California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) chided Kirkland and Ellis, a Chicago-based law firm, that represented Jeffrey Epstein when he was accused of sexual abuse.
Here's the kicker: the same day Harris went after the law firm, her husband, Douglas Emhoff, headlined a fundraiser in Chicago for his wife's campaign. And guess who the main hosts were? That's right. The six partners of Kirkland and Ellis.
"In our democracy, no one—no matter how powerful or well-connected—is above the law," Harris said in a statement. "Yet Epstein’s deal, secured by his lawyers at Kirkland and Ellis, calls into question the integrity of our legal system and undermines the public’s confidence that justice will be served."
From the Associated Press:
Harris, a California senator and Democratic presidential candidate, was one of several White House hopefuls to blast the handling of Epstein’s case in Florida a decade ago, when his lawyers negotiated a deal with federal prosecutors that allowed him to avoid the possibility of years in prison. But her decision to move ahead with the fundraiser hosted by Kirkland and Ellis partners while criticizing the firm underscores the tension that can arise when a politician’s rhetoric collides with his or her need to raise money to sustain a presidential campaign.
“If any connection with Kirkland and Ellis is a stain on (senior Justice Department officials), why isn’t a connection with the law firm for the receipt of campaign contributions a stain on her own campaign?” said Paul S. Ryan, an attorney for the good-government group Common Cause.
Naturally, Harris' campaign is attempting to spin what took place. Their argument? Those who support Harris' campaign and hosted the fundraiser weren't partners that worked on Epstein's plea agreement.
“The people involved in that case have not supported her campaign, and she wouldn’t want that support anyway,” Ian Sams, Harris' spokesperson, told the AP. “It’s an international law firm with thousands of employees, many of whom probably support Kamala Harris because she’s a tough prosecutor who actually knows how to put away predators, unlike the Trump lackeys who protect them."
Epstein has been accused of paying minors for massages and then molesting them in his homes in Florida and New York. President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alex Acosta, recently resigned because of the case. While Acosta was a U.S. attorney in Miami agreed to a plea deal. Epstein pled guilty to Florida state charges and served 13 months in jail, which allowed him to avoid a federal trial.
If people like Harris are going to try to make themselves out to be this champion of average, working people, she needs to put her money where her mouth is. And that means not taking money from the same people you criticize. But we've come to expect this from the "tough prosecutor" Kamala makes herself out to be, even though she wasn't as tough as she makes herself out to be.
Congrats, Kamala. You've earned another hypocrisy award.