When Epstein's lawyers appeared to be failing in their pressure campaign, with senior Do] officials concluding that Epstein was ripe for federal prosecution, Starr pulled out the stops. Brown discloses that he wrote an eight-page letter to Mark
Filip, who had just been confirmed as deputy US attorney general, the second most powerful prosecutor in the country.
Filip was a former colleague of Starr's at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Brown writes that Starr deployed "dramatic language" in the letter reminiscent of the Starr report, his lurid and salacious case against Clinton that triggered the president's 1998 impeachment.
In the letter Starr begins affably, invoking the
"finest traditions" of fairness and integrity of the
DoJ. He then goes on to deliver what Brown calls a
"brutal punch", accusing prosecutors involved in the Epstein case of misconduct in trying to engineer a plea deal with the billionaire that would benefit their friends.
Brown reports that Epstein's legal team also went after Marie Villafana, the lead federal prosecutor in the case, accusing her of similarly distorting negotiations to benefit a friend of her boyfriend - an allegation she denied.
Brown cites an unnamed prosecutor linked to the
2008 case who said of the legal campaign in which
Starr was central that "it was a scorched-earth defense like I had never seen before. Marie broke her back trying to do the right thing, but someone was always telling her to back off."