On Saturday night, shortly after billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport on charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, Christine Pelosi, a DNC official and the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, tweeted that the arrest would possibly implicate a number of Epstein’s powerful friends on both sides of the political spectrum — except she didn’t quite put it that way. “It is quite likely that some of our faves are implicated but we must follow the facts and let the chips fall where they may — whether on Republicans or Democrats,” she wrote on Twitter.
Because Epstein is being charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, with prosecutors alleging that he built a network of girls as young as 14 to satisfy his sexual needs, Pelosi’s phrasing was interpreted as more than a bit flip. But whether they qualify as “faves” or not, it’s certainly true that many prominent political and entertainment figures have deeply entrenched connections to Epstein. By his own admission, Epstein actively cultivated such high-profile friends, telling a New York magazine reporter in 2002, “I invest in people — be it politics or science. It’s what I do.”
To be clear, none of these individuals have faced criminal charges, and they are not implicated in the most recent indictment. Yet on social media, there has been a great deal of speculation as to whether they will be, as well as whether any of them — most notably, current U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, whose approval of a 2007 sweetheart deal landing Epstein a 13-month prison sentence for sex abuse charges prompted the hashtag #AcostaResign — helped the hedge fund manager and philanthropist avoid facing consequences for his alleged crimes for so long.
The fact that the Epstein case is being handled by the public corruption unit “does beg some questions” as to whether anyone involved in the Trump administration or any other “public officials engaged in business dealings with Epstein” will be implicated in the case, says Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District, tells Rolling Stone. (He has no direct association with this case.) At this point, “we just don’t know” whether anyone else will be implicated at any future point.
Here’s a guide to the famous men who have been linked to him, which we will update throughout our coverage of his case.