The taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Tuesday that it filed suit for the costs of U.S. Secret Service protection of former President Bill Clinton when he rode on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's private jet, dubbed the "Lolita Express."
The group filed suit after the Department of Homeland Security failed to comply with a prior Freedom of Information Act request from earlier this year.
According to news reports, the former president took several flights on the jet to the Epstein's island, and at least on one was accompanied by "4 secret service," according to a flight logbook first reported on by Gawker.com.
From Judicial Watch:
(Washington, DC) - Judicial Watch announced today that on June 15, 2015, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain records of all Secret Service expenses incurred to provide "security and or/other services" to former President Bill Clinton during his trips to the Caribbean island of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:15-cv-00915)).
According to the flight logbook obtained and first reported by Gawker.com, Clinton took more than a dozen trips aboard the private jet of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and was at least on one occasion accompanied by "4 secret service." The logbooks also show Clinton flew alongside a woman who prosecutors believe procured underage girls to service Epstein and others.
Judicial Watch filed the FOIA lawsuit after DHS failed to comply with a January 15, 2015, FOIA request to the U.S. Secret Service, seeking the following:
Any and all records reflecting expenses incurred to provide security and/or other services to former President Bill Clinton and any companions for trips to the Caribbean island owned by Jeffrey Epstein known as Little St. James from 2001 to the present date.
The scandal involving the Epstein's Boeing 727, dubbed the "Lolita Express," and his private Caribbean Island of Little Saint James first came to light in December 2014, when Virginia Roberts – now a married, 31-year-old mother of three – filed an affidavit in a Florida federal court charging that at age 15 she was procured by socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to satisfy the sexual needs of Epstein and his friends. The New York Post reported:
According to Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been one of Epstein's many teenage sex slaves, Clinton also visited Epstein's private Caribbean retreat, known as "Orgy Island."
"I remember asking Jeffrey, 'What's Bill Clinton doing here?'" Roberts said in 2011. The former president, she added, was accompanied by four young girls during his stay — two of whom were among Epstein's regular sex partners. "And [Jeffrey] laughed it off and said, 'Well, he owes me a favor.' He never told me what favors they were."
Flight logs show that Clinton shared Epstein's plane with Maxwell and Sarah Kellen, Epstein's former assistant, on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003.
New York magazine reported that in 2002, Clinton recruited Epstein to make his plane available for a week-long anti-poverty and anti-AIDS tour of Africa with Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker, billionaire Ron Burkle, and Clinton confidant Gayle Smith (who now serves on Barack Obama's National Security Council). The logs from that trip show that Maxwell, Kellen, and a woman named Chauntae Davies joined the entourage for five days. Davies is a soft-core pornography movie actress, who appeared in Epstein's address book under an entry for "massages." Clinton allegedly severed his connections with Epstein once allegations over the millionaire sex offender's illegal behavior surfaced and he was arrested back in 2005.
Epstein, who is registered as a "Tier 1" sex offender with the US Virgin Islands department of justice, served 13 months in jail after signing a plea agreement with the US government in 2008. The FBI is said to have identified about 40 potential victims of the former investment banker.
"If there is nothing to hide in the Epstein scandal, then why is the Obama administration breaking federal transparency law rather than giving us information about his travels? That we've now had to go to federal court to try to get this Secret Service information speaks volumes," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Beginning with his misuse of state troopers when he was an Arkansas governor, Bill Clinton has a long record of abusing his taxpayer-funded security details to facilitate and cover-up his illicit sexual activities."Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.