THE GUARDIAN – Now that the British former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted in her sex-trafficking trial, speculation is growing that she may try to cut a deal and become a government witness in any broader investigation into the elite social circle of her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell would be aiming for a reduced sentence by naming powerful names when it comes to others who may be involved in Epstein’s crimes.
But defense lawyers and sexual-crimes prosecutors have cast doubt on the government’s appetite to strike a bargain. They question whether Maxwell has any vital information the government does not already have, and whether it represents a strategy Maxwell has previously attempted that has failed.
“It all depends on who she would be cooperating against, and what she has to offer,” said Jeffrey Lichtman, the defense attorney who represented the Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán at trial two years ago. “I would not be surprised if she had already tried to cooperate and it had failed.”
Maxwell, who is expected to appeal her conviction, was found guilty on five of six charges for her involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls.
“There’s a tremendous amount of information she has on some very important people. Now that she’s been convicted she may be more eager to discuss … “
Prosecutors said Maxwell “preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused”. She is expected to receive a significant prison term.
According to LichtmanGHI, there are defendants who, in the eyes of the government, are so bad that it does not want to strike a deal in exchange for testimony.
“They don’t want to take the hand of someone involved a criminal operation and let them cooperate against people who are well below them.”
“That may be the case here – they just feel that she’s so bad they won’t allow her to cooperate,” Lichtman said.
But that does not preclude Maxwell and her lawyers from making an offer.