The more we learn about the allegations against reclusive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the more he seems like a figment of the online fever swamps. The wealthy financier arrested last week for underage sex trafficking is accused of operating an international sex ring that could implicate high-powered men across business, politics, and Hollywood. Every nightmarish detail of his story—from the creepily decorated mansion, to the flights on “the Lolita Express,” to the stays on “Orgy Island”—sounds like it was conjured by conspiracy theorists.

Just this morning, President Donald Trump told reporters that Alex Acosta was stepping down as Secretary of Labor amid mounting outrage over the sweetheart deal he gave Epstein years ago as a federal prosecutor. The resignation will surely draw more attention to what Epstein got away with over the years—and who helped him.

It should not come as a surprise that some of America’s most outspoken conspiracists have spent the days since Epstein’s arrest taking victory laps.

[Ken White: The Jeffrey Epstein case is like nothing I’ve seen before]

“I definitely see it as a moment of vindication,” David Seaman, a chief proponent of the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory, told me. “I think this is a turning point.”

“This is just the beginning,” said Liz Crokin, a prominent QAnon devotee, in a video posted to YouTube. “The storm is officially here.”

“I think I’ve been unnecessarily maligned,” said Mike Cernovich, a right-wing social media personality who has claimed every A-list actor in Hollywood is a pedophile. “This shows I’m doing real things, man.” (Cernovich was, in fact, among those who successfully sued to unseal court documents related to Epstein.)

Of course, the notion that the Epstein case somehow validates every outlandish assertion uttered by the tinfoil-hat brigade is absurd. But squint at the recent headlines and you’ll see …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics


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