National Commentary

Epstein, Trump & ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

What sweet justice, if after all the abuses and crude excesses that have constituted the crime-ridden life of Trump, it will be the #MeToo movement that brings him down at last.

Bypassing the Trump camp completely, the FBI ran an operation to arrest alleged serial pedophile and long-time Trump chum Jeffrey Epstein and extract thousands of incriminating documents from Epstein’s Upper East side mansion in New York.

Cleverly and intensely motivated, the FBI and the Southern Federal Judicial District of New York beat the Trump operation to the punch, coming away with troves of information that could do more than anything else to drive Trump’s criminal enterprise from the White House.

History may record that spearheading this long-awaited death blow against Trump will have been all the brave young female victims who’ve been stepping forward against every form of resistance and threats, to call out the systematic sexual abuse and trafficking of children by Trump, Epstein and many others.

Credit may also go to the brave journalist Julie Brown and her news organization, the Miami Herald, for their relentless investigative efforts, including her three-part series, “Perversion of Justice,” that ran last year that took the victims’ accounts seriously enough to lay the ground for what unfolded last weekend.

The description of the $77 million mansion that Epstein operated until last weekend on New York’s posh Upper East Side is reminiscent of the kind of place that was the setting for Stanley Kubrick’s last film, the highly unsettling “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), a film starring Tom Cruise that depicted a lurid, degenerate but highly-organized orgy structure where anonymous women were brought in to be the playthings of elite men and women disguised behind masks.

Many felt at the time of the release of that film that Kubrick was signalling something of deep importance, but cloaked just enough to elude direct retaliation.

Now, with the latest evidence, we can hypothesize how elements extracted from the mansion by the FBI, may be envisioned from the standpoint of an “Eyes Wide Shut” scenario at that mansion and at Epstein’s equally palatial Palm Beach estate. All that needs to be added are the underage status of the victims, on the one hand, and the lack of masks by the elite orgy participants, on the other.

With these elements in the mix, you can envision a massive potential breach of U.S. national security — an entire operation set up to film, record and photograph elite and politically powerful participants in the molestation and rape of underage children. The entire enterprise being perpetuated and protected by the threat of exposure, on the one hand, and the offer of future “good times,” on the other.

One other factor would be its “bi-partisan” nature. If top figures of both major political parties are to be compromised in this manner, then neither can gain an advantage over the other.

This, indeed, parallels what we have here. It is entirely plausible that some elements of the federal law enforcement community, tired of being degraded by Trump, decided to let the chips fall where they may, and uncork the whole thing.

Certain elements are familiar with aspects of this, but two things have happened in recent years to qualitatively change their response.

First, there was the unprecedented, systematic abuse and deprecation of their professional operations by the current occupant of the White House. Second, was the realization, brought to light by the exposes and actions that sparked the #MeToo movement, that the level of rape and abuse of women, including underage girls, was simply morally indefensible, and in fact, heinous.

Who knows how far this investigation will now go, and what will come crawling out of the woodwork? But who cares? Anyone engaged in these despicable activities, regardless of party or pedigree, needs to face justice. More importantly, to the extent the Russians or anyone else has used these blackmail recourses to corrupt U.S. strategic interests and policies, a full rooting out of the entire mess may be America’s best hope for a bright future.

Nicholas Benton may be emailed at