Future CIA director William Burns, banker Ariane de Rothschild and an ex-aide to US President Barack Obama are among the noteworthy people who had meetings with financier Jeffrey Epstein after he was publicly registered as a child-sex offender, according to a newly unearthed trove of documents from the late financier.
The previously unpublicized documents, including thousands of pages of emails and schedules from 2013 to 2017, reveal that Epstein booked multiple meetings with such prominent figures as US spy chief William Burns and with Kathryn Ruemmler, a former White House counsel who later became a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. All of the encounters were arranged after Epstein served jail time in 2008 for procuring a teenage girl for prostitution in Florida.
Burns, then deputy secretary of state in Obama’s administration, first met with Epstein in 2014 in Washington and later visited his townhouse in Manhattan twice, according to the documents. CIA spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp told the WSJ that Burns didn’t know anything about the notorious financier “other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector.”
Ruemmler had a professional relationship with Epstein, who introduced her to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and other potential legal clients, a Goldman Sachs spokesman told the newspaper. “I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” Ruemmler said.
The WSJ said the documents suggested that Epstein knew his guests well. For instance, he asked an assistant to ensure that avocado sushi rolls were served when he met with Ruemmler. He and his staff also discussed whether Ruemmler would be uncomfortable with the presence of young women at his townhouse. One visitor, anthropologist Helen Fisher, said that after a 2016 lunch with Epstein at the townhouse, he invited her to speak with his staff, and six attractive young women filed into the room.
Ruemmler, who had dozens of meetings with Epstein over the years, was introduced by the convicted pedophile to de Rothschild, the documents show. After the introduction, the de Rothschild family’s Swiss private bank hired Ruemmler’s law firm to assist with US regulatory issues.
In 2013, Epstein asked de Rotshchild to help find him a new assistant, “female . . . multilingual, organized.” She agreed to “ask around.” He had more than a dozen meetings with de Rothschild and sought her help with luxury furnishings and business deals.
After Epstein was arrested in 2019 for alleged sex trafficking of underage girls, the bank, Edmond de Rothschild Group, claimed that de Rothschild never met the financier and had no business ties to him. The bank told the WSJ that its earlier statement was incorrect and that de Rothschild met with Epstein as part of her normal duties, but she had no knowledge of legal proceedings against him or concerns about his conduct.
The earlier case against Epstein in Florida attracted major media coverage and led some politicians to return donations to the financier. Some business associates, such as retail billionaire Leslie Wexner, cut ties with him. “Despite the negative press, Epstein’s days were filled from morning to night with meetings with prominent people,” the WSJ said.
Previously reported Epstein documents showed that he had links with such celebrities as Gates, former President Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew. He died in a New York City jail in 2019, allegedly by suicide. His death gave rise to the meme “Epstein didn’t kill himself,” which suggested that he was killed to cover up evidence about the powerful people with whom he associated.
The documents uncovered by the WSJ showed that Epstein also had meetings arranged with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Bard College President Leon Botstein, author Noam Chomsky, movie director Woody Allen and Joshua Cooper Ramo, then co-CEO of Henry Kissinger’s consulting firm.