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• The judge did not order all the evidence sealed. Most of it is publicly available after being published by media outlets during the trial, including information about Jeffrey Epstein and other high-profile people.
Despite the fact that Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial was conducted in public and open to the media, and Maxwell was convicted on federal sex trafficking charges, false claims persist that a coverup is afoot.
In one viral Facebook video, conservative commentator David J. Harris Jr. referred to the judge in the Maxwell case and asked, "Why in the world would they seal all the evidence and proof of who helped Ghislaine Maxwell sex traffic children?"
The caption on the video says, "Can the world say…. ‘Cover up!’"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The judge in the Maxwell case, Alison J. Nathan, did not order all of the evidence and proof sealed. Most of the evidence introduced at the trial has already been published by media outlets and is publicly available, including information about Jeffrey Epstein — whom Maxwell helped to sexually abuse minors over several years beginning in the 1990s — and other high-profile people.
Nathan did restrict the public release of one item, Maxwell’s address book, saying only certain pages could be used as evidence.
Maxwell’s trial in federal court ended Dec. 29, when she was convicted by a jury on five sex trafficking charges related to grooming underage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.
Evidence that was introduced at trial and widely reported by media included a flight log from Epstein’s private airplane, which showed the names of passengers such as former U.S. presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton; Maxwell’s bank records; and photos that established a longstanding relationship between her and Epstein.
"Troves of additional materials detailing what went on at homes where Maxwell and Epstein resided have been unsealed in the last two years after federal appeals judges and a Manhattan judge agreed that once-sealed records in a civil case against Maxwell should be released publicly," the Associated Press reported.
A Facebook video says the judge in the Maxwell trial sealed "all the evidence and proof of who helped Ghislaine Maxwell sex traffic children."
The judge did not order all of the evidence and proof sealed, and most of it was published by media outlets during the trial, including information about Epstein and other high-profile people.
We rate this claim False.
Associated Press, "Jeffrey Epstein faces trial by proxy: Ghislaine Maxwell," Nov. 15, 2021
Associated Press, "Fact Focus: Misinformation persists after Maxwell trial ends," Dec. 31, 2021
Facebook post, Dec. 29, 2021
Insider, "Jeffrey Epstein gave Ghislaine Maxwell at least $30.7 million in the years they were together," Dec. 7, 2021
Miami Herald, "Maxwell case logs show how frequently Trump flew on Epstein jets; Bill Clinton, too," Dec. 21, 2021
NBC News, "Ghislaine Maxwell convicted of federal sex trafficking charges for role in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuses," Dec. 30, 2021
Newsweek, "Were Jeffrey Epstein Records Sealed After Ghislaine Maxwell Verdict?," Dec. 30, 2021
New York Times, "The Photos That Ghislaine Maxwell Didn’t Want the Jury to See," Dec. 16, 2021
PolitiFact, "Contrast in Rittenhouse, Maxwell trial coverage due to state and fed court rules, not hidden agenda," Nov. 22, 2021
PolitiFact, "Jack Posobiec," accessed Jan. 4, 2022
PolitiFact, "Marjorie Taylor Greene," accessed Jan. 4, 2022
PolitiFact, "No evidence that 2020 vote results in Pa., where Trump lost, were ‘impossible’," June 18, 2021
PolitiFact, "No gag order in Ghislaine Maxwell trial and courtroom is open to press, public," Dec. 1, 2021
WAMU, "Judge Releases Trove Of Sealed Records Related To Case Against Ghislaine Maxwell," July 31, 2020
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