Flashback: How I Came To Cover Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton
One clue leads to another even to this day
A New York editor called me in the summer of 2019.
Was I up for an investigative mission?
My challenge? To connect the dots of when Bill Clinton first met financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The editor had received an anonymous tip that linked a Clinton White House staffer to the former president and Epstein far earlier than what Clinton claimed.
But I slightly disagreed that the staffer was the connection.
Having covered the Clintons for decades, I just didn't think Epstein needed some middle man to meet a president. Sure, the staffer could have also known Epstein, but my intuition told me differently.
This publication had a team working on all-things Epstein, and I found the Arkansas connection intriguing. How could I say no to such a challenge? I couldn't.
I called the former staffer’s well-known business. The staffer, also the business’ owner, was unavailable. I didn't expect this person to call me back, and I was right. Dead end.
Only one place held the answer in my mind: The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.
Off I went.
Getting a research card, I put my bag into a locker before entering the research room. Security is tight at presidential libraries. Rightly so, they house historical documents that should be kept secure.
Once inside the sterile research room, you are given paper and a pencil. You write down notes and you request documents. in this case, I was searching for a needle in a haystack. Many records are digitized. Many more are not. I knew I would need to just dig in, ask for a few random boxes of documents and go from there.
I started with the staffer’s name who did have a connection but not a super strong one. It's hard to explain how my brain works when I'm in an investigating mindset. But it's sort of like this scene from Bradley Cooper's “Limitless”.
The first day of research led to five more and probably a 100 boxes of documents. I lost count but then I found it.
There on an invitation list for the White House Historical Association were the names: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. I couldn't wait to tell my editor. The giddy high of discovering a smoking gun is an adrenaline rush unlike any other for me.
What I discovered?
On an invitation list, Epstein attended a donors’ reception and donated $10,000 to the historical association. I also found a letter in one of the boxes from Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the prominent businesswoman, who wrote a personal letter to Clinton. In it, she thanked him for talking with Epstein.
You can read my original national story here that connects Clinton to Epstein and Maxwell all the way back to 1993. It ran on July 24, 2019.
I didn't stop there with my investigation. Once I get on something, I’m like a dog after a bone, then a bigger bone, and then an even bigger one.
Digging deeper I connected more dots from Ohio to Epstein’s Caribbean island to South Carolina to London to New Mexico. Zig-zagging across the globe, Epstein and his powerful friends jetted everywhere.
Then boom. Epstein died on Aug. 10, 2019, in a New York jail cell. The police ruled his death a suicide.
The story basically died, too, or so it seemed.
But this week, Epstein and Clinton are back in the news as more names of people associated with Epstein become public. These names may reveal more insight into Epstein’s sex trafficking network with Maxwell. The revelation of names is part of a lawsuit connected to Maxwell.
My one regret? I didn’t keep pursuing all the leads I collected in 2019. Rest assured, though, I will double check my notes from 2019 and see where the path leads.
I've may have already found one or two clues. The investigation continues.
You can read more about connecting the dots in 2024 here:
South Arkansas Reckoning is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our investigative work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.