Maxwell, 59, was arrested in New Hampshire last summer before being charged for conspiring to ‘entice’ and ‘transport’ minors between 1994 and 1997.
In a court filing that argued the US government waiting too long to bring charges, her lawyers said the government turned to Maxwell after Epstein’s death because they were ‘left with no fish to attempt to fry’, reported The Times.
It said witnesses could have died and documents been lost in the time it has taken the government to bring Maxwell to court.
For example, they claim Epstein would have testified and told the court Maxwell was ‘unaware’ of his activities.
Jeffrey Epstein (pictured) would have testified to say Ghislaine Maxwell was innocent. She was arrested in New Hampshire last summer before being charged for conspiring to ‘entice’ and ‘transport’ minors between 1994 and 1997
Maxwell’s lawyers challenged the case brought against their client last July on multiple grounds in papers filed last week and unsealed on Thursday with some redactions. She is set for July trial over claims she procured girls for Jeffry Epstein
And Epstein’s mother Paula, who died in 2004, would have told the court she did not see Maxwell with any of the accusers between 1994 and 1997, they added.
‘As early as 1996 but at least by 2006, the government was aware of allegations that Mr. Epstein solicited females for sex,’ the lawyers said.
‘It also was no secret that Epstein worked out a deal with the government that resolved the allegations against and any potential co-conspirator.’
The government ‘broke that agreement’ and charged Epstein, who then committed suicide while in prison. The filing said charges against Maxwell were 27 years old and ‘dithering’ would have corrupted memories.
Her lawyers challenged the case brought against their client last July on multiple grounds in papers filed last week and unsealed Thursday with some redactions.
In a court filing that argued the US government waiting too long to bring charges, her lawyers said the government turned to Maxwell after Epstein’s death because they were ‘left with no fish to attempt to fry’
‘One does not need to engage in complex analysis to understand what has happened here,’ her lawyers wrote in the Manhattan federal court documents.
‘The government has sought to substitute our client for Jeffrey Epstein, even if it means stretching – and ultimately exceeding – the bounds of the law.’
The agent of one of the women, who died in 2017, and Detective Joseph Recarey, who died in 2018 but led the investigation of Epstein, would have testified there was no evidence against Maxwell.
Lawyers added: ‘The government’s sudden zeal to prosecute Ms. Maxwell for alleged conduct with Epstein in the 1990s – conduct for which the government never even charged Epstein – follows a history that is both highly unusual and deeply troubling.’
Maxwell, 59, is scheduled for a July trial on charges that she recruited three teenage girls from 1994 to 1997 for Epstein to sexually abuse. Sometimes, prosecutors alleged, Maxwell joined in.
Maxwell has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) since July 2020 when she was arrested for allegedly procuring girls as young as 14. She has denied all charges
The charges against Maxwell came exactly a year after Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges in Manhattan. He killed himself in a federal jail a month later.
Maxwell, who has citizenship in the U.S., the United Kingdom and France, has been held without bail after a judge rejected a $28.5 million bail proposal on the grounds that she had not been fully forthcoming about her finances and other matters and that she remained a threat to flee.
As part of the bail proposal, Maxwell disclosed that she has set aside more than $7 million to be spent on lawyers out of $22.5 million in assets belonging to herself and her husband.
In documents released publicly last week and Thursday, Maxwell’s lawyers attacked the government’s case on multiple grounds, including that a grand jury seated in suburban Westchester County deprived her of nonwhite grand jurors who would otherwise have decided her fate.
They also said perjury charges stemming from her testimony in two depositions in 2016 in a since-settled civil case must be tossed out because the questions posed were ambiguous and the answers given were true.
Another of her unique challenges to the indictment pertained to a non-prosecution agreement Epstein signed with federal prosecutors in Florida a dozen years ago that spared him from charges as he pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge and served 13 months in prison.
Her lawyers say Epstein intended for the document to protect any alleged co-conspirators, including Maxwell.
‘The government is bound by the agreement it negotiated and executed,’ the lawyers wrote, adding that the wording of the document was ‘clear, explicit, and unambiguous.’
The lawyers alleged that attorneys representing plaintiffs in civil litigation against Maxwell in 2016 met with a supervisor in the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office and pitched the idea that Maxwell could be charged criminally.
‘The section chief appropriately declined,’ the lawyers wrote.
They noted that prosecutors charged Epstein in 2019 months after a Miami Herald story drew new attention to the long running sexual attack claims against him by women, some of whom described being assaulted when they were as young as 14.
The British socialite (pictured in a court sketch last year) was arrested last July on child sex trafficking charges and has remained jailed on grounds she might flee
Again, the lawyers noted, Maxwell was not arrested.
They said prosecutors only went after Maxwell after Epstein’s death and what then-Attorney General William Barr characterized as ‘a perfect storm of screw-ups’ left the government embarrassed.
The lawyers wrote that the death caused media attention to shift from Epstein to Ms. Maxwell.
‘She was portrayed as Epstein’s equal – if not his superior – and baselessly caricatured as a villain of near-mythical proportions,’ the lawyers said.
‘In short, the government’s response to the media frenzy was not to adhere to its earlier objective analysis and consideration of the facts, but to feed the frenzy and substitute Ms. Maxwell for Epstein.’
Maxwell is due to go on trial in July.