2024 Election

GOP Senator Turns Tables on Dems, Issues Subpoena for Epstein’s Flight Logs, But That’s Not All


In a farce of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee managed to pull down the curtain and have the last laugh.

The hearing was ostensibly about Democrats ganging up on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his relationships with real estate magnate Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the Federalist Society, a conservative judicial group.

The top agenda item was “Authorization for Subpoenas Relating to the Supreme Court Ethics Investigation.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, had requested a vote to subpoena Crow and Leo, saying they were “central players in the ethics challenge facing the court.”

However, the farce ended more quickly than Durbin would have liked, thanks to the threats of counter-subpoenas by Republicans — the most pointed coming from Blackburn.

In addition to promising to seek subpoenas of several individuals related to a book scandal involving Obama-appointed Justice Sonya Sotomayor, she also threatened to open a Pandora’s box in the form of the flight logs from late alleged sex trafficker and hyper-connected billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

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“Since we’re in the business of issuing subpoenas now, here are a few more that I’ve filed. A subpoena to Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to provide the flight logs for his private plane,” Blackburn said.

“Given the numerous allegations of human trafficking and sexual abuse surrounding Mr. Epstein, I think it is very important that we identify everybody who was on that plane and how many trips they took on that plane and the destinations to which they arrived,” she said.

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Others targeted by the senator’s subpoenas, according to her remarks:

• Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra regarding 85,000 illegal immigrant minors his department had lost track of.
• The Department of Justice for its cancellation of a program aimed at tracking down Chinese spies.
• Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s staff regarding “political donations and participation” amid the Russian collusion probe.
• DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission for documents related to their efforts to silence conservative speech on social media.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the meeting was adjourned without subpoenas.

Of course, the big enchilada in Blackburn’s airing of subpoena grievances was that of the flight logs regarding those who took trips on Epstein’s so-called Lolita Express, which carried Epstein’s connected friends and, allegedly, some of the girls that the financier was sexually trafficking.

Perhaps most infamously, former President William Clinton said he took only four trips aboard the plane. Records later showed that Bill had made over 20 trips on the aircraft. But who’s counting? Certainly not Epstein (anymore).

Of course, Democrats will bray about this being a sideshow. So are the subpoenas against individuals Democrats want to use to smear Justice Thomas without any evidence of wrongdoing. And, as Blackburn noted in her speech, there’s a lot more scandal-esque smoke surrounding Sotomayor and allegations that her personal staff, whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer, had influenced organizations to buy her books to juice her royalty payments.

“This summer, what we learned was that over the years, her staff has pressured public institutions to buy her books, and these books and her book deals have earned her $4 million,” Blackburn said.

She added that considering Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself from cases connected in an ancillary manner to those who had given him gifts, it was rather rich that Sotomayor had refused to recuse herself from two copyright infringement cases that directly affected her.

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“So I have filed an amendment issuing a subpoena to Justice Sotomayor’s staff who’s helped to sell the books, as well as to her book publisher so we can fully understand the backstory of the deal,” Blackburn said.

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Yes, Thursday’s hearing produced plenty of happy smirks — but none of them, as one suspects had been the original plan, were on the faces of Democrats.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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