Former 2016 Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon feared that disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein would derail Trump’s run for the White House by revealing dirt he had on the real estate mogul in an attempt to curry favor with prosecutors, according to a new book from Michael Wolff.
Business Insider reports that Wolff, in his explosive new book, Too Famous: The Rich, the Powerful, the Wishful, the Damned, the Notorious – Twenty Years of Columns, Essays and Reporting, visited with Epstein a few months before he died while in federal custody:
During Wolff’s visit, Steve Bannon reportedly called Epstein on the phone and told him that he had feared him during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign because he thought the financier knew secrets about Trump.
“You were the only person I was afraid of during the campaign,” Bannon told Epstein.
“As well you should have been,” Epstein reportedly replied.
Epstein was also convinced that Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, had him arrested in the hopes that he would tell prosecutors possibly damaging information about former President Bill Clinton:
According to the book, Epstein believed that The Justice Department had arrested him, under the instruction of then-President Donald Trump, because they wanted information on Bill Clinton, who had flown on his private jet multiple times.
“Trump, if he was obsessed with Clinton, which he was, was also obsessed with what Epstein knew about Clinton.”
This new reporting also raises questions about whether or not the Justice Department under Barr’s leadership might have played a role in Epstein’s death, which took place while he was in federal custody. Epstein was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on charges of sexual trafficking of minors when he was found hanged in his cell. The Bureau of Prisons and DOJ later reported that Epstein had taken his own life, but that did nothing to squelch rumors that Epstein had been murdered.
Bannon is now facing the possibility of being arrested for criminal contempt after ignoring a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
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