The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “accidentally” released critical internal flight records on the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s four private jets to Business Insider, revealing more than 704 undisclosed flights.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Business Insider requested the FAA’s flight records, including those associated with Epstein’s jets, in January 2020. However, the agency denied the requests just months afterward because “the responsive records originate from an investigative file.”
The FAA, under Exemption 7(A) refused to release information on records that are “compiled for law enforcement” and “could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceeding.” The agency did not disclose what enforcement proceeding the data could interfere with at the time, however Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently on trial for sex trafficking charges.
Nevertheless, the agency mistakenly sent the news outlet some of Epstein’s flight data in response to another FOIA request unassociated with the original request in January. The flight records revealed 2,300 flights associated with Epstein’s jets from 1998 to 2020.
The report states that while most flights were already known, the records disclosed 704 previously unknown flights taken in the four private jets. Names of passengers were not included in the records provided, but they could provide other insight, the report states.
Records show the jets most often flew to New York, Palm Beach, Paris, New Mexico, and the Virgin Islands.