The Epstein story didn’t kill itself.
ABC’s News division had documentary and testimonial evidence of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal more than three years ago but decided to bury the story, according to the reporter whose work was deemed unfit to broadcast.
Amy Robach is a popular on-air personality for the Disney-owned network. She is the co-host of ABC’s flagship news magazine 20/20 and frequently appears as a guest anchor on Good Morning America. Robach recently sat down with Hunter Biden for a high-profile interview amid the Ukraine scandal.
In 2015, Robach apparently had an extensively-documented story on Epstein’s elite global pedophilia and sex-trafficking organization–including information that appeared to implicate a former U.S. president.
Video of Robach cataloguing her grievances with the network’s decision was published Tuesday by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas–an organization with a checkered track record. The group, led by James O’Keefe, has frequently come under fire for selective editing of prior video exposés and have faced legal issues over their methods in the past as well. The Robach hot mic video, however, was obtained from a source–in line with fundamental and time-honored journalistic standards–and does not employ any tricks or subterfuge to gin up controversy.
Discussing Virginia Giuffre (neé Roberts), one of Epstein’s and Alan Dershowitz‘s alleged victims, Robach said:
Alan Dershowitz was also implicated in it, ’cause of the planes. She told me everything. She had pictures. She had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable, what we had. Clinton, we had everything.
But that story didn’t run.
“I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail,” Robach continued. “And now it’s all coming out, and it’s like these new revelations, and I freaking had all of it. I’m so pissed right now. Like, every day I get more and more pissed, ’cause I’m just like, oh my God. What we had was unreal. Other women backing it up.”
Dershowitz has denied the allegations.
It appears that the Robach video showed her reaction to an Aug. 2019 NPR story criticizing media outlets for falling short on the Epstein story. ABC News was one of the news organizations NPR singled out.
In the video, Robach speculated as to why her superiors nixed the story.
There was apparently a lack of interest in the man who hopped with the wealthiest and most poweful of the jet-setting elite–including Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Alec Baldwin, Charlie Rose, David Koch, Tony Blair, Ehud Barak and dozens of other instantly-recognizable names in government, media, and industry.
“I’ve had the story for three years,” Robach noted. “I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, ‘Who is Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.’“
Robach’s story grew–eventually implicating the hereditary monarchy of the United Kingdom.
Giuffre was allegedly sex-trafficked for Queen Elizabeth‘s second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. She said Prince Andrew was “an abuser” and a “participant.”
Instead of increasing the news value of what Robach had in her hands, however, the royal connection appeared to further doom her story because of access concerns.
“Then the Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways,” Robach complained. “We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview [Kate Middleton] and [Prince William], that also quashed the story.”
Was the brass at ABC News so beholden to access that they collectively decided to axe what many news organizations would have salivated over as, perhaps, the story of the decade? ABC News brass dismissed the idea.
Over a series of emails and phone calls, Law&Crime reached out to various press contacts at ABC News for some insight on the decision-making process that led to the shelving of Robach’s wide-ranging Epstein investigation. We were told that the story didn’t meet “standards to air”:
At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and 6-part podcast that will air in the new year.
ABC News also provided the following statement on Robach’s behalf:
As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations. My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts said in that interview in 2015. I was referencing her allegations – not what ABC News had verified through our reporting. The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn’t air, didn’t meet our standards. In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story.
ABC News insisted the story went unaired simply because it failed to meet editorial standards. Two network spokespersons-representatives declined to comment beyond the two above statements provided to Law&Crime.
ABC News has since run dozens of stories on the Epstein scandal–beginning in 2016 up to the present day.
[image via screengrab/Project Veritas/ABC News]