Following the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell in New Hampshire this morning, one question is top of mind: how will this affect her friend Prince Andrew?
Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, spoke of the royal during today's press conference officially announcing the charges against Maxwell.
“I’m not going to comment on anyone’s status in this investigation but I will say that we would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us, we would like to have the benefit of his statement,” she said.
“I have no further comment beyond what I just said, which is that our doors remain open, as we previously said, and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”
Watch that portion of the press conference here:
"We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us. We would like to have the benefit of his statement."
Acting U.S. Attorney Strauss wouldn't comment further on the Duke of York's potential involvement in the investigation into Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein pic.twitter.com/2mVlEDjzW9
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 2, 2020
Last fall, when Prince Andrew officially stepped back from his working position in the royal family following his disastrous Newsnight interview, the queen's son publicly stated that he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations."
And last month, after the Sun reported that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a "mutual legal assistance" request regarding Prince Andrew, officially requesting to speak with him in the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's crimes, Prince Andrew's legal team, Blackfords LLP, stated that the royal had "offered his assistance as a witness" in investigations regarding Epstein's crimes three times this year.
But Strauss's predecessor, Geoffrey S. Berman, responded to the statement from Blackfords with a tweet revealing that the Prince "has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview, and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally—through the very same counsel who issued today's release - that he would not come in for such an interview."
Like Strauss, Berman had invited Andrew to come in for a conversation. "If Prince Andrew is, in fact, serious about cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation, our doors remain open, and we await word of when we should expect him," he wrote.
Prince Andrew has yet to publicly comment on Maxwell's arrest either through Buckingham Palace or his own press and media teams. In the past, he has vehemently denied any accusations of sexual misconduct and has said "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."
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