB
1996 – AN ACCUSER GOING UNDER THE NAME OF “KATIE JOHNSON” SAYS TRUMP RAPED HER AT EPSTEIN’S PROPERTY WHEN SHE WAS 13
“A California woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her a quarter-century ago when she was 13 has gone to ground, says her former attorney, deepening the mystery surrounding “Katie Johnson.”
“Recent attempts to reach … her have revealed that she has disconnected her telephone number,” Evan Goldman, a New Jersey attorney who represented Johnson in late 2016, wrote in an email.
“Katie Johnson” and “Jane Doe” are pseudonyms the woman used to sue Trump and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in California and New York federal courts three years ago, before Trump was elected president in 2016 and before authorities say Epstein hung himself in a jail cell in August while facing child sex trafficking charges.
According to the filings, “Johnson” was an aspiring model in 1994 when, after a string of unsuccessful meetings with agencies in New York City, she was at a Port Authority bus terminal getting ready to make her cross-country trip back home. Instead, a woman told Johnson how she could make money and modeling connections attending parties. It was at these parties—allegedly featuring other underage girls and wealthy guests—that Johnson says she was forced to sexually gratify the future president on four occasions, each one escalating in its described level of depravity.
The bombshell claims never gained as much traction as other Trump misconduct allegations, for several reasons. Johnson’s initial lawsuit, filed without an attorney, included a hinky phone number and unverifiable mailing address, and was swiftly dismissed in the Central District of California. Johnson abruptly withdrew her second lawsuit and canceled a press conference days before the election, citing fears for her safety.
The sum total was that the press didn’t know what to make of Johnson or those surrounding her, and moved on to other controversies such as the Access Hollywood tape and the Stormy Daniels payoff.
But since multiple women emerged this year with shockingly similar stories about how Epstein recruited and sexually enslaved them as young girls, some of the people who believed Johnson in 2016 say her claims should be reconsidered today.
“Katie’s story mimics those that have come out in the past several months,” Goldman wrote. “She was very forthcoming and also a very reluctant person. She only decided to do something when she saw that there was a chance that Trump could become President.”
Goldman and two other attorneys represented Johnson from Sept. 30 to Nov. 4, 2016. Before they represented her, Johnson’s first lawsuit was dismissed for failing to cite an actionable civil rights claim. It sought $100 million in damages and described in graphic detail allegations against both Trump and Epstein, a one-time financier accused of hosting underage sex parties for the obscenely rich.
SN&R corresponded via text with a person who identified as “Katie Johnson” in May 2016 and recently traced the phone number to a Southern California esthetician. Goldman said he couldn’t reveal Johnson’s true identity, but stressed that she “is and was a real person.”
“There were real threats which forced her to drop the law suit,” he added.
On the day Johnson was supposed to participate in a press conference arranged by attorney Lisa Bloom, whom the attorneys hired to conduct their media outreach, Johnson’s car and cellphone were stolen, Goldman said. “This freaked her out and that is when she decided not to go through with it.”
Bloom, the daughter of feminist civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, has come under fire recently for her behind-the-scenes work to discredit Harvey Weinstein’s accusers.
As for Johnson, Goldman says he has no way of contacting her. The attorney didn’t respond to questions about whether a blurred-out video purporting to show Johnson being interviewed was of his one-time client. But SN&R obtained what appears to be a letter from a combative “never Trump” conservative who arranged for the video to be made. The June 30, 2017 letter from Illinois political donor Steve Baer is marked “confidential,” directed to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller and copied to numerous others, including “select” media.
In the 10-page document, which includes an unblurred image of Johnson from her video interview, Baer urges Mueller to investigate the claims of the pseudonymous “Katie Johnson,” writing that his group, Freedom Partners Trust V, while skeptical that the president colluded with the Russians or obstructed justice, does believe Johnson.
“The current President of the United States raped a 13-year-old girl in 1994,” writes Baer, who has been credited with other aggressive email campaigns.
Baer could not be reached for comment.
House Democrats are currently in a formal impeachment investigation of Trump for openly urging foreign leaders to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a possible challenger to his reelection.”
1997 – GHISLAINE MAXWELL IS PICTURED AT A PARTY IN TRUMP’S PRIVATE RESIDENCE , WITHIN TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND TOWER’S IN NEW YORK
1997 – TRUMP AND MAXWELL ARE PHOTOGRAPHED AT FORD’S MODEL’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY
1997 – TRUMP AND “MADAM MAXWELL” ARE FEATURED IN THE SUNDAY MIRROR UNDER “TRUMP HAS FALLEN UNDER THE SPELL OF A 20 YEAR-OLD ENGLISH GIRL”
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