Jeffrey Epstein scheduled meetings with Noam Chomsky, CIA director and others: report

FILE - The Wall Street Journal published a report of several names allegedly listed in the personal calendar of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Uma Sanghvi/The Palm Beach Post via AP

A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs and several high-profile academic scholars were reportedly named in Jeffrey Epstein‘s private calendar, new reports claim.

According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, several previously unnamed figures may have met with Epstein after 2008, when he pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution.

The WSJ report, published on Sunday, named a number of people in Epstein’s calendar who had not been identified in his “black book,” which is now public. Among the names allegedly listed in Epstein’s calendar was the current CIA director William Burns, scholar Noam Chomsky, Bard College president Leon Botstein and top Goldman Sachs lawyer Kathryn Ruemmler.

Epstein’s “black book” previously named the likes of Prince Andrew and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz.

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The WSJ could not verify that all meetings reportedly in Epstein’s calendar had ever taken place. The purpose of most of the meetings was not listed, and being named in the calendar is not an indicator of any sort of crime or connection to crime.

In 2014, CIA director Burns was allegedly scheduled to meet with Epstein on three occasions. The then-deputy secretary of state was listed to first meet Epstein at his Manhattan townhouse.

CIA spokesperson Tammy Kupperman Thorp denied Burns, 67, had any knowledge of Epstein’s personal life at the time they met.

“The director did not know anything about him, other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” she told the WSJ. “They had no relationship.”

FILE – CIA Director William Burns was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of many influential people with scheduled meetings in disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s personal calendar. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

After one meeting at the townhouse, Epstein apparently planned for his driver to take Burns to the airport. Though Burns recalled meeting Epstein briefly via a mutual friend in Washington, he denied the other meetings in the calendar.

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“The director does not recall any further contact, including receiving a ride to the airport,” Thorp told the outlet.

Burns was nominated by President Biden to serve as CIA director in 2021.

Chomsky, an American linguist and political activist, met with Epstein on a number of occasions throughout 2015 and 2016. He told the WSJ he and Epstein met to discuss politics and academia.

One such meeting was allegedly with Chomsky, Epstein and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

As part of another meeting, Epstein scheduled a flight for Chomsky, 94, to have dinner with director Woody Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn.

Chomsky’s answer to a WSJ inquiry about whether or not he met with Epstein was simple. He wrote: “First response is that it is none of your business. Or anyone’s. Second is that I knew him and we met occasionally.”

FILE – U.S. linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky allegedly met with Jeffrey Epstein many times throughout 2015 and 2016, as per the Wall Street Journal. Heuler Andrey / AFP via Getty Images

In response to meeting specifically with Epstein and Allen, Chomsky told the WSJ, “I’m unaware of the principle that requires that I inform you about an evening spent with a great artist.”

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Chomsky added that “what was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence. According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.”

Between 2002 and 2017, Epstein reportedly donated at least US$850,000 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Chomsky was a professor. MIT later claimed to have since donated the funds to charities that support victims of sexual abuse.

Bard College president Botstein told the WSJ after being named that he met with Epstein in an attempt to secure funding for the school. He invited Epstein — who travelled with a group of “young female guests” — to the campus. On another occasion, Botstein met with Epstein to thank him for donating laptops to Bard.

The WSJ reported Epstein and Botstein met more than two dozen times in four years, mostly at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse.

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FILE – Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, said he met with Jeffrey Epstein, but was “the object of a little bit of sadism on [Epstein’s] part in dangling philanthropic support,” as per the Wall Street Journal. Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images
“I was an unsuccessful fundraiser and actually the object of a little bit of sadism on his part in dangling philanthropic support,” Botstein told the WSJ.  “That was my relationship with him.”

“We looked him up, and he was a convicted felon for a sex crime,” he said. “We believe in rehabilitation.”

Ruemmler, a top Goldman Sachs lawyer, was at one point a White House counsel to President Obama. Between joining Goldman Sachs and working at the White House, the WSJ claimed Ruemmler met with Epstein “dozens” of times. In his calendar, Epstein reportedly wrote that he was to meet Ruemmler in Paris in 2015 and on his private island in the Caribbean in 2017.

Ruemmler said she and Epstein had a professional relationship and denied ever travelling with him.

FILE – Kathryn Ruemmler, former White House counsel and Goldman Sachs lawyer, was reportedly scheduled to meet with Jeffrey Epstein on a number of occasions. William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

A Goldman Sachs representative said Epstein introduced Ruemmler to several potential clients, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

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“I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein,” Ruemmler told the WSJ.

A number of other influential people were also named by the WSJ as being listed in Epstein’s calendar. These included Ariane de Rothschild, CEO of the Swiss private bank Edmond de Rothschild Group; Harvard University professor Martin Nowak; Joshua Cooper Ramo, the vice chairman and co-chief executive of Henry Kissinger’s consulting firm Kissinger Associates; and anthropologist Helen Fisher.

Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell of an apparent suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.

In February, lawyers for the former associate and girlfriend of Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, argued that her 20-year sentence for sex trafficking should be thrown out, or a new trial ordered.

The legal filing claimed prosecutors should never have been able to press their case against Maxwell because of a deal Epstein reached in September 2007 with federal prosecutors in Florida that protected not only himself from prosecution but “any potential coconspirators.”

Read the complete Wall Street Journal report here.

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