Former Judge Paul Cassell Levels Sex Abuse Allegation Against Alan Dershowitz Before Second Circuit

We previously discussed the media objections to a move by Harvard Professor Alan Dershowtiz to bar media from part of the upcoming hearing in the Second Circuit hearing concerning the plea deal given to Jeffrey Epstein.  A convicted sex offender who regularly entertained powerful men like Bill Clinton on his infamous “Lolita Express” and island estate, Epstein also secured seals to bar a review of material in the case. I previously wrote about the case and the disgraceful deal cut by now Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta which not only gave Epstein little jail time but effectively protected all of his high-powered friends. The hearing was held this week and it was reportedly heated with counsel for the victims, former federal judge Paul Cassell, openly asserting that sealed documents establish that Dershowitz (who represented Epstein and helped negotiate the deal) did have relations with the underaged girls that Epstein reportedly made available to his powerful friends.  Dershowitz vehemently denies the allegations and says that three documents, if released, would show that the victims are lying.

The hearing was a direct fight between two of the nation’s best known lawyers: Cassell v. Dershowitz.

The decision of District Court judge Sweet was less compelling in my view. Sweet is 96 and an appointed of Jimmy Carter.  Sweet seemed to dismiss the public interest in the case and the relevance of these documents for both the victims and the public. 

The resulting spirited argument took place on Wednesday where the victims and media are seeking the unsealing of material in the case. Cassell did not reportedly hedge in his allegations against Dershowitz or Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell. He told the three-judge panel that the “broad unsealing” that he was seeking would “demonstrate Epstein and Maxwell sexually trafficked her to Epstein’s friends, including Alan Dershowitz.” 

Courtroom representations are privileged for purposes of defamation.  Thus, Cassell’s allegations cannot be used as the basis for a defamation lawsuit unless repeated in public.

 There are ample arguments favoring general disclosure given the public outrage over the deal by Acosta, who seemed to thrive after cutting the absurd agreement with Dershowitz – an agreement recently declared as illegal by a federal court.  I have previously written that Acosta should resign, though I oppose efforts to impeach him on constitutional grounds.

Epstein may have developed the perfect plan for a sex offender by implicating a long list of powerful men in his unlawful activities.  Acosta then played the perfect dupe in shielding those men and Epstein in a deal that not only violated federal law but violated the obligations of the Justice Department to both the public and the victims.

For Dershowitz, the hearing must have been discomforting, particularly when  Judge Rosemary Poolerspecifically asked Cassell “Are you saying Mr. Dershowitz [came up] in other documents.”  Cassell responded “Absolutely, absolutely.”  Dershowitz’s counsel, Andrew Celli, is only trying to release three specific documents and not the broad array sought by Cassell. 

For their part, Epstein defense counsel, including former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, insist that the deal reflect the weaknesses in the case and that “The number of young women involved in the investigation has been vastly exaggerated, there was no ‘international sex-trafficking operation’ and there was never evidence that Mr. Epstein ‘hosted sex parties’ at his home.”  Their strongest argument is that, whatever the public view of the deal, Epstein was given the deal, served his short sentence, and “is entitled to finality like every other defendant.”

It sounds like the panel was leaning toward a broader disclosure which could prove embarrassing for a long list of Epstein friends.  Clinton’s trips have drawn considerable attention, particularly when it was reported that he told the Secret Service not to come on the “Lolita Express” flights, which often had these underaged girls in attendance.

The panel is composed of Jose Cabranes, Rosemary Pooler, and Christopher Droney. Cabranes and Poller were appointed by President Bill Clinton. Droney was appointed by President Barack Obama.

54 thoughts on “Former Judge Paul Cassell Levels Sex Abuse Allegation Against Alan Dershowitz Before Second Circuit”

  1. The information we have is not from the court records but is instead from advocates on both sides and it is then filtered through whatever “news source” chooses to report it. We have seen examples time and again where even members of congress can hear the exact same testimony in closed door sessions and then give wildly different interpretations of what was said. I think it would be a mistake to reach any conclusions until the actual facts are known. As to the plea deal, if, in fact, there was inadequate evidence such as witnesses refusing to testify, then “sweetheart” deals are cut all the time. If there was something else at work in order to shield certain people then that would be beyond unethical. I am not sure if we ever will find out the truth about why the plea deal was made. For many years I have been an admirer of Alan Dershowitz. Like Karen S. I hope there is nothing to it but I do not fault him for representing Epstein. My clients always need legal assistance but there have been some that I wouldn’t want to have over for dinner.

  2. Turley used to at least mention Trump as an Epstein friend when discussing this case. Now he keeps mentioning Clinton more and has excluded Trump altogether. For anyone needing a summary of Trump and Epstein’s relationship, check out this article, especially the part where Epstein takes the fifth when asked if he ever partied with Trump in the presence of girls under the age of 13.

    1. No matter which name is put in place of Trump he would have had to plead the 5th. You are so dull.

        1. You apparently didn’t understand either but that is not new. Whether it was Trump’s name or someone elses name Epstein had to plead the fifth. Therefore, that Trumps name was included was totally meaningless and one could say gratuitous.

          It is amazing how stupid you really are.

          1. The Fifth Amendment does not grant Epstein the right not to incriminate Trump.

            The Fifth Amendment grants Epstein the right not to incriminate himself [Epstein].

            The main purpose of The Fifth Amendment is to keep the burden of proof on the accuser (a.k.a. The State). As a practical matter, The Fifth Amendment gives defendants an alternative to committing perjury in their own defense. No one is allowed to commit perjury for any reason. Because there exists no such thing as a right to lie. And yet, lying remains a commonplace practice in The State of Nature. (What’s it mean? What’s it mean?)

            1. Are you as ignorant as YNOT? What I said had little to do with the 5th amendment and more to do with sentence structure and gratuitous additions.

                1. “You will probably be amazed that few give a shit about what you say.”

                  Chuck that you say that is surprising because you apparently read what I say. Those that you say don’t give a sh!t are those that know very little of the world around them and are unable to respond intelligently to diverse opinion. It is unfortunate that you are one of those people.

            2. And just think, that’s the product of the “Generational Welfare,” “Affirmative Action Privilege,” forced busing, food stamps, quotas, Obongocare, etc. that the communists forced Americans to pay for – $22 trillion since 1965.

            3. “The Fifth Amendment gives defendants an alternative to committing perjury in their own defense. No one is allowed to commit perjury for any reason.”
              Well, except for Clapper, Hillary, WJC, Comey and Brennan. Allegedly, of course.

      1. And just think, that’s the product of the “Generational Welfare,” “Affirmative Action Privilege,” forced busing, food stamps, quotas, Obongocare, etc. that the communists forced Americans to pay for – $22 trillion since 1965.

    2. one of the moredubious occasions where a politician was embarrassed due to a sex scandal was Elliot Spitzer. One is tempted to suspect that he was exposed due to his strong actions against banking mischief.

      By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law

      Corporations have revved their engines back up for round two of the smear campaign against Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who has announced that he will run for New York City comptroller. With headlines such as “Here We Ho Again” and “Lust for Power,” news outlets are already pigeonholing Spitzer as a depraved sex addict, more loathsome than the average politician gone wrong.

      In the last couple of decades, there have been many scandals in politics, often sex-related. Remember Anthony Weiner, Mark Sanford, Chuck Robb, Newt Gingrich, Barney Frank, David Vitter, Ted Kennedy, Ken Calvert, Bill Clinton and so on? But not every politician faces the same kind of criticism that continues to follow Spitzer. Indeed, the careers of Frank, Calvert and Vitter, all of whom had sex with prostitutes, were largely uninterrupted.

      Spitzer had enemies not because of his sex life, but because of the hard-line approach he took toward financial institutions beginning in 1998 as New York’s attorney general. He turned a position that, for years, was not particularly forceful into one that frightened Wall Street and held companies accountable for corruption that had been largely ignored or settled with meager plea deals.

      In 2002, Spitzer sued several investment banks alleging they had inflated stock prices. When executives tried to sweep the issue aside and keep the information secret — their common practices at the time — the attorney general refused.

      “I said no,” Spitzer recounted in Alex Gibney’s 2010 film “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” “because my job as attorney general is to change the system so that it’s fair and honest. And if we seal the evidence and you pay with a check and we don’t change the system, I’m basically being bought off.”

      In a state of amnesia, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, a Democrat, was quoted July 8 by The New York Times saying, “the question with both Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer is, what have they been doing to earn a second chance?”

      Quinn, like most Americans, has eaten up the story that the corporate media fed to the public. She forgets about the other politicians listed above, some of whom are still serving as senators and House members. And she has also conveniently forgotten that Spitzer continued to rail against big banks that, months after his resignation, would bring the economy close to a halt.

      It was this unwavering conviction that prompted Wall Street to scrutinize every aspect of Spitzer’s life. When a prostitution ring called the Emperors Club was suddenly uncovered, it was outsiders who pushed for an investigation of “client 9,” even though johns, the New York Police Department acknowledged, are usually not prosecuted in such cases.

      Many people contend that “Eliot Spitzer brought himself down,” Gibney said in an interview about his documentary. “Actually, there were other forces at work that, though he was the one who made himself vulnerable, were there very much to use their power to make sure he went down as hard as possible, so that his fall was a kind of freefall. And he would never be able to be picked up again.”

      Gibney’s “Client 9” cleverly uses the scandal to entice Wall Street players such as ex-New York Stock Exchange Director Ken Langone and former AIG Chief Executive Maurice Greenberg to sit down and talk about — not the scandal itself — but what led up to it. The film becomes a kind of mystery-thriller and exposes the lies and tricks that top executives use to destroy people like Spitzer. The film suggests that it was Roger Stone, a wealthy Wall Street playboy with a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, who got the scoop on Spitzer’s sexual affairs and relayed the news, probably to Langone.

      “You know we all have our private hells,” an ecstatic Langone told a reporter after the Spitzer scandal broke in 2008. “I hope his private hell is hotter than anybody else’s.”

      Now Weiner and Epstein both were messing with underages. Spitzer was not. Spitzer was paying a free and willing adult woman for voluntary well paid sex. A crime, nominally, and probably should not be. But Spitzer really got the fifth degree. Seemed unfair to me. Democrats did not lift a finger against this. Why? I sure don’t know.

      It was a baseless and unproven distraction then to turn around and blame it on Roger Stone. which distracted from the fact that there were few if any Democrats to defend Spitzer,

      1. Thanks, Kurtz. I was one of those people who got burned amid the bust of 2000. The stock I owned was totally respectable and the company is still a major name. However back in 2000, their stock was seriously over-priced. Yet all the investment banks rated it a ‘Buy’. Only later did I learn that the investment banks all knew that stock was greatly inflated. Spritzer sued on behalf of investors like me.

        1. Spitzer kicked some ass and took names on Wall Street since nobody like Giuliani. He was a stud. Who cares if he hired a free, willing, well paid sex worker to spend some time with him. It’s really despicable that everyone gets into the sex scandals. Just like Robert Kraft last week.

          Now it’s a different thing for an underage creeper like Weiner, or a pimp like Epstein.
          Now there was a real sex trafficker.

          When it comes to adult age sex workers, prostitution laws in this county need a serious makeover!

          1. See Megan McArdle on Spitzer’s actions in re Wall St. She maintains it was an extortion scam and Spitzer is one bad actor.

            Never missed him for even a day. David Patterson was the most conscientious governor New York has seen in the last 35 years.

    3. Thank you E I B for pointing this out. Turley has over time become a very dishonest witness; the amount of bias he displays on this platform is terrifying!

      1. But only when he disagrees with you, right?

        Otherwise, not so terrifying.

      2. Anonymous – please don’t be rude to our host, who posts comments for us to enjoy late at night. If you find the blog “terrifying”, then there are thousands of others. What I cannot understand is why anyone would remain in a blog that they do not enjoy, especially when we are spoiled for choice.

    4. The Prof’s posts are far more kindly to Trump and his minions that I would expect. I guess being exposed to DC causes that as it did with Dershowitz and Giuliana.

  3. It seems that anyone who rises to a level of prominence becomes a sexual predator.

    1. Does the pronoun “anyone” include “women” who rise to prominence?

      I’m asking for George.

      1. Can we level the playing field and annihilate the very unconstitutional “Affirmative Action Privilege” yet?

        “Affirmative Action Privilege.” Don’t leave home without it!

  4. How about we simply demote all these powerful actors to the stations of the down-and-out and levy the same justice the later receives?

  5. Bill Clinton pulled Loretta Lynch over on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport and gave her marching orders.

    Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew et al. pulled Alex Acosta over on “Orgy Island” and gave him marching orders.

    Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

    America is corrupt. America is rancid.

    The Constitution was thrown out long ago – Freedom and Self-Reliance gave over to “free stuff,” “free stuff,” “free stuff” everywhere!

    They used to publish tales of political woe, rotten government and brutality (Clinton Hitlist) in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc.

    We know they teach foreign invader hyphenates to obtain “free stuff.”

    Imagine – whatever do they teach young actual Americans in school these days?

    1. It continues to amaze me how many people think they know whatever transpired — or didn’t — when Clinton and Lynch met “on the tarmac.” If there was some sort of conspiracy going on, why would it have happened in a very visible locale?

      1. It wasn’t supposed to be very visible, Jay. It was a small area of a small airport in Arizona. Nothing visible but a few private jets. But you’re right – it was a totally coincidental meeting and they discussed golf and grand-kids. Or yoga and weddings. Or something.

        1. What he said. Lowretched Flynch and Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton DID NOT expect to be seen. Some bystander with a political streak discovered and surreptitiously photographed them. Similarly, Hillary did not expect for her bribe from Tyson Chicken to be discovered because it had been hidden in the account trading as Hillary’s loses were posted to Tyson’s account and Tyson’s gains were covertly posted to Hillary’s account. And Bill never expected Juanita Broaddrick to reveal that Bill Clinton, then the Arkansas Attorney General, raped her.

        2. Isn’t that admissible circumstantial evidence? Bill Clinton meets with his inferior and subservient former appointee and the next day an exoneration letter is written, even before a non-investigation is completed.

          Nope! It can’t happen here. It could never happen here!

          1. Have you noticed that the entire 7th Floor has been wiped out?

            Facts! We don’t need no stinking facts!



    When Professor Turley began to feature this issue, Clinton-Hating Trump Supporters were beside themselves with delight. They presumed this issue would burn Bill Clinton like no other scandal. Hopefully it would become the first paragraph in Clinton’s obituary.

    Instead this issue has boomeranged on Donald Trump. Trump’s Secretary of Labor is in the very middle of this mess. And now Trump defender Alan Dershowitz has been thoroughly tainted. What’s more, Clinton Prosecutor Ken Starr played a featured role as one of Epstein’s lawyers! ..Say it isn’t so..!!

    Then it turns out Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort was used as a recruiting ground for at least one of Epstein’s minors. Trump himself was friends with Epstein for several years. Which is ‘not’ what Trumpers wanted to hear!!!

    Trumpers wanted to hear only about Bill Clinton. How he was captured on video partying with the girls. Yet somehow Slick Willie has eluded scrutiny for his presumed involvement. It’s enough to make Trumpers chew the carpet in frustration.

    1. i never liked how acosta put jose padilla under “special adminstrative measures” that denied him his fifth amendment rights as an american. even if he was a terrorist. if you arrest somebody in the US and then charge somebody in court we all need their rights to be given due regard.

      the Dershowitz angle of this is a different thing. Dersh is a lawyer. he can represent people. He may know creeps who hire him. Like Epstein. Far as that goes, no problem.

      Now, this is crossing into problem territory for Dershowitz. Too bad, he’s a fantastic lawyer. But he is ALSO PRESUMED INNOCENT like every other person. Lawyers are not a special class of “presumed guilty” in spite of what some folks would like to see.

    2. Mr. H observed, “It’s enough to make Trumpers chew the carpet in frustration.”

      You’re too kind, Mr. H. Let them eat hardwood flooring, instead.

  7. I want the truth. The whole truth. If there is corroborating as well as exculpatory evidence, then release it. Otherwise, we are either going to have unjust damage to reputations, or unjust lack of consequences.

    The problem with allegations like these is the length of time has destroyed physical biological evidence. There may still be emails, photographs, and other documents that support the claims.

    I quite like Alan Dershowitz, and grieved at his association with Epstein. He was the party guy that knew everyone, apparently. Anyone who went with him to Orgy Island is suspect. I treat consorting with of age prosititutes far differently than with trafficked minors. We need to find out what happened.

    It was my understanding that one of the reasons behind the plea deal was an unwillingness of the girls to testify. I do not know if this is true.

    1. Why is this relatively old case back on page one? Why has Dershewitz been suddenly implicated in illegal events? He wasn’t implicated before, was he?

      1. He (and Prince Andrew) were subject to allegations a couple of years ago. Dershowitz has been insisting that the allegations are lies and has lodged complaints against this fellow Cassell and one other lawyer with guild authorities. Per Dershowitz, the flight logs to Epstein’s island discredit the contention and demonstrate he traveled there with his wife and daughter.

        1. I am more interested in the timing of various events. Certainly most of the evidence was in almost a decade ago.

        2. This is the exact problem with the gossip mill rather than the release of evidence. Social media and the mainstream media shape public opinion, and the information may not be correct.

      2. If you are implying there is political motivation, I agree.

        Regardless, I want the truth to come out. The way this case was handled was a scandal. It was my understanding that the shockingly low sentencing was due to the girls being unwilling to testify, save one. However, I do not know if that has been verified.

        If this was the best sentence they could muster with the documentation at trial, I cannot imagine that Dershowitz is in danger. However, I just want the truth to come out. I also never understood how they failed to investigate each and every visitor to Orgy Island.

        1. “If you are implying there is political motivation, I agree.”

          Yes, but I agree with you. The truth needs to be revealed as does the truth with Smollet and countless of others on the left that have protected each other while they went after the right. I feel bad for Dershowitz with whom I have great political disagreements but he is an honest man who provides logical dialogue.

        2. Based on the book “Filthy Rich” by James Paterson (and two others), it wasn’t that the girls wouldn’t testify against Epstein, it was a “prosecutorial judgment” that the girls would be effectively character-assassinated. In other words, Acosta didn’t want to risk losing a high visibility case. However, he violated the Victims’ Rights Act, and now should have the case reopened, prosecuted with due diligence, and lose his job as a Cabinet member.

          1. Based on the book “Filthy Rich” by James Paterson

            Which has no footnotes, no endnotes, no bibliography, and no index. Marvelous piece of research.

  8. Clinton and Epstein, you know who i mean
    Flew on Lolita
    To munch a fajita
    On little St James
    With passionate flames
    All the grandees
    Tried to appease
    The nubile libidos
    thus caught in flagrante delictos
    Charmed mr. Acosta
    Whose pronouncement of basta
    Sealed the secrets in vaults
    A mere caprice; not their faults
    But sasse smelled corruptions
    In the liscivious eruptions
    And the cover up that followed
    Soiled the halls so hallowed
    Even our hero dershowitz
    Got caught in the pits
    Of accusation
    Of gyration
    But what will be done
    About all this fun in the sun?

  9. Okay, we all agree, a pox on all their houses, Prof. But I still do not understand why you keep bringing up that Bill Clinton was a guest on Epstein’s plane and at his estate, when NO ONE of these victims has ever accused Clinton of participating in sex with any of them, or even having SEEN him on the plane or at the house. Yet you constantly put Clinton in the same sentence with Dershowitz who HAS been accused by a number of the victims. Your persistent antipathy toward Bill Clinton diminishes the impact of your otherwise legitimate arguments.

    1. Clinton was there dozens of times. Dershowitz was there once or twice.

    2. Me, I don’t know about bill Clinton on this account. Maybe fire there or maybe just smoke.

      But I do know that Juanita Broderrick a grown woman made very credible rape allegations against him and those went nowhere. Nobody worries about that. Suddenly this Epstein thing is dug up. Why? It’s a bad plea deal, but why now.

  10. Rose Pooler landed a federal judgeship at some point in the last 30-odd years? I’d missed that. The woman I met back in 1987 was one unappealing ideologue, and not impressive in any other way.

    I’ve noticed Cassell won’t make his allegation against Dershowitz in any venue where he isn’t protected from defamation suits.

      1. Not sure why ‘page one’, other than a sitting cabinet secretary mishandled it. There’s still ongoing litigation by interested parties, so it’s not surprising it’s somewhere in the paper.

    1. privilege against defamation suits…. yes!

      ha ha Spas you know more about the law then you let on. very good observation!

  11. And with Dershowitz’ frequent defenses of Donald Trump, he’s becoming the proverbial “gook in an open field”.

  12. Cover up cover up again no mention of Mueller using Epstein as a confidential informant. With three lefty judges the cover up will continue.

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