|Donald Trump on "The Apprentice"|
Jeffrey Epstein is not the only Donald Trump associate to face charges of being a pedophile and winding up dead in a jail cell. Epstein is not even the first associate to face such charges and meet such a fate, according to a report from a D.C.-based investigative journalist.
Jesse G. Phinney, a cameraman on Trump's The Apprentice television show, was found dead in a jail cell roughly 18 months before Epstein was found under similar circumstances, reports Wayne Madsen. From a recent post on Phinney's death at the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), which is subscription only:
A year-and-a-half before the jail cell hanging of alleged child sex trafficker, convicted child sex offender, and one-time close Donald Trump friend Jeffrey Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, another Trump associate accused of pedophilia was found hanging in his jail cell in the Philippines.
Jesse G. Phinney, a cameraman for Trump's "The Apprentice" reality television show, was discovered on December 5, 2017, hanging by his belt in his jail cell in Cebu in the Philippines. Phinney, who lived and worked in Los Angeles, had been arrested by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Phinney was arrested after he was identified by Cebu province Vice Governor Agnes Magpale that Phinney was suspected of violating the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act and the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.
How seedy does the Phinney story get? Very:
After a raid on Phinney's apartment in Talisay City, the NBI discovered an 8-year old was present in the residence at the time of the police action. WMR's sources in the Philippines report an additional three underage girls, the oldest 12, were also residing in Phinney's apartment.
If you have followed the Epstein story, see if this sounds familiar:
Phinney, 42, was found hanging by his belt in his cell. Friends of Phinney contended that Phinney never wire a belt. A U.S. pathologist hired by Phinney's family in Boston found that Phinney's death appeared not to be from asphyxiation from hanging but from blunt-force trauma indicative of a beating death. It should be noted that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who routinely carries out extrajudicial executions in the country, is a favorite of Donald Trump.
Phinney's possible murder mirrors that of Epstein, who was found hanging in his cell on August 10, 2019, while two guards failed to conduct mandatory 30-minute checks on Epstein, who had been placed on a suicide watch in the jail's Special Housing Unit. The MCC guard station was located a mere 15 feet from the guard station. The two guards have been criminally charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York with conspiracy and falsifying records. No reasonable explanation has been made about the unusual visit to the MCC by Attorney General William Barr after Epstein was reportedly physically assaulted by another inmate. Barr's father, Donald Barr, was involved in the decision to hire Epstein to teach teens at the Dalton School in Manhattan in the mid-1970s. Donald Barr was the school's headmaster from 1964 to 1974. Epstein was hired in 1974.
The NBI began their surveillance on Phinney in December 2016. Affidavits were sworn by a mother and girl that Phinney had young girls sleep overnight at his apartment, took photographs of them, and gave them presents. Police discovered photos of children from throughout Southeast Asia and Central America. Phinney was a frequent traveler to both regions that are heavily favored as sex tourism locations by pedophiles.
Phinney's death is a story where politics, media, entertainment, and law enforcement intersect -- and those, to a great extent, are the worlds that produced Donald Trump:
Local press reported that the U.S. embassy in Manila had shown an interest in Phinney's death. Phinney had announced his retirement from TV work in Los Angeles and said he was planning on settling in Cebu. A second autopsy showed that Phinney's head showed a hemorrhage and there were bruises on his back, none of which were consistent with suicide by hanging. A Paris-based firm, Insiders Corp, began conducting a pro bono investigation of Phinney's arrest and death. Insiders Corp maintains an office in the Philippines and Boston and its founder, Julien Serres, is a former correspondent for Le Figaro and the Canal+ television network in Asia. Epstein was returning from Paris to the United States on his Gulfstream jet when he was arrested at an airport in New Jersey. French authorities have been criticized for dragging their feet on investigating Epstein's operations in France. Epstein maintained residences in Paris, Biarritz, and Nice.
Phinney was also a cinematographer for the reality TV show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." Trump is close to both Kim Kardashian, who is an executive producer for the show, and her husband, rapper Kanye West.
Perhaps it boils down to this question: Do we have a murderer in the White House -- and does the president use public resources to wipe out individuals who are perceived to have dirt on him?