Will Ghislaine Maxwell Try to Seek Deal With Prosecutors and 'Name Names' to Reduce Sentence?
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend and alleged "madame", was found guilty on five of the six sex trafficking counts she faced. Shortly after the verdict, her legal team and members of her family announced they will appeal it.
Following her conviction on sex trafficking counts, speculation is circulating that Ghislaine Maxwell may turn to the prosecution in search of a deal so that her prison sentence is made less severe.
According to some suggestions, Maxwell may become a government witness and drop several names of the powerful people that could have been part of Jeffrey Epstein's crimes.
It might not even be her first attempt to strike a deal with the government, Jeffrey Lichtman, the defence attorney who represented Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán at trial two years ago, told The Guardian
“It all depends on who she would be cooperating against, and what she has to offer”, Lichtman said, adding it would not surprise him if Maxwell has already tried to bargain and failed.
He went on to suggest that the government sometimes views particular defendants to be too bad to strike a deal with in exchange for testimony.
“They don’t want to take the hand of someone involved [in] a criminal operation and let them cooperate against people who are well below them", he said. “That may be the case here – they just feel that she’s so bad they won’t allow her to cooperate”.
According to former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig, it is hard to say for sure whether Maxwell intends to flip. If she does, he noted, the SDNY [Southern District of New York] will want her to cooperate fully, giving up everything she knows about everyone who could have possibly been involved in Epstein's crimes.
"No hedging, no holding back, no half-truths. If the SDNY is completely convinced she'll do that, cooperation is possible", Honig said in a Twitter thread.
Among the social media users who are discussing the possibility of Maxwell's cooperation with prosecutors, some believe that a deal may be her only chance to not spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Additionally, many are calling for other people involved in Epstein's sex trafficking ring to also be held accountable. Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst and former career prosecutor, said he hopes "prosecutors step to her prior to sentencing to explore cooperation" themselves, as perhaps she could give up "high profile, influential abusers".
After welcoming Maxwell's guilty verdict, Epstein's alleged victims also called for justice for others. Among them was Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accuses Prince Andrew
of sexually abusing her - abuse allegedly facilitated by Maxwell. She said that "others must be held accountable", noting that "Maxwell did not act alone".
Maxwell's legal team has not yet expressed any intention to forge a deal with the prosecution, but her attorneys and family members said that they will appeal the verdict, with the defence being "confident that she will be vindicated".