Dylan Howard brought down the careers of Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Hulk Hogan, Paula Deen, and others. Some have called him the “most powerful gossip editor in the world” and a “tabloid prodigy.” He broke the story of the A-list high-stakes poker scam that would later become the Oscar-nominated film Molly’s Game, and he was the first to name the mother of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child.
Now he turns his attention to Jeffrey Epstein. In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Howard details Epstein’s perverse life and mysterious death, even as he makes the case that Epstein was not strangled, but instead was given the means to take his own life.
Howard argues that Epstein was a long-time spy working for Israel and its intelligence agency, the Mossad. He claims that Epstein inherited the espionage operation of the late British publisher Robert Maxwell, who also died under mysterious circumstances. He speculates on how Epstein managed to amass hundreds of millions of dollars without ever having a job or real clients.
According to Howard, Epstein’s relationships and intelligence gathering went to the very highest levels of government in the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Howard believes that US authorities may never learn the full truth about Epstein, given the evidence that likely has been destroyed. However, he details the reasons why he thinks the Russians and Vladimir Putin know every part of it. In the end, Howard says, Epstein endangered not just the young girls that he preyed upon but also the national security of the US. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Contrary to reporting elsewhere on this site that raises questions about how Epstein died, Howard believes his death was a suicide, and his comments reflect that controversial position.)
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|Jeff Schechtman:||Thanks for joining us here on the WhoWhatWhy podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Schechtman. It’s odd as we move into the new year that very few are talking about what may be one of the biggest scandals in American political history, the life and death of Jeffrey Epstein. Sure, we all remember the small peccadilloes of the likes of Gary Hart or Barney Frank, Bob Packwood, Newt Gingrich, or even Bill Clinton, and some of you, if you’re old enough, might remember the Profumo affair in England in 1961 that brought down a government. But the case of Jeffrey Epstein, that at the very least involves two Presidents of the United States, British royalty, government and intelligence officials in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and a still unknown number of elected officials in the US gets minimal attention.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||In an era when the Kardashians can command an international stage for the revealing nature of what they wear, this story has almost gone away. Does the story simply have too much sex for prudish America? Are the stakes too high? The perpetrators too powerful and connected? And if we knew the facts, would we even care? We’re going to talk about all of this today with my guest, Dylan Howard. Dylan Howard is one of the most aggressive journalists and investigative reporters in Hollywood. He’s cracked open scandals that have brought down the careers of Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Hulk Hogan, Paula, Dean, and many others. He’s also directed and produced unscripted television shows and podcasts, including last year’s podcast series Fatal Voyage about the mysterious death of Natalie Wood. It is my pleasure to welcome Dylan Howard to the WhoWhatWhy podcast to talk about his current work, Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Dylan Howard, thanks so much for joining us.|
|Dylan Howard:||It’s great to be with you.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Why, first of all, do you think that this story has faded away given all the elements that it has? What is it that you think has caused it to fade out of public consciousness right now?|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, I think it’s the great paradox of this story. This is, in my view, one of the greatest espionage tales that America has ever seen. I do believe it’s now starting to gain momentum, in part because of the revelations of Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but I think also the mainstream media is starting to wake up to the reality that our government was deeply involved in the coverup of Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes and the pursuit of who was responsible for orchestrating that is going to be, in my opinion, a significant story of 2020.|
|Dylan Howard:||What we’ve been able to establish and what we know so far is that Jeffrey Epstein was not only a heinous individual who exploited the vulnerable and weak and underage women in a sex trafficking ring, but he was also an international asset for Israelis Mossad, its spy intelligence operation. And this wasn’t just about sexual peccadilloes of the rich and powerful. This was someone who was rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, Bill Clinton when his wife was a Senator and Secretary of State, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and many others that found company in Jeffrey Epstein. And I’m not suggesting for one moment that these people were involved in nefarious sexual activities, but I can assure you one thing, hanging out with Bill Clinton, he’s not to talk about the latest New York Nick’s results or what’s happening with the New York Yankees.|
|Dylan Howard:||The information that Jeffrey Epstein was collating for the benefit of Israel was on issues of international diplomacy, political policy for the United States, technology secrets, science secrets and the likes, and Israel has long got a history of spying on United States soil for the benefit of that country. And now we the people need to ask the question, why was Jeffrey Epstein allowed to roam free and given sweetheart deals with no consequences when the US government could have prosecuted him for far more serious crimes even after he was released after that so-called sweetheart plea deal of the century?|
|Jeff Schechtman:||How much of it was blackmail and how much of it was another aspect of espionage that really has not yet emerged fully?|
|Dylan Howard:||I think it was a turn a blind eyes scenario. The reality was that the highest levels of government knew that Jeffrey Epstein was intelligence. That I can assure you. Alex Acosta, Trump’s former Labor Secretary who really is a Patsy in all of this was forced to stand down from his position, alluded to that fact in a press conference. He was told, “Hands off,” and to paraphrase, “This is above your pay grade.” The reality is, this makes its way through the DC swamp to the very highest levels of government and intelligence organizations within the United States. That is a habitual pattern about Israel and the United States.|
|Dylan Howard:||In fact, former CIA whistleblowers have said there have been more than 125 cases of espionage when Israel has been caught red handed spying on the United States, but there have been no consequences. Jeffrey Epstein was just wheel in that cog. The difference being, he was able to orchestrate and continue to abuse his position of being a protected asset on us soil to commit kindness and disgusting crimes whilst also circling himself around the likes of Prince Andrew and others and gathering compromising information on those individuals, which was used to the benefit of Israel and others.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Was there ever consideration from your reporting and your investigation, was there ever consideration on the part of Israel to cut them loose because of the heinous nature of what he was doing?|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, I think ultimately the decision to cut him loose, it comes down to he’s death. Why did he commit suicide? Now, I firmly believe that he was given the mains and motives and opportunity to kill himself. I don’t believe someone strangled him, but I believe that there was an operation put in place that took someone who was vulnerable, he tried to commit suicide two weeks earlier, and allowed him to take his own life. So I think that comes down to the cut him loose scenario, that at that point someone had broken ranks, had decided to charge him on a federal level and he had the potential to blow the whistle.|
|Dylan Howard:||And boy, if he was going to blow that whistle, that whistle was loud because he had more than two to three decades of information. But I asked you this question, he was released in 2010, in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 why did no one do anything during those periods of time? That remains the great unanswered question of the Jeffrey Epstein’s scandal, and I say to the house Democrats that have subpoenaed the records from local Palm Beach authorities about the sweetheart deal and the FBI, be careful what you wish for because it was a democratically elected DOJ in those years that I mentioned in which Epstein was not prosecuted, when there were ample opportunities for him to be prosecuted on a various slew of crimes. But he wasn’t. And why wasn’t he? Because he was protected, because he was an agent of the Israeli government.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Talk about its relationship to US intelligence, what they knew and how they have behaved throughout this whole story.|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, that’s the great unknown here. What did the government know? What did federal law enforcement, the Department of Justice know, what did the CIA know, and were they involved? There as long been suggestions that the CIA used the tactic of honey traps as part of its skill set, but we don’t know. And in fact, part of our research into Jeffrey Epstein is a active lawsuit against the FBI under freedom of information laws to try and establish what’s inside their case file.|
|Dylan Howard:||Now, the FBI has been aggressive in fighting myself and my coauthors about the contents of that file. But one of the key questions is, there has to be a list of information or collection of evidence that was taken from the Palm Beach property, that was taken from the New York property, and the government won’t release that information to us. Why? Presumably because it is of national security importance, but the reality is under freedom of information laws, when someone dies, that file should be released. What has been released to us to date is a severely redacted set of files that is inexcusable, and in 2020 we intend to continue to pursue through the courts the release of these documents. I think it’s critically important to understanding the true complexity and the date web that was spun around Jeffrey Epstein.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Given how difficult it was to gather any of this information when Epstein was alive, now that he’s gone, now that the authorities have gone through his homes in Manhattan, in Palm Beach, in New Mexico, is there any chance that any of this evidence is still around that could make a clear cut case as to what transpired?|
|Dylan Howard:||There is one set of the evidence and it’s in Russia. We spoke to John Mark Duggan, who is a former detective from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department who fled to Russia and sought political asylum alleging corruption inside the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s department. He in the book explains that he had access to the Epstein files and took an encrypted set of the material, including videos and audio recordings to Russia. The prospect that that information is within the grasp of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin ought to make individuals in America quiver in their boots.|
|Dylan Howard:||So not only has this information reached Israel, it’s now in Russia’s hands and presumably other countries. What we know is Jeffrey Epstein had a very close relationship with Saudi Arabia. He boasted about working with Adnan Khashoggi, the now deceased arms dealer as a bounty hunter for him, and of course there was a passport found in his New York safe that listed Saudi Arabia as he’s residency. So, I suspect quite deeply that he was involved with Saudi Arabia as well. So there are three countries there that have incriminating information about the rich and powerful or have secrets about US operations or US intelligence operations or policy. And to think that out law enforcement authorities seemingly on taking this seriously or with the seriousness that you would expect for a case like this is mind boggling. It’s perplexing.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Is there a sense though that nobody really knows how much information he had and what the nature of some of this was and that it creates a kind of potential circular firing squad among all of these people?|
|Dylan Howard:||Absolutely. You are as in the dark as I am about the information that Jeffrey Epstein collated, and the beneficiary of that information is Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman who stood by him and was his alleged procurer of young women. Now, her whereabouts is unknown to this very day. I suspect she’s in a safe house being protected by the Israeli government because of the information that she knows, but she ought to be prime target number one for the FBI if they are to take this matter seriously or if they’re going to turn a blind eye, they’re not going to pursue her.|
|Dylan Howard:||But there are a lot of people that are caught up in this, pilots, individuals who have worked for Jeffrey Epstein, chauffeurs, and others that are alleged co-conspirators. I think we’re going to see, either through a lack of investigation or through the thoroughness of an investigation, just how serious the government is about exposing the scandal of Jeffrey Epstein.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Talk a little bit about Geoffrey Berman in the Southern District of New York that brought the charges against Epstein that got him in jail last year.|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, that’s the issue that is critical to why Epstein wasn’t prosecuted. According to Epstein’s legal team it was a case of double jeopardy. He’d already been prosecuted in the 2000s and served 13 months with the sweetheart deal of the century, but that was only on one count. The FBI had accumulated some 32 to 36 underage women, yet he was prosecuted on one case.|
|Dylan Howard:||Indeed, as part of our research, we’ve got our hands on a 2006 document that was presented to Jeffrey Epstein and would have ensured that he avoided a grand jury and served no time at all, no time at all. He rejected it. Why would someone reject a sweeter deal than he ultimately accepted? I think the reality is that he knew that all suspected that he was going to get off and get off with a great deal. So the reality here is Berman decided to pursue him on federal charges and said that the issue of double jeopardy couldn’t be pursued because he was prosecuted at a state level. The opportunity to prosecute him at a federal level existed from 2010 onwards through to 2019 until Berman stepped up to the plate and arrested him. The question being, in those previous nine years why did no one take up the case?|
|Jeff Schechtman:||The other half of that though is why Berman did and and the risk that he took in doing that.|
|Dylan Howard:||I don’t think there was much of a risk. I think that Jeffrey Epstein, had it have gone to trial, would have been convicted by sheer weight of the amount of victims and the circumstances in which we live today, it’s a very different climate in 2019 to 2005 with the correct movement of the MeToo situation. So I think Berman was relatively confident in his ability to gain a successful prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein.|
|Dylan Howard:||So I think the motivations of the Southern District of New York ought to be examined, why they decided it was time to look at the case when others had turn a blind eye. But I applaud the Southern District for doing what I did. I mean, that was a tremendously valuable thing that they did. And it’s unfortunate that in many ways, Epstein won’t see a form of justice by the criminal court system. Nevertheless, his victims will say in many ways they did get justice through his suicide.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Talk about the way this story has been covered, and almost the fear that the mainstream media had in digging too deep and covering too much.|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, it requires work and effort. And quite frankly, at this stage, I have a very jettisoned view of the media. It is governed by far too few who sit in ivory towers in New York and Los Angeles and determine what the public ought to hear, and they manipulate the news to make it what they want it to be. And in recent months it has been a very vital issue in the Ukraine issue and Impeachment and President Donald Trump. But equally speaking, I believe the Epstein’s story is of paramount international importance, and I must as a journalist remain hopeful and I must be vigilant in the pursuit of those facts; for if it is not us to shine light on dark places then circumstances that are nefarious like how Epstein was able to roam free as an international spy on American soil will go on checked, and that is not the role of the media.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Do we have a sense of how valuable he was as a spy?|
|Dylan Howard:||Incredibly valuable. Some people have said that he was a bad spy, a bad spy in the sense that he was boastful and would tell people about his activities, but he operated successfully to the extent that he amassed a $600 million fortune without having a job. How does one do that? Presumably, laundering money through nefarious activities, so to that extent Epstein was a very good spy and continued to operate and continued to accumulate wealth and was being used right through 2019 to the benefit of those that considered him an agent.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||You mentioned the FBI before and the diligent work that you think that they’re doing. Where does Bill Barr fit into this equation?|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, Bill Barr has an interesting connection to Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Barr, his father actually worked with Jeffrey Epstein or taught Jeffrey Epstein in his early formative years before he broke on the Wall Street. Bill Barr obviously is the boss of Berman at the Southern District of New York, so he would have been intimately involved in the decision to prosecute Jeffrey Epstein, and I think again that shows a level of courage and a level of no nonsense that perhaps previous law enforcement officials are not prepared to do. And to that extent, I think Bill Barr ought to be applauded for that. I think Bill Barr has taken a very strong stance about the circumstances surrounding his death, the charging of two prison officials, the new information that has come out about how he’s cell had a series of sheets in it and electrical cords and other things that would have allowed him to commit suicide. Barr has ordered a sweeping review of the Manhattan correctional center, and that’s the right thing to do, provided it’s transparent and provided the information is released to the public.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Talk a little bit about how do you see this playing out at this point? Where do we go from here?|
|Dylan Howard:||Well, I think there are going to be two concurrent things that will take place. They will be the law enforcement investigation and we will soon learn how serious law enforcement is about pursuing this case. Simultaneously, you will find that they will be investigative reporters who will be buoyed by recent news revelations to look into this. I for one am already looking into more details and we’ve actually announced a sequel to our book called Epstein Inc: How the US Government Made Blackmail Big Business.|
|Dylan Howard:||We have obtained new startling information that sheds new light on the relationship between Epstein in the US authorities. I don’t want to go too much into that because the book is being written at the moment, but I do think that 2020 is going to be a significant year, either for the mass coverage that this receives or the lack thereof. I remain optimistic that we say mass coverage because of the significant nature of this particular case. I just hope that the mainstream media chooses to give this the prominence and relevance that it deserves.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||And what is, in your view, the highest level that this story reaches?|
|Dylan Howard:||I think it goes all the way to the White House.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||In Republican and Democratic administrations?|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Is it your concern that by the time this story plays itself out, even if more information does come out in the ways that you’re talking about, that so many of these characters will be to some extent off the political stage?|
|Dylan Howard:||Yes. However, a coloring book can be completed at any time, and understanding the key players that might’ve been involved in this for three decades is critically important. Jeffrey Epstein inherited Robert Maxwell’s spying business for the Mossad before Robert Maxwell died in 1991 under mysterious circumstances, believed to have been assassinated. So we’re talking about three decades of operations here, and that implicates a lot of people, and I think history ought to get the facts in order to color in that coloring book.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Dylan Howard, his book is Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Spies, Lies, and Blackmail. Dylan, I thank you so much for spending time with us today.|
|Dylan Howard:||I appreciate the conversation. Thank you.|
|Jeff Schechtman:||Thank you, and thank you for listening and for joining us here on radio WhoWhatWhy. I hope you join us next week for another radio WhoWhatWhy podcast. I’m Jeff Schechtman. If you liked this podcast, please feel free to share and help others find it by rating and reviewing it on iTunes. You can also support this podcast and all the work we do by going to WhoWhatWhy.org/donate.|
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